Conservatives can still win. Just not Mitt Romney’s sort.
Conservatives the world over need to grasp the difference between being pro-market and being pro-business. Sometimes the two positions happen to coincide; often they don’t.
Republican congressional candidates ran successfully on anti-corporatist and anti-elitist platforms. Mitt Romney, by contrast, supported the bailouts, and seemed a throwback to the preppy, northeastern, unsuccessful GOP of the mid-20th century. Like so many European rightists, he seemed to smile upon crony capitalism. As in Europe, voters were unimpressed.
The Tea Party movement and the Occupy movement were both, in a sense, complaining about the same thing, namely the use of public money to rescue failed banks. It’s not often one gets the chance to write this but, when it comes to the bailouts, especially the euro bailouts, Marxists are right. Working people are being forced to support a privileged few.