The 2 simple reasons why Republicans lost the presidency

Nov. 14, 2012

By John Seiler

An enjoyable part of the entertainment politicians give us is the barrage of explanations of why someone lost an election. We’re still getting that. Tony Quinn blames it on Republicans playing the “race card.” Charlie Cook says Republicans are too conservative. David Horsey insists Obama’s “data geeks” plotted victory.

But there there are two simple reasons for the Republican disaster:

1. Mitt Romney was a terrible candidate.

2. Barack Obama was a popular president who ran a disciplined, efficient campaign.

Let’s look at them.

First, Mitt Romney. His worst aspect was that he’s a flip-flopper. Nobody knew what he would have done in office because he had taken every position on every issue.

I knew many conservative Republicans who strongly opposed Romney in the primaries, then gradually came to endorse him in the general election as a way to stop Obama. That wasn’t enough.

Contrast that to Ronald Reagan, who had strong, deep support in 1976, when he narrowly lost to Gerald Ford, a sitting president, for the GOP nomination; then built on that support to be elected president in a landslide in 1980, defeating an incumbent president.

Barack Obama was a flip-flopper, too. For example, he promised to curb the abuses of the Bill of Rights perpetrated by the Bush administration. Instead, he expanded the abuses by signing the tyrannical National Defense Authorization Act (something that “Me Too” Romney, typically, also endorsed, losing an opportunity to score points against the president).

Yet a president doesn’t run on his promises but on his record. Although Obama failed to increase employment as much as he had promised, he successfully shifted the blame back to Bush. Romney never successfully countered that.

Tax plan disaster

Second, with economics the focus of his campaign, Romney’s tax plan was a disaster, as I wrote on this Web site. It supposedly “balanced” tax cuts with ending deductions. I never could figure out if my own taxes would go up or down. Romney should have just proposed cutting taxes, period, as Reagan did in 1980. Then he could have looked the middle class in the eye and said, “Elect me, Mr. and Mrs. Middle Class Americano, and your taxes will be slashed by one third. No gimmicks. Nothing else. One third.”

But Romney’s Harvard education, where he learned Keynesian whim-wham economics, got in the way, as it has for Obama on the president’s economic policies.

Romney’s failure on taxes let Obama refocus the campaign as one of “fairness,” with tax increases on the “millionaires” — people and small businesses with $250,000 income — hit for more.

Republicans blab a lot about attracting more Latino voters. And there are millions of Latinos who own small businesses; they also have millions more relatives. But what more did Republicans have to offer than, “I’m Mitt Romney. I’m a businessman worth $250 million and you’re not.” And: “I’m Mitt Romney, and I might get rid of your tax deductions as part of my tax-cut scheme that nobody understands.”

Pathetic.

Meanwhile, Obama played on his likable persona. He ran a tight, focused campaign that broke down only once, when he blew the first debate. But even Reagan blew his first re-election debate in 1984, then went on to win 49 states. So Obama, staying cool, got back on message and recovered on the road to victory.

Grand old Party of losers

Since 1988, Democrats have put up a couple of dud candidates: John Kerry and Al Gore. But they also ran two candidates who, whatever you think of their policies, knew how to be politicians: Obama and Bill Clinton.

By contrast, the GOP has offered up nothing but duds.

In 1988, Bush Uno won only because he was seen as the heir to President Reagan. After breaking his “Read my lips! No new taxes!” pledge of 1988, Bush Uno was wiped out in 1992, getting just 38 percent of the vote. And that was a year when Latinos comprised just 2 percent of voters, instead of 10 percent today.

In 1996, Bob Dole was eager to lose so he could cash in doing Viagra commercials.

In 2000, Bush Dos lost the popular vote, but was elected in the electoral college and the Supreme Court after the chad flap.

In 2004, Bush almost lost to Kerry, despite a booming economy and the aftermath of 9/11.

In 2008, after vaunting to the lead when he picked Sarah Palin for veep, John McCain canceled his campaign for a week during the financial panic, then backed Bush Dos’s TARP bailout of Wall Street at the expense of Main Street.

Speaking of Republican candidates in 1960, Jack Kennedy quipped, “Where do they get those guys?”

 

9 comments

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  1. Bob
    Bob 14 November, 2012, 10:05

    It really was Obamma the Borg versus Romney the Romulan and you know who wins that battle. Plus Romney even looked like a Romulan!

    Reply this comment
  2. jimmydeeoc
    jimmydeeoc 14 November, 2012, 11:00

    Can’t disagree with anything you wrote, JS. That said I still think Romney would have been a far better executive, and that the nation would have been in a better place 4 years hence than we will with President Pander at the helm.

    Republicans stupidly fall into democrats’ traps on these idiotic social issues, which translates into losing millions of votes from Low Information Voters.

    Reply this comment
  3. Barb
    Barb 14 November, 2012, 12:34

    Right you are Mr.Seiler! Right you are! We need a true conservative to fill the slot, plain and simple! I can think of a few already and they haven’t been mentioned by the establishment.

    Oh and did you listen to Ron Paul’s speech in today’s session. He was spot on! Will probably be his last!

    Reply this comment
  4. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 14 November, 2012, 12:35

    They BOTH suck eggs, that was the problem…..

    Reply this comment
  5. CalWatchdog
    CalWatchdog Author 14 November, 2012, 17:17

    Barb: Yes, Ron Paul’s Farewell Address was magnificent. Below is a link to the video.

    — John Seiler

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2012/11/14/ron-pauls-farewell-speech-video/

    Reply this comment
  6. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 14 November, 2012, 18:45

    Ron Paul is a bunker digger revered by the fringe disgruntled who have smothered logical discourse on CWD.
    CWD management really believes in a big tent…..commendable.

    Teddy and Skipping Dog and Queeg,when sane, are fair and balanced positive CWD posters…..they make my day!

    Reply this comment
  7. Hondo
    Hondo 14 November, 2012, 19:34

    Lets remember, all 19 of the hijackers on 911 were registered to vote here. There are probably 20 million illegals here and I imagine a couple million voted for you know who.
    But the biggest group of illegals came in during Bush #2’s term. He then called the rest of his party racists for not giving them citizenship. Those of us who believed in securing our border after a bunch of them blew up New York and the Pentagon were ignored. How bout all those millions around the world who are standing in line and playing by the rules.
    The border is a slaughter house now, mostly because of Bush. Obama is doing his part by running guns to the cartels ( how come we didn’t hear word one about that in this campaign?).
    As much as I dislike Obama, he wouldn’t be president if it wasn’t for the horrific presidency of Bush.
    Hondo……..

    Reply this comment
  8. Donkey
    Donkey 14 November, 2012, 22:18

    The Republicans lost because the majority of voters were more concerned about losing what they had or were going to get from the government, many minority voters liked the idea of getting back at Whitey for whatever reason in their hatefilled minds, and the RAGWUS used every dollar stolen from the taxpayers to scare uninformed and lazy voters to the polls, or they would loose everthing to the man.

    You can continue down the PC road and lie to yourselves, but the vote was about greed and race. Mitt would have been one of the best POTUS since Washington, minorites rejected him because he was a White male. 🙂

    Reply this comment
  9. Donkey
    Donkey 14 November, 2012, 22:35

    Hondo, you are correct about Bush Jr. 🙂

    Reply this comment

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