Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The loss in this election was more about candidates and tactics than it was about ideas...

Baseball Crank makes a lot of sense with this advice:

Many commentators will now rush to declare Republicans an endangered species and pin the blame for the party's woes on conservative ideas. When Ryan was added to the ticket, for example, there was much talk that the Obama campaign would sink Romney by tying him to the unpopular House GOP. But as it turned out, the House GOP fared a lot better than the presidential or Senate tickets, losing seats but easily retaining its majority, and we still have a commanding lead in state Governorships. Obama's 'permanent majority' coalition is actually razor-thin and couldn't retake the House even with its vaunted voter-turnout operation. And now, Obama enters his second term, which are hardly ever better than the first; Republicans are no more doomed by the prospect of an Obama second term than Democrats were by the Bush and Nixon second terms, or even Republicans after the Clinton and LBJ second terms. I don't ascribe to the theory that anybody should ever want to lose elections, but just as with his first term, Obama's second term offers increasing opportunities to frustrate and splinter his coalition, further alienate independent voters and bleed job approval, factors that won't bode well for Democrats in 2014 and 2016. My concern is not for the future of the party, but the country, as four more years gives Obama a lot more time to place increasing numbers of issues outside the reach of democratic self-government, either through judicial activism or inter-generational entitlement programs that are fiscally nearly impossible to unwind. 
That's not to say Republicans should do nothing to re-evaluate our agenda. I remain convinced, for example, that the party needs to find a moderate middle ground on immigration. But at the end of the day, the 2012 election was a failure of candidates, not of ideas.

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