Doesn’t it feel like Iraq all over again?

A week’s worth of recrimination after Romney’s defeat gave this writer a feeling of deja vu. Where did we here all the happy talk or wildly optimistic talk about the future Romney Administration.

And sure enough came this realization: It was Iraq all over again and it came largely from the same people.

Remember how the neocons and their fellow travelers in the media and other in the Bush II Administration talked of “cakewalks”  and turning Iraq into a full-blown western-style democracy and it was all going to be paid for by oil? In fact talk was so optimistic that there was little postwar planning as a result. The U.S. Military would rid Iraq of Saddam Hussein, they would step aside as Iraqis allied with us took over and rebuilt the country on oil revenues.

Well, we know the rest of the story.  Saddam Hussein was taken out and the country he held together by terror and tyranny fell apart. Insurgencies from both Shiites and Sunnis appeared when none were anticipated, all the grandiose postwar plans were wrecked because of the violence and U.S. soldiers needlessly died and taxpayer money was needlessly wasted due to the incompetence of their leaders who knew nothing or next to nothing about the country they were invading. And when things go badly wrong the biggest supporters of the war lash out at those who incompetence cost them their “cakewalk.” Never do they look at themselves for blame, it’s always someone else’s fault: Rice, Rumsfeld, Bush II, Bremer, then generals, everyone else.

So here was Election Night 21012 and conservatives thought Romney was going to win and not only that but win big. Despite plenty of poll data showing contrary information, all of it was ignored. Instead Republicans went with their own turnouts models and forecasts and also their gut, their intuition, their common sense. Peggy Noonan saw Romney yard signs and that convinced her, it’s gonna be a landslide! she said. Who needs data when you have hunches and Dan Rather? And shouldn’t conservatives, of all people, know better than to trust anything Dan Rather says?

Well, as we found out that just like in Iraq, Election Night didn’t go according to plan.  And a whole lot of people have egg on their faces. Not that they’ll lose their jobs of course or be cast of the Beltway for their idiocy. Like weathermen, the brotherhood protects their own and once you’ve got a sinecure it’s hard to be dislodged.  Disaster in Iraq didn’t keep former CPA official Dan Senor as a senior adviser on foreign policy to the Romney campaign, why should it influence newspapers and magazine and TV talk shows from treating such people with the lack of attention they so richly deserve?

There are those skeptical much will change after this elections year. After all, four years ago, the GOP took an even worse beating at the polls and all that resulted in was talk about organization and how to use that Twitter thingy the kids all use. But circumstances were different in 2008. Back then I suspect most of activist crowd were not really unhappy Obama won because they didn’t like McCain to begin with and it threw the shackles off their activism tied down by the Bush II Administration. Now they were free to leave Bush II behind and do what they wanted. That’s how the tea party movement blossomed. It was also a delayed reaction to the financial crisis, the bailouts and the failures of the Bush II Administration. They were motivated again. I hoped the Tea Party would be broader than that but attending one of its gathering I could see where it was heading, one big group of Republicans who didn’t want to make it official (that’s why so many independents voted for Romney).

What do I see today four years later? Depression, despair and anger, anger not just at Romney but all the pundits and profiteers of Conservative INC. who kept telling them Romney would win in a landslide, just trust them. Perhaps we saw the rebellion begin on Fox News when the news people told one of profiteers, Karl Rove, “No Karl, you’re wrong this time and we’re not going to listen to you anymore.” Perhaps the news people were staging their own rebellion against all those from Conservative INC. they’ve helped to enrich since 1996. Four years only a few columnists were brave enough to defy the Conservative INC and were quickly isolated as “elitists” (largely because they were). It’s good bet after this election it’s going to be more than just a few columnists at a few big city newspapers. You can only lie to people so many times.

So perhaps the moment may well be coming that the rank n’ file may be willing to listen to different voices because at least the different voices (whether TAC or Chronicles) were actually telling the truth lo these many years.

I liked to link you all to several articles which are laying out in clear detail how Conservative INC. basically fleeced the Romney campaign while leading them to believe thet were going to win. Also there is a good Rick Pearlman article about the scam Conservative INC. has become. Hopefully more and more people will read them and realize how they’re being taken advantage of as well.

- The Romney Campaign was a Consultant’s Con Job (Red State blog)

- Inside Orca: How the Romney Campaign Suppressed its own Vote (Breitbart)

- Donors angry at Karl Rove (Go

-  How Conservative Media Lost to the MSM and Failed the Rank n’ File. (The Atlantic)

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8 thoughts on “Doesn’t it feel like Iraq all over again?

  1. RedPhillips

    Someone said that conservatives are inside an information bubble, meaning they get their news from conservative, not broad “mainstream” sources. I don’t think that was my problem. I don’t watch much FOX News or listen to much talk radio because the pro-war stuff and Republican hackery makes me too angry. I do get some news from conservative websites, but I think I recognize the partisan hackery there.

    My problem is that I live in an environmental bubble. I live in Georgia. I hardly know anyone who voted for Obama. No one I go to church with. Very few people I work with. The ones that I know voted for Obama are either black, immigrants, or outspoken liberals, in other words, predictable people.

    I heard a lot of political discussions in the lounge. You could just about take for granted that if a person was not in a predictable Obama voting block, that they were voting Romney, and this includes a lot of people who might otherwise be Country Club or moderate types. Very few were excited about Romney, but they were passionate in their opposition to Obama and desire to get him out of office.

    I was expecting strong turn out numbers from whites. This is what didn’t happen. I just have a hard time understanding why whites in Iowa etc. are so different, and this is coming from a strong Southern partisan. What does white guy in Iowa think Obama is going to do for him? The Dem party despises them and thinks they are the problem. Romney may be a rich capitalist, but at least he doesn’ty hate them and think they’re bitter clingers.

  2. Matt Weber

    That was Conor Friedorsdorf on the info bubble there. It’s definitely true, sad to say. The way I put it is that Dems spin narratives to influence the broader culture, while Republicans spin narratives to hoodwink their base. I’d like to believe it will change but I’m not so sure. Many conservatives are still hostile to change, believing that Romney lost because he was a moderate, and the GOP needs to double down on right-wing positions. Presumably Rick Santorum would have then won handily. Only someone inside the bubble would believe such a thing.

  3. Feltan


    The white vote split about 60-40 for Romney; the non-white vote was from 70-30 to 90-10 for Obama depending on which group you are looking at.

    So, the election was not about ideas, it was about tribal affiliation.

    The white “tribe” is not unified; it doesn’t vote as a bloc. Increasing white turnout does not insure a more conservative electorate pace Iowa, Wisconson, etc. Clearly, a large part of the white tribe doesn’t identify along racial boundaries nor feel any threat or danger by the fact that non-whites have no problem aligning as a bloc of voters and move in unison like a flock of lemmings.

    Like me, I am guessing that you are looking over your country and wondering what country you live in. I could barely find an Obama supporter, but assumed they were deeply ensconced in urban areas. Apparently not so. Apparently I don’t get it.


  4. Kirt Higdon

    I was always convinced that the election would be close and that Obama had the slight edge and that is indeed the way it turned out. It always struck me as implausible that all the pollsters were either lying or hugely mistaken – that was Republican wishful thinking. Indeed the final polls indicated a closer election by a percentage point or so than what actually happened.

    Although I live in Texas, the most Republican big state and more Republican leaning now than ever, I still know several people, mostly white, who supported Obama. I never thought they were typical of Texas, but I also never thought Texas was typical of the country. I did think Florida would probably go Republican this election. I was wrong, but it was close.

    I have a fairly broad range of acquaintances and intentionally cultivate a broad ideological range of information sources to avoid being in a bubble. It strikes me as strange that white people who did not themselves support Romney should be puzzled that other whites did not support him. It’s not as if Obama increased his share of the white vote; his share decreased drastically. But the defectors did not mostly go third party. Mostly they stayed home or did not vote on the presidential line. (I eagerly await statistics comparing total voter turnout to the total presidential vote.)

  5. RedPhillips

    “It strikes me as strange that white people who did not themselves support Romney should be puzzled that other whites did not support him.”

    Kirt, it’s not like all those people who were marginal and voted for Obama or didn’t vote voted for the Constitution Party candidate. If they had I would be estatic. But I realize I’m not a normal voter. Most voters felt they had to chose between either Romney or Obama. And some chose Obama or didn’t dislike Obama enough to vote against him. That’s disheartening.

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