The GOP Has Figured Out the Problem: You

Can it recover?

It shouldn’t be possible that we have people who invested in the neighborhood of one billion dollars for a return on their investment that amounts to exactly nothing.  These were the so-called “wizards of smart,” who knew how to guide Mitt Romney and the slate of down-ballot candidates to victory.  They’re the number-crunchers, the poll-takers, the marketeers and strategists who represent the consultancy who ran the electoral efforts of the GOP and associated groups.  All of it was allegedly aimed at getting Mitt Romney into the White House, and spend like mad though they did, the failures were massive by any measure.  What makes the whole thing more preposterous still is that five days after the electoral failure they helped to build, they’ve all figured out what the problem is, and they’re unanimous: It wasn’t them, their strategies, their marketing, or their polling models, but instead a single problem that none of them anticipated:  You.

It was the fault of the Tea Party, says Rove.  It was the fault of social conservatives says Erickson.  It was the fault of conservatives’ insistence on closing the border down and dealing with the illegal immigration problem before we commence any sort of immigration reform.  It was the fault of xenophobic conservatives who just don’t want to reach out to Hispanics, they said.  It couldn’t have been their messages, their advertising, their notions of the electorate, or even their candidates.  It was you.  Now that we’ve moved from a President who has spent four years blaming George Bush for his own failures, we will now spend the next two years at least with the Republican establishment’s intelligentsia telling us how the problem had been we conservatives, of varying descriptions. It’s worse than preposterous.  It’s maniacal.

We now know we have at least one Republican Congresswomen addressing the Spanish-speaking press, telling them that the problem with the Republican Party had been the Tea Party and Rush Limbaugh.  Jeb Bush, says she, is a conservative.  If Jeb Bush is a conservative, I’m Adam Smith. Actually, I’m a good deal closer to Adam Smith.  The point is that the party is trying to repackage what it means to be a conservative, and along the way, there are several issues they’d like to dump:

  • Traditional marriage
  • Pro-Life Stance on Abortion
  • Illegal Immigration
  • Obama-care

Since they’ve yielded over the years on nearly everything else, what this suggests is that they wish to dump all associations with conservatism.  Sure, they’re still in favor of free markets and property rights in principle, but they can be flexible on those too. American sovereignty isn’t an issue for them either, since they don’t think it ought to exist.  States’ rights and the 10th Amendment are fine insofar as it goes, and with this crowd, you can bet it won’t be far.  No, there isn’t a principle in existence they won’t spit on or tweak if they believe they can somehow capture the middle but still scare you into showing up.  The problem, their wizards of smart assure them is that they’re not liberal enough.

Most conservatives I know are livid over this election, in part because of what it will mean for the country, but also in part because so many of them warned against nominating a moderate Republican of the establishment wing.  To know that Karl Rove’s view is essentially “you win some, you lose some – oh well, we’ll get ‘em next time,” is enough to make most conservatives begin to experience dry heaves.

Like so many of you, I had wondered what could possibly account for this crushing defeat, but while we tend to focus on the Obama vs. Romney campaign, I think we ought to spend some time looking at what happened in the down-ballot races. The more I look, the more I become convinced that this election presented an opportunity for a purge of conservatives, and the GOP establishment capitalized on that opportunity.  I wonder how many members of the Tea Party Caucus in the House of Representatives never saw it coming.  Remember, the roots of the Tea Party go back to 2006, when there was widespread dissatisfaction with Congressional support of Bush policies and spending priorities, and the sense of general uncertainty about the growth of the deficit.

The one discernible constant has been that conservatives are to blame.  Idiots on the left blame conservatism for moderates’ bad policies, policies on which they would double or triple-down. Consider the whole sorry spectacle of Obama campaigning on the “unpatriotic” nature of the Bush deficits.  He’s quadrupled them.  Bush was widely criticized by conservatives for the prescription drug plan for Medicare, but he was widely criticized on the left also.  The difference is that those on the left would have spent more, much more, and all to purchase votes.  We conservatives get the blame for everything the moderates in the GOP establishment enact, but we generally oppose these things also.

In one sense, we deserve some of the blame since we helped elect these guys often knowing they were mush. The problem is that as the GOP establishment views it, this is a good opportunity to rid themselves of conservatives.  They will use this opportunity to push conservatives to join them, and in desperation, some will.  I think conservatives should think carefully about the notion of blaming one another.  Evangelicals are not the problem.  Tea Party and constitutional conservatives are not the problem.  Social conservatives are not the problem.  The problem is the GOP establishment, and it always has been. It’s when we let them set the agenda and the direction that Republicans lose or having won, blow the opportunity. If we’re ever going to save the country, I don’t think we have any choice but to walk away from the GOP. The Republican establishment will always displace blame and it will always land on us by association.  It’s time for conservatives to get out of the box.

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  • Cynthia Banks

    Mark this may sound crazy but I’m praying for a curse on these men until they repent, they will neither be able to walk or talk, until they repent. It’s scriptural and I’m trying to get others to agree in Prayer. In Jesus Name.

  • the unit

    Conservatives been IEDed and mortared, some mortally wounded probably. Call it friendly fire, er…nope. IMO…planned. But anyway can’t keep licking wounds. For healing to occur got to let scab form and don’t scratch off. Give healing time. No other rehab for us.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001951614348 Rogue Rose

    The problem remains 50% of precinct chair positions are unfilled and fewer than 1% of conservatives ever attend local county repub party monthly meetings. How many can even name their precinct chair? It’s 100% certain over 50% can’t. Probably closer to 80%. We can’t show up 6 months prior to a presidential election and demand our way. All we ever needed to do is show up in force during the primaries. We didn’t and we don’t. Turnout was pathetic. All we ever needed to do is walk in and take over. We still have that option. Those local boards are all elected positions, precinct chair positions belong to anyone willing to volunteer. If we haven’t bothered to get involved and take action and take over we have no one but ourselves to blame.

    One last thought. If every one of the 5 million voters who stayed home, now decides to step up and get involved, we own the GOP. Any bets on the odds of that happening?
    #War.

    • http://www.markamerica.com/ Mark America

      Rose, I certainly agree with some of that, but let’s be a little circumspect, too. For those of us who are not self-employed, there are some dangers and prohibitions in open political activism by some employers. You know the drill. That’s part of how they freeze out the grass roots. I don’t intend that as an excuse, but it’s a very real factor. I know people who won’t so much as put a bumper sticker on their cars or a sign in their yards for fear of retaliation of one form or another. Again, I think that’s overused as an excuse, but I also see evidence that it’s true.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001951614348 Rogue Rose

        And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor. Declaration of Independence.

        They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. Benjamin Franklin

        What price are we willing to pay for freedom? Also, no way there are 5 million+ voters in that position.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001951614348 Rogue Rose

          Also, doesn’t keep people from voting in primaries or working phone banks from home.

        • http://www.markamerica.com/ Mark America

          Oh Rose, I think your estimate undershoots the problem by a wide margin. Government employees, firemen, policemen, union members in close-shop states, military members, and all of those employed in a corporation where the culture is decidedly liberal certainly constitutes many more than 5 million. I’m not saying they’re all that, but I think if we’re circumspect about it, this sort of silencing happens a good deal more than most might believe. Almost all employers now peruse their employees’ and prospective employees’ online activities. It’s a bigger problem than you might guess.

      • C Bartlett

        Dittos Mark. And, in addition, if you ARE self-employed, it is a lot harder to find the time to dedicate to very much of this process. We work 50-60 hours most weeks. Also overused as an excuse, but IS reality sometimes. Sigh. It shouldn’t be this hard.

    • Kathie

      Some of us are not Republicans in the first place, and some of us want nothing to do with a party that has snatched defeat out of the jaws of victory time and time again.

    • Kathie

      Some of us are not Republicans in the first place, and some of us want nothing to do with a party that has snatched defeat out of the jaws of victory time and time again.

  • Jewels

    Excellent article, Mark. This has been my feeling since the day after election. The RINO Establishment is continuing it’s campaign of disenfranchising Conservative voters into not voting and brainwashing the rest into accepting their mealy mouth RINO’s as Conservatives. These people have never believed in our Founding Principles and think they are nothing but childish nursery rhymes that don’t need to be adhered to (no different than the left with religion). They are partisan hacks who think just because they adamantly disagree with the left it automatically makes them “Conservatives”. Being a partisan hack is the antithesis of Conservatism.

    “They [common-place books] were written at a time of life when I was
    bold in the pursuit of knowledge, never fearing to follow truth and
    reason to what-ever results they led, and bearding every authority which
    stood in their way.”
    - Thomas Jefferson to Dr. Thomas Cooper, 10 February 1814

    Our enemies from both sides of the aisle make themselves visible with their disregard of the truth. Truth is a very powerful tool in weeding these people out, they despise it like a Vampire to sunlight.

    “In selecting men for office, let principle be your guide. Regard
    not the particular sect or denomination of the candidate — look at his
    character. It is alleged by men of loose principles, or defective views
    of the subject, that religion and morality are not necessary or
    important qualifications for political stations. But the scriptures
    teach a different doctrine. They direct that rulers should be men who
    rule in the fear of God, men of truth, hating covetousness. It is to the
    neglect of this rule that we must ascribe the multiplied frauds, breaches of trust, speculations and embezzlements of public property
    which
    astonish even ourselves; which tarnish the character of our country and
    which disgrace our government. When a citizen gives his vote to a man
    of known immorality, he abuses his civic responsibility; he not only
    sacrifices his own responsibility; he sacrifices not only his own interest, but that of his neighbor; he betrays the interest of his country.” –Noah Webster

    “Bad men cannot make good citizens. It is when a people forget God
    that tyrants forge their chains. A vitiated state of morals, a
    corrupted public conscience, is incompatible with freedom. No free
    government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any
    people
    but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality,
    and virtue; and by a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.”
    –Patrick Henry

    • Jewels

      Definition of Partisan Hack:

      Someone who cares more about supporting a particular party or ideology than supporting what is morally right, or factually true.

  • BevWKY

    This is my first time posting here after following the site for some time. You want to know the thing that truly gets me even more than them blaming conservatives and the Tea Parties? The entire “you win some, you loose some” attitude from so many of all of them from Romney’s campaign to the pundits to the GOP.

    I mean, seriously, at this point, what’s one more round of being blamed for something or other? I’m so tired of the blame game from both sides that I can predict if not the precise words, then at least the rhythm of the song at this point before I even hear it. If I choose to listen. I cannot, however, forgive whoever the brainchild is that has decided that Romney and the GOP isn’t going to fight for each and every vote in the face of widespread and obvious voting fraud this time. Did they not see it coming?

    If they didn’t then who are the truly dumb ones politically? And if they did… and aren’t fighting back, well, then. I guess we have our answer.

    So, blaming us is just so much background noise at this point because a lot of us have already left the building and are listening to a completely different tune.

    • http://www.markamerica.com/ Mark America

      Thank you for joining the discussion! I agree that the resignation to this reality we hear from the GOP establishment stiffs is a galling display of disconnection from the base.

      Why do these wizards believe they can endlessly shaft us and still rely upon our support? The real answer may well be that they don’t expect our support at all, and that this is just an expression of the fifth column nature of the establishment.

      It’s depressing, but I know we conservatives must figure out how to overcome them. Thanks for posting, and glad to know you’ve been lurking out there… Don’t be a stranger.

      • BevWKY

        Thank you for the welcome, Mark. Honestly, I’m almost in agreement with Bill Whittle about just ignoring them all for a while. Almost, but not quite yet. ;-)

        However, in the meantime, does anyone know if what’s reported in the following post is accurate because it’s the first I’ve heard of it:

        No Joke: The GOP Can Not Legally Help Stop Vote Fraud
        http://www.politijim.com/2012/11/no-joke-gop-can-not-legally-help-stop.html

        I mean it’s not entirely surprising that something might not have been reported but, if true, it’s more than simply appalling. It’s just one more reason to give up on the GOP. And the other thing that just burns me up is the inevitable “a new/third party wouldn’t work or give the Dems a permanet advantage” argument – even in the face of something like that post.

        I mean, honestly, whether the information in the post is true or not, how many times are we supposed to put up with being told to just accept our fate when our liberties are being signed away behind our back by both parties? Are we still a free people who can make our own choices or not?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tom-Sharples/514382067 Tom Sharples

    Sorry, you got this one wrong. The problem is not conservatives – it’s the so called “social conservatives” and evangelicals who insist on larding up their campaigns with divisive nonsense (like “legitimate rape” and “god-willed pregnancy”) that has VIRTUALLY NOTHING to do with the legitimate business of government as outlined in the US Constitution. True conservatives are the ones who follow those constitutional principals and mind their own business and keep their friggin mouths shut about the other stuff.

    As a social conservative, you’re entitled to believe whatever you want, but next time think long and hard before making it a centerpiece of your campaign – and ruining the hard-fought and hard-spent efforts of so many other conservatives, including me.

    • http://www.markamerica.com/ Mark America

      Tom, I’m afraid to say that if you think two Senate candidates caused the whole of this election loss,you’re delusional. The proportions of the electorate who voted for the Dems remained roughly the same. Women voted much like they did in previous elections. While there is little doubt Akin and Mourdock doomed themselves with their remarks, it’s not as though that accounts for the Romney loss, or any of the other losses across the country.

      I think in the case of Mourdock, however, his loss is directly attributable to an effort by the Lugies working to sabotage him. The truth is, however, the remarks of both men were twisted into that which they did not intend. Akin happened early enough that he should have stepped aside.

      Here’s the problem you have, and you’d better get over it and quick: You can’t win elections by ditching so-called social conservatives and their support. Every vote you think you’ll gain from moderates and independents by shifting your message will not cover the two social conservatives who will stay home. Read my article on Humpty Dumpty to understand that argument, if you please.

      • BevWKY

        I follow a lot of middle of road and even some slightly left leaning blogs that deal with a variety of issues – I don’t necessarily mean identity politic type stuff but simply different types of issues that bring people together for a variety of reasons – and I can’t tell you how many people who say they are middle of the road independents and can’t stand Obama but Romney didn’t win them over either.

        So, short of wide scale voter fraud, I’d wager that a huge percentage of people of all stripes – inside and outside the GOP – simply sat the election out because they didn’t see much difference in either one of them so why change. Is that good? Heck, no, but it is their right to do so. It was the Romney campaign and the GOP’s job to motivate them otherwise.

        It appears they failed.

  • melory2

    Let Ann Coulter, Rove, etc. have the GOP.

    The country has never been this ripe for a third party. 6+million Obama voters + 3 million GOP are up for grabs, in addition to most of those who voted Republican because we had no other choice.

    What the hell are we doing in a party that is trying so hard to get rid of us. Have we no shame, to stay where we are not welcome, where we are so hated?