This is amazing (and yet, not a surprise)…

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:

No one on Team Romney ‘saw this coming’

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.

Cheers

124 replies
  1. 1
    Carnacki says:

    Mitt Romney and his ilk are proof that money can’t always buy you love.

  2. 2
    GregB says:

    We’re history’s actors now and we create our own reality.

    How’s that confidanty winny thing workin’ out for ya?

  3. 3
    dexwood says:

    Someone pulled the magic underwear over his eyes. Talk about a wedgie!

  4. 4
    Tonybrown74 says:

    And why was Team Mittens so certain that they would win?
    __
    Easy: magical thinking. And that’s what makes Mitt Romney a true conservative.

    I’ve heard about the magic Mormon underwear. Maybe it actually does have the power to make you see things. In this case, a Romney path to victory.

  5. 5
    gopher2b says:

    I’m confused. I thought he was a numbers guy.

  6. 6
    japa21 says:

    So, they are also looking for ponies?

  7. 7
    RP says:

    I find it really hard to believe that they were that stupid. Then again, what incentive do they have to lie about this now?

  8. 8
    NotMax says:

    Blindsided by democracy. Imagine that.

    Mentioned this downthread, but the time has come for them to be upfront and change the name to the Lysenko party.

    Instead of the elephant as mascot, use the lemming.

  9. 9
    PeakVT says:

    According to the CBS report, Team Romney was swayed by, among other things, “huge and enthusiastic crowds,” which they took as evidence of national enthusiasm.

    I think the czar was happy with his villages, also, too.

  10. 10
    KXB says:

    What is amusing is that Romney wasted no time in cancelling the campaign credit cards, even before he finished giving his concession speech. Personally, I was impressed by that. Before he even gave them a thank you card for their work, he made sure they spend their own money for the ride home.

  11. 11
    The Moar You Know says:

    I go out of my way to read at least one right-leaning site a day. I do this, painful though it is, because they might be onto something and if they are I don’t want to miss it. Pick up valuable intel at best, know your enemy at worst.

    I can’t believe that none of these people took a trip over to 538, ran some numbers, and thought “shit, maybe we ought to look into this”.

  12. 12
    Biscuits says:

    Yes, but they will possibly learn from this, as evidenced from Ohio’s Sec Husted considering (in future elections) of splitting their electoral vote. We must remain vigilant.

  13. 13
    NotMax says:

    Anyone ever see or hear anything, anywhere, about what happened with that truckload of purchased goods Romney sent in the direction of NJ?

  14. 14
    Patricia Kayden says:

    “To be a conservative in America today you must replace reality with your fantasies”

    So true and so scary. That’s why they need not win any more Presidential elections. What if a President Romney decided to fantasize about winning a war in Iran, like Bush/Cheney did with Iraq? They’re dangerous. Thankfully now, just to themselves instead of to the whole world.

  15. 15
    NorthLeft12 says:

    This is precisely why Romney and Ryan would have been an unmitigated disaster for the US and the world in general.

    Unlimited over confidence and hubris.
    Laziness and inability to think critically.
    Inability/unwillingness to plan for unforeseen consequences.
    Contempt and lack of respect for “opponents”. I put the opponents in quotes as this could include a lot of their own base too.

    It goes without saying that you could include their terrible judgement when it comes to selecting or evaluating personnel.

    As an after thought, does this make Newt Gingrich the smartest guy in the GOP given that he saw this defeat coming before the weekend? Like most of the rest of the world?

  16. 16
    PsiFighter37 says:

    Based on these post-mortems coming out, if the vote suppression for the right wing was True the Vote, then Mittens’ GOTV operation was Feel the Vote. Too bad for them, there evidently wasn’t enough Trueing or Feeling going on Tuesday night.

  17. 17
    cathyx says:

    Romney has proven how delusional his thinking was all through his campaign. Everything he said, all the lies he told, all the insults he hurled at the rest of us indicated he was not in touch with the rest of the country. So when he thought he was a shoe in for the presidency, it’s not at all surprising that he was blindsided.

  18. 18
    ericblair says:

    @gopher2b:

    I’m confused. I thought he was a numbers guy.

    Sure, he believed the numbers he liked, didn’t believe the numbers he didn’t, and ran an authoritarian top-down organization that repeated this at every level.

    The implosion of the Romney campaign has the same dynamic as the 08 financial crash for the same reasons. To the person a few days ago worried about overhearing Wall Street traders bragging about how the election was in the bag for the Mittbot, well, there you go.

  19. 19
    bemused says:

    I still find it hard to believe Romney and campaign were that deep into the we’re winning bubble but maybe so or did they all truly believe “unlimited corporate cash” would conquer all?

    And we were told the business, numbers guy was just the ticket.

  20. 20
    Bill in Section 147 says:

    At least he got to finally have a real feeling in his gut.

    The magical thinking is shown in their confusion about America. To them most Americans are conservative and yet somehow a clear majority just voted for the most radical Muslim commie for President.

    Like it is news to them that women are more than half the country yet women don’t like it when you are flip about rape and the conservative comeback is, “you hysterical bitches can’t take a joke.” California has 12.1% of the population of the US. Almost 1 out of every 8 Americans is from California. Yet conservatives think its funny to shit on California all the time. And the same goes for Blacks, Latinos, and non-Christians, you just cannot constantly hate people and expect them to keep on loving you.

  21. 21
    Suffern ACE says:

    I’m still laughing about Rove’s “voter suppression” whine from yesterday. I actually agree with that a little. Obama ran a much more negative campaign than any Democratic presdiential candidate in the last 20 years (although most of his negative hits were true). If that turns out to have kept Romney voters home and dampened the enthusiasm of folks all around, it means that not only it Obama win. He crushed Rove at 50+1 politics. While I hate 50+1 politics, Rove can suck on it. In those kinds of elections, Democrats now win. I don’t think Rove has another game to play.

  22. 22
  23. 23
    Schlemizel says:

    @NotMax:
    Thanks a ton for that link! I had never heard of this GOP Soviet clown before.

    I think it would be hard to come up with a more accurate analogy of gooper thinking than this tidbit:

    . . . presented Lysenko in Soviet mass-media as a genius who had developed a new, revolutionary agricultural technique. In this period, Soviet propaganda often focused on inspirational stories of peasants who, through their own canny ability and intelligence, came up with solutions to practical problems.

    YUP! Never trust them pointy-headed educated elites when a rube proposes a simpler solution no mater how stupid the simpler solution sounds

  24. 24
    Ben Franklin says:

    Conservatives are myopic. They see things vey narrowly. It’s part of the genome.

    They focus on a prejudice like a laser, seeing nothing on the periphery.

    Sound familiar?

  25. 25
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    The Republicans surely must have had some staff member who followed the lefty blogs and pollsters, etc. just to see what the competition was up to. Couldn’t they see that Democrats also had enthusiastic supporters?

    Enthusiasm is not a finite resource. It’s not true that if I’m enthusiastic then you can’t be because I’m hogging all the fire and energy.

  26. 26
    Culture of Truth says:

    I said before the biggest lies are the ones we tell ourselves.

    We’re all prone to this to a certain extent, especially in the bubble of a hard fought political campaign.

    Having said that, I worked hard on a house race a few years ago. The Democrat had no real chance, and I knew it, but I went to election night party anyway. By 7:00 pm it was over. The young volunteers were shocked, although I tried to warn them.

  27. 27
    burnspbesq says:

    Hindsight is always 20:20, but going into 2012 it was not demonstrably wrong to think that the composition of the 2008 turnout was an anomaly and not the beginning of a trend.

  28. 28
    Tonal Crow says:

    Once again, Republicans have been spewing propaganda so effectively, and for so long, that they’ve lost sight of the fact that it *is* propaganda. Thus the Fox comes home to roost.

  29. 29
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    If the facts do not support the theory, the facts must be disposed of!

    The anti-science disease claims yet another victim.

  30. 30
    Schlemizel says:

    Notmax:
    reading that wiki is like reading about the modern GOP – I can’t help but share!

    So quickly did he develop his prescriptions . . . that academic biologists did not have time to demonstrate that one technique was valueless or harmful before a new one was adopted. The Party-controlled newspapers applauded Lysenko’s “practical” efforts and questioned the motives of his critics. Lysenko’s “revolution in agriculture” had a powerful propaganda advantage over the academics, who urged the patience and observation required for science.

    Academic geneticists could not hope to provide such simple and immediately tangible results, and so were seen as politically less useful than the charlatanism of Lysenko.

  31. 31
    Culture of Truth says:

    Romney is not really a numbers guy, but he does understand tax law very well. His single greatest achievment in business is probably The Italian Job, and yet I would advise him to stay far away from the people of that country.

  32. 32
    Sad But True says:

    @RP:
    I think people are making too big a deal about this. I think this piece of news is more about the author trying to turn a particular phrase used by one (maybe two) anonymous campaign aides into a much bigger thing than it was. Seriously, remove the word “shellshocked” and what about the article is all that noteworthy?

    So what if he didn’t prepare a concession speech beforehand? Personally, I might have been ticked off if I had learned that Obama had wasted any time prior to the polls closing to draft one of his own.

    The Karl Rove humiliation, now that’s another thing entirely.

  33. 33
    The Moar You Know says:

    What is amusing is that Romney wasted no time in cancelling the campaign credit cards, even before he finished giving his concession speech. Personally, I was impressed by that. Before he even gave them a thank you card for their work, he made sure they spend their own money for the ride home.

    @KXB: Gotta say, I was impressed – that’s fucked even by Republican standards.

  34. 34
    Soylent Green is FReepers says:

    Obama determined to strike within US?

  35. 35
    burnspbesq says:

    Slightly OT, but can I get an “Amen” for the people of Montana telling the Supreme Court to go fuck itself?

    http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2012/.....was-wrong/

  36. 36
    John says:

    I don’t see how this is that big a deal. Democrats and the Kerry campaign did something very similar in 2004 – convinced themselves that there was good reason to believe the polls were wrong, and that they would win.

    It’s natural during a political campaign to believe you’re somehow going to win.

  37. 37
    JPL says:

    Sorta OT…earlier this morning I muted my tv in order to listen to a video. Closed caption automatically kicks in and it appears that the local anchors were talking about the
    fiscal crap that is gonna happen.

  38. 38
    the Conster says:

    I just don’t think they have the capacity to change – there will be a John Cole here and there who will look around the wreckage and realize how completely they’ve been bamboozled and get angry, but when you want and need to be bamboozled in order to preserve your identity, then you’re going to need crazier and crazier theories as to what happened and why until you’re carried away by the nice men in white coats.

  39. 39
    KG says:

    @NorthLeft12: Newt may well be the smartest guy in the party… He figured out a way to get a GOP majority in the House in the 1990s, he managed to live off of Wingnut Welfare for over a decade after the GOP kicked him out, and then came back and ran a marginally successful primary campaign.

    Newt may be the default “Next In Line” at this point. Him or Huckabee

  40. 40
  41. 41
    jibeaux says:

    They forgot the first rule of drug dealing: don’t smoke the stash yourself. Sad. If they’d watched the Wire or Breaking Bad instead of Law & Order reruns, they might’ve seen it coming.

  42. 42
    Matt in HB says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    I can’t believe that none of these people took a trip over to 538, ran some numbers, and thought “shit, maybe we ought to look into this”.

    Exactly. Plus, I think Nate and Sam Wang both wrote pieces about the possibility of the polls under-counting Romney support and concluded it was very unlikely.

    At Sam Wang’s place (http://election.princeton.edu/) he even had a tool that would skew the polls +2 in either direction to see what it did to the electoral map. Even at +2 Romney, Obama won the E.V.

    How effing thick was their self-induced fog of unreality?

    It’s not what you don’t know that kills you, it’s what you know for sure that ain’t true. — Mark Twain

  43. 43
    Violet says:

    Could it be that we are entering a new era, the Obama Era, one where facts and data drive decision making? Dare I dream?

  44. 44
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Bill in Section 147:

    The magical thinking is shown in their confusion about America. To them most Americans are conservative and yet somehow a clear majority just voted for the most radical Muslim commie for President.

    This is a good example of misunderstanding “conservative”. Most people are conservative, but they’re not “conservative” in the “movement conservative” political sense. The “movement conservatives” hate the idea of (and this is the crux of the irony) the idea of conservation. They go out of their way to sabotage their own economic well being in order to piss off their enemies, the “liberals”. They’ll drive a low MPG auto, they’ll deliberately not check their tire pressure to even marginally improve that, they’ll dump their crankcase oil into the ground water removal system, all just to piss off the “liberals”. Dick Cheney actively disparaged energy conservation measures as a way to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

    “Movement conservatism” is all about sticking your thumb in your actually conservative and thoughtful neighbor’s face because the neighbor isn’t mad as hell about gay marriage, isn’t up in arms over the sluts avoiding punishment by using the pill, wants to regulate Galtian overlords to stabilize finances, etc.

    The actual real world impact of policy is irrelevant, so long as you’re scoring points against the DFHs.

  45. 45
    schrodinger's cat says:

    Not even the McCain campaign was this deluded, I think.

  46. 46
    maurinsky says:

    I’m sure part of the factor in the shellshock is that he DESERVED this and knew he was ENTITLED to be President, so much so that they didn’t do the work.

    I think this is clear from the way they project that way of thinking on to others.

  47. 47
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Saw this on JMG this morning. I guess we’re going to see a whole lot of this for the next 4 years.

    http://joemygod.blogspot.com/2.....qus_thread

  48. 48
    David says:

    I wouldn’t have believed that Team Romney could have been so clueless but Romney’s Benghazi comment during the debate was telling.

  49. 49
    Violet says:

    @burnspbesq: That is so great. I wonder if more states will follow Montana’s lead. I hope so.

  50. 50
    Suffern ACE says:

    @John: And actually, they almost did. Yeah, they lost the popular vote, but they came within 110,000 votes of winning the electoral college in Ohio.

  51. 51
    rlrr says:

    @John:

    In 2004, Kerry was actually within the margin of error of winning, this was not the case with Romney in 2012.

  52. 52
    Redleg says:

    Well said, Dennis. The GOP is truly a faith-based organization. The funny part is that they view liberals/Dems as irrational creatures prone to excess emotionality.

    Speaking of emotions, I am still enjoying the schadenfreude and intend to do so for at least another week or two.

  53. 53
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @David: Which comment?

  54. 54
    fuddmain says:

    Rmoney strikes me as the type who doesn’t want or like differing opinions. If you were one of the people on his campaign that had a clue things weren’t rosy, would you tell him?

  55. 55
    LanceThruster says:

    Mitt’s got at least one victory under his belt. Billy Graham’s crappy cult reversed its position on Willard’s crappy cult and thusly do they join the pantheon of mainstream xianity.

    On the downside is that this could be the beginning of the end of the LDS church. Mitt quite clearly and repeatedly demonstrated that their collective values are nothing out of the ordinary, and appear to have a wildly sliding scale in regards to actual application, particularly by their most visible member of recent memory.

    It’s as if the RCC had one of their more corrupt popes currently in place but felt no pressing need to hide the fact.

  56. 56
    ericblair says:

    @Schlemizel:

    YUP! Never trust them pointy-headed educated elites when a rube proposes a simpler solution no matter how stupid the simpler solution sounds

    You mean like “See why %YOUR_LOCAL_MUNICIPALITY Mom is making doctors furious!” ads all over the place? I guess somebody thinks they work.

  57. 57
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Off topic…but I’d really like to see the numbers on 2012 vs 2008 turnout in states with voter suppression laws compared to turnout in states without voter suppression laws.

  58. 58
    redshirt says:

    Mitt loves the data! He swims in it! Show him the data and he’s good to go! DATA DATA DATA!

    LOL. I think even us Liberal types can get blinded by wealth, and confuse that for competence. Mitt has never been competent, but he’s always been rich. And the Reagan Revolution was made for guys just like him – risk free profits whenever you want them!

    Game’s over, Mitt.

  59. 59
    GregB says:

    With any luck the GOP will continue down their current path of post election delusion.

    To a person, every wingnut I know is convinced they lost because: A) Most Americans are idiots. B) The meeeeedia is liberal and attacked poor Mitt.

    Please, please encourage all of your wingnut friends in their efforts at calling anyone who didn’t vote with them an idiot.

  60. 60

    @PeakVT: It’s a classic business school story that AT&T customers routinely reported high satisfaction on surveys just before the breakup–at which point they all fled.

    Romney sold himself on the basis of his managerial experience and turned out to be a poor manager. I hope that, in the wake of the election, the left buries the notion of industrialists automatically being great managers. (Remember, Bush II was supposed to be the MBA president.) Many industrialists are thieves, connivers, and exploiters, pure and simple.

    In Romney’s case, however, it turned out he couldn’t even steal an election competently.

  61. 61
    aimai says:

    The take home here is that a rich guy who never had to work a day in his life had no idea how to run a campaign that was, well, work. Look at their (stolen) campaign slogan “Clear eyes…” blah blah blah. All about feeling and being rewarded for the right feelings/good intentions–being rewarded for being the right kind of people. And that, in the end, is the Republican downfall: their voters are the “right kind of people” who “deserve” to win. That’s fine as long as your voters are the only people allowed to vote. If the wrong kind of people get to vote? You are toast.

    aimai

  62. 62
    Soylent Green is FReepers says:

    @Schlemizel: Seriously, I can’t be the only one to notice that “noone could have predictive” is a recurring theme with these guys…

    Hint: if you can’t predict the outcome of a landslide election even 20 minutes before it’s called, you have no business running anything, especially the wealthiest and most powerful country in the world!

  63. 63
    lacp says:

    Ran into my wingnut downstairs neighbor for the first time since the election – he was baffled, and told me “You were right.” I answered that I wasn’t right about shit, that I had just told him what the polling analysts who have been correct for the last couple election cycles were predicting. Guess none of them turned up on talk radio.

  64. 64
    ET says:

    Sully has a post with a chart showing the race of the voters for Obama and Romney. So much tells you everything you need to know.

  65. 65
    dmsilev says:

    @Violet:

    Could it be that we are entering a new era, the Obama Era, one where facts and data drive decision making? Dare I dream?

    (Looks at news media)

    “Dream the impossible dream…”

  66. 66
    Rick Taylor says:

    This quote bears repeating in full:

    That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. ”We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.

  67. 67
    Culture of Truth says:

    A Mormon Just Believes

  68. 68
    rlrr says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    To be fair, that trait is not unique to Mormons…

  69. 69
    graves007 says:

    This diagnosis of Republican/conservative/wingnut pathology is right on the RMoney

  70. 70
    Kane says:

    Romney is reportedly a numbers-guy and Ryan claims to be a math-guy, but neither of them can read a poll.

  71. 71
    Rick Taylor says:

    I will confess, back during the Bush-Kerry election I was nearly certain Kerry would win. It just seemed impossible to me the country would re-elect a President who’d gotten us into a horribly destructive misguided war under a causus belli that had turned out to be completely unfounded. Yet it happened.

    In my defense, I was just a naive individual, without access to team of pollsters and political experts, and I did not make fool of myself on tve.

  72. 72
    PreservedKillick says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    Obama ran a much more negative campaign than any Democratic presdiential candidate in the last 20 years (although most of his negative hits were true).

    True, but that’s the thing, they were generally true. If you don’t want people to be able to attack your candidate in that way, do not nominate a deeply flawed asshole.

    Simple as that.

  73. 73
    patrick II says:

    This is obvious, but magical thinking is a bad way to run a party or a campaign, but an even worse way to run a country. Thinking that bombing Iran will stop Iran’s desire for nuclear weapons or could never lead to wider mideast war would be on par with our last republican’s fantasy that installing Chalabi as “president” of Iraq be easy and then he would sell us all of their oil.

  74. 74
    Schlemizel says:

    @Soylent Green is FReepers:

    No, you misunderstood – you just reminded me I still have this goofy grin stuck on my face from Tuesday night.

    Thanks for that btw 8-{D

  75. 75
    Schlemizel says:

    @ericblair:

    Its been pointed out many times that the Nigerian scam emails are intentionally poorly done because they don’t want to waste time on people bright enough to see the con coming. they NEED morans – just like the modern GOP does & for the same reason!

  76. 76
    Dan says:

    Part of me thinks this is just BS in order to not let the donors know that they were lying to them about their chances.

    Another part of me wonders if this is the logical consequence of the “CEO culture” thing the GOP is so high on. Nobody wants to tell the boss bad news or be seen as disloyal. It reminds me of how no one wanted to express any doubts to Bush about Iraq.

  77. 77
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @PreservedKillick:

    Abso-fracking-lutely.

  78. 78
    Schlemizel says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    A MormonMoran Just Believes

    FTFY

  79. 79
    Culture of Truth says:

    @rlrr: It’s a song in that musical, I believe.

  80. 80
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Dan:

    Dan, it’s interesting that when I was in the Army, the “CEO culture” was disdained and discouraged. When I was assigned duty as the Brigade staff duty officer on night, the Brigade commander (a full colonel) personally spoke with me and told me that bad news does not get better with age, and I perceived him underlining and bolding that as he spoke. He was being blunt that I should NOT hold back on him.

    The best commanders I worked for had this as a common trait. If there is bad news, even in the slightest, deliver it as quickly as you can, so the commander has a chance to direct information be gathered and action be taken. Don’t sit on it, don’t fail to express doubts or concerns. Don’t allow me to be blindsided.

    Mittens got blindsided on Tuesday night, big time.

  81. 81
    bemused says:

    @Schlemizel:

    Oh snap! And very funny.

  82. 82
    BenA says:

    An exchange that sums this all up and also happens to be one of my favorite moments of the night came when Megyn Kelly goes to Rove and says: “Is this just math that you do as a Republican to make yourself feel better, or is this real?” The venom in her voice was spine tingling.

  83. 83
    catclub says:

    @NotMax: I guess I am hoping for the Donner Party.

  84. 84
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @BenA:

    In Kkkarl’s case, it’s self preservation.

    Those billionaires are not happy with him. I’m sure that hints to hire bagmen have been made to their minions, IRT Rove for taking them for a cool $390 million, and producing…nothing.

  85. 85
    catclub says:

    @Kane: I think Ryan has already disappeared from the RR campaign, and any responsibility. he is a slippery one.

  86. 86
    Violet says:

    @BenA: That was a thing of beauty. As someone here said yesterday, “Republican Math” needs to be one of the rotating tags.

  87. 87
    Schlemizel says:

    @BenA:

    TDS did a very cutting piece that focused on that exact question. It was quite lovely

  88. 88
    Sad But True says:

    @David:
    Good point. That was the first time I was fully persuaded that he didn’t just cynically bullshit, but that he swallowed it too.

  89. 89
    japa21 says:

    @BenA: Even better were the looks on the faces of the folks in the room where they actually did the projections. They were actually laughing at Rove.

  90. 90
    catclub says:

    @KG: newt is already too old.
    Romney was too old, also. And by this logic, both Hillary and Biden will be too old in 2016. I think they realize this fact.

  91. 91
    IanY77 says:

    Boy, am I ever sorry that these smart, talented, pragmatic, well-organized people won’t be running the country for the next four years. I really, really am. (warning: link goes to Wingnutistan)

  92. 92
    Misterpuff says:

    @Violet: Sorry to say, there are those on our side who also exhibit “magical thinking”, like a “Grand Bargain” will Seal Team 6 the uncertainty in the economy, bring bipartisanship back to DC and won’t have any effect on Dem political fortunes when Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are gashed while closing some rich guy loopholes that they will replace in the next Congress (with larger R majorities).

  93. 93
    Sad But True says:

    @GregB:
    If Obama had lost, I’d certainly be explaining it similarly, though:
    a) Americans are idiots
    b) the media (with the help of Citizens United) is biased in favor of Republicans
    c) voting machinery (e.g., the voter id laws and other suppression techniques, but also probably the machines themselves) was rigged

  94. 94
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @catclub: You’re going to see Ryan again and soon. He’ll be the one with the “lean and hungry look” in the forthcoming press photos, standing behind House Majority Leader Cantor with his eyes fixed on the prize, somewhere between the fifth and sixth lumbar vertebra.

  95. 95
    BenA says:

    @catclub:
    Hillary will be basically the same age Reagan was in 1980. Would I be shocked if she ran again… nope.. but you’re right that is getting up there.

  96. 96
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Misterpuff: I know you’re trying to be a downer, but that is true. There too many pockets of Dem voters in the country who vote Dem because they don’t like BRASH partisan politics. And so we get Brash non-partisan Dems. When your base voters like the idea that you won’t fight for anything but being nice, that is what you end up getting. They aren’t actually democrats. They are a third party of nice people.

  97. 97
    Comrade Mary says:

    @Kane: I saw this video at the Washington Post last night. There’s a lot of the usual stuff we’ve heard about the campaign so far, but the following claim was new to me. (Scroll to 2:45.)

    Soon after Ryan was brought in, he wanted one focus of the campaign to be on rising poverty rates in the country and the plight of the inner cities. This would be one way of countering Romney’s bad image. Of course, the solutions he had in mind for the poor were AWFUL (me, not the Post), but they would have talked a good game and maybe peeled off some more votes. Romney said no, the focus was on lower taxes, jobs first and economy as already decided.

    Then the 47% tape was released, and Ryan and his coterie were headdesking and facepalming all over the place, saying that if they had campaigned for a while on The Poors, they would have been protected from some of the fallout.

    Well, maybe, and I don’t think any of this would have helped the campaign overall, but it is interesting to find out that Ryan was really interested in this topic apart from that one speech he gave in the campaign.

  98. 98
    Dennis G. says:

    @NotMax: They went to a dump in Dayton…

  99. 99
    rikyrah says:

    I think I’ve watched Rachel Maddow’s opening segment from Wednesday at least 10 times. it was a thing of beauty. I loved how she mocked them at the end of it.

  100. 100
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @NotMax:
    I presumed that it was taken to the Wal-Mart return desk with a really long receipt.

  101. 101
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @catclub: Romney didn’t look that old. He was actually amazingly well-preserved for a 65-year-old man.

  102. 102
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @Robert Sneddon:
    I don’t want to see the Night of the Long Knives played out in Congress.

    Well, not all of Congress; the GOP caucus is fine.

  103. 103
    Garbo says:

    You can’t have a sucker punch without a sucker. How revealing this absolves R-Money, I don’t get.

  104. 104
    ThresherK says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: “Conservative” is a word that used to have meaning.

    There’s a fight coming over which “beauty queen” gets to wear the sash.

    And it’s not an “us” (lefties, Democrats, people interested in real journalism or media crit) fight. (I include myself in all those groups.) And it’s not a fight for moderate undecided voters.

    It’s “let they and them fight” (including Beltway Inbreds), while we just sit back and sell popcorn.

    (Coda: Jim Webb, D-VA is a just-retired Senator. He went out of his way to give a politically risky speech on the American “prison industrial complex”. He’s an ex-Republican who left the crazee. Just thought I’d mention that for intellectual honesty purposes, but for political purposes, I almost don’t care.)

  105. 105
    johnny aquitard says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    Enthusiasm is not a finite resource.

    Yeah but conservatives have an astounding zero-sum game mentality. Not surprised if that affected their thinking on that. It seems to on just about everything else.

  106. 106
    Tja says:

    ‘This is not the math you are looking for.’

  107. 107
    RaflW says:

    Look, this party is based heavily on one huge item of magical thinking: that tax cuts increase GDP and thus pay for themselves (or even, in the extended fantasy, produce new revenue).

    They know this to their core.

    Even thought they’re wrong. Really, quite wrong.

  108. 108
    johnny aquitard says:

    @Schlemizel:

    So quickly did he develop his prescriptions…

    Yeah the similarities there struck me as well.

    Horrifying how many people died as a result, how many authentically visionary and talented people were executed, and how harmful to their nation it was.

    The our Lysenko party got 48%+ of the popular vote. Never saw anything like it in my life. They want the snakeoil and the lies. And those voters are still out there.

  109. 109
    johnny aquitard says:

    @Schlemizel:

    So quickly did he develop his prescriptions…

    Yeah the similarities there struck me as well.

    Horrifying how many people died as a result, how many authentically visionary and talented people were executed, and how harmful to their nation it was.

    The our Lysenko party got 48%+ of the popular vote. Never saw anything like it in my life. They want the snakeoil and the lies. And those voters are still out there.

  110. 110
    And Another Thing… says:

    @John: Polls are an extremely important part of running a campaign. Apparently, they didn’t believe external polls & “adjusted” the demographics of their internal polls to conform to their assumptions for some unknown period of the campaign. They were making tactical & spending decisions, among other things, on systemically flawed data. Recall how Republicans complained about polls showing Dems as to large a % of the electorate. The RomCam deceived themselves. This was profound malpractice.

  111. 111
    JustRuss says:

    @NotMax:

    Instead of the elephant as mascot, use the lemming.

    I’m thinking ostrich.

  112. 112
    burnspbesq says:

    @BenA:

    Credit where credit is due: Megyn Kelly was extremely good on Tuesday night. She is head and shoulders better than anyone else at Faux News.

    http://www.tnr.com/article/109.....e-fox-news

  113. 113
    slag says:

    This whole election has had shades of the runup to the Iraq war for me. Republicans denying reality. The media, if not cheering them on, throwing up their hands. Me thinking, “Am I the crazy one here?”. Etc. The big difference between then and now is that now the voices of reality have marginally more prominence than back in the day. Either way, this demonstration of decision-making prowess on the part of establishment Republicans once again proves that we don’t deserve them as our leaders.

  114. 114
    Triassic Sands says:

    The Republican/Conservative mind is made up of belief in myth (Reagan was the ideal conservative president — he’d be just as successful today as he was in the 70s and 80s); fantasy (supply side economics, the Laffer curve, etc.); and wishful thinking (sea level won’t rise if we all close our eyes and lower it with our hive mind).

    Admittedly, fantasy and wishful thinking are related and can get mixed up, but in the end it’s all about a party that lives in Wonderland, where reality is annoying, facts don’t matter, and history is what they say it is. Sadly, there are tens of millions of Americans who also live in Wonderland — and they’re a threat to every living thing on Earth.

  115. 115
    John says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    This is true, I suppose. But Romney wasn’t that much farther away – 100,000 in Colorado, 100,000 in Ohio, 100,000 in Virginia, 60,000 in Florida, and he wins the election. It was a tight race, and it was certainly reasonable for Romney people to believe that the polling averages were a bit off, that the more Republican-leaning polls were in fact right, and that they were likely to win.

    I’m not really old enough to remember, but my understanding is that even in near blow outs like 1988, the losing campaign retained hope that the polls were wrong and they would emerge victorious. Perhaps they weren’t as certain as the Romney people appear to have been, but it seems more like a difference in degree than a difference in kind.

  116. 116
    Liberty60 says:

    Burly, manly analysts: 0
    Slender, nerdy analysts: 1

  117. 117
    Ruckus says:

    @Rick Taylor:
    I knew without any polls that shrub would be re-elected because seldom does a country kick out a pres during a war. That may even have been one of the reasons for the war, to get the lame ass re-elected. That and to steal lots of money.

  118. 118
    Ruckus says:

    @Schlemizel:
    In fact if the con is too well constructed and smoothly presented some people will question it. Oh what the hell, I could barely type that crap, anyone who buys conservative shit will buy anything, especially if they can hold it over someone else. And there is very little buyers remorse, they just think they didn’t buy enough. And of course there are exceptions, see Cole, John.

  119. 119
    Heliopause says:

    “I don’t think there was one person who saw this coming.”

    I’m afraid I still have trouble believing this story. The internal modeling doesn’t just have to be off, it has to be way off to account for a statement like this.

    First, any consultant with even half a brain would look at all these other poll models, notice that most of them are more favorable to the other side, and advise the candidate, “we believe we have a good model, but there are quite a few other pollsters out there who are modeling this more favorably for your opponent, so you should be prepared for the possibility that you will lose.”

    Second, we don’t have access to their internal polling but we do have access to the most persistently pro-GOP public pollster, Rasmussen, and here is how they had it down the stretch:

    General, Romney +1%
    State-by-state, Obama leading in states totaling 247 EVs, Romney leading in states totaling 263 EVs, two states with 28 EVs exactly tied.

    In other words, even Rasmussen, which was off by a pretty substantial 3%-ish in the GOP direction, had it much too close to call, and only a tiny move at the end toward Obama gives him the race.

    I don’t think “magical thinking” quite describes this. They were, after all, trying to model the electorate. This is either rank incompetence, or they knew full well they were losing and this is just putting a brave face on the effort.

  120. 120
    Ruckus says:

    @Matt McIrvin:
    Not all of us in our 60’s look like the waking dead. Most of the men don’t seem to have nearly as much hair though. Or that dead rat looking thing that trump wears.

  121. 121
    gorram says:

    @Sad But True: The difference being that you respectively would have a) evidence, b) evidence, and c) evidence.

  122. 122
    Wolfdaughter says:

    @John:

    I’m not really old enough to remember, but my understanding is that even in near blow outs like 1988, the losing campaign retained hope that the polls were wrong and they would emerge victorious. Perhaps they weren’t as certain as the Romney people appear to have been, but it seems more like a difference in degree than a difference in kind.

    I am old enough to remember, and I don’t remember any certainty on the part of Dems that Dukakis would win. Hope, yes, certainty, no. And the other big difference is that this defeat led to a massive questioning about what went wrong and what might be done to make future Dem victories more likely. For better or worse it led to triangulation and repositioning the Dems to seem a more centrist party. Which led to Clinton’s victories in 92 and 96. I didn’t support some of what Clinton did, but he was still better than a second Bush I term or a Dole term.

    I have dipped my electron toe into a few of the rightwing sites. I can’t stay in them very long–I suffer from hypertension as it is. But they are blaming anything but their philosophy, as others have noted. Their assumption that they are automatically superior to “those people” who voted for Obama is palpable. The nastier part of me hopes they continue in this vein. The better part hopes that they will decide to re-examine their values, and to re-enter the real world. I’m an extremely partisan Dem, but I recognize that if the Dems have too many electoral victories, they will become “fat, dumb and happy”. We need a robust opposition. The Republican Party as constituted today is not that opposition.

  123. 123

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