Mitt Romney was true Conservative. There can be no doubt about it.
He was as big a wingnut as anybody out there. The proof of this was highlighted by Steve Benen this morning:
His post is a reaction to a CBS News story about how the Romney Campaign was certain of victory and blindsided by defeat:
“We went into the evening confident we had a good path to victory,” said one senior adviser. “I don’t think there was one person who saw this coming.” [snip]
“There’s nothing worse than when you think you’re going to win, and you don’t,” said another adviser. “It was like a sucker punch.” [snip]
“He was shellshocked,” one adviser said of Romney. [snip]
And why was Team Mittens so certain that they would win?
Easy: magical thinking. And that’s what makes Mitt Romney a true conservative.
While the Obama Campaign focused on math, GOTV, data, turn-out and reality, the Romney Campaign focused on what they felt should be true and then filtered all information to support that vision:
Romney and his campaign had gone into the evening confident they had a good path to victory, for emotional and intellectual reasons. The huge and enthusiastic crowds in swing state after swing state in recent weeks – not only for Romney but also for Paul Ryan – bolstered what they believed intellectually: that Obama would not get the kind of turnout he had in 2008.
They thought intensity and enthusiasm were on their side this time – poll after poll showed Republicans were more motivated to vote than Democrats – and that would translate into votes for Romney.
As a result, they believed the public/media polls were skewed – they thought those polls oversampled Democrats and didn’t reflect Republican enthusiasm. They based their own internal polls on turnout levels more favorable to Romney. That was a grave miscalculation, as they would see on election night.
Republicans, conservatives, wingnuts–whatever name you want to give them–all share a core belief in magical thinking. To be a conservative in America today you must replace reality with your fantasies, but reality has a way of getting your attention from time to time. Mitt Romney was the perfect candidate for them. His campaign proved that he was severely conservative.
And he might have won, if only reality didn’t have a liberal bias.