November 6, 2012 11 Comments
This is what happens when the Republicans allow the establishment to pick a moderate candidate for President. We lose. Romney lost for several reasons. First and foremost he couldn’t convince anyone other than desperate conservatives that he was actually a conservative. Having flip flopped from his positions as Governor just a few years ago, Romney had a major credibility problem. Why it is the GOP thought that the Governor responsible for Romneycare could beat the author of Obamacare is beyond comprehension. Anyone surprised by Romney’s defeat need only look at that problem because it put doubt in the minds of just about everyone.
Romney ran a dreadful campaign. Yes, he had a good first debate. But then he took the peddle off the gas. He tried to coast to victory on one good debate and that just isn’t good enough. He let Obama off the hook on Benghazi, he gave up discussing the budget, his hands were tied arguing against Obamacare. And yet we Republicans expected him to win? How exactly? The economy was the number one issue but even on that Romney allowed Obama to define his tax plan by not effectively defending it.
Romney picked the wrong Vice Presidential candidate. Paul Ryan is a good Congressman but where has he been the last two months? He hasn’t talked about his budget proposal, he hasn’t talked about much of anything. He’s was nowhere to be found, unless he was peeking out from behind Romney. From the way the electoral map has shaped up it’s pretty clear Romney should have picked Marco Rubio. Sen. Rubio could have secured Florida and he would have appealed to Hispanics in Colorado, Ohio and Iowa. Rubio isn’t perfect but we have to start appealing to more than just northern white guys.
The Republicans have a major problem going forward. They have no pathway to victory in 2016. We’ve lost 4 of the last 6 Presidential races and let’s be perfectly frank, we should have lost 2000 as well. No Republican has won 300 or more electoral votes since 1988. We have failed to expand the map in 24 years. We cannot go into future races pinning all our hopes on Ohio and one or two other states. We have to expand the map because if we don’t expand the map then we’re very seriously looking at losing again in 2016, this time to Hillary Clinton.
So how do we expand the map. First, we don’t listen to the establishment which will tell us that we need to move to the left. We need to start appealing to the fastest growing segment of the country: Hispanics. We don’t need to move to the left to do that, we can remain pro-life and pro-family because most Hispanics are pro-life and pro-family. We could have done so much for our party by nominating Marco Rubio, we could have made lifelong Republicans out of many Hispanics. Rubio or some other Hispanic (Ted Cruz of Texas for example) has to be on our 2016 ticket. We cannot hope to win in the future with two white guys and if we’re going to pick a woman in the future it must be someone more intelligent than Sarah Palin.
So what will the next four years look like? My guess is that after Obama gets his tax increase later this month or next, the next four years will look like the last two. Obama has no mandate, he has no stated agenda. He has to contend with a Republican House which will clash with a Democrat Senate. (Note to the Tea Party, you’ve cost us four Senate seats by nominating morons the last two elections. Please stop.) Obama will do a lot of regulatory damage but he’s going to be a lame duck and after a year or two will become like Bush and Clinton in their second terms. He’ll be in the White House, largely ignored and largely powerless. Benghazi will be a re-occurring theme the next six months.
The GOP has a lot of problems and it’s time for us to start re-thinking how we look at elections. The status quo isn’t working. It’s given us one loss after another. We must start appealing to others, we must stop allowing the Democrats to define us as the party of white people, the party of racism. It is clear, the difference in this race is Romney’s poor campaign and our failure to appeal to Hispanics. Rubio could have delivered this election, instead Romney went with a nerdy white guy from Wisconsin who was hidden most of the campaign. Something has to change.