Anne Sorock at LegalInsurrection.com reprinted this letter from the conservative grassroots. It’s spot on. The key point, and a mistake Scott Brown made is attacking the base. The incessant I love Planned Parenthood ads turned off many people I know.
Dear Republican Establishment:
We hear you. We hear you blaming us for Mitt Romney’s recent defeat in the Presidential election. Now hear us.
Over a year ago, we told you that Mitt Romney would not be able to energize the base. You responded that anger at Obama would provide all the energy we needed. You were told that affection FOR a candidate is always a better model than depending on anger AT another candidate. You disagreed. And now, the votes are in. You were wrong.
We also told you the 2012 election would be centered on turning out the GOP base. You insisted the election would hinge on winning independents. We now know that Romney did, in fact, win independents. Congratulations. He won those who showed up. Unfortunately, 10 million 2008 voters failed to get up off the sofa to vote for Romney. Nice job picking candidates!
The grassroots predicted Obama’s victory model: to pivot hard left and drive up turnout of his base, to make independents terrified to vote for Romney, and to dispirit the GOP base. We noted that Romney was the candidate who best fit the Obama victory model, the only candidate who could deliver the one thing a billion Democrat dollars couldn’t buy – a dispirited GOP base. You rejected that idea outright. Well, we have the results. Obama successfully delivered his own base to the polls….while doing such a good job of destroying Romney that 10 million 2008 voters failed to show up at the polls….while a dispirited GOP base complained about the lackluster Romney campaign which failed to attack, failed to defend, etc.
So now you blame the grassroots for all that? We would remind you that State & National GOP leadership leaned heavily on the grassroots this election cycle NOT to repeat the tactics which delivered victory in the 2010 mid-term elections. We played along, and quietly did the hard, grassroots work of walking streets and pounding phones for Romney. And look what happened. We did what you asked, the way you wanted it. Rest assured, the grassroots will not repeat this mistake again. Until you figure out how to listen to us as equal partners, we will not play with you. We will attack as we see fit.
We also warned you that the nomination of Mitt Romney would totally remove Obamacare from the election. It most certainly did. The single greatest policy vulnerability Obama had was totally neutered by virtue of Romney being the ideological godfather of the policy in question. Thanks.
Oh. Stop hanging Akin & Mourdock around our neck. We didn’t know they didn’t understand how conception works. You didn’t know that the word “macaca” was part of George Allen’s vocabulary, either. And you didn’t blame him for the loss of the House and Senate in 2006. Interestingly, you put him up again this time around. We might make mistakes, but we don’t make them twice. So stop the scapegoating, please.
A word about demography: Women aren’t the problem, although we need to (and can) do better with them. Hispanics aren’t the problem, although we need to (and can) do better with them. The biggest nut of the problem is this: our campaign inspired 10 million… 10 MILLION… voters from 2008 who decided not to vote for Obama to stay home rather than come out and vote for Mitt Romney. We lost because we did not present bold colors, big ideas that could inspire a nation to join us.
We lost because Mitt Romney, a man we immensely admire and respect, was the wrong candidate on just about every level. Mitt’s failure to do the obvious and select Marco Rubio as VP makes it much, much harder to win the future Hispanic vote. It’s not impossible. It can be done. Don’t worry. The grassroots will fix this for you. Please stay out of our way. And don’t do anything stupid like granting citizenship to 15m illegals. We have to persuade Hispanics they are conservatives who belong in the GOP, just like that County GOP Chairman in New Mexico did with Susanna Martinez. We win Hispanics by persuading them that conservatism, that free enterprise rather than entitlement, is the path to the American Dream of individual liberty and prosperity.
Let it be known that we were good soldiers. We got on board and worked as hard and cheerfully as anyone else on the team. But please let the most important lesson of 2012 sink in: If we don’t nominate candidates who can inspire the grassroots of this country, we are not going to win, no matter how excited we think the independents are going be about them. If you cannot fire up your base, you are not going to fire up independents.
You cannot win without your base.
You cannot win by attacking your base.
Ok. Enough. We will not harp on it any more. You can poke us all you want. From here on, we’re working on 2014. And 2016.
We hope you will join us. And LISTEN.
The Conservative Grassroots,
AKA Tea Party, 912, Liberty, precinct Republicans, silent majority Americans