Why Romney lost Ohio, and the country

Byron York looks at Ohio. Obama won the state by 107,000 votes. Black turnout was 200,000 votes more than in 2008, and white turnout was 200,000 less than in 2008. Obama won because he increased turnout in his base over the previous election (just as Bush increased turnout in his base in 2004), and suppressed turnout among undecided or weak Republicans by running ads that relentlessly portrayed Romney as an out of touch plutocrat and killer of old people, charges that Romney, proving that he was out of touch, never bothered counteracting.

Just as, I would add, Romney never bothered attacking Obama on a host of Obama vulnerabilities. He didn’t attack Obama on Benghazi, didn’t attack him on the Arab Spring, didn’t attack him on his legalizing millions of illegal aliens by executive dictat, didn’t attack him on his referring to Republicans as “enemies,” didn’t attack him on his left-wing agenda of fundamentally transforming America, didn’t attack him on the nightmare bureaucratic tyranny of Obamacare, didn’t attack him on the specifics of how many jobs will be destroyed by Obamacare, didn’t attack him on the fact that the private health care industry will itself be inevitably destroyed by Obamacare leading to out-and-out socialized medicine, didn’t attack him on the contraceptive mandate. Many white voters didn’t like Obama. So when the Republican nominee refused to attack Obama, they turned off on him as well.

Look at it this way. Many conservatives thought Obama had to lose, because of the spectacular failures and egregious acts of his administration. But Romney himself never talked about those failures and egregious acts, except to say that Obama was not doing a good job with the economy. So, from one point of view, it’s remarkable that Romney did as well as he did, given the fact that he never ran against his opponent, other than promising that, unlike his opponent, he would fix the economy. Romney ran as a nice businessman-technocrat blind to values and ideas, and he lost as a nice businessman-technocrat blind to values and ideas.

What good is it having a superior brain, if you don’t use it?

And what good is it having a sterling moral character, if, as a candidate for public office, you refuse to make intellectual and moral judgments and to state them publicly?

- end of initial entry -

Ed H. writes:

The Republican establishment’s strategy, as enunciated by Karl Rove, was to be non-confrontational. “If we say that Obama is a socialist, the Democrats will just say he isn’t,” etc. Notice that the implicit assumption of this vacuous con artist Rove is that there isn’t such a thing as truth and, if there is, it makes no difference in the world. All there is, is just a set of personal and emotionalized points of view none of which can be reached by the force of facts or superior reasoning. This is of course the liberal world view, which Rove and Conservatism Inc. only validated and reinforced.

In the first debate, Obama looked sick, unsure, and fearful, as if he would, finally, for the first time in his life, be called to account and have to face reality. He fell back on the paper-thin front of smug looks and feigned boredom.

In the second debate, Obama fought back, and here he showed that the Democrats hold all the aces. Obama held out for the liberalism that is innate in Romney to surface and begin the surrender process. Obama didn’t have to have any conscious, super-clever master plan to do this, all he had to do was rely on his own life-long conviction that liberalism is the transcendent and omnipotent force in the world. The only force. All there is is liberalism and everyone must come around to it, like the law of gravity.

By the third debate, Romney and right-liberalism had produced the inevitable final surrender. Romney switched to non-confrontational mode and assumed a facade of being “presidential,” whatever that means. The mass audience of befuddled and inarticulate Americans, who would have been electrified to hear the truth about liberalism for the first time in their lives, simply fell back into the limp resignation and emotional froth which characterizes public discourse in the U.S. and which concedes all power to liberalism. Obama had won. It is a process repeated over and over, from formal debates, to idiotic conservative commentary.

LA replies:

Brilliant comment.

JC from Houston writes:

Your comment jibes with my observations. I barely heard Romney mention Obamacare during the entire campaign, let alone try to educate the public on its disastrous effects. Then again he was the original author of governement run health care. He criticized Obama not for promising amnesty but for failing to follow through. When Obama decreed his DREAM Act type unilateral amnesty Romney’s craven response was to imply that he, Romney, would institute a permanent one. During the Chik-Fil-A controversy Romney’s only response was, “It’s not part of my campaign.” At that point I was wondering just what was part of his campaign, other than to make vague promises to create “jobs.”

Nick D. writes:

Simply put, he wasn’t willing to fight for it. Comparing the election to a prize fight, the two traded jabs in the opening rounds, after their respective party conventions. Then Romney stunned and wobbled Obama in the first debate. At that point, he should have smelled blood and continued his attack. But foolishly, (as many boxers have done) he thought he could revert to trading jabs, keep the remaining rounds even, and coast to victory on the judges’ scorecards. Since he had scored the only knockdown of the fight, he “just had to” win. Numbers don’t lie.

The problem is, when a title is on the line, judges always award the close rounds to the champ. The challenger has to be the aggressor and dominate, if he is to take the title. He could not legitimately attack Obama on the Arab Spring, immigration, or Obamacare, because they both held the same views. But he should have thrown those punches. Even if they didn’t land, he would have looked aggressive, which is as important as actually scoring blows. Though most of the judges (voters) knew the champ was a fraud, Romney failed to earn the belt.

The country elects a leader, in part, to fight for them. If Romney was unwilling to fight for himself, by merely opening his mouth, why should anyone think he would fight for us when we need him?

Randy writes:

I have thought of this before but it wasn’t until Ed H.’s comment that I decided to bring it up. In 1994 Romney ran against Kennedy. The race was very close and he had Kennedy on the ropes. There was a debate and extensive coverage that I followed. Romney was making solid conservative statements and won the debate. He was gaining in the polls. So I eagerly waited for the next debate. As you can imagine, there was a lot of interest in it. To my horror, Romney started backing off from his former statements, uttered useless platitudes in response to the questions, and allowed Kennedy to take over the debate. Of course, that assured his loss. I was totally disgusted with him and so (jumping forward to 2012) was not at all surprised at his actions after he got the nomination. I knew he would use the worn-out strategy of heading to the “new” center after convincing his party that, this time, he was, truly, a conservative. Yes, he said illegals should self-deport, but I suspect that would have changed in a microsecond after the inauguration. He never learned from his previous experience. What a loser.

One thing that can be said is that no one likes a wimp. This is how Romney projected himself. I have found myself saying numerous times, after hearing a commentary, interview, or reading an article, that I am glad he lost. We will not have to endure four years of this wimp endlessly trying to appease the press and Harry Reid; never defending himself on principle; and “finding common ground” with evil. It is demoralizing to see the one supposedly on your side, who is supposed to be making a stand against evil, first, betraying his supporters, then acting like a whipped dog begging for approbation from his demonic opposition.

Thanks again for all your effort and please keep up your work for THE GOOD.

LA replies:

So you gave higher priority to (1) avoiding the demoralizing experience of having a Republican president who would often go along with the Democrats, than to (2) voting for the only chance to stop Obamacare—a nominee who had pledged to start dismantling Obamacare on his first day in office. I think your sense of priorities—and that of many other conservatives who declined to vote for Romney—was tragically askew.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 13, 2012 05:30 PM | Send

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