Why they didn’t see it coming

Many conservatives bought into the partisan spin around Mitt Romney and his Mittmentum that failed to materialise. They bought into all the bullshit about dodgy polls. And they followed other conservative pundits blindly down the wrong alley.

It is easy to close oneself off inside a conservative echo chamber. And right-leaning outlets like Fox News and Rush Limbaugh’s show are far more intellectually closed than CNN or public radio. If you’re a rank-and-file conservative, you’re probably ready to acknowledge that ideologically friendly media didn’t accurately inform you about Election 2012. Some pundits engaged in wishful thing; others feigned confidence in hopes that it would be a self-fulfilling prophecy; still others decided it was smart to keep telling right-leaning audiences what they wanted to hear.

But guess what?

You haven’t just been misinformed about the horse race. Since the very beginning of the election cycle, conservative media has been failing you. With a few exceptions, they haven’t tried to rigorously tell you the truth, or even to bring you intellectually honest opinion. What they’ve done instead helps to explain why the right failed to triumph in a very winnable election.

Why do you keep putting up with it?

Conservatives were at a disadvantage because Romney supporters like Jennifer Rubin and Hugh Hewitt saw it as their duty to spin constantly for their favored candidate rather than being frank about his strengths and weaknesses. What conservative Washington Post readers got, when they traded in Dave Weigel for Rubin, was a lot more hackery and a lot less informed about the presidential election.

Conservatives were at an information disadvantage because so many right-leaning outlets wasted time on stories the rest of America dismissed as nonsense. WorldNetDaily brought you birtherism. Forbes brought you Kenyan anti-colonialism. National Review obsessed about an imaginary rejection of American exceptionalism, misrepresenting an Obama quote in the process, and Andy McCarthy was interviewed widely about his theory that Obama, aka the Drone Warrior in Chief, allied himself with our Islamist enemies in a “Grand Jihad” against America. Seriously?

Conservatives were at a disadvantage because their information elites pandered in the most cynical, self-defeating ways, treating would-be candidates like Sarah Palin and Herman Cain as if they were plausible presidents rather than national jokes who’d lose worse than George McGovern.



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  • CoNZervative

    Polling is a guess, not a science. Maths produces averages; sometimes these come in, other times not. There are outliers. No one KNEW what would happen, we all take a punt and only one person can win. In 2012 most of the US polls were right; other times (as in NZ) they are 50% wrong…No-one predicted Winston would return in 2011. People are like pigeons, ya can’t heard or anticipate them completely in politics. That’s what makes it so fascinating.

  • nasska

    The way that the USA Republicans obsess over the religious & moral fitness of their presidential candidates guarantees that the chosen one will not be the best available.

    Before the religious nutters tear my head off consider this. The USA needs a president who has seen life as it is, has business experience & resonates with the man in the street. He/she will probably have accumulated a skeleton or two to keep in the cupboard & probably committed a few indiscretions in their youth.

    Should he/she seek the GOP nomination they will be scrutinised, vilified then excluded by their own people who value piety over ability. It would seem that they would rather be lead by a lying socialist than a less than pure but committed Republican.

    • Bunswalla

      Speaking of religious nutters, I was intrigued by the shit-storm that Richard Mourdock (Republican Senate candidate from Indiana) found himself in when he commented that pregnancy caused by rape is something that “God intended to happen”.
      It cost him his clear lead and ultimately the election, as moral outrage and indignation poured over him from every direction. As many will know I don’t believe in imaginary friends or omnipotent beings (other than the Flying Spaghetti Monster of course, bless his noodly self), but I know that America in general and Republicans in particular are enthusiastic god-botherers.
      So my dilemma is this: how do you explain the following logic?
      1. I believe in God.
      2. God is all-powerful, and created life. Everything that happens is because he wills it.
      3. He does some unspeakably awful stuff – causing disease, pestilence, natural disasters etc.
      4. If someone is raped and life ensues, and you say it’s part of god’s will, you will be shot down in flames.
      Hypocrisy much? Or is it OK to acknowledge only the nice fluffy things that this “god” causes, creates or allows to happen?

      • nasska

        Without even digging too hard it is easy to find other examples Bunswalla. You can only wonder at the nous of any political organisation that allows a candidate with opinions like these to use their name never mind seek public office:

        “Charlie Fuqua, the Republican candidate for the Arkansas House of Representatives who called for expelling Muslims from the United States in his book, also wrote in support for instituting the death penalty for “rebellious children.”

        With fruitcakes like this on board small wonder that the Republicans are not celebrating victory.


      • Mostly_Harmless

        Well, that’s the age-old problem of evil. I’ve never heard an answer to it that’s both morally and intellectually satisfying.

      • blazer

        God obviously didn’t think Romney was the man for the job.Can they accept that and the fact that the U.S has the worst inequality in the world?The far right bible bashers,Republicans like Rick Santorum are all Jerry Falwell strength hippocrites.Watch Bill O’reilly on Fox and ask yourself how people can take this shyte seriously.

  • cows4me

    What a load of horseshit, so the left wing media was a paragon of truth, wisdom and presented a real view, crap. The sad truth is that the US has reached the tipping point and more rely on the state then support the state by way of taxation. Turkeys don’t vote for an early Christmas neither will the hordes vote for fiscal responsibility.