President Obama, Vice President Biden and families at victory party on November 6th in Chicago
An Excellent Spirit knows that political post mortems are good for very little in the truth and accuracy department. At their worst, these “we lost because of anyone but us” mantras are tawdry, embarrassing substitutes for “we lost because we were not good enough at……” At best, they contain some information of questionable value that an astute observer will not be fooled by, but will instead include in any cogent, useful analysis of defeat as the father of victory.
An Excellent Spirit puts Dick Morris squarely in that category. His column in Jewish World Review is a shining example. “But the real reason is that the whites who supported Romney didn’t turn out to vote. Just look at the fact, brought to my attention by National Review and Washington Examiner columnist Byron York, that Obama carried Ohio by 107,000 votes (some are still being counted) and that Romney got about 100,000 fewer votes than McCain! (2,677,820 for McCain v. 2,583,580 for Romney). Romney really lost by failing to turn out his base even as Obama was doing a very good job of getting his to the polls.” While those figures may have some validity, Morris has been around long enough to add correctly. 94,320 fewer votes is almost 13,000 short of Obama’s total in the 2012 Ohio Election. A loss by any other name is still a loss, Dick.
Statistics and figures like that one are great to try out in advance of an appearance on O’Reilly or Hannity, but, “the folks” are getting tired of the same old same old regurgitated talking points. The strategy of observing the crowd on its way somewhere and then getting out in front to lead them only works when defeat is not the destination.
Dick Morris with Sean Hannity
In the next paragraph, Morris uses another magic bromide word, ORCA. New words are always a clue. When the old, tried and true, appellations and epithets will not do, it is time to invent a new one. This keeps ‘em guessing and provides cover, so the thinking goes. In reality, again there is some truth in what Morris is putting out there. How anyone could stake the most important Election of our lives on an untried, untested and curiously stupid concept like ORCA is only more astounding than a Presidential campaign allowing the National Committee of a party the control over that essential part of the game. After all the years, all the money, all the wear and tear on family and fortune, to stumble when the finish line is in sight and stumble that badly is astonishing, but not without precedent.
An Excellent Spirit has previously posted on ORCA and when the bombs die down in Israel and the hearings get through with the first round of Benghazi bamboozlers, we will post some more. For now, suffice it to say that ORCA has become a pet word of Morris, Rove, O’Reilly and Hannity. That should tell us something, since they never connect it to anything concrete. They just say it, like it was another “mea culpa” in a confessional.
That having been trotted out there successfully, Morris gives “us” the third leg of the lame lamenters manifesto. It was the wrong strategy. It always is when you lose, Dick, but which strategy? Naturally, the naming of a strategy by a pundit is followed by, “it was not my strategy” and “I repeatedly told anyone who would listen that………..” Morris does not disappoint. “But the failure of the white vote to turn out was also because neither the Romney campaign nor any of the super PACs rebutted Obama’s attacks on the Republican candidate. Unanswered, the attacks transformed Romney’s Bain Capital experience into a nightmare of outsourcing and draconian, life ending layoffs. Had Romney’s people or the Super PACs answered the attacks and pointed to the splendid record of job creation at Bain and told the stories of the failing companies he turned around, these voters would likely have voted and Romney would have won. During the campaign, some may recall that I pleaded for answers to the Bain attacks in columns, videos, and on Fox News. Other consultants like Pat Caddell also called for answering ads. But none came. All throughout the late spring months, it was clear that Obama was destroying Romney’s image, but none of his supporters spent money on ads defending the candidate.” Morris has had a long run with this spin and it promises to continue, unabated.
“The Super PACs were all focused on negatives against Obama. Handcuffed by their own tax status, some of them felt legally able only to criticize Obama not to defend Romney. Others felt that rebuttal ads might raise accusations of coordination between the PACs and the Romney campaign. But the fact is that those running the Romney campaign — the Super PAC consultants, and the Republican consulting community — in general do not believe in the efficacy of rebuttal media. All throughout the bruising Republican primary, nobody ran rebuttal ads. The negatives on each side just piled up until Romney crushed his rivals by sheer weight of his negative media.”
First, “inside baseball” explanations like these are never the reason that a campaign that took in excess of 6 years and spent at least a billion dollars or more fail. The reason is that the people on one side are better than those on the other side. Period. Axelrod, Jarrett, Messina and, it pains me to say it, Cutter were better than Priebus, Rove, Gillespie and those unnamed Romney insiders who had the candidate’s ear and were supposed to tell him what was not working. Plainly put, Romney is a businessman who spent years in politics. His father was the governor of Michigan. His father ran American Motors and Mitt had a gaudy history of success, well deserved. He and he alone failed when it counted most. He lost the Presidency and he lost it by relying on the wrong people and the wrong strategy.
In 2008, John McCain lost his race to Obama because he was a pale, uninspiring figure when placed up against the wunderkind of the 21st Century in 2008. He was unprepared for the fiscal crises, shut his campaign and went to Washington without a plan or a strategy and sat there while others addressed the problem, with sparse results. He failed to even be a good failure and was done. The only thing McCain got right was that there was an unprecedented fiscal crisis at hand. He would have been much better to sit outside of Washington and focus his campaign on what he could do over the next four years to meet the challenge than to stop campaigning to go to Washington and show how little he knew about economics.
In 2012, Romney, a well financed, seemingly well intentioned man with a ton of just the right kind of experience failed to sell the “47%” he so ungraciously set us as his adversary on a vision of how to join the 53% of Americans who work, pay income taxes and create jobs. He wrongly misunderstood that Americans in the 47% have lost faith in America as a place of fairness where anyone can succeed, either by choice or circumstance. Romney failed to convince those without jobs that they would be better off with jobs. President Obama, with the much easier task of playing to 47% in the bag, only needed 4-5% of the rest to win. I have not calculated the odds, but I’d bet they were astronomical against Romney winning!
Morris concludes by pressing the failure of Romney to respond to negative attacks and the confluence of Hurricane Sandy and his confessional session is over. It is tried, true and it is on to the Fox News shows to peddle his books and himself as the wizard of all things political. An Excellent Spirit has nothing against Morris or any of them. It is their explanations we take issue with. They just do not tell the whole story. There are too many statistics they leave out, inconvenient facts and truths that would make Al Gore freeze, or sweat, profusely. Here are just a few:
Democrats win Elections when the people are sick of Republican rule and are desperate enough to consider tax and spend liberals so they can forget the morality, incompetence and arrogance of Republicans. Eisenhower was followed by 8 years of Democrats. If Kennedy had not died, we might have had 16 years. Nixon was followed by Ford, Carter (ugh!) and then another Republican Ronald Reagan.
Here we pause to note that both Eisenhower (Dulles, Warren et al) and Reagan (Schultz, Weinberger, Meese and Deavers) had their own men of stature and ability who provided them with counsel, winning strategies and a certain sense of national competence that overrode every slip they made while in office. Reagan was even able to extend his rule beyond his 8 years and, if George Bush the First read minds and not lips, would have had 16, not 12 years. He was followed by Bill Clinton, more lionized in the aftermath of his disastrous Presidency that anyone should ever have expected. Impeachment, affairs, government shutdowns and “it’s the economy stupid” could not pass the baton to the inconvenient buffoon, Al Gore, so we elected Bush 2. Bush 2 gets a 9-11 score for eternity and we move on to Barack Obama.
President George W. Bush with Karl Rove
Obama said he was going to change America and he has. Carter crashed and burned in an Iranian desert. Obama may go up in Benghazi flames or over a Fiscal Cliff, but he has a second term. And, as we have begun to point out, it is not simply Republican incompetence.
Two more inconvenient facts that no one is mentioning. In the Election just past, stories abound about the small number of votes that Obama won by in four to six swing states. The total of all those votes is somewhere around 3-400,000 votes. That is razor thin, with all the mistakes and incompetence of one side and with all the money and competence of the other. Just before the Election, when these same pundits were talking of a Romney landslide and even President Obama did not seem able to muster a counter attack that worked, in the last two to four weeks, Romney tried to “expand the map”. Instead of concentrating their efforts on the swing states that they had to win (and ultimately lost: Ohio, Virginia, Florida, Colorado, Iowa and New Hampshire, to name a few), Romney spent his time and millions of dollars in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Nevada and a few more states that were unnecessary departures from a strategy that would have gotten them a safe 270+ Electoral Votes and the Presidency. This is factual. This, while inconvenient truth is virtually unreported by the lamestream media, preferring the career enhancing narratives of those they permit to mislead “us” for four more years.
Four More Years like the last four years.
Want proof? 12 years ago, before the Florida “hanging chads” debacle led to the US Supreme Court having to judicially rule who won a hotly contested Election, we saw a similar strategy employed by a man who is reputed to have spent about 500 million dollars in the failed effort to defeat Obama. Karl, “the Architect” Rove and the others in charge of the campaign of George W. Bush that was leading the inept Gore with less than a month to go, astonishingly, decided to “expand the map” and go for a mandate over a mere win. They went into California! They spent time, millions of dollars on ads and operations and did so with not even a chance to win the most liberal state in the Union! There were other states they diverted needed campaign assets to and there were little things they missed, like the two different poll closing times in Florida. Now, the whole world knows that the Florida Panhandle is in the Central Time Zone and the polls in about 35% of the state close an hour later than the rest (Eastern Time Zone). This meant that a campaign had to interface with all major networks and media and demand that no predictions of winner be made until all polls closed in Florida! They failed! That is right, the Bush Campaign with its geniuses and money to spend in California forgot to secure Florida. The same Florida that the entire country spent over 40 days of agony before a court decided what the people would clearly have decided in favor of George W. Bush if tens of thousands of Bush voters had not stayed home in the Panhandle after the news that Gore won Florida was broadcast by all networks a full one hour before that determination could be made!
Chads, hanging and otherwise. From 2000 Election
The fact that the same people were in this Election and in every Election (Morris for Clinton, Rove for Bush 2, for instance) is also worth noting, but no one either remembers (just kidding!) or wants to share that information with the unsuspecting public. Like we said at the top, post mortems are all about excuses and obfuscation, not truth, justice and the American way! Americans either take control of their electoral process or the process will continue to betray them in 2016 and beyond, for as long as American lasts. Stay tuned.