Along with many in the Republican Party and the conservative movement, I was profoundly shocked at the loss Mitt Romney suffered at the hands of Barack Obama, a weak president with a pathetic record. But perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised since we had a weak and pathetic candidate ourselves, but I held out hope that things were swinging in our direction. It was not to be.
The question on the minds of many, including the GOP, is how this happened. Was it because of shifting demographics? That fact certainly played a role. With millions of Hispanics pouring into the country for decades, once reliable red states are now reliably blue, as that group voted 71 percent for Obama.
Was it because the conservative white base is shrinking, or that conservative white voters did not turn out? Both are true. Romney gained three million fewer votes than did John McCain in 2008, and McCain was no conservative favorite.
It also seems true that many Christian conservatives simply sat this one out rather than vote for yet another moderate, who also happened to be a Mormon. Many Americans are simply tired of voting for the lesser of two evils. In fact, overall voter turnout plunged this year and, according to surveys, it’s mainly because of public corruption. Many are simply sick and tired of the process.
Mistakes also played a part. In 2008 McCain lost conservatives when he joined Democrats in supporting the massive, and unpopular, bank bailout. This time around, it seemed to be the third presidential debate, when Mitt put no distance between himself and Barack on foreign policy, for which a good friend of mine tweeted: “Either way my kids will be at war the rest of their lives!”
Demographics and excuses aside, America is changing politically and changing fast. It’s obvious when you consider just whom the people elected to rule in Washington, those who bring home the goodies, whether or not they are of the best character.
First, obviously, is Barack Obama, a failed president who now has a second term with no fear of alienating any voters. He can simply do as he pleases and probably will. Most of us know where this is likely headed and it’s a frightening thought.
Next we have Massachusetts Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren, a serial liar and plagiarist who gained advancement and perks by claiming to be a Native American, though she is as white as a sheet. Of course we are talking about Massachusetts here, a state that continued to send to Washington a senator who drove his car off a bridge and left a woman, who was not his wife, to drown while he supposedly swam several miles against a strong current to safety, and didn’t bother to call police for hours. How many of us would still be sitting in prison rather than the Senate?
Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, the most liberal senator and the most in line with Obama, retained her seat even though she had some major financial issues, which were dubious at best, fraudulent at worst. In fact, she failed to pay more than a quarter of a million dollars on taxes for her private plane, yet billed taxpayers for its use during campaign stops, while her husband used the Senate cafeteria to cut business deals, for which he received more than $40 million in government subsidies for low income housing.
Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin defeated former three-term governor Tommy Thompson to become the first openly gay US Senator, as if that’s something to promote and cheer about.
On the other side of the coin, many good Republican candidates went down to defeat. In Utah, Mia Love, a young, black conservative woman, who served as mayor of a small town, lost a bid for the US House.
Florida, which went for Obama again, sent Congressman Allen West home, barring a recount, and also returned to Washington the despicable, loudmouth Alan Grayson, who once said on the House floor that the GOP health care plan was “for you to die quickly.” He also depicted his opponent in 2010 as a member of the Taliban.
Florida Congressman Connie Mack, another solid, young conservative who authored the “Penny Plan” to balance the budget in seven years, lost his bid for the US Senate against incumbent Bill Nelson.
There were few conservative bright spots. Among them was Tea Party stalwart Michele Bachmann, who survived but by the skin of her teeth. Her future seems bleak in blue Minnesota.
It’s enough to make a sane person go mad. But perhaps I am simply over-analyzing it. Rush Limbaugh might have it exactly right: It’s hard to win a race against Santa Claus.
But we must get back in the ring and start throwing punches again, and this time around really throw them. The GOP must get tougher, stop being wimps, and stand on principle. Take the fight to the Democrats, especially in the media, and expose the lies of the left. If we support true conservative candidates without hesitation, we will once again be back on top.
This column ran in the Laurel Leader Call (Laurel, MS) on Tuesday, November 13, 2012.