Sittin’ in an airport terminal waitin’ for a plane. Scanning my Twitter feed to kill a little time… when what to my wondering eyes should appear, than a twittish Tweet from the keyboard of Darcie “Hack” Johnston, last seen piloting Randy Brock’s gubernatorial campaign into the nearest iceberg. (And “earning” a cool 100 G’s for her trouble.)
Exit Polls Prove US Still a Red State Nation
Followed by a link to an opinion piece that reinforced the Hack’s apparently impermeable belief in the political strategy that just doomed the Vermont Republicans to mini-minority status.
Yep, Newsmax, the ultraconservative website known for such gems as a 2009 column that predicted President Obama’s overthrow by military coup. Newsmax, whose regular contributors include Pat Boone, Armstrong Williams, Michael Reagan, Dick Morris, and David (not Rush) Limbaugh. In other words, a dismal parade of conservative D-listers.
The Newsmax piece that caused Johnston’s heart to flutter was penned by site founder and CEO Christopher Ruddy, and it’s a classic example of conservative self-delusion.
Ruddy’s examination of exit-poll data from the 2012 election, in which voters soundly rejected conservative Republicanism, is that it all boiled down to likability. Voters liked Obama better than Romney.
And that’s all.
So the only thing the GOP needs to do is find a far-right conservative who’s more likable than the Mittster.
It somehow didn’t occur to Ruddy that one of the main factors in Romney’s unlikability was his (phony or not) adherence to far-right ideology. Republicans’ overall likability was torpedoed by its persistent and obnoxious promotion of social conservatism and pro-big business free-marketism. Does Ruddy really believe that a Rick Santorum or a Michele Bachmann or a Rick Perry would have achieved higher likability than Romney?
Ruddy also points to Obama’s lopsided support among black and Latino voters as cause for conservative optimism:
Next time, if Republicans woo some Hispanic voters and black voting patterns normalize, 2016 could see Republicans increasing their vote share by some 4 to 5 million voters in a similar, highly contested race.
Which kinda ignores a basic problem: it was Republican ideology that drove away minority voters. If they don’t moderate their positions on issues like immigration and the social safety net, they’re not going to suddenly convert 20% of black voters or 40% of Latinos.
I could go on, but you get the point. Ruddy’s entire column is an exercise in magical thinking. It is nonsense. It is, in Megyn Kelly’s wonderful phrase, “math Republicans do to make them feel better.”
And this is the tainted wellspring of Hack Johnston’s hope, the inspiration for yet another round of the Same Old Thing in 2014. As I’ve said before, I sincerely wish her all the best in her future political career. As long as people like her hold sway in the VTGOP, we liberals have nothing to worry about.