It used to be that the losers in a political campaign would at least make the effort, however false, to congratulate the winners and state how they, the losers, would now work to make government work. Those days are gone, at least as far as Conservatives are concerned. Consider these words from George Will, one of the self-proclaimed intellectuals of the Conservative cause.
Obama is only the second president (Andrew Jackson was the first) to win a second term with a reduced percentage of the popular vote, and the third (after Madison and Woodrow Wilson) to win a second term with a smaller percentage of the electoral vote. A diminished figure after conducting the most relentlessly negative campaign ever run by an incumbent, he has the meager mandate of not being Bain Capital.
Of course, as far as negative campaigning is concerned Mr. Will must have one of those magic television sets that only broadcast Mr. Obama’s commercials, and none of the ones supporting Mr. Romney.
And there is the complete lack of understanding about Mitt Romney and his economic expertise.
Americans are earning less and worth less than they were four years ago; average household income is down $3,800; under the 11 presidents from Harry Truman through George W. Bush, unemployment was 8 percent or more for a total of 39 months but was above that for 43 Obama months. Yet voters preferred the president who presided over this to a Republican who, more than any candidate since the Great Depression, made his economic expertise his presidential credential.
See George, the failure of Mr. Romney was that he did make his economic expertise his presidential credential. Independent voters, those not wedded to a party no matter what, didn’t understand the details because Mr. Romney provided no details. They didn’t understand the tax cuts, because no can figure out how a $200,000 tax cut for someone who pays $1 million in taxes, and a $1,000 tax cut for someone who pays $5,000 in taxes would make anyone better off except the millionaire.
Mr. Romney lost in part not because voters didn’t understand and thus did not accept his economic expertise, he lost in part because voters did understand and then did not accept his economic expertise.