A few thoughts on the end of the campaign — and the beginning of a big challenge

posted at 8:01 am on November 7, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

In the final couple of weeks of the presidential campaign, we had a big debate over the nature of the American electorate, played out through polling criticism on both sides of the political divide. This came down to fundamental assumptions about which election cycle proved to be a realignment, and which turned out to be the anomaly.  Many conservatives — myself among them, to be sure — operated on the assumption that the 2008 election had been the anomaly, driven by the fiscal crisis, and corrected in the 2010 midterm elections.  The Left assumed that the fiscal crisis in 2008 had realigned the electorate toward greater government interventionism, and that the 2010 cycle was the anomaly, driven by a partisan fight over health care and the lack of a presidential contender at the top of the ticket.

Clearly, conservatives lost that argument last night, at least in large part, as John Ziegler wrote in the immediate aftermath.  That was borne out by the final calculation in the exit polling as well as the vote itself.  The partisan split in the electorate was 38/32/29, nearly identical to 2008.  We argued that Barack Obama and Democrats couldn’t win a base turnout election again, but they did, as evidenced by Mitt Romney’s five-point win among independents, 50/45.  Romney even lowered the gender gap from an Obama +14 in 2008 to Obama +4 in 2012, but that clearly wasn’t enough to overcome what now looks to be a significant realignment four years ago towards Democrats and not an anomaly.

This time, Republicans can’t blame the candidate, or at least they shouldn’t.  Mitt Romney ran one of the most well-organized national campaigns in recent memory within the GOP.  He raised prodigious amounts of cash, keeping pace with Obama.  The RNC followed suit, building a massive and impressive GOTV effort that really did produce a big increase in turnout — but not enough to match what Democrats did in this cycle.  Republicans blamed John McCain in 2008 and even George Bush for the bailouts, but those fig leaves are gone, and the realignment is too apparent to ignore.

That reality presents a challenge to the GOP and to conservatives.  We do not need to change our values, but we do need to find ways to communicate them in an engaging and welcoming manner.  We need to think creatively about big issues, philosophy, and how we can relate conservative values to the needs of a wider range of voters.  Conservatism cannot become constrictionism, or the realignment will continue, and it will become ever more difficult to win national elections.

This will require a new set of national leaders for the Republican Party and conservatism.  We need men and women who can think creatively, produce a positive agenda that isn’t defined by an oppositional nature, and who can eloquently communicate that agenda and the values that drive it.  That should be our focus over the next two years before we start thinking about who to nominate as the party’s presidential nominee — and if done properly, that process will naturally produce the right leader for conservatism.  And if that is done properly, too, perhaps we’ll be in position for another realignment four years from now.

Update: Some readers feel I owe them an apology for “misleading” them about polling over the last few months.  I kind of assumed that this post served as a mea culpa for getting it wrong by explaining why it happened.  Very obviously, I misread the shift in the electorate.  I wasn’t the only one who did so, but I did, and I do apologize for getting it wrong.  However, I didn’t set out to mislead anyone.  What I wrote was my honest opinion about how the polls were based on assumptions of the electorate with which I disagreed — and I’ll note that I linked to the source data every time, and that readers were certainly free to draw their own conclusions.

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There is something very wrong with this picture. We already knew that Romney was a weak RINO yesterday when the future was bright and rosy because he was a lock. What, exactly, caused this result?

spiritof61 on November 7, 2012 at 1:25 PM

Romney isn’t a RINO.

You and your party has nominated Romney, McCain, Bush, Dole, Bush, Regean, etc.

Over the past 20 years, you’ve had one nominee out of five win the presidency.

And you voted for them.

This is who you and your party are.

Dante on November 7, 2012 at 1:44 PM

You guys do not want a saved nation, like lanceman, all you care about is that you get yours before you die. Then it can all go to hell as far as you are concerned. The only problem here is that the end of the line happened and now you demand to not be a part of history.

astonerii on November 7, 2012 at 1:39 PM

You are a blatant LIAR!

I’ve said throughout this thread that I was very upset when Romney got the nomination. I wanted Sarah, Cain,Bachmann, then Santorum.

Get it straight, you sound like obama with your lies.

LevinFan on November 7, 2012 at 1:44 PM

Romney isn’t a RINO.

You and your party has nominated Romney, McCain, Bush, Dole, Bush, Regean, etc.

Over the past 20 years, you’ve had one nominee out of five win the presidency.

And you voted for them.

This is who you and your party are.

Dante on November 7, 2012 at 1:44 PM

Good point. After a while you’ve got to start wondering if they’re RINOS or just the norm.

RobbBond on November 7, 2012 at 1:46 PM

I don’t know how you can say this.

We lost the turnout 38 to 32 –about the same as 2008!

So not enough conservatives voted.

Romney won indies 50/45.

So he needed to appeal to his base, not to these wishy washy moderates.

And ROmney never even mentioning Fast/Furious,givig obama a pass on Libya in the last debate after it was served on a silver platter to him, and continually referred to obama as a nice guy!

Newt or Santorum would’ve appealed to the base and fought obama hard.

LevinFan on November 7, 2012 at 1:42 PM

Lol.

Why would conservatives vote for your guy? You need to forget everything you think you know. You can start by turning off morons like Mark Levin.

Dante on November 7, 2012 at 1:46 PM

I’m still baffled. The numbers simply don’t make any sense. But it’s hard to argue with reality, so some fundamental assumptions need to be re-examined, that’s for damn sure.

nukemhill on November 7, 2012 at 1:24 PM

People lied and we got rope-a-doped. Simple as that.

totherightofthem on November 7, 2012 at 1:47 PM

You are a blatant LIAR!

I’ve said throughout this thread that I was very upset when Romney got the nomination. I wanted Sarah, Cain,Bachmann, then Santorum.

Get it straight, you sound like obama with your lies.

LevinFan on November 7, 2012 at 1:44 PM

Did you vote for Romney? You say you want to save the nation, but then you support people who embrace status quo policies. Even your beloved Ronald Reagan increased the debt and deficit, increased regulations, raised taxes, grew government, and implemented Keynesian economic polices.

Everything you think you know is wrong.

Dante on November 7, 2012 at 1:48 PM

ROmney had alot of flows but he was not a marxist and offered a platform for capitalism and hard work.

For those conservatives who didn’t support Romney they are the lowest of the low. I have ZERO respect for them. They are morons and need to share the blame with the parasites for the disasters awaiting us in the next 4 years.

Look at how this country was founded. All those who fought for our freedom and sacrificed their lives. Look at the greatest generation in WWII. Now you have a bunch of parasites wanting free stuff and Ron Paul losers who stayed at home sucking their thumbs!

LevinFan on November 7, 2012 at 12:51 PM

You have no right to my vote.

Romney Care was enough to not vote for Romney.

I refuse to vote for evil. Evil Republicans are still evil. Romney Care is Evil. Romneys record was totally evil. He was a marxist and praised his father just last night a confirmed marxist that learned it from Saul Alisky himself.

Steveangell on November 7, 2012 at 1:52 PM

Did you vote for Romney? You say you want to save the nation, but then you support people who embrace status quo policies. Even your beloved Ronald Reagan increased the debt and deficit, increased regulations, raised taxes, grew government, and implemented Keynesian economic polices.

Everything you think you know is wrong.

Dante on November 7, 2012 at 1:48 PM

Sorry, Levin. You seem like someone who really cares about his country. But Dante is absolutely right here. You should completely re-think what you think you know about conservatism. You should check out it’s history and study the effects of various economic and foreign policies. Only through self-examination and reflection will Republicans be able to get through this dark age.

RobbBond on November 7, 2012 at 1:55 PM

Romney isn’t a RINO.

You and your party has nominated Romney, McCain, Bush, Dole, Bush, Regean, etc.

Over the past 20 years, you’ve had one nominee out of five win the presidency.

And you voted for them.

This is who you and your party are.

Dante on November 7, 2012 at 1:44 PM

I hear the sinister, geriatric cackle of the Doktor.

Back on Earth, we conservatives have suffered a defeat in an election that the Republican (yes, he was a liberal RINO but light years better than the Dem) should have won. And was rationally expected to win against a pathetic failure of a sitting president.

I want to know how this happened, and get a coherent explanation of the vote demographics. Not to point fingers. I don’t begrudge libertarians their right to vote for Johnson or sit home, though I disagree with their strategy (if any), but I want some answers. When the good guys get beaten when they should have won the search should not be for scapegoats but for reasons. So it doesn’t happen again.

spiritof61 on November 7, 2012 at 1:57 PM

Lol.

Why would conservatives vote for your guy? You need to forget everything you think you know. You can start by turning off morons like Mark Levin.

Dante on November 7, 2012 at 1:46 PM

Stop spreading your rupaul/lew rockwell garbage.

How many elections have you pacifist crackpots won again??

LevinFan on November 7, 2012 at 1:58 PM

You are a blatant LIAR!

I’ve said throughout this thread that I was very upset when Romney got the nomination. I wanted Sarah, Cain,Bachmann, then Santorum.

Get it straight, you sound like obama with your lies.

LevinFan on November 7, 2012 at 1:44 PM
I feel your pain for having had Romney foisted on us.

Did you work to force him to make statements that would ensure he ruled as a conservative once in office?

I am not sure, I think you were one of the people screaming that we needed to appeal to the moderates, that the rank and file retarded conservatives have NO WHERE ELSE TO PUT THEIR VOTE, so they will be FORCED TO GIVE IT TO ROMNEY so F&CK THEM.

Plenty on Hot Air held that view. What was yours when I was saying Romney needed to appeal to the base? Most people here told me to shut the hell up and get in line. How did that work out for you all? Got my one vote, and alienated millions of others according to the vote turnout.

astonerii on November 7, 2012 at 1:59 PM

Some readers feel I owe them an apology for “misleading” them about polling over the last few months.

I don’t think we’re owed an apology, but I would question some judgment calls. I remember a big write-up of the Romney-favorable Susquehanna poll in PA, which I believe was done for a Republican organization. All other polls were showing PA blue, PA has a long history of going blue, and IMHO there wasn’t much to go on for a Romney-possible take.

But I think Ed’s in a tough spot. A lot of people who comment here are great; more than a few are not. I’ve been called a troll for simply bringing up facts that are inconsistent with the GOP story line. The true trolls like Gumby are annoying and mocking, and one can question why they’re here. But they often provide useful counter-arguments and information that must be dealt with, not simply dismissed with “TROLL!!!”.

My point: If Ed and AP made it a habit of saying kind (or at least neutral) things about PPP polls showing Obama +5 in Ohio, how many of us really want to read that post?

bobs1196 on November 7, 2012 at 1:59 PM

Update: Some readers feel I owe them an apology for “misleading” them about polling over the last few months. I kind of assumed that this post served as a mea culpa for getting it wrong by explaining why it happened. Very obviously, I misread the shift in the electorate. I wasn’t the only one who did so, but I did, and I do apologize for getting it wrong. However, I didn’t set out to mislead anyone. What I wrote was my honest opinion about how the polls were based on assumptions of the electorate with which I disagreed — and I’ll note that I linked to the source data every time, and that readers were certainly free to draw their own conclusions.

An apology? Were people actually coming here for unbiased polling information when Nate Silver’s vastly superior blog is available? I thought everyone knew Hot Air was a conservative cheerleading squad and not an unbiased news source.

sob0728 on November 7, 2012 at 2:01 PM

Did you vote for Romney? You say you want to save the nation, but then you support people who embrace status quo policies. Even your beloved Ronald Reagan increased the debt and deficit, increased regulations, raised taxes, grew government, and implemented Keynesian economic polices.

Everything you think you know is wrong.

Dante on November 7, 2012 at 1:48 PM

Yes I voted Romney b/c unlike you I have a brain!

Reagan was the best president in our lifetimes!

Inherited a terible economy, over 20% interest rates and double digit unemployment. He cut the marginal rates from 70 to 28% and created 21 million new jobs.

And he had a Democrat congress to deal with… you act like any increase in spending was all him! He also had to fight and he WON the Cold war — of course you Rupaul pacifist would rather we ignore all evil and try to hold hands with the enemy.

What’s Rupual ever done but write racist newsletters and get earmarks through the back door?

LevinFan on November 7, 2012 at 2:02 PM

I hear the sinister, geriatric cackle of the Doktor.

Back on Earth, we conservatives have suffered a defeat in an election that the Republican (yes, he was a liberal RINO but light years better than the Dem) should have won. And was rationally expected to win against a pathetic failure of a sitting president.

I want to know how this happened, and get a coherent explanation of the vote demographics. Not to point fingers. I don’t begrudge libertarians their right to vote for Johnson or sit home, though I disagree with their strategy (if any), but I want some answers. When the good guys get beaten when they should have won the search should not be for scapegoats but for reasons. So it doesn’t happen again.

spiritof61 on November 7, 2012 at 1:57 PM

You’re no conservative. If you were, you’d vote for them.

Dante on November 7, 2012 at 2:04 PM

39.7% isn’t much of a move? If I had that return every four years for the rest of my life I would have an eight figure bank account at retirement.

sob0728 on November 7, 2012 at 1:32 PM

Just what do you think your account is going to be able to buy after being inflated via $20+ trillion dollar deficits? You just don’t get it.

Django on November 7, 2012 at 2:06 PM

Did you vote for Romney? You say you want to save the nation, but then you support people who embrace status quo policies. Even your beloved Ronald Reagan increased the debt and deficit, increased regulations, raised taxes, grew government, and implemented Keynesian economic polices.

Everything you think you know is wrong.

Dante on November 7, 2012 at 1:48 PM

Hey Dante,
You seem like an intelligent, well-informed person. Let me ask you a question. This isn’t some kind of set up or way for me to start a cyber spat with you. I’m genuinely interested: what is your stance on illegal and legal immigration in this country?

RobbBond on November 7, 2012 at 2:06 PM

I feel your pain for having had Romney foisted on us.

Did you work to force him to make statements that would ensure he ruled as a conservative once in office?

I am not sure, I think you were one of the people screaming that we needed to appeal to the moderates, that the rank and file retarded conservatives have NO WHERE ELSE TO PUT THEIR VOTE, so they will be FORCED TO GIVE IT TO ROMNEY so F&CK THEM.

Plenty on Hot Air held that view. What was yours when I was saying Romney needed to appeal to the base? Most people here told me to shut the hell up and get in line. How did that work out for you all? Got my one vote, and alienated millions of others according to the vote turnout.

astonerii on November 7, 2012 at 1:59 PM

I’ve been very consistent. I wanted every so called conservative to vote for romney to beat obama period

And I never supported romney appealing to moderates. I was irate when he gave obama a pass on libya and that he kept calling obama a nice guy.

I also argued on here after the last debate that romney should’ve made the point that GM’s CEO said they’re now outsourcing 7/10 jobs.. that he dropped the ball by not saying that in the last two debates. I was upset that I kept repeating that and he wouldn’t mention it. I also thought Romney should’ve hammered obama on fast and furious.

You owe me an apology for making false assumptions and smearing me.

LevinFan on November 7, 2012 at 2:06 PM

I don’t know how you can say this.

We lost the turnout 38 to 32 –about the same as 2008!
So not enough conservatives voted.
Romney won indies 50/45.
So he needed to appeal to his base, not to these wishy washy moderates.
And ROmney never even mentioning Fast/Furious,givig obama a pass on Libya in the last debate after it was served on a silver platter to him, and continually referred to obama as a nice guy!
Newt or Santorum would’ve appealed to the base and fought obama hard.

LevinFan on November 7, 2012 at 1:42 PM

Don’t know if you’re still around this thread, but I’ll respond anyway.

First, I don’t necessarily disagree with you on your debate comment. I will say that none of that is supportable by any evidence, whatsoever. How would the other debates have gone? Wouldn’t some/many of the questions been different? What would have been Newt’s or Santorum’s “low point” of the debates? You simply cannot say–beyond opinion–how anything would have been different (or the same).

I can say this:

I’d agree with you–we don’t need a step, we need(ed) a GIANT LEAP. But, again, whoever that candidate was would not have done as well as Romney, IMO.
And, instead, we’ve assured our fall.

RedCrow on November 7, 2012 at 1:09 PM

because it is my opinion that our numbers were wrong.

Significantly more Americans than we thought are people who simply want free stuff, do not want to work for it, think someone should pay for it, and HAVE NO IDEA WHAT ALL OF THAT MEANS.

Again, my opinion.

I give it with resigned sadness.

RedCrow on November 7, 2012 at 2:07 PM

Sorry LevinFan, if Romney had went after “The Protected One” about Libia, he’d be labeled as mean

E-R

electric-rascal on November 7, 2012 at 2:08 PM

Yes I voted Romney b/c unlike you I have a brain!

Reagan was the best president in our lifetimes!

Inherited a terible economy, over 20% interest rates and double digit unemployment. He cut the marginal rates from 70 to 28% and created 21 million new jobs.

And he had a Democrat congress to deal with… you act like any increase in spending was all him! He also had to fight and he WON the Cold war — of course you Rupaul pacifist would rather we ignore all evil and try to hold hands with the enemy.

What’s Rupual ever done but write racist newsletters and get earmarks through the back door?

LevinFan on November 7, 2012 at 2:02 PM

Best president in our lifetimes? That’s a race for the basement.

Any increase in spending was all him. He is the one who signed the legislation instead of using the veto pen to challenge Congress to override it. No, he surrounded himself with Keynesians. This is who he was. And he did it as governor as well.

You were so upset a “RINO” like Romney got the nomination that you voted for him, because you are an automaton. You are incapable of independent thought. Your overlords have drilled into your head to vote for the letter behind someone’s name instead, while getting you to buy into the lie that they’re any different than the “other side”.

Everything you think you know is wrong.

Dante on November 7, 2012 at 2:08 PM

Sorry, Levin. You seem like someone who really cares about his country. But Dante is absolutely right here. You should completely re-think what you think you know about conservatism. You should check out it’s history and study the effects of various economic and foreign policies. Only through self-examination and reflection will Republicans be able to get through this dark age.

RobbBond on November 7, 2012 at 1:55 PM

You and Dante are both clueless.

Robb did you vote for ROmney???

LevinFan on November 7, 2012 at 2:09 PM

You owe me an apology for making false assumptions and smearing me.

LevinFan on November 7, 2012 at 2:06 PM

What after you keep attacking me for doing what you say you did? LOL dream on. You attack me, I have to assume that means you are on the other side.

Feel free to apologize first. You get what you EARN.

astonerii on November 7, 2012 at 2:09 PM

Best president in our lifetimes? That’s a race for the basement.

Any increase in spending was all him. He is the one who signed the legislation instead of using the veto pen to challenge Congress to override it. No, he surrounded himself with Keynesians. This is who he was. And he did it as governor as well.

You were so upset a “RINO” like Romney got the nomination that you voted for him, because you are an automaton. You are incapable of independent thought. Your overlords have drilled into your head to vote for the letter behind someone’s name instead, while getting you to buy into the lie that they’re any different than the “other side”.

Everything you think you know is wrong.

Dante on November 7, 2012 at 2:08 PM

Look at Reagan’s results….21 million new jobs. And I like how you ignore national defense as if it doens’t matter. Even though it’s THE MAIN FUNCTION OF THE FEDERAL GOV’T!

What was your answer? Sit back and suck your thumb and allow obama to win?? What now genius???

LevinFan on November 7, 2012 at 2:11 PM

I hear the sinister, geriatric cackle of the Doktor.

Back on Earth, we conservatives have suffered a defeat in an election that the Republican (yes, he was a liberal RINO but light years better than the Dem) should have won. And was rationally expected to win against a pathetic failure of a sitting president.

I want to know how this happened, and get a coherent explanation of the vote demographics. Not to point fingers. I don’t begrudge libertarians their right to vote for Johnson or sit home, though I disagree with their strategy (if any), but I want some answers. When the good guys get beaten when they should have won the search should not be for scapegoats but for reasons. So it doesn’t happen again.

spiritof61 on November 7, 2012 at 1:57 PM

Well, in my opinion, part of what happened can be found in your response. You lost young voters by pretty wide margins. There is a growing movement towards libertarianism in this country – especially amongst youth voters. While they don’t approve of the Keynesian, central planning economic model and Wilsonian foreign policy espoused by the Dems, they also don’t approve of the social intervention and Keynesian-lite positions espoused by Republicans. If you’re truly interested in winning large-scale future elections, some self-examination is going to be in order. In other words, maybe you should try and expand your tent instead of limiting it by disparaging those with whom you disagree but with whom you may be able to find some common ground. By the way, the Libertarian candidate yesterday got more votes than any Libertarian candidate in modern history. Food for thought.

RobbBond on November 7, 2012 at 2:11 PM

You’re no conservative. If you were, you’d vote for them.

Dante on November 7, 2012 at 2:04 PM

When viable conservative candidates are on the ballot, I vote for them. When they are not viable, or not conservative, or both, I don’t vote for them. One thing I never do is protest vote for foolish, senile old men who pretend that they are conservative. Or stay home on election day.

spiritof61 on November 7, 2012 at 2:12 PM

What after you keep attacking me for doing what you say you did? LOL dream on. You attack me, I have to assume that means you are on the other side.

Feel free to apologize first. You get what you EARN.

astonerii on November 7, 2012 at 2:09 PM

Maybe can get a job in the lamestream media. You’re more than qualified the way you have smeared me and made false assumptions.

You’re no longer worth my time.

LevinFan on November 7, 2012 at 2:13 PM

In Illinois 2012, Obama’s vote total dropped by 506,556 from 2008. In Chicago and Cook County alone it dropped by 193,736. The problem is that Romney surpassed McCain’s totals by only 56,378 statewide. This baffles me. This means that 450,000 or so voters who voted for Obama in 2008 just disappeared and did not vote for Romney.

Sheerq on November 7, 2012 at 2:13 PM

Sorry LevinFan, if Romney had went after “The Protected One” about Libia, he’d be labeled as mean

E-R

electric-rascal on November 7, 2012 at 2:08 PM

How do you know???

ROmney lost. Why not present the truth instead of playing scared??

LevinFan on November 7, 2012 at 2:14 PM

Hey Dante,
You seem like an intelligent, well-informed person. Let me ask you a question. This isn’t some kind of set up or way for me to start a cyber spat with you. I’m genuinely interested: what is your stance on illegal and legal immigration in this country?

RobbBond on November 7, 2012 at 2:06 PM

That’s a good question. I haven’t really revisited it since my gravitation toward anarcho-capitalism. But as it stands right now, I’m against illegal immigration in regards to citizenship benefits. For someone coming across the border and working, I think I’m fine with that. I’m in favor of open trade, and free markets, which would include labor.

Dante on November 7, 2012 at 2:14 PM

Hey Dante,
You seem like an intelligent, well-informed person. Let me ask you a question. This isn’t some kind of set up or way for me to start a cyber spat with you. I’m genuinely interested: what is your stance on illegal and legal immigration in this country?

RobbBond on November 7, 2012 at 2:06 PM

Just what we need. A crackpot convention!

Take it over to lewrockwell and leave us alone.

Good riddance!

LevinFan on November 7, 2012 at 2:15 PM

59,934,814 McCain votes in a Republican demoralized election after huge losses in 2006 in the house and senate as well as party affiliation.
57,447,370 votes so far Romney votes in a supposed Republican energized election after huge gains in 2010 in the house and the senate as well as the state government as well also in party affiliation.

But it was not the candidate. Nope, nothing at all to do with the candidate and his failed message of continuing the welfare entitlement state.

Romney was doing well right after the first debate, where he appealed to conservatives. Strange that he failed after having turned his message towards one of moderation and outright liberalism. Funny that.

Romney should have increased that number at least as much as the population grew. Instead he fell far short. He did not message, he did not invigorate. Instead you all were planning on protest votes against an incumbent and banked all the conservative voters as if they were you slaves on the plantation.

astonerii on November 7, 2012 at 2:16 PM

When viable conservative candidates are on the ballot, I vote for them. When they are not viable, or not conservative, or both, I don’t vote for them. One thing I never do is protest vote for foolish, senile old men who pretend that they are conservative. Or stay home on election day.

spiritof61 on November 7, 2012 at 2:12 PM

No you don’t. You’ve had one nominee over the past 20 years win a presidential election. Obviously, you are not voting for viable candidates nor are you and your party choosing viable candidates. But the “viable candidate” argument is an intellectually lazy one, an argument that rationalizes an abandonment of principles (if any existed in the first place).

Dante on November 7, 2012 at 2:16 PM

Maybe can get a job in the lamestream media. You’re more than qualified the way you have smeared me and made false assumptions.

You’re no longer worth my time.

LevinFan on November 7, 2012 at 2:13 PM

Funny, you attacked me first for having your views, and then complain about it… LOL You could get a job in the movie industry, you are quite the projector.

astonerii on November 7, 2012 at 2:18 PM

Don’t know if you’re still around this thread, but I’ll respond anyway.

First, I don’t necessarily disagree with you on your debate comment. I will say that none of that is supportable by any evidence, whatsoever. How would the other debates have gone? Wouldn’t some/many of the questions been different? What would have been Newt’s or Santorum’s “low point” of the debates? You simply cannot say–beyond opinion–how anything would have been different (or the same).

I can say this:

I’d agree with you–we don’t need a step, we need(ed) a GIANT LEAP. But, again, whoever that candidate was would not have done as well as Romney, IMO.
And, instead, we’ve assured our fall.

RedCrow on November 7, 2012 at 1:09 PM

because it is my opinion that our numbers were wrong.

Significantly more Americans than we thought are people who simply want free stuff, do not want to work for it, think someone should pay for it, and HAVE NO IDEA WHAT ALL OF THAT MEANS.

Again, my opinion.

I give it with resigned sadness.

RedCrow on November 7, 2012 at 2:07 PM

That is a huge part of it. That there are more freeloaders than we thought.

The other part is the lower conservative turnout than expected 38 to 32 !!

How do you explain that? The key is to get a real conservative who can properly articulate our principles and appeal to the base. Saying obama is a nice guy who’s in over his head, not mentioning fast/furious and libya is not the way to go.

LevinFan on November 7, 2012 at 2:18 PM

Very obviously, I misread the shift in the electorate.

I really don’t understand how you can consider this a credible claim when so many polls contradicted the ones you chose to promote on Hot Air.

Romney even lowered the gender gap from an Obama +14 in 2008 to Obama +4 in 2012, but that clearly wasn’t enough to overcome what now looks to be a significant realignment four years ago towards Democrats and not an anomaly.

Even this is so far off… how do you reconcile it with the +18 gap reported here?

When you filter information so heavily, you’re naturally going to get a terribly inaccurate result. You do your readers a disservice by telling them only what they want to hear.

Constantine on November 7, 2012 at 2:20 PM

Well, in my opinion, part of what happened can be found in your response. You lost young voters by pretty wide margins. There is a growing movement towards libertarianism in this country – especially amongst youth voters…

RobbBond on November 7, 2012 at 2:11 PM

And Romney (not me) won elderly voters by equally large margins. And his disadvantage among women was balanced by an advantage among men…and so on. A more crucial question is, Why did so many McCain voters fail to vote at all? Matching or slightly improving the 2008 R turnout might have been enough to put Romney over the top in the battleground states. Why didn’t this happen? Everyone expected it as much as they expected a big decrease in Obama voters.

spiritof61 on November 7, 2012 at 2:20 PM

Look at Reagan’s results….21 million new jobs. And I like how you ignore national defense as if it doens’t matter. Even though it’s THE MAIN FUNCTION OF THE FEDERAL GOV’T!

What was your answer? Sit back and suck your thumb and allow obama to win?? What now genius???

LevinFan on November 7, 2012 at 2:11 PM

National defense is a role of the federal government, but that’s defense of our country; not defense of Central American states, nor defense of Middle East states, nor defense of Southeast Asia states, nor defense of European states.

I did look at Reagans’ results and I gave them to you above. You seem to be arguing that the ends justify the means. Reagan increased taxes, increased regulations, increased tariffs and protectionism, raised the debt/deficit, increased spending, and used Keynesian economics throughout his presidency. Reagan was no limited government conservative.

Everything you think you know is wrong.

Dante on November 7, 2012 at 2:21 PM

You and Dante are both clueless.

Robb did you vote for ROmney???

LevinFan on November 7, 2012 at 2:09 PM

Levin, I’m not trying to get in an internet back and forth involving name-calling with you. You seem like a nice enough person. I find this thread interesting because some people are really interested in examining what happened and perhaps altering their positions on certain things. Believe me, I despise Obama and everything he stands for (perhaps more than you) and I would never vote for a Democrat. I wanted Romney to win merely b/c I thought he’d be slightly better and because I think Obama is an arrogant prick. At the same time, I’ve managed to become a free thinker and not just accept everything put out by the Republican talking heads. If you actually look beyond the slogans and the talking points and look at results of actions taken by these so-called “Conservative” presidents, you’d see that they’re not all they’re made out to be. In terms of who I voted for, I voted for Johnson. But, you don’t have to worry because I live in Maryland which was never going to go for Romney anyway. I voted for Bush once and I have just decided that I can’t go down that route again. I will now vote on principle. I’m interested in perhaps reforming the Republican party. I’d rather be a Republican than a Libertarian. But, your party has to earn my trust back and that starts by re-examining traditional conservative positions and not just scoffing at them and labeling their adherents as “Herr Doktor Fanatics”, etc. My beliefs are my beliefs and they will extend well beyond the lifetime of Ron Paul, so this isn’t about personal idolatry.

RobbBond on November 7, 2012 at 2:22 PM

That is a huge part of it. That there are more freeloaders than we thought.

The other part is the lower conservative turnout than expected 38 to 32 !!

How do you explain that? The key is to get a real conservative who can properly articulate our principles and appeal to the base. Saying obama is a nice guy who’s in over his head, not mentioning fast/furious and libya is not the way to go.

LevinFan on November 7, 2012 at 2:18 PM

I’m sure they polled Fast and Furious and Libya but it wasn’t moving the electorate. That’s a sad if it’s true but that doesn’t change the fact it’s hard to make people care about something they’re not interested in and most people’s lives weren’t affected by either of those issues.

alchemist19 on November 7, 2012 at 2:27 PM

LevinFan on November 7, 2012 at 2:18 PM

Lol. Again, I don’t necessarily disagree. But, I laugh because I think we might be in a duet of “Tomato-Tomahto”.

How many conservatives stayed home?
Are you sure about that number?
How many would have come out and voted for Newt/Santo?
How many others would have stayed home?
What about independents? Newt and Rick get the same number as Romney?

Do you see my point?

The main thing, that we are agreed upon, is that WELL over 50% of the American electorate are children who need daddy to fund their lifestyle–and their lives. Happy to live in slavery. Too ignorant to realize where the ship is headed.

RedCrow on November 7, 2012 at 2:27 PM

Did I just hear Rush say we’re either outnumbered or a massive theft has taken place? Hmmmm

bluefox on November 7, 2012 at 2:30 PM

When you filter information so heavily, you’re naturally going to get a terribly inaccurate result. You do your readers a disservice by telling them only what they want to hear.

Constantine on November 7, 2012 at 2:20 PM

Morrissey is wrong to apologize. He did not mislead. The data reported was all over the place but discounted only when it betrayed heavy D bias, which conflicted with reputable polls on identification and simple observation. Now the results are in–and voila, D+6–with feeble vote tallies compared with 2008 indicating the enormous drop in enthusiasm that was the reason he discounted a lot of poll data in the first place.

spiritof61 on November 7, 2012 at 2:30 PM

Just what do you think your account is going to be able to buy after being inflated via $20+ trillion dollar deficits? You just don’t get it.

Django on November 7, 2012 at 2:06 PM

I “get” inflation. Are you now going to try to tell me “real” inflation has been 40% over the past 4 years? That would be a bit of a hard sell.

sob0728 on November 7, 2012 at 2:30 PM

Did I just hear Rush say we’re either outnumbered or a massive theft has taken place? Hmmmm

bluefox on November 7, 2012 at 2:30 PM

I go with the later. I have more faith in the people that there really are more conservatives than liberals.

astonerii on November 7, 2012 at 2:31 PM

And Romney (not me) won elderly voters by equally large margins. And his disadvantage among women was balanced by an advantage among men…and so on. A more crucial question is, Why did so many McCain voters fail to vote at all? Matching or slightly improving the 2008 R turnout might have been enough to put Romney over the top in the battleground states. Why didn’t this happen? Everyone expected it as much as they expected a big decrease in Obama voters.

spiritof61 on November 7, 2012 at 2:20 PM

That’s a good question. I was surprised by that result as well. In my opinion, McCain ran a pretty pathetic campaign. Maybe the mormon thing played into it? Some people can be very fickle and ignorant and choose not to vote for someone based on something like that. I wouldn’t have thought it would occur though.

The problem the current crop of Republicans have in terms of elections is that they’re support base is contracting. Older people and white voters – not gonna cut it. You’re hoping that as people age they begin to support your positions more. Whereas I think that might have been true in the past, I really sense that the younger generations are not buying a lot of what Republicans are selling – especially where social issues are concerned. And, I don’t see that changing as they age. The whole race thing is a different animal. I’m not sure how you confront that.

RobbBond on November 7, 2012 at 2:31 PM

Well, in my opinion, part of what happened can be found in your response. You lost young voters by pretty wide margins. There is a growing movement towards libertarianism in this country – especially amongst youth voters. While they don’t approve of the Keynesian, central planning economic model and Wilsonian foreign policy espoused by the Dems, they also don’t approve of the social intervention and Keynesian-lite positions espoused by Republicans. If you’re truly interested in winning large-scale future elections, some self-examination is going to be in order. In other words, maybe you should try and expand your tent instead of limiting it by disparaging those with whom you disagree but with whom you may be able to find some common ground. By the way, the Libertarian candidate yesterday got more votes than any Libertarian candidate in modern history. Food for thought.

RobbBond on November 7, 2012 at 2:11 PM

Worth looking into. You can’t win converts if you don’t converse.

AesopFan on November 7, 2012 at 2:32 PM

Why did so many McCain voters fail to vote at all? Matching or slightly improving the 2008 R turnout might have been enough to put Romney over the top in the battleground states. Why didn’t this happen? Everyone expected it as much as they expected a big decrease in Obama voters.

spiritof61 on November 7, 2012 at 2:20 PM

FWIW, all the arguments about vote totals appear to me to be based on counts WITHOUT Florida.

If you want to know about actual turnover, you have to go county-by-county.
Plus, the winner-take-all system means you have to get turnover in the Blue cities, which is almost impossible for historical, ideological, and practical reasons.

AesopFan on November 7, 2012 at 2:34 PM

Did I just hear Rush say we’re either outnumbered or a massive theft has taken place? Hmmmm

bluefox on November 7, 2012 at 2:30 PM

He’s right and it’s pretty clear it’s the former.

alchemist19 on November 7, 2012 at 2:34 PM

Romney was doing well right after the first debate, where he appealed to conservatives. Strange that he failed after having turned his message towards one of moderation and outright liberalism.

But wasn’t that the debate where Bill Clinton said “moderate Mitt” showed up, where have you been fella?

bobs1196 on November 7, 2012 at 2:36 PM

LevinFan on November 7, 2012 at 2:18 PM
RedCrow on November 7, 2012 at 2:27 PM

Don’t know if my point was clear enough. I might’ve added this:

I don’t think static analyses work in elections any more than they do in economics.

I haven’t checked for a reply, yet, so I apologize if you already commented:

Do you really think that Santorum (or Newt, really) gets as many independent votes as Romney? (Again, there’s no way to know, BUT IMO they do not.)

RedCrow on November 7, 2012 at 2:36 PM

Morrissey is wrong to apologize. He did not mislead. The data reported was all over the place but discounted only when it betrayed heavy D bias, which conflicted with reputable polls on identification and simple observation. Now the results are in–and voila, D+6–with feeble vote tallies compared with 2008 indicating the enormous drop in enthusiasm that was the reason he discounted a lot of poll data in the first place.

spiritof61 on November 7, 2012 at 2:30 PM

Constantine is correct: Morrissey, HotAir, and Salem filter information. Heck, they filter websites, they filter words like s.e.c.e.s.s.i.o.n. They are giving you the establishment position.

Dante on November 7, 2012 at 2:37 PM

Why did so many McCain voters fail to vote at all? Matching or slightly improving the 2008 R turnout might have been enough to put Romney over the top in the battleground states. Why didn’t this happen? Everyone expected it as much as they expected a big decrease in Obama voters.

spiritof61 on November 7, 2012 at 2:20 PM

McCain did check a few boxes Romney didn’t with the less engaged voters. McCain was a veteran and that matters a lot of some people. Romney had the Mormon stigma. McCain had a persuasive experience argument running against a lightweight.

alchemist19 on November 7, 2012 at 2:38 PM

But I think Ed’s in a tough spot. A lot of people who comment here are great; more than a few are not. I’ve been called a troll for simply bringing up facts that are inconsistent with the GOP story line.

Ed has put himself in that tough spot. He is a party hack hence so are his readers.

The GOP is finished. They will stake their hopes on Rubio next to capture the Hispanic demographic which has sunk them and which will soon turn Texas into a Democratic stronghold forever.

aengus on November 7, 2012 at 2:39 PM

But wasn’t that the debate where Bill Clinton said “moderate Mitt” showed up, where have you been fella?

bobs1196 on November 7, 2012 at 2:36 PM

Not listening to the enemy.

It was where he declared debt a sin against our children. The deficit a sin against our children. There were others conservative statements, and he took Obama to the wood shed for a wonderful beating. Unfortunately, it was just hollywood scripting and did not define the man in reality. The proof of that assertion is how he was in the next debates and his advertizing which was completely made for liberal voters.

astonerii on November 7, 2012 at 2:40 PM

The GOP is finished. They will stake their hopes on Rubio next to capture the Hispanic demographic which has sunk them and which will soon turn Texas into a Democratic stronghold forever.

aengus on November 7, 2012 at 2:39 PM

There are many measures that can be taken on immigration that are short of granting citizenship to everyone who’s here illegally.

alchemist19 on November 7, 2012 at 2:41 PM

Ed has put himself in that tough spot. He is a party hack hence so are his readers.

The GOP is finished. They will stake their hopes on Rubio next to capture the Hispanic demographic which has sunk them and which will soon turn Texas into a Democratic stronghold forever.

aengus on November 7, 2012 at 2:39 PM

Yep. You could see it whenever one of those poll blogs came up. Very little conservatives or Constituitonally-informed people here (that includes the authors). They would pick the flavor of the month because of a soundbite. Very few here walk the walk.

Dante on November 7, 2012 at 2:42 PM

RobbBond on November 7, 2012 at 2:31 PM

I could conceive of maybe .5m McCain voters/reliably GOP Fundamentalist Christians sitting it out rather than voting for a Mormon (a cult they’ve been taught is satanic) but these R vote numbers are so depressed–and conflict so much with the observed enthusiasm and confidence and the reliable polling of a winning campaign 24 hrs ago–that I am baffled. There aren’t that many libertarians and third party distractions, there was a massive drop in Dem turnout, the Bain/Women attacks clearly fizzled, the guy smiled and looked much more presidential (for the imbecile voters), etc., etc.

spiritof61 on November 7, 2012 at 2:44 PM

Not listening to the enemy.

It wasn’t just Clinton. Many observers said that this was a centrist Romney, who made a more compelling case because he felt more comfortable with it as opposed to “severe conservatism.”

bobs1196 on November 7, 2012 at 2:44 PM

It wasn’t just Clinton. Many observers said that this was a centrist Romney, who made a more compelling case because he felt more comfortable with it as opposed to “severe conservatism.”

bobs1196 on November 7, 2012 at 2:44 PM

Maybe, but he hit quite a few conservative positions. He then walked them all back. Well, except more money for the military, that conservative item remained in tact.

He certainly seemed more conservative in that position than he had up to that point and after that point to me. Although most of his conservative positions I eventually figured out were heavily caged in double speak that could be easily walked back.

The trillion dollars in deficit spending a year is not moral one for example… Well, how about 999 billion?

Maybe you are right, he was moderate, but he appeared more conservative in that one 90 minute period than any other.

astonerii on November 7, 2012 at 2:51 PM

I could conceive of maybe .5m McCain voters/reliably GOP Fundamentalist Christians sitting it out rather than voting for a Mormon (a cult they’ve been taught is satanic) but these R vote numbers are so depressed–and conflict so much with the observed enthusiasm and confidence and the reliable polling of a winning campaign 24 hrs ago–that I am baffled. There aren’t that many libertarians and third party distractions, there was a massive drop in Dem turnout, the Bain/Women attacks clearly fizzled, the guy smiled and looked much more presidential (for the imbecile voters), etc., etc.

spiritof61 on November 7, 2012 at 2:44 PM

Yeah, I don’t know what to tell you. The numbers completely took me by surprise as well. I completely mis-guaged this election. It’s probably how the Kerry supporters felt after 2004.

In terms of the interpretation of the polls here on Hot Air, I see a lot of people jumping on the writers here. I’ve got to say, their logic seemed sound to me. After Obama’s abysmal failures, the 2010 elections, and the debates I definitely did not see a D+6 model coming.

I think what Republicans need to do is go around and solicit ideas from ordinary people on what they can do in order to better represent their needs. It’s a it like one of those failing restaurants in a Gordon Ramsey show. Go out to the people and get a consensus on what’s wrong with the product so you can improve it. Don’t compromise your principles, but perhaps there are changes you can make within the confines of conservatism to better appeal to people.

RobbBond on November 7, 2012 at 2:53 PM

National defense is a role of the federal government, but that’s defense of our country; not defense of Central American states, nor defense of Middle East states, nor defense of Southeast Asia states, nor defense of European states.

I did look at Reagans’ results and I gave them to you above. You seem to be arguing that the ends justify the means. Reagan increased taxes, increased regulations, increased tariffs and protectionism, raised the debt/deficit, increased spending, and used Keynesian economics throughout his presidency. Reagan was no limited government conservative.

Everything you think you know is wrong.

Dante on November 7, 2012 at 2:21 PM

Complete and total BS. Reagan cut taxes… he actually tried to get rid of the Dept of Education but Congress wouldn’t cooperate.

And defeating the Soviets was critical, if RuPaul was in charge we’d all be speaking Russian right now.

I’ve forgotten more about conservatism than you’ll ever know.

And you and Rumpelstiltskin are no conservatives… you are both libertarian crackpots.

LevinFan on November 7, 2012 at 2:54 PM

There are many highly experienced political pundits who are still shaking their heads in disbelief as they finish their crow lunches. This debacle simply doesn’t make sense. Regardless of how you feel about Romney (I can’t stand him but voted for him) the election was lost by Obama a long time ago; all that was needed was a satisfactory performance by the challenger, and Romney gave that. The consensus was clear: among the Republican base the disgust with Obama meant a good turnout by the GOP. That, combined with an expected (and actual) heavily depressed turnout among the Dems meant a clear win last night.

But the Republican votes weren’t there. They didn’t show up. If they had this would be an entirely different discussion.

spiritof61 on November 7, 2012 at 2:55 PM

Complete and total BS. Reagan cut taxes… he actually tried to get rid of the Dept of Education but Congress wouldn’t cooperate.

And defeating the Soviets was critical, if RuPaul was in charge we’d all be speaking Russian right now.

I’ve forgotten more about conservatism than you’ll ever know.

And you and Rumpelstiltskin are no conservatives… you are both libertarian crackpots.

LevinFan on November 7, 2012 at 2:54 PM

You’re asking for answers as to why you lost. I would suggest that you can find one answer in the way you just responded to him.

RobbBond on November 7, 2012 at 2:56 PM

Levin, I’m not trying to get in an internet back and forth involving name-calling with you. You seem like a nice enough person. I find this thread interesting because some people are really interested in examining what happened and perhaps altering their positions on certain things. Believe me, I despise Obama and everything he stands for (perhaps more than you) and I would never vote for a Democrat. I wanted Romney to win merely b/c I thought he’d be slightly better and because I think Obama is an arrogant prick. At the same time, I’ve managed to become a free thinker and not just accept everything put out by the Republican talking heads. If you actually look beyond the slogans and the talking points and look at results of actions taken by these so-called “Conservative” presidents, you’d see that they’re not all they’re made out to be. In terms of who I voted for, I voted for Johnson. But, you don’t have to worry because I live in Maryland which was never going to go for Romney anyway. I voted for Bush once and I have just decided that I can’t go down that route again. I will now vote on principle. I’m interested in perhaps reforming the Republican party. I’d rather be a Republican than a Libertarian. But, your party has to earn my trust back and that starts by re-examining traditional conservative positions and not just scoffing at them and labeling their adherents as “Herr Doktor Fanatics”, etc. My beliefs are my beliefs and they will extend well beyond the lifetime of Ron Paul, so this isn’t about personal idolatry.

RobbBond on November 7, 2012 at 2:22 PM

Voted for Johnson? What a joke!!

And I don’t care that you live in Maryland, you could’ve gotten involved in countless other ways. All you had to do was go to mittromney.com and donate. Or make phone calls, write letters to the editor…etc.

What did you do to help?

LevinFan on November 7, 2012 at 2:57 PM

I want to know how this happened, and get a coherent explanation of the vote demographics. Not to point fingers. I don’t begrudge libertarians their right to vote for Johnson or sit home, though I disagree with their strategy (if any), but I want some answers. When the good guys get beaten when they should have won the search should not be for scapegoats but for reasons. So it doesn’t happen again.

spiritof61 on November 7, 2012 at 1:57 PM

I think this is a more productive approach. Trying to find someone or something to blame accomplishes nothing imo. How did this happen is what we need to search out. Right now we have many more questions than we have answers and it’s those answers I’m looking for.

This is my second comment on any blog since the nightmare happened last night.

bluefox on November 7, 2012 at 3:00 PM

You’re asking for answers as to why you lost. I would suggest that you can find one answer in the way you just responded to him.

RobbBond on November 7, 2012 at 2:56 PM

Who are you to tell me how to respond?

I’ll respond to that crackpot however I feel like.

Of course you don’t mention how that crackpot keeps telling me that “everything I think I know is wrong”. Instead you only criticize me when I respond.

One more thing… you said you hate obama, maybe more than me?

What did you do to try to stop him? Did you donate or do phone banking??

LevinFan on November 7, 2012 at 3:01 PM

Complete and total BS. Reagan cut taxes… he actually tried to get rid of the Dept of Education but Congress wouldn’t cooperate.

And defeating the Soviets was critical, if RuPaul was in charge we’d all be speaking Russian right now.

I’ve forgotten more about conservatism than you’ll ever know.

And you and Rumpelstiltskin are no conservatives… you are both libertarian crackpots.

LevinFan on November 7, 2012 at 2:54 PM

Taxes increased under Reagan, even though some of the tax rates at the top were cut, and Reagan made no attempt to get rid of the DoE. By 1983 he was fully embracing it.

Tax Cuts. One of the few areas where Reaganomists claim success without embarrassment is taxation. Didn’t the Reagan administration, after all, slash income taxes in 1981, and provide both tax cuts and “fairness” in its highly touted tax reform law of 1986? Hasn’t Ronald Reagan, in the teeth of opposition, heroically held the line against all tax increases?

The answer, unfortunately, is no. In the first place, the famous “tax cut” of 1981 did not cut taxes at all. It’s true that tax rates for higher-income brackets were cut; but for the average person, taxes rose, rather than declined. The reason is that, on the whole, the cut in income tax rates was more than offset by two forms of tax increase. One was “bracket creep,” a term for inflation quietly but effectively raising one into higher tax brackets, so that you pay more and proportionately higher taxes even though the tax rate schedule has officially remained the same. The second source of higher taxes was Social Security taxation, which kept increasing, and which helped taxes go up overall. Not only that, but soon thereafter; when the Social Security System was generally perceived as on the brink of bankruptcy, President Reagan brought in Alan Greenspan, a leading Reaganomist and now Chairman of the Federal Reserve, to save Social Security as head of a bipartisan commission. The “saving,” of course, meant still higher Social Security taxes then and forevermore.

Since the tax cut of 1981 that was not really a cut, furthermore, taxes have gone up every single year since, with the approval of the Reagan administration. But to save the president’s rhetorical sensibilities, they weren’t called tax increases. Instead, ingenious labels were attached to them; raising of “fees,” “plugging loopholes” (and surely everyone wants loopholes plugged), “tightening IRS enforcement,” and even revenue enhancements.” I am sure that all good Reaganomists slept soundly at night knowing that even though government revenue was being “enhanced,” the president had held the line against tax increases.

“Reagan’s foreign economic policy has been the exact opposite of its proclaimed devotion to free trade and free markets.”
The highly ballyhooed Tax “Reform” Act of 1986 was supposed to be economically healthy as well as “fair”; supposedly “revenue neutral,” it was to bring us (a) simplicity, helping the public while making the lives of tax accountants and lawyers miserable; and (b) income tax cuts, especially in the higher income brackets and in everyone’s marginal tax rates (that is, income tax rates on additional money you may earn); and offset only by plugging those infamous loopholes. The reality, of course, was very different, In the first place, the administration has succeeded in making the tax laws so complicated that even the IRS admittedly doesn’t understand it, and tax accountants and lawyers will be kept puzzled and happy for years to come.

Secondly, while indeed income tax rates were cut in the higher brackets, many of the loophole plugs meant huge tax increases for people in the upper as well as middle income brackets. The point of the income tax, and particularly the marginal rate cuts, was the supply-sider objective of lowering taxes to stimulate savings and investment. But a National Bureau study by Hausman and Poterba on the Tax Reform Act shows that over 40% of the nation’s taxpayers suffered a marginal tax increase (or at best, the same rate as before) and, of the majority that did enjoy marginal tax cuts, only 11% got reductions of 10% or more. In short, most of the tax reductions were negligible. Not only that; the Tax Reform Act, these authors reckoned, would lower savings and investment overall because of the huge increases in taxes on business and on capital gains. Moreover savings were also hurt by the tax law’s removal of tax deductibility on contributions to IRAs.

Not only were taxes increased, but business costs were greatly raised by making business expense meals only 80% deductible, which means a great expenditure of business time and energy keeping and shuffling records. And not only were taxes raised by eliminating tax shelters in real estate, but the law’s claims to “fairness” were made grotesque by the retroactive nature of many of the tax increases. Thus, the abolition of tax shelter deductibility was made retroactive, imposing huge penalties after the fact. This is ex post facto legislation outlawed by the Constitution, which prohibits making actions retroactively criminal for a time period when they were perfectly legal. A friend of mine, for example, sold his business about eight years ago; to avoid capital gains taxes, he incorporated his business in the American Virgin Islands, which the federal government had made exempt from capital gains taxes in order to stimulate Virgin Islands development. Now, eight years later, this tax exemption for the Virgin Islands has been removed (a “loophole” plugged!) but the IRS now expects my friend to pay full retroactive capital gains taxes plus interest on this eight-year old sale. Let’s hear it for the “fairness” of the tax reform law!

But the bottom line on the tax question: is what happened in the Reagan era to government tax revenues overall? Did the amount of taxes extracted from the American people by the federal government go up or down during the Reagan years? The facts are that federal tax receipts were $517 billion in the last Carter year of 1980. In 1986, revenues totaled $769 billion, an increase of 49%. Whatever that is, that doesn’t look like a tax cut. But how about taxes as a percentage of the national product? There, we can concede that on a percentage criterion, overall taxes fell very slightly, remaining about even with the last year of Carter. Taxes fell from 18.9% of the GNP to 18.3%, or for a better gauge, taxes as percentage of net private product fell from 27.2% to 26.6%. A large absolute increase in taxes, coupled with keeping taxes as a percentage of national product about even, is scarcely cause for tossing one’s hat in the air about a whopping reduction in taxes during the Reagan years.

In recent months, moreover; the Reagan administration has been more receptive to loophole plugging, fees, and revenues than ever before. To quote from the Tax Watch column in the New York Times (October 13, 1987): “President Reagan has repeatedly warned Congress of his opposition to any new taxes, but some White House aides have been trying to figure out a way of endorsing a tax bill that could be called something else.”

In addition to closing loopholes, the White House is nudging Congress to expand the usual definition of a “user fee,” not a tax because it is supposed to be a fee for those who use a government service, say national parks or waterways. But apparently the Reagan administration is now expanding the definition of “user fee” to include excise taxes, on the assumption, apparently, that every time we purchase a product or service we must pay government for its permission. Thus, the Reagan administration has proposed not, of course, as a tax increase, but as an alleged “user fee,” a higher excise tax on every international airline or ship ticket, a tax on all coal producers, and a tax on gasoline and on highway charges for buses. The administration is also willing to support, as an alleged user fee rather than a tax, a requirement that employers, such as restaurants, start paying the Social Security tax on tips received by waiters and other service personnel.

In the wake of the stock market crash, President Reagan is now willing to give us a post-crash present of: higher taxes that will openly be called higher taxes. On Tuesday morning, the White House declared: “We’re going to hold to our guns. The president has given us marching orders: no tax increase.” By Tuesday afternoon, however, the marching orders had apparently evaporated, and the president said that he was “willing to look at” tax-increase proposals. To greet a looming recession with a tax increase is a wonderful way to bring that recession into reality. Once again, President Reagan is following the path blazed by Herbert Hoover in the Great Depression of raising taxes to try to combat a deficit.

Link

It is impossible to have forgotten something that you never knew to begin with. Everything you think you know is wrong.

Dante on November 7, 2012 at 3:04 PM

LevinFan on November 7, 2012 at 3:01 PM

Damned straight you will. Somehow that kind of response has been the kind that left some where near 3 to 5 million conservatives home on election night.

Keep up the good work in promoting socialism comrade, the Marxist would not be where they are if not for you!

astonerii on November 7, 2012 at 3:04 PM

Voted for Johnson? What a joke!!

And I don’t care that you live in Maryland, you could’ve gotten involved in countless other ways. All you had to do was go to mittromney.com and donate. Or make phone calls, write letters to the editor…etc.

What did you do to help?

LevinFan on November 7, 2012 at 2:57 PM

Bless your heart.

Dante on November 7, 2012 at 3:04 PM

Dante on November 7, 2012 at 3:04 PM

He did increase taxes. He made them broader, hitting a larger number of people. Moving the cost of government down towards those who use government most. This is a conservative principle. You want it, you pay for it.

He made too many concessions, but what he did do was to get America back to looking fondly on conservatism. Those small conservative victories got credit for the improvement in the economy.

The problem is that Bush Sr threw those gains to the wind and went whole hog back to the progressive side of government.

astonerii on November 7, 2012 at 3:07 PM

From Boss Emeritus –

“My counsel to you tonight: Please, do not be bitter. Do not fall prey to the Beltway blame game. Do not get mired in small things. Do not become vengeful creatures like our political opponents who voted out of spite instead of love of country. We still have boundless blessings to count — and to secure. I remain a proud, unrepentant believer in the American Dream. And I know you do, too. Freedom will endure because we will keep fighting for it. We can’t afford not to, friends.”

D-fusit on November 7, 2012 at 3:08 PM

bluefox on November 7, 2012 at 2:30 PM
I go with the later. I have more faith in the people that there really are more conservatives than liberals.

astonerii on November 7, 2012 at 2:31 PM

That was my first thot also last night when I saw the returns coming in. Nothing else makes sense.

How were the votes counted and by who is what I’d like to know. I monitored the Ohio S.O.S. site and they were so behind in updating compared to the Network figures that it was startling. It appeared that the Networks were receiving return figures before the S.O.S.

bluefox on November 7, 2012 at 3:09 PM

He did increase taxes. He made them broader, hitting a larger number of people. Moving the cost of government down towards those who use government most. This is a conservative principle. You want it, you pay for it.

He made too many concessions, but what he did do was to get America back to looking fondly on conservatism. Those small conservative victories got credit for the improvement in the economy.

The problem is that Bush Sr threw those gains to the wind and went whole hog back to the progressive side of government.

astonerii on November 7, 2012 at 3:07 PM

Always there to say night is day and black is white and taxes are not force. No, now raising taxes is conservative.

Dante on November 7, 2012 at 3:09 PM

From Boss Emeritus –

“My counsel to you tonight: Please, do not be bitter. Do not fall prey to the Beltway blame game. Do not get mired in small things. Do not become vengeful creatures like our political opponents who voted out of spite instead of love of country. We still have boundless blessings to count — and to secure. I remain a proud, unrepentant believer in the American Dream. And I know you do, too. Freedom will endure because we will keep fighting for it. We can’t afford not to, friends.

D-fusit on November 7, 2012 at 3:08 PM

Says the woman who wrote a book titled, “In Defense of Internment”

Dante on November 7, 2012 at 3:09 PM

Says the woman who wrote a book titled, “In Defense of Internment”

Dante on November 7, 2012 at 3:09 PM

Do you disagree with what she said, or is your hatred for her blinding you that much?

D-fusit on November 7, 2012 at 3:14 PM

left some where near 3 to 5 million conservatives home on election night…

astonerii on November 7, 2012 at 3:04 PM

If 3-5 million conservatives stayed home that would have been more than enough to throw the election to Romney. It is a good estimate of how many GOP votes was considered “in the bank” yesterday based on McCain’s totals in the previous presidential election.

We know that at least 10 million liberals (i.e., Obama voters from 2008) stayed away from the polls. That was to be expected.

There’s a reason for the GOP deficit. Isolate it and we can quickly refute all this “we are finished” malarkey and rectify our errors. Remember, Obama got many, many fewer votes than 2008.

spiritof61 on November 7, 2012 at 3:14 PM

Who are you to tell me how to respond?

I’ll respond to that crackpot however I feel like.

Of course you don’t mention how that crackpot keeps telling me that “everything I think I know is wrong”. Instead you only criticize me when I respond.

One more thing… you said you hate obama, maybe more than me?

What did you do to try to stop him? Did you donate or do phone banking??

LevinFan on November 7, 2012 at 3:01 PM

The thing is, I’m not telling you how to respond. Respond however you like. I’m just telling you that if you’re interested in perhaps understanding why you lost last night you might do well to examine your response which is the type of response seen all too often on this site, and which puts off a growing number of small “r” republicans. If you’re interested in winning future elections, it goes without saying you’re going to need more people to vote. Think about how you’re going to accomplish that. Oh, and in my opinion neither Santorum nor Newt would have outperformed Romney last night.

You don’t seem to understand. I despise Obama because of his overall economic and foreign policies. in my opinion, Romney’s policies in those areas wouldn’t be drastically different. So, why would I go out of my way to prop up a candidate who I feel is only slightly less Progressive than Obama? The real question you’ve got to ask yourself is why you think your party is just automatically entitled to my vote, as opposed to having to earn it?

RobbBond on November 7, 2012 at 3:15 PM

Do you disagree with what she said, or is your hatred for her blinding you that much?

D-fusit on November 7, 2012 at 3:14 PM

Coming from an establishment statist, I don’t think she means it. Yes, I disagree with what she said. She doesn’t fight for freedom, nor does she want freedom.

Dante on November 7, 2012 at 3:16 PM

Coming from an establishment statist, I don’t think she means it. Yes, I disagree with what she said. She doesn’t fight for freedom, nor does she want freedom.

Dante on November 7, 2012 at 3:16 PM

Does true freedom mean government not dictating which consenting adults can and can’t get married?

RobbBond on November 7, 2012 at 3:21 PM

Bless your heart.

Dante on November 7, 2012 at 3:04 PM

To you and astoneri:

GFY !!

LevinFan on November 7, 2012 at 3:23 PM

The silliness of blaming Romney was inevitable, I suppose.

But none of the others would have made it this close. They all had far more glaring weaknesses to attack, and not one of them would have raised half what Romney did. Anyone else would have been swamped by Obama’s tainted money.

We’ve allowed the left to take over education at all levels and turn out students ill-prepared for critical thinking and who can only spout the leftist pablum they’ve been fed for years. We’ve watched the press go from biased to overt cheerleader, not sure what we could have done about that.

Face it: we’ve lost the nation. Our only choice is to get whatever crumbs Obama will throw the House for a deal, and let him have everything else he wants. It’s the ONLY way the coming recession and collapse can’t be blamed on “Republican obstructionism.”

We can’t stop them anyway, Obama just acts like a dictator and ignores the law. At least this way the Democrats own the results without excuse.

Adjoran on November 7, 2012 at 3:23 PM

Coming from an establishment statist, I don’t think she means it. Yes, I disagree with what she said. She doesn’t fight for freedom, nor does she want freedom.

Dante on November 7, 2012 at 3:16 PM

I’ll give you the credit answering the question.

I believe that you are wrong, but that is my opinion and opinions are like @ssholes, everyone has one and they all smell.

Enjoy the future, whatever it may hold.

Let me leave you with this;

“A desperate disease requires a dangerous remedy”.

D-fusit on November 7, 2012 at 3:23 PM

It wasn’t just Clinton. Many observers said that this was a centrist Romney, who made a more compelling case because he felt more comfortable with it as opposed to “severe conservatism.”

bobs1196 on November 7, 2012 at 2:44 PM

All spin. The first debate was 9/10 Reagan. He even went after PBS.

There was NO immigration pandering, no big gov programs(see last Mcain debate and his 300bil housing bailout prop), no pandering to womyn issues.

Tax cuts, cuts to federal programs and contrasting a free market to European socialism. ALL of that was in the first debate. You or a few libs can say he was a moderate in that debate but what he ACTUALLY said was almost all conservative. And that’s why the conservative base loved that debate. Bush was never as conservative as Romney was in debate #1.

BoxHead1 on November 7, 2012 at 3:24 PM

Already, you’re demonstrating all the qualities of that make your policies repugnant to most Americans.

bifidis on November 7, 2012 at 10:44 AM

Policies like managing our national debt? Cause the president took the effort to mention again last night that we ought not be burdened by debt (never mind his utter disregard for his own deficits).

Or maybe policies like low taxes, most of which the president intends not to touch despite what the left claims tax cuts do to deficits, since they don’t suit his class-warfare meme.

Not to mention pretending to be tolerant of oil and coal in our energy policy; pretending to care about religious liberties; pretending to favor limited government intervention; pretending that terrorist acts require a military response, despite his basically never launching one other than bypassing Congress to set Libya on fire from the air…

Add in Clinton making second-term “legacy” policies like balancing the budget, cutting taxes, reforming welfare, taking action against tinpot dictators across the ocean…

… for ideas that are utterly without merit, it doesn’t seem at all odd to you that Democrat presidents have to either capitulate to them, or at least give them lip service to pretend he doesn’t mean what we all know he means, in order to secure their political victories?

The Schaef on November 7, 2012 at 3:25 PM

RobbBond on November 7, 2012 at 3:15 PM

He’s acting like his namesake: juvenile and bankrupt.

Dante on November 7, 2012 at 3:26 PM

Does true freedom mean government not dictating which consenting adults can and can’t get married?

RobbBond on November 7, 2012 at 3:21 PM

True freedom is no government, since government is inherently force and coercion, but if there’s going to be limited government, then yes, it would mean government not dictating and not inserting itself into voluntary relationships, and that includes marriage.

Dante on November 7, 2012 at 3:27 PM

Always there to say night is day and black is white and taxes are not force. No, now raising taxes is conservative.

Dante on November 7, 2012 at 3:09 PM

Paying for what you consume is conservative. What is your idea of a conservative contract, one where one side of the deal through force of numbers says they will take everything while the other side pays for it?

Pretty sad that your little brain is so far removed from reality.

I would love to see many aspects of government cut or completely removed. But, if it is politically impossible to do so, what is your solution to the spending? Pile the cost on the minority of producers? Must be, since you argue that changing it so that the larger population group pays more of its own bills is not conservative.

Oh look, history is full of societies that thrived without government. Indians had no government (chiefs, squaws and other titles apparently did not delineate a hierarchy or something), that mining city did not have a government, just some specific group of people who enforced everything and if you did not follow their rules you could be imprisoned or thrown out of the area permanently, Oh, well the west was without government, even though all the functions were filled as though there were a government, they used the governments they left to base their rules on, which again, enforced by specific power brokers. But hey, they were ANARCHY!

astonerii on November 7, 2012 at 3:29 PM

To you and astoneri:

GFY !!

LevinFan on November 7, 2012 at 3:23 PM

That’s a great way to win over more people to your cause. Now that you’ve told me to GFY I’m much more likely to vote for the next “Romney”-type you guys nominate.

RobbBond on November 7, 2012 at 3:30 PM

There are many people, such as my husband, who gets a government check and he is not a looter (he is military).

tammyloc on November 7, 2012 at 11:16 AM

With respect, tammy, did you somehow miss the point that Republicans have always strongly supported the military, typically earning about 90% of their vote on a regular basis, while Obama put a huge portion of defense spending on the chopping block last year?

You will be hard pressed to find a conservative who doesn’t think your husband earned every penny he takes home, as well as the highest level of respect for his service to our country.

The middle class gets tired of being asked to sacrifice while the special interests and Wall Street get bailouts that we have to pay for. This is why the GOP lost.

Again, I think your fire is seriously misdirected. Fiscal conservatives have widely and consistently opposed these bailouts, to the point where the Tea Party was formed in response to BUSH trying to secure funds to bail out these companies. Obama, by contrast, bragged about bailing people out and asked you to thank him – with your vote – for saving the whole freaking global economy or whatever.

if we continue to expect to dismantle every program because everyone who uses government programs is a moocher (or a parasite as some like to say) good luck!

Again, the lynchpin of the Romney/Ryan plan for Medicare and Social Security was to find a way to make it financially sustainable. To make a hard choice NOW to save it instead of waiting until the money has completely dried up and, oh, too bad, I guess you just get nothing. For years it has been my expectation that, by default, Social Security will not be there when I retire, and so I do not plan my retirement around collecting it.

The Schaef on November 7, 2012 at 3:32 PM

That’s a great way to win over more people to your cause. Now that you’ve told me to GFY I’m much more likely to vote for the next “Romney”-type you guys nominate.

RobbBond on November 7, 2012 at 3:30 PM

I don’t care about your wimpy, fragile lil feelings.

those like you and dante are the ones who did nothing to stop obama

You are to blame and will forever have to live with this!

You and yours disgust me!!

LevinFan on November 7, 2012 at 3:35 PM

We can’t stop them anyway, Obama just acts like a dictator and ignores the law. At least this way the Democrats own the results without excuse.

Adjoran on November 7, 2012 at 3:23 PM

Republicans in the House don’t have to vote for anything he wants. They can all vote “present” or abstain, or whatever Robert’s Rules allow them to do. That way they don’t provide cover to the Dems and can’t be accused of being obstructionists.

totherightofthem on November 7, 2012 at 3:35 PM

I don’t care about your wimpy, fragile lil feelings.

those like you and dante are the ones who did nothing to stop obama

You are to blame and will forever have to live with this!

You and yours disgust me!!

LevinFan on November 7, 2012 at 3:35 PM

Then that, my friend, is why you will continue to lose these types of elections.

RobbBond on November 7, 2012 at 3:38 PM

I don’t care about your wimpy, fragile lil feelings.

those like you and dante are the ones who did nothing to stop obama

You are to blame and will forever have to live with this!

You and yours disgust me!!

LevinFan on November 7, 2012 at 3:35 PM

I did do something to stop Obama. I voted for Newt Gingrich who likely would have created a unifying theme for the election from dog catcher to the presidency with specific point blank goals and the path to accomplishing them, including people voting for senators. He also likely would have brought up fast and furious and would have had a much better attack line on Benghazi. It aint my fault the republican party chose Romney, an accomplished progressive.

When 10% of your banked on slave vote fails to show up to the polls, a good hard look in the mirror (Romney’s mirror) is in good order.

astonerii on November 7, 2012 at 3:39 PM

Paying for what you consume is conservative. What is your idea of a conservative contract, one where one side of the deal through force of numbers says they will take everything while the other side pays for it?

Pretty sad that your little brain is so far removed from reality.

I would love to see many aspects of government cut or completely removed. But, if it is politically impossible to do so, what is your solution to the spending? Pile the cost on the minority of producers? Must be, since you argue that changing it so that the larger population group pays more of its own bills is not conservative.

Oh look, history is full of societies that thrived without government. Indians had no government (chiefs, squaws and other titles apparently did not delineate a hierarchy or something), that mining city did not have a government, just some specific group of people who enforced everything and if you did not follow their rules you could be imprisoned or thrown out of the area permanently, Oh, well the west was without government, even though all the functions were filled as though there were a government, they used the governments they left to base their rules on, which again, enforced by specific power brokers. But hey, they were ANARCHY!

astonerii on November 7, 2012 at 3:29 PM

Paying for what you consume may be conservative (but really, it’s not; economics and the free market are neither conservative nor liberal; nor are they political), but taxation is theft. Theft is not conservative, theft is not liberal; theft is immoral.

I couldn’t care less about the rest of your ignorant blather.

Dante on November 7, 2012 at 3:39 PM

I refuse to vote for evil. Evil Republicans are still evil. Romney Care is Evil. Romneys record was totally evil. He was a marxist and praised his father just last night a confirmed marxist that learned it from Saul Alisky himself.

Steveangell on November 7, 2012 at 1:52 PM

EVIL?!!! EVIL?!!! you seriously want to call me evil because i refuse to kill babies in the womb and argue for fiscal sanity? i think you may have your priorities a bit skewed there. i do not believe in abortion , i do not want to pay for someone else to have an abortion . i have 6 children and i love every single one of them and would be the first one to say take my life if it would save my sons. that makes me evil? then so be it , and when i am standing in front of my God at the pearly gates and admitted to heaven i will know that i lived my life as purely as i possibly good and that i did not murder a child granted to me for convenience. i have not once EVER said that others could not have an abortion if they needed one. i just personally do not think i should have to violate my FAITH for someone else . you should be ashamed of yourself for calling me evil just because you think you deserve my money more than i do!

katee bayer on November 7, 2012 at 3:45 PM

I couldn’t care less about the rest of your ignorant blather.

Dante on November 7, 2012 at 3:39 PM

can’t face the reality of your ignorance being laid bare. So of course you do not. There is no such thing as anarchy that lasts. It is always either self destructive or ends in order.

astonerii on November 7, 2012 at 3:46 PM

There are many people, such as my husband, who gets a government check and he is not a looter (he is military).

tammyloc on November 7, 2012 at 11:16 AM

So people’s wealth is seized by the government and handed over to your husband, who has no rightful claim to another’s property. Not exactly a provider or earner.

Dante on November 7, 2012 at 3:48 PM

Hi Guys,
I haven’t posted here in years but I read this blog every single day since 2006 and I enjoy it(Dont worry, im not a surprise troll, no trollcot here.) I signed in to put some thoughts down, maybe because of a little depression, maybe shock, maybe just confusion but I felt I had to say something today. For the first time in my life I am truly scared for the country and how it has been changing and what it’s ultimate goal is. I still believe in the strength and innovation and drive of America. I think that even with the looming fiscal cliff and tax hikes and Obamacare and uncertainty people will say enough is enough and take the necessary steps to thrive and people will start businesses. If and when these businesses survive and hopefully thrive it will be in spite of Obama and the democrats ways to grow the economy and not because of them. And when this happens guess who is going to take all the credit…you guessed it the democrats and Obama. And there the cycle starts again, its the natural Economic cycle, although it may not be as powerful as before it will come around and the party that does all it can to hamper business will be looked at the one that saved it and the party who (allegedly) loves business (I say allegedly because Republicans have been spineless and weak and scared the past decade at least) will be made to look weak and then we will be truly lost. I hope im wrong, this is more of a banter than anything. Anyone have any thoughts?

SoCalInfidel on November 7, 2012 at 3:48 PM

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