Mitt Romney had his clock cleaned on Tuesday night. There is no getting around it. People can talk about his campaign couldn’t have done any better. There isn’t much disagreement on this end. Many conservatives are understandably frustrated with how the election turned out.
Romney ran this race in the worst economy since the Great Depression. Yet, he still lost. This didn’t happen because of a lack of GOTV efforts and phone-banking. Romney lost because he failed to run on big ideas that would have made the choice before voters more clear.
Republicans didn’t win because they nominated a guy who passed a law in Massachusetts that would later serve as a blueprint for ObamaCare. When he was on the campaign trail, Romney and his surrogates played up his “experience” on the issue. There was no real distinction.
Throughout the course of the campaign Romney said that that the United States is facing long-term economic problems. However, Romney never put forward a substantive plan that would actually get spending under control.
He would talk tough, but he would complain in the next breath about the sequestration cuts to defense, claiming that they would make the United States weaker. Nevermind that these looming are just cuts in the rate of spending increases. Defense spending will still grow by $100 billion over the next 10 years.
Romney said that he would have cut non-defense discretionary spending by 5% across the board, which is approximately 20% of the federal budget. That’s would have been around a $42 billion cut. The budget deficit next year will be in the neighborhood of $900 billion. Again, there was no real distinction.
Romney complains that Obama cut more than $700 billion from Medicare to pay for ObamaCare. While that’s true, it’s dishonest to suggest that Medicare should be off limits to cuts or reforms. Instead of offering up a plan to get entitlements under control, Romney tried to demagogue issue, just like Obama.
On foreign policy, there was more agreement than disagreement. Both Romney and Obama sounded ready to get the United States in conflicts in which we have no business. Both candidates backed laws that blatantly violate our civil liberties. Sure, there were some nuances, but rather than offer voters a clear choice to a war weary nation, Romney would have preserved the status quo.
This cycle is over. Establishment Republicans are licking their wounds. They’re going to blame the Liberty Movement for the failures in the Senate, but Romney was their guy. He was indeed the Republican Party’s version of John Kerry.
The election hasn’t been over for 48 hours and I’m already starting to see and hear people talk about 2016. Here’s a reminder — the next election is two years away. Not just that, there will be moments in between now and 2014 that define the future of the Liberty Movement and determine our strength in 2016.
In football, you’ll often hear reporters ask coaches and players about some future opponent — whether it’s a rivarly or a make or break game — way down on their schedule. They almost always say something like, “We’re not worried about them. We’re worried about the next game.” That’s exactly how the Liberty Movement has to look at situation in which we find ourselves.
The political establishment is going to come at us hard. They’ve already started. However, each of these moments over the next two years should be viewed as a game in a longer season. There are going to be victories. There will be losses. You take each moment as it comes along. Enjoy the wins, but don’t gloat. Act like you’ve been there before. And more importantly, you have to learn from your failures. Study what went wrong and where. Fix it the next time around. If you sent in a weak player. Find someone better to fill the hole the next time around, but make certain they know what’s at stake.
I’m tired of watching the powers that be in both parties wheel and deal to score cheap political points or to save face at the expense of economic and personal liberty. We have an opening here. It’s time to dust ourselves off and get ready for the next down, because it’s going to be just as hard as the last one. It may take time, but these moments will make us stronger. They will build our character.
Our message will win, because the Government Party is leading us down the road to bankruptcy. We saw successes this year with election of Jeff Flake and Ted Cruz, both of whom actually ran on a strong liberty-based message. They will join Jim DeMint, Rand Paul, and Pat Toomey in the Senate, where they will fight President Obama and Harry Reid. Several other liberty-minded House candidates — including Reps. Justin Amash and Dave Schweikert and newcomers Thomas Massie and Kerry Bentivolio — also won on Tuesday. They are no doubt prepared to keep Republican leadership in check.
We need are messengers, people who will take up the fight for our limited government principles of economic and personal liberty — whether they be electable candidates running for office or people pounding the pavement for votes. There is no sitting on the sidelines. There is too much at stake.