At the Intersection of Faith and Culture

At the Intersection of Faith and Culture


Why Romney Lost: A Response to WaPo’s Dan Balz

posted by Jack Kerwick

In his latest book, Collision 2012, Dan Balz, a Washington Post writer, expresses his incredulity over “the inability” of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign to “humanize” its candidate.

This is one reason why, in Balz’s estimation, Romney lost the 2012 election to Barack Obama.

Yet there are two other reasons that he supplies to account for Romney’s defeat.  The one pertains to the “technically superior” character of his rival’s campaign. The other is in regard to Romney’s “ambivalence” concerning his bid for the presidency.

The first thing that should be noted is that if Romney’s consultants had difficulty in “humanizing” their man, it’s because those at places like the Washington Post were more determined to see to it that he was dehumanized.  This, after all, is exactly what their man, Obama, wanted.

Second, as far as technical finesse goes, if there were differences between the campaigns, they were negligible: Obama was more successful in conveying his message because of the ubiquitous and overwhelming media bias that sought to dehumanize his opponent.

As for Blaz’s third contention, it is superfluous to note Romney’s “ambivalence” toward his political fate, for Romney is a Republican and Republicans, as a rule, can be counted upon to act as if they are ambivalent toward the political fate of their party.  However, of the three reasons that Blaz submits for Romney’s misfortunes, this is the only one that takes.

It is not, as many “conservative” media personalities insist, that Romney is a “RINO” (Republican-In-Name-Only).  It isn’t that he is a “moderate.”  And it certainly isn’t that he is “too far to the right,” as those in the Democrat-friendly press maintain.

Though more difficult to accept, the truth is far less dramatic, and much more simple, than any of these fictions.

And the truth is that Romney lost to Obama because he is just another typical Republican.

To see that this is so, we need only ask ourselves: Politically—that is to say, substantively, not stylistically—how is Romney any different from, say, John McCain and George W. Bush?  For that matter, with the exception of Ron Paul, how is Romney any different from any of his competitors in the GOP presidential primaries of 2008 and 2012?

The answer is obvious: Romney is not at all significantly different from any of his colleagues.

Not unlike the Bushes and McCains of the world, Romney generously pays lip service to the standard GOP slogan of “limited government” and its ancillaries. And, not unlike the Bushes and McCains, he favors a robust, activist military to reinforce America’s “exceptionalism” around the globe.

In other words, Romney, like his fellow partisans past and present, appears at best incoherent—Big Military, being Big Government, is radically incompatible with “limited government.”

At worst, he seems dishonest, talking one way out of one side of his mouth while talking an entirely different way out of the other.

Yet there is more.

We now know that the GOP has been hemorrhaging white voters for the last two presidential election cycles.  While Romney needed 46 percent more of the Hispanic vote to win, had he garnered only three or four percent more of the white vote and he would’ve won comfortably.

Many of these same whites who are now cold toward the Republican Party weren’t always so. Having experienced what they rightly take as one too many betrayals, they have either sat out the last couple of elections or they have cast protest votes.

Interestingly, the disenchantment with the GOP that has overcome ever-growing numbers of the conservative and libertarian-minded is the mirror image of the disinterest of independents and others in it.  For those on the right, Republicans’ rhetoric is fine and good; it’s their Big Government policies that are the problem.  For those in the center and on the left, it is primarily Republicans’ rhetoric that frightens them.

Mitt Romney exemplified the contradictions of his party.  Thus, their dilemma became his.

This is why Romney lost the race for the White House of 2012.

 

 



Previous Posts

Leading Atheist Philosopher Concludes: There IS A God
The Christian world just celebrated the Easter holiday, the Resurrection of Jesus, the God-Man, from the dead. Yet there are many people who either don’t believe in God or, if they do, certainly don’t believe that the Supreme Being assumed flesh in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. At the same

posted 9:47:19am Apr. 21, 2014 | read full post »

If I Am a Moral Relativist, So is God
Evidently, I am a moral relativist. In a recent article, I applauded a colleague for adapting to our school stage a play—Songs for a New World.  This play, I contended, marked a quite radical departure from the standard Politically Correct line insofar as it resoundingly affirmed “the morali

posted 9:23:32pm Apr. 17, 2014 | read full post »

Affirming Individuality: Reflections on "Songs for a New World"
Legions of Americans have, rightly, written off the entertainment and academic industries (yes, the latter is a colossal industry) as the culture’s two largest bastions of leftist ideology. Sometimes, however, and when we least expect it, the prevailing “Politically Correct” (PC) orthodoxy

posted 5:59:05pm Apr. 15, 2014 | read full post »

Pope Francis: A Socialist By Any Other Name
Pope Francis is once again insisting that he is not a communist, that his abiding concern for “the poor” is grounded in the Gospel of Christ, not the ideology of Marx, Engels, or any other communist. Back in 2010, while still a Cardinal, he felt the need to do the same. Why? It may very

posted 8:48:27pm Apr. 08, 2014 | read full post »

Pope Francis: As Clever a Politician as They Come
Much to the disappointment of this Catholic, Pope Francis balked on a golden opportunity to convey to the world just how fundamentally, how vehemently, the vision of the Church differs from that of President Obama when the two met a couple of weeks back. Why?  Can it be that Francis is the fello

posted 9:30:34pm Apr. 04, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.