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)
- Donors angry at Karl Rove (Go Erie.com)