Inconvenient Truth: Romney Derangement Syndrome on the Right Helped Obama Win

From the outrages he let Barack Obama get away with to the stunning ineptitude of his campaign team, Mitt Romney holds plenty of blame for last week’s dispiriting presidential election. But he’s not the only one, and before we do something stupid like surrender on immigration in a shortsighted bid to woo Hispanics, the Right needs to have a little chat about another key voting bloc that should have been far easier to hold…but wasn’t, for reasons conservatives seem unwilling to discuss.

The single most shocking detail about the results was the pitiful Republican turnout, with Romney receiving 3 million fewer GOP votes than John McCain and 5 million fewer than George W. Bush — a difference that could have overcome Tuesday’s 3-million-person difference in the popular vote or made up the 333,000 additional votes necessary for an Electoral College win.

Yes, Romney’s conservatism was imperfect. But so was Bush’s. And McCain? He was so liberal that, to keep him away from the nomination and ensure a conservative made it on the ballot, the punditocracy told us we had to rally around…Mitt Romney.

So how could Romney — who, for all his flaws, took most of the right positions, had an appealing background, and didn’t share Bush or McCain’s zeal for amnesty — possibly be less palatable than either of his moderate predecessors? Especially while trying to unseat someone widely considered to be the worst, most left-wing president in US history?

A big part of the answer is because somewhere between GOP presidential primaries, half the Right flip-flopped on Romney, recasting their onetime conservative alternative as the new RINO boogeyman we needed an alternative from, with scores of pundits, activists, and bloggers ranting that an amorphous party “establishment” was trying to force Romney on the base. Yes, politics is a tough business and primaries are the place for aggressively vetting our candidates, but far too many of our own crossed the line from “Romney is weak in area x” to “Romney is our enemy.”

Tea Party Nation head Judson Phillips and Family Research Council president Tony Perkins said they’d focus on congressional races because Romney wasn’t worth their members’ excitement. Sen. Rick Santorum suggested Romney might not be different enough from Obama to bother changing presidents. Talk radio host Mark Levin excoriated Romney daily, calling him a corporatist of questionable character who couldn’t be supported in the primary without compromising all of one’s principles. Blogger Dan Riehl considered organizing conservatives to oppose Romney in the general election. Free Republic banned all Romney supporters as “enemies of the Constitution.” Blogger John Hawkins warned that supporting Romney would require conservatives to “sell our souls.” RedState.com waged an all-out war against Romney and his sympathizers, the most hysterical examples of which being Erick Erickson’s claim that nominating the bad Mormon would kill conservatism and Thomas Crown’s accusation that National Review “alienated” itself from the conservative movement by preferring Romney to the alternatives. Conservative stalwarts like Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan got torn apart as phonies in popular comment sections for backing Romney. And last month, Personhood USA used an unfair spin on Romney’s words as evidence that he was “insisting on maintaining the status quo of abortion on demand.”

Fast-forward to Election Day, and 5 million Republican voters decide to stay home.

Gee, who could have guessed? (I mean, besides me.)

Again, we shouldn’t completely absolve Romney of responsibility. As the candidate, it was his job to assure the base he could walk the walk. Nor should Romney’s shortcomings have gone ignored or unchallenged during the primary.

But with so many influential conservative voices doing everything they could to convince their audiences that Romney was just Diet Obama and that he posed an existential threat to their very philosophy, is it any wonder that so many of them decided not to vote? How is any post-primary coalescing supposed to fully heal divisions that deep? How are Republican candidates supposed to endure two-front wars against Democrats and their own base?

Rather than protect the integrity of the Republican ticket, Levin, Erickson, Perkins, and company served as useful idiots for the Left, dividing conservatives enough for a weak incumbent with indefensible ideas and hated policies to keep power for another four years. And now we’re all going to suffer for it.

It goes without saying that for 2016, we’ll need to find a candidate with bolder instincts, a deeper affinity for conservatism, and greater skill in articulating it. But by the time his own failings and impurities come to light, hopefully Obama’s second term will have taught our Purity Police that a little perspective can make a world of difference.

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Rave Reviews 7!

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, but better late than never, right? Here’s another delightful roundup of my more disagreeable readers’ greatest hits. Accusations of stupidity, evil, and mental disorders from faceless commenters and prominent bloggers alike, you’ll find it all here! Let’s get started:

…all the political credibility of a geranium, a not very bright geranium. – Tbone

Discussion is impossible with you. Scott Feldstein

That’s the dumbest analogy I’ve ever heard. – Jaynie59

No bumper sticker pasting here young boy .. just an old guy that is pissed off at your  “holier  than thou attitude”…. like you know more about a woman’s body  than she does… what kind of up bringing  did you have? – Walldodger

God you pro-Life people are really annoying me. – Alex

I think you may be a bit slow. – MiketheMarine

I was a Democrat until 2003, Calvin Freeburger. You want to be more careful about the sneers that you throw around. – Moe Lane

Pretty stupid…This whole story is salted with idiocy. – streiff

The important thing is you’ve found a way to pretend to be superior to women to choose to abort their pregnancies. – Jfabiani

Calvin is an inveterate and pathetic troll. He posts crap here that is poorly, if at all, researched, can’t assemble a cogent argument and puts up “defenses” like the one you just responded to. The guy is a simple minded fool or a raving idiot. Pick one. You’re wasting your time attempting to actually engage him. – mbecker908

Calvin, what a load of unmitigated crap…Too bad your understanding of the Constitution is so bad. – retire05

Maybe it is time to realize you live in a democracy where everybody of every conviction has a voice and a vote. – BizarreEntity

Maybe when you grow up a bit we can have an adult conversation. Until then, I’ll pray for you. – proALLlife

You sound like my rapist.  Cope with it, or change your attitude towards women. – Sorites Paradox

What about Calvin Freiburger’s own twisting and ignoring the Constitution when it’s convenient? – britney12

I’m ashamed to know that you are from Fond du Lac, where I live. You’ve written a lot of wacko crap before this, and I’m sure you’ll continue to do so, but you’re a joke. – Hhhhhh

This is what happens when neocon miscreants comment on what they appreciate least, namely the desired morality of the civil society. – NJ_Patriot

Now, the author of the article is not a conservative, he is a Neocon. Neocons are warmongers, more specifically warmongers for Israel, at the cost of bankrupting the United States. – edw987

this is the most poorly written editorial I’ve ever read. My God…Oh, the person who wrote this article is a man. No wonder he has no clue what he is talking about. – Guest

You will never be half man or do half the things in defense of Liberty as has Dr. Paul. Don’t embarrass yourself and blog about Ron Paul. You are too naive, young and stupid. – Illuminoti

…trash… – acat

Why don’t you “Man Up” and grow up while you’re at it and realize that we are only here for a while and then it’s over : Do you really want to spend your life being a hater and a bitter bigot? Get over yourself, why don’t you? – USAgloria

…ignorant pride and a false moral superiority… – Robyn

Calvin, Buddy, I know you hate being challenged on issues and I know it’s hard to process information that goes against your deeply-held worldview. – George

Apparantly Mr. Frieberger is either a shill for the globalist or he bought into the left/right falacy. – andrewhiu

Your a stupid, nazi idiot, you know nothing about politics and your lucky i dont take a big fat dump on your mothers chest. Shes a stupid skank and so are you thoughts, i would be ashamed if i were you, you scumbag american rat. You smell shit and you look like an asshole with out a vagina, […] stupid nigger fuck – Unknown

Come out and say you’re a liberal already. – Anonymous

By the look of you…you will never have sex with anyone much less a woman so why do you care? As a woman I can have an opinion…you…you are just a douche bag dork trying to make friends through all of this. So sad. Go get um acne boy!!! – Anonymous

You’re not pro-life. You might be anti-abortion but you’re not pro-life, you don’t care about the life or the culture. You care about getting retweeted and being stroked by other shut-ins than you do about the culture of death America has produced. – Rob Taylor

Is this serious? You’re an embarrassment to Fond du Lac, this country, and whatever college decided to give you a political science degree. – Apparently anyone can get a political science degree

you sir are a fool. You do not have to vite for every office listed on on a ballot Stay in School… It’s gonna take a while to learn the Stupid out of you. – Anonymous

Does your mommy also beg you to go out and find a girl? Or has she just accepted the fact that with a face like yours, your obvious lack of man’esque type personality, and your constant crying that her son will soon join his true group, GoPride? – Still in anonymous world

sometimes your hurtful comments towards others just makes me cringe. – Jdjdjeeeeerrrryyy

You really don’t get the private property thing, do you? I’m not surprised. – NightTwister

You obviously lack comprehension skills. – Bill S

You’ve repeatedly been warned to follow directions. You clearly can’t. I’ve had it. – Neil Stevens

This one looks like a serial killer – jakeofalltrades

We bash Muslims for their treatment of women but you have shown yourself to not be much better Calvin. – Letscook1

So you get an D for effort. – Oran Switzer

Calvin I wish you a good night as you crawl back in your tent at what ever OWS protest you are at. – izoneguy

Suggestion, instead of a worthless hit piece, post a diary of the good points of your preferred candidate. Oh, wait, I don’t think it would go over to good if you posted a diary promoting Obama. – gekster

…total and complete hypocritical piece of garbage – Scope

So, while you have been pontificating from your ivory tower of intellectualism….I have been looking at this from a “reality” prospective. – carolynr

I’m beginning to suspect that he may suffer from Asberger’s  or some other syndrome that prevents him from picking up on higher order social clues.  Poor Calvin. – Sparky

You are a repulsive scumbag. – Wade Felty

In Which a Newt Gingrich Apologist Transcends Self-Parody

Ann Coulter had it exactly right yesterday when she took aim at the way Gingrich’s apologists have, almost overnight, emptied the word “Establishment” of nearly all meaning. The most preposterous example to date has to come from noted hack Erick Erickson in this Twitter exchange. In response to someone else’s (manifestly false) claim that “all the GOP insider[s] who bash Newt chose Crist over Rubio,” Erickson replied, “And supported Harriet Miers.”
You can probably see the punchline coming from a mile away. Guess who else supported Harriet Miers?
If your answer was “Newt Gingrich,” give yourself a hand.
So we now live in a world where “true conservatives” must circle the wagons around Newt Gingrich to stand up to undefined “elites” who are evil because they do things like agree with Newt Gingrich on Supreme Court nominees.

It’s insanity like this that makes me question why I ever bothered to get a degree in Politics.

Around the Web

Michelle Malkin has written the definitive takedown of Rick Perry’s disgraceful role in the Gardasil debacle. This guy’s even worse than you think.
Speaking of Perry, here’s his response to his Texan Tea Party critics: “A prophet is generally not loved in their hometown.” So we’re gonna beat an egotistical president with a guy who calls himself a prophet? Really?
On the other side, here’s a detailed analysis of what the job situation really is in Texas.
Some rich libertarians want to build their own utopian mini-nations on the high seas. Yes, really. To quote Allahpundit, “An isolated community populated by people desperate enough to work for less than minimum wage with easy access to weapons of all sorts sounds like quite a ride.” And don’t forget the drugs!
Abercrombie & Fitch offers to pay the cast of Jersey Shore to not wear their brand onscreen. If you’re too sleazy for Abercrombie & Fitch…wow.
Stogie has the debt crisis explained in just five easy steps.
A conference to get pedophilia mainstreamed? My favorite part of this story is probably the guy who complains that the studies the American Psychological Association relies upon “completely ignore the existence of” pedophiles – excuse me, “minor-attracted persons” – who “are law-abiding.” Er, if they engage in pedophilia, aren’t they by definition not law abiding?

Bad Move, Breitbart

The big scandal of the day is that the most provocative Anthony Weiner photo in Andrew Breitbart’s possession got leaked by shock jocks Opie and Anthony. Here’s Breitbart’s statement on the matter, insisting they did so against his knowledge and will. My question is, why wasn’t Breitbart more careful around these two? They’re slimeballs whose entire routine is scandal, shock value, and attention. Anyone should have seen their attempting something like this coming from a mile away.

New on NewsReal – Latest Indicator of Racism: Questioning Obama’s Intellect

My latest NewsRealBlog post:

As the White House deals a devastating blow to one Obama conspiracy theory, leave it to leftists to dig up another one to browbeat allegedly-bigoted conservatives with. At the Daily Beast, pseudo-feminist Michelle Goldberg “traces the far-right history of the claim” that something funny’s going on with Barack Obama’s academic background:

Claims about Obama’s educational history date back to September 2008, when The Wall Street Journal attacked him for not releasing his school records, writing in an editorial, “Some think his transcript, if released, would reveal Mr. Obama as a mediocre student who benefited from racial preference.” Since then, Orly Taitz, queen of the birthers, has developed elaborate theories about Obama’s college years. As Taitz argues, Obama himself acknowledged that he was directionless when he started college. How, then, did he get himself accepted into the Ivy League?

Despite purporting to refute the right-wing “fever swamps,” Goldberg won’t actually reference the WSJ piece again, so it’s worth mentioning that it makes substantive points, among them that the ambiguity of Obama’s college days doesn’t square with the prominence of his personal story in his claim to fame. And as Andy McCarthy points out, Obama has a habit of modifying details of his biography for different audiences. (Ace has more solid analysis of Obama’s college days here.)

But not a peep about any of this from Goldberg. Instead of addressing what serious Obama critics have said, she spends the next couple paragraphs shooting down the theories of Orly Taitz, an especially destructive Birther attorney, who speculates that Obama attended Columbia as a foreign exchange student, attended for a mere nine months instead of two years, and even that he got into Harvard Law thanks to the machinations of a Saudi prince.

Read the rest on NewsRealBlog.

New on NewsReal – "Extreme" Jan Brewer Vetoes a Handful of "Right-Wing" Bills. What’s She Up To?

My latest NewsRealBlog post:

We’re all used to the zeal with which leftists conjure ugly smears of conservatives, but when conservatives prove the stereotype wrong, it takes serious chutzpa to then make a controversy out of that. Such is the spectacle on display in Terry Greene Sterling’s latest Daily Beast report, which tries to make sense out of recent decisions by Arizona Republican Governor Jan Brewer which don’t exactly fit the MO of a right-wing extremist:

A year ago, incumbent Republican Gov. Jan Brewer was trailing her Democratic rival Terry Goddard in the Arizona gubernatorial race. Then Brewer signed SB 1070, the state’s notorious immigration law, and further pandered to her Republican Tea Party base by touting her proud membership in the NRA, labeling unauthorized migrants drug mules, and scaring the daylights out of Arizonans with false tales of “beheadings” in the desert. Despite an agonizingly embarrassing senior moment in televised pre-election debates, Brewer rode a wave of conservative sentiment into the governor’s office, and achieved iconic status among her supporters.

(Since you bring it up, our friends at NewsBusters actually did find confirmation that at least one immigration-related beheading took place. But I digress.)

A year later, incredibly, that iconic status hasn’t diminished, even though Brewer, 66, appears to be changing her political stripes. She reversed a cold-hearted decision to deprive poor people of state-funded transplants in Arizona (after three patients on the transplant list died) and stunned Arizonans on Monday when she vetoed two Tea Party pet measures that had sailed through the state house. Her apparent tick toward the right-of-center comes on the heels of a highly successful Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry campaign to kill five proposed state immigration laws that Brewer likely would have supported a year ago.

In her sudden about-face, Brewer axed a “birther” bill that required federal and state candidates to submit to the Arizona secretary of state a “circumcision certificate” or a “baptismal” certificate absent a “long form” birth certificate. In a letter to House Speaker Kirk Adams, Brewer implied that the circumcision language was tacky and claimed the bill went “too far” while doing nothing “constructive” for the state. And she told Greta Van Susteren on Fox News that the bill was a “distraction.”

She also vetoed a measure that would allow guns on vaguely defined “public pathways” close to state schools. In a letter to her political ally, Senate Majority Leader Russell Pearce, Brewer huffed that the gun measure was “poorly written” and could be construed to mean that people could pack guns on “public pathways” meandering through grammar schools and kindergartens.

“So what gives?” Sterling asks. Why the “shocking” transformation? Why, despite Brewer supposedly having re-invented herself as the second coming of Charlie Crist, aren’t “Tea Party Republicans furious at Brewer?”

Read the rest on NewsRealBlog.