It’s the Media, Stupid

It’s only been a few days since America re-elected President Obama, and there’s already been a good deal of postmortem analysis over what went wrong for Mitt Romney.

Stringent conservatives are blaming the Republican party for supporting a candidate who wasn’t ideologically pure enough. Liberals are insistent that the Republicans weren’t enough like the Democrats, and that’s why Romney lost. Others are pointing to Hurricane Sandy as the October Surprise that stole Romney’s rising momentum in the week before the election. Many are crediting the superior ground game of the Obama campaign in the state of Ohio, and pointing to the Hispanic vote as a major factor. Some are criticizing Romney for playing things too safe in the last two presidential debates, not bringing up the Benghazi attack as a campaign issue, and not responding quickly enough to Obama’s Bain Capital attack ads.

People who wanted Mitt Romney to win, and are frightened over the reality of a second term in office for President Obama, are understandably frustrated. This was an election that couldn’t afford to be lost, and they want answers.

Let me try and provide some…

First of all, I would suggest that those who think Obama won because Romney wasn’t conservative enough are barking up the wrong tree. By election day, Romney had energized conservatives. He had won over the base. Sure, a post-election analysis revealed that 3 million registered Republicans chose not to vote on election day, but we can only speculate as to why. Overall turnout was down, and there’s no information suggesting that concerns of conservative ideological purity had anything to do with it. For all we know, the majority of them could be moderates or simply aren’t reliable voters.

The notion that the Republican platform needs to closer resemble the Democratic platform is silly. While there are certainly some individuals within the Republican party whose positions and conduct reflects poorly on the GOP, the same can obviously be said about the Democrats. The difference is really in how those people reflect on their party leaders, and I’ll discuss that a little bit later in this column.

Hurricane Sandy, and footage Chris Christie cozying up to President Obama certainly didn’t help Romney. Obama looking dignified in his little bomber jacket, and the facade of post-partisan leadership during a time of crisis most likely made a marginal impression upon an impressionable electorate.

If Romney had pounded the president on the Benghazi attack, it might have helped. However, with the media dead set on not reporting on Benghazi, and their eagerness to paint Romney as a man politicizing tragedy, it might have done Romney more harm than good.

Is it important that the GOP do a better job of courting the Hispanic vote? Absolutely.

Should Romney have done a better job of responding to the Bain Capital attack ads? Yes.

But I really think all of these explanations miss the big picture. Most are relatively small ball. The idea that any of these things could derail an alternative choice to four years of the worst economy of the modern era is absurd.

As I suggested in my last column, the biggest thing that Mitt Romney had going against him was that a good portion of the electorate didn’t seem to think that this year was anything special. They didn’t see it as the most important election of their lifetime, when it was. They didn’t see it as an extremely important choice between two very different futures. They didn’t see it as perhaps the last chance we had to stop our country from driving off a fiscal cliff, and never again achieving any semblance of the prosperity my generation enjoyed for three straight decades.

If I’m right about that, and I really think I am, it’s important that we ask ourselves why the electorate didn’t see what the rest of us saw.

Was it because Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan didn’t express how dire our economic situation was? No. They painted a very sobering picture of what Obama’s policies were doing to the country, both short-term and long-term. They talked about economic numbers, the national debt, and the employment situation all the time. Paul Ryan’s stump speech, in fact, often included a PowerPoint presentation that explained the country’s economic trajectory in great detail.

Was it because Romney and Ryan didn’t offer a different direction and a path to prosperity? No. They had the guts to talk about Medicare and tax reform. They talked about lifting regulations. They talked about starting a domestic energy boom.

The problem wasn’t primarily in the Republican ticket’s messaging. The problem was that their messaging, the country’s economic realities, and even legitimate controversies within the Obama administration were constantly being trampled on by who Bernie Goldberg refers to as the president’s most loyal base: The media.

Now, before you accuse me of passing the buck by trying to skirt blame away from the Romney campaign, hear me out. I’m not at all suggesting that the Romney camp bears no responsibility in their own defeat. Of course they do. As with any campaign, they made mistakes which should be learned from. My point is that while the Republicans are going through an identity crisis over how their party should better appeal to the electorate, they would be foolish to overlook the fact that the force most detrimental to their platform is not themselves nor even the Democratic party. It is the media.

The Republicans have long viewed the overwhelming media bias against them as a fact of life; a frustrating, extra hurdle to deal with that the Democratic party doesn’t have to. But liberal media bias reached critical mass in this year’s presidential election, far exceeding the widespread, over-the-top Obama-fawning of 2008. This year, a plethora of ridiculous assertions and narratives that came from the Obama campaign received little or no mainstream media scrutiny. In some cases, they were even substantiated by the media. What should have been major stories – ones detrimental to President Obama’s re-election effort – were purposely downplayed, or even ignored entirely. It’s no longer just merely bias that Republicans have to contend with. It’s blatant, political activism in the news media. It’s widespread corruption within one of the most important institutes in any free society.

If the Benghazi attack cover-up had taken place under a Republican administration, it would have been treated as the next Watergate – an offense worthy of impeachment. Yet, the mainstream media has had practically no interest in it. Contrast their conduct with a more recent example: Plamegate. When Valerie Plame was exposed by a government official as a CIA officer, the media latched onto to the story like Chris Matthews to a shirtless poster of Barack Obama. They took that relatively inconsequential controversy and turned it into a months-long media circus with the sole purpose of embarrassing the Bush administration. Heck, Hollywood even made a feature film out of it! Yet, when four American patriots are murdered by terrorists in Libya right before a presidential election, and the Obama administration concocts some ridiculous explanation about a YouTube video and a non-existent mob being to blame, the media simply shrugs their shoulders. Even worse, they, in some cases, became active participants in the cover-up as we saw from 60 Minutes’ selective editing of Steve Kroft’s interview with the president. The media’s overall conduct on the Benghazi story has been nothing short of scandalous.

The War on Women? It was quite possibly the most obscenely ridiculous and insulting political campaign ever used in a presidential election. The notion that the Republican party wanted to stop women from using contraceptives is essentially the conservative counterpart of President Obama being born in Kenya. The difference is that while the media called out the Birther movement and Donald Trump for their absurdity, they were active participants in substantiating and spreading the word of the War on Women, along with Sandra Fluke who they portrayed as some kind of civil rights hero. As some might remember, the narrative didn’t begin with Sandra Fluke and Rush Limbaugh’s over-the-top comments toward her congressional testimony. It started at a presidential primary debate when ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos tried to make the denial of contraceptives to women a political issue, and none of the Republican candidates had any clue what he was talking about. When  Republican senatorial candidate, Todd Akin made an idiotic comment about “legitimate rape”, the media cited it as additional proof of the Republican’s War on Women while they worked to link Akin as closely as possible with Romney. Yet, when Breitbart.com exposed that Barack Obama’s own literary agent promoted him, for sixteen years, as being born in Kenya (almost certainly with Obama’s knowledge), the media completely ignored it. When another Republican senatorial candidate made a controversy remark months later, Romney was again dragged into the fray. Yet, no one in the media ever held Obama accountable for the numerous despicable comments Harry Reid made, over the past six months, on the president’s behalf. For that matter, why wasn’t Obama held accountable for the perversions of Anthony Weiner? Does party-affiliation only make the leader of the party accountable if Republicans are involved?

Remember how much hype The Buffett Rule received from the media? For months and months, Obama promoted it as his answer to debt reduction and a big step toward getting the country’s fiscal house in order. Named after ultra-successful businessman (and huge Obama supporter) Warren Buffett, the idea was that if “the rich” simply paid a higher tax rate, all would be good in the world. Obama marketed the plan by pointing out that under the current tax system, Buffet’s secretary paid a higher tax rate than Warren himself did. He campaigned on how unfair that was, and even invited the secretary to sit alongside Michelle Obama at his State of the Union address so he could bring additional attention the narrative. The media loved the idea, and fell in love with the secretary. The problem is that the media never actually bothered to study, or at least not relay the information on, what kind of effect The Buffett Rule would have on our national debt. According to the CBO, the additional revenue raised by The Buffett Rule would amount to the same amount of money that the U.S. government accumulates in debt in a single day. Yes, the president’s answer to over $15 trillion in national debt was to pay for a single day of government spending. Contrast how the media scrutinized Obama’s plan with how they scrutinized Romney’s tax reform plan, repeatedly following the Democratic party’s lead of demanding that Romney offer up details on the tax exemptions he planned to cut.

These are merely a handful of examples, just in the past year alone, of how the media kept the American public dumb to the advantage of the Obama administration. An entire book could be written detailing the rest, and I imagine one will be.

Obama’s margin of victory over Romney was somewhere in the ballpark of 3% of the vote count. Possibly even less. If the media hadn’t been running heavy interference for the Obama administration for the past four years, and all other factors remained the same, does anyone honestly believe that the swing for Romney wouldn’t have exceeded more than half of that 3%, and given him the victory? Romney would have won in the landslide Dick Morris kept annoyingly predicting.

So while the Republican party is searching for a winning formula to win back over the electorate (and their is work to be done there), their blueprint absolutely needs to include a strategy for dealing with the media. It’s a challenge they’ll have to take very seriously. They can’t simply rely on FOX News and conservative radio to provide some semblance of a counterbalance – a small portion of the overall media from which their unfiltered viewpoint is given a platform. They also can’t simply set up the mainstream media up as a “straw man” to pin all of their grievances on. Those are not the answers.

No, the GOP is going to need to figure out a way of effectively neutralizing political activism within a national news media that dishonestly markets itself as a reputable, invaluable service to the American public. It’s really not even a challenge limited to the Republican party itself. The answer might be within a grass-roots conservative movement, which might include the expansion of new media groups and independent, investigative journalism that compels the establishment media to cover stories they otherwise wouldn’t through the pressure of viral publicity. I don’t have all the answers, but I’m certain they exist.

Whatever the strategy is, the problem needs to be addressed. The current state of the media is not only undoubtedly dangerous to our country, but it’s also an albatross around the neck of the Republican Party. If they’re able to effectively deal with it, their other problems become manageable, and a swing of support from more than 1.5% of the electorate is absolutely guaranteed.

Author Bio:

John Daly couldn't have cared less about world events and politics until the horrific 9/11 terrorist attacks changed his perspective. Since then, he's been deeply engaged in the news of the day with a particular interest in how that news is presented. Realizing the importance of the media in a free, democratic society, John has long felt compelled to identify media injustices when he sees them. With a B.S. in Business Administration, and a 16 year background in software and web development, John has found that his real passion is for writing. His first novel, entitled "From a Dead Sleep", is now on sale! He lives in Northern Colorado with his wife and two children. Like John on Facebook. Follow John on Twitter.
Author website: http://www.johndalybooks.com/
  • http://mykhel.cgsociety.org/gallery michael lofrano

    By the next presidential election, the swing required will not be 1.5 %. The free goodies will continue out of Washington, the ability to survive economically without making a contribution, or for that matter an effort, will increase. The existing rhetoric of us-and-them, victim-and-victimized will continue. If the previous four years of disastrous policies, economic decay, and the deeply un-American and dangerous idea that we are a nation of the 99% separate from the 1% went unrecognized or unheeded by the electorate, why would Americans pay any more attention four years from now? There is much to blame the media for, for sure. But this reality is too obvious to blame anyone other than the electorate. I can only assume that Americans are too unconcerned (too intentionaly ignorant? too self-centered? too stupid!?) to recognize what is happening to this country–and what is happening to themselves as individuals. I don’t see how that changes.

    It seems to me Americans are losing the desire–and the necessity–to succeed by their own efforts. The country may have an information problem, but more than that, It has an inspiration problem. More than another another Ed Murrow, what America really needs is another Margaret Thatcher.

  • Bazmac

    I really think you are missing one essential point. Although they occasionally test us on this, the general electorate is NOT stupid.

    This leads to a number of consequences.

    1. This is the era of YouTube. When anyone with a lick of savvy can Google for ninety seconds and find film of Romney saying two completely opposite things on any number of subjects, people notice. A key percentage of the electorate was simply not willing to trust him. Romney was caught between the increasing rigidity and purity of his base and the more varied and pragmatic general electorate. He had to say one thing to win the primary and another to have a chance in the general. But as opposed to past eras it is basically impossible to do this.

    2. Over the past decade the Republican Party has been going through repeated waves of purism. When reasonable, quite conservative, politicians like Lugar and Huntsman cannot get a hearing within the party, when fringe characters like Sharon Angle win their Party’s senatorial nomination, when former Republican greats like Eisenhower and Reagan would almost assuredly fail in today’s Party, the Party as a whole is herded farther and farther out on an impotent limb of their own choosing. Again, this has not taken place in the dark but right out in the daylight where everyone…and I do mean everyone… can see.

    3. When Party leaders publicly announce, in the face of grave national problems, that in their political calculation a policy of total non-cooperation is their best route back to power, people NOTICE.

    4. Finally, although I’ll get a lot of dispute about this, if you poll the public on a wide range of issues the country is changing culturally in ways the Republicans cannot afford to ignore. If they do not cope with this reality they are doomed to irrelevance.

    Respectfully submitted.

    • Bazmac

      What follows, of course, is that if you don’t address these fundamental

      internal obstacles, how you PACKAGE your message for the MEDIA is the least of your problems.

    • Mario__P

      Very well said. The Republican party has been pushed in the wrong direction, backwards, by the extreme Right. The far Right values are becoming extinct in today’s America, and if the GOP will continue to court the religious fundamentalists, we’ll not see another Republican president. The Democrats have also shifted to the Right, a bit, since today’s Democrats compare to past Republicans. But the GOP has taken their shift to a whole new level.

  • JohnDalyAuthor

    Again, if 50% of women in this country are pro-life, how is it a “call to arms” for women? Why do liberals keep acting like pro-choice women speak for ALL women? And let’s be honest… Santorum is not the representative of the modern Republican party. I’m all with you on gay marriage. I support it, and I wish the Republicans would take more of a Libertarian approach to it. At the same time, I want gay people to be able to find work and prosper in life (just like I do with heteros). I completely agree that the Birther movement hurt conservatives, just like I believe the War on Women would have hurt the Democrats if the media didn’t work tirelessly to validate it.

    • Bazmac

      “Again, if 50% of women in this country are pro-life, how is it a “call to arms” for women? ”

      What is this says to me is that this issue is too complex and full of warring absolutes to be resolved by gaining and exploiting temporary and marginal political advantage. 50% plus one will only lead to endless strife. Persuasion, not accusation and not law, exerted over time and on a broad front, and abandonment of absolutes is the only way either side will prevail in a lasting way in a pluralistic society.

  • Winghunter

    Your censoring of remarks because they come with corroborating links is BS!! WTF is wrong with you clowns!?

    • JohnDalyAuthor

      Huh?

  • twin130

    Excellent article. I agree that most people underestimated the influence of the media in this election. The Obama campaign dictated the storyline each week, and the media complied. I knew the stories were slanted, but when the media refused to investigate or report on Benghazi, when the coverage of Romney’s statement overshadowed any reporting on the attack, I knew that the journalists in this country had officially joined the Obama campaign team. I’m not sure which was worse, their refusal to report anything negative on Obama, as they downplayed the bad economy, or the constant barrage of attacks on Mitt Romney. Once I did my own research, I was very impressed with Romney. I think he could have been a great president, not only because of his uncanny ability to figure out a problem and fix it, which is exactly what we need right now. More than that, by all accounts, Mitt Romney is a good and decent man. It was humbling to learn about the hours of volunteer work and the number of lives he’s touched, the enormous amounts of money he’s given, college tuition for complete strangers, the shutdown of Bain to search for a missing girl, and if you haven’t read it, google the VA hospital story. Seriously, from saving lives to donating time and money, Mitt Romney’s only flaw in my opinion, is that he makes the rest of us look bad. If the liberal media had only covered one tenth of the good this man has quietly done in his lifetime, it may have changed the outcome of this election. But that would never happen. They were too busy attacking him and demonizing his success. Imagine any other candidate having to stand up to that kind of scrutiny. In the end, the reason they couldn’t dig up any real dirt on him is because there was none to find. I think Mitt Romney was the closest thing to an honest politician we will ever see.

  • Gradivus

    Good article. I agree that having the media in his pocket, combined with a very successful propaganda campaign to discredit Fox News and other media that were not Obama-friendly, to the point where a majority of Americans would not even allow themselves to hear what they had to say, was an overwhelming advantage for the Mr. Obama.

    And yet, Romney still could have won by making only a few fewer mistakes. The third presidential debate was an unqualified disaster, and probably kept as many Republicans from the polls as it failed to convince independents of anything (it certainly demoralized me, and made me decide that Romney did not deserve my vote, except grudgingly to try to defeat the Democrat who was even worse). Romney’s strategy seemed to be to coast to victory when he should’ve kept pedaling. His continued well-publicized avoidance thereafter of any controversy was a totally losing strategy. As large as the media advantage was, the abysmal failures of the Obama presidency would have easily allowed a better candidate to beat him and his media allies. We needed a candidate who was better versed in the arguments for freedom, and more able–and willing–to make them.

    • John Daly

      That kind of comes back to a point I inferred to, but probably should have stated more clearly in the column.

      In our current media environment, a Republican candidate can’t afford to make any mistakes. Because when he/she makes one, the media goes ape-sh*t over it.

      However, a Democratic candidate can afford to make all kinds of mistakes (and Obama did, both in 2012 and 2008), and the media largely glosses over them.

      No Republican candidate could have survived having Jerimiah Wright as their pastor. No Republican candidate could have survived the Benghazi cover-up. If the Republicans tried the ridiculous “War on Women” strategy against the Democrats, the media would have laughed them off.

      The media landscape is what the Republicans need to come up with a strategy for.

  • Smartha

    Really if “you people” don’t realize that you got a extremely stupid candidate…and not only that but you had nothing interesting to Propose to The people….then yes, we end as a divided country…..the stupids and the smarts…….

    • John Daly

      I assume you’re talking about Obama, right?

    • Winghunter

      Where the only thing that is ‘interesting’ to racist parasites is what the government can steal from someone else and give to “you people”.
      Treason has started many wars in the past and is certain to do so again.

  • Mario__P

    Although Romney’s campaign correctly identified the #1 issue during the race, the state of the economy, the GOP and the majority of the posters and all the bloggers on this website blame Obama for the slow recovery. The reality is, 2/3 of the electorate still blames Bush for the slow economic times. The GOP placed way too much emphasis on the economic blame-game when most of the nation knew who the true culprit was.

    • Patrick

      Mario, as much as I disagree with you on many things. I will say you do have a point. Obama inherited a bad economy from Bush, while I would argue that Obama has made that bad economy worse and slowed down any recovery of it, Romney did not differentiate himself enough from Bush which was bad for him since although many people did not want a second term from President Obama, they had no desire to hire another President Bush for more than one reason.

      • Mario__P

        Patrick, I’m glad we agree on something. But since you blame Obama for the slow recovery, what do you envision the unemployment rate to be today had McCain won in 2008?

        • Patrick

          I’m going to be honest with you, I really don’t know because I have no way of knowing of what McCain would actually done in office. But I do know this, I think all the money that the Bush and Obama administrations spent trying to “stimulate” or “jump-start” the economy was wasted because I have a feeling even without the jump-starting, employment would be around the same as it is now. My argument is that we should have not bailed out the auto and banking industries and have let them fail and that we should have not spent stimulus money or TARP money.

          • Mario__P

            If the TARP money would not have been injected into the economy, we would have been in a depression. All the banks would have failed, and how can you have an economy without a bank? If banks were failing left and right, people would pull their money from ALL the banks, because they would not know which bank would fail next. And who do you think would have paid for the FDIC insured accounts that lost their funds? This belief about not bailing out banks is not my own; the great majority of economists think this way. Your solution to the financial crisis would have resulted in a worse economy than we have now.

          • Royalsfan67

            The difference is, almost all of the TARP money was paid back. Those were loans. That money still counts against Bush’s budgets as deficit spending and Obama was president when it was paid back. But instead of putting it back into the general fund or paying down the debt he just respent it and still managed to run trillion dollar deficits.

    • John Daly

      Of course the majority of the electorate still blame Bush for the economy. Both Obama and the media have been singing that tune for four years now. It’s the only narrative the public hears unless they switch over to FOX News. The media, in particular, has gone out of their way to set Obama’s economic bar for success as low as possible. Unemployment is higher now than when Obama took office, and that’s not including millions of people that left the workforce and are no longer counted… and the administration and media promote that as real progress! Reagan inherited an absolutely terrible economy as well, but four years later, he had turned things around so dramatically that he won 49 states in his re-election. That was real job creation and real economic growth. He didn’t spend four years blaming Carter. He spent four years fixing the economy. An economy CAN be turned around in four years, which is why Obama’s own projections of where we’d be right now seemed perfectly reasonable at the time.

      • Mario__P

        Unemployment is higher now than when Obama took over by 0.1 percentage points. Yep, you are correct. When counting the discouraged workers, the unemployment rate today is higher than when Obama took office by 0.2 percentage points; you are correct on that as well. Reagan can blame himself for how bad the recession got in the early 80′s, so he should not have been blaming Carter, although Reagan was placing blame early in his first term. And you don’t think Ferraro’s VP nomination had anything to do with the 84 election results?

        Reagan inherited “an absolutely terrible economy as well”? As well as what? As what Obama’s inheritance was? Was the unemployment rate dropping by 0.5 percentage points a month when Reagan took over? Was the banking system crashing? Was the nation addicted to deficit spending? Was the GDP retracting? Was the home foreclosure rate that high? Had Obama inherited Reagan’s economy, chances are the unemployment rate would not have gone up nine months into his term as when Reagan’s first budget kicked in on October 1, 1981. What Reagan inherited was a joke compared to what Bush left behind.

        John, you completely lack the very basic economic understanding, and I have no idea how you landed this gig. Was there no one else more qualified to fill your spot? Then again, with the logic, or lack there of, the nation has witnessed from the Right these past years, I think there may be a chance you could have been the most qualified applicant for that opening.

        • John Daly

          I love it! Reagan won 49 states, not because of his drastic turn-around of the economy, but because of Geraldine Ferraro. That’s good to know. I never said Reagan and Obama inherited the same situation. I said they both inherited very bad economies. Reagan had different challenges. He came into office at a time when unemployment had steadily risen for a decade. He had stagflation to deal with. There were certainly differences, but what Reagan did is prove that supply-side economics is the answer to turning around a struggling economy to create jobs and build tax revenues. His reforms led to three decades of unprecedented economic growth in this country. Every successor in the White House (including Clinton) has understood that, except for one: Barack Obama. Reagan provided a modern era template for rebounding an economy, and Obama went in the exact opposite direction by expanding government, over-regulating, and discouraging private investment. Personal insults aside, I’ll put my belief in proven supply-side economics measures above Obama’s consistently-failed big-government, European model any day of the week. In the wake of the global economic meltdown in 2008, every country that followed Obama’s lead has suffered greatly. Every one that took Reagan’s lead has done far, far better. Germany is perhaps the highest profile example, and now half of Europe (the countries that tried Obamanomics) is begging them for help. It’s a sad, sad thing to watch, and in Greece, we’re seeing our own country’s future before our very eyes. So yeah, continue to make excuses for your guy if that makes feel better. I’m sure that any day now, the economy will just take off like a rocket. Ugh.

  • AllenJ

    You must be in denial or some different universe. Ryan, Santorum, Akin and others in the party have stated their positions on contraception and abortion. Women as a whole, don’t agree with them. “War on women” is a bit over the top. The fact that Republicans haven’t reconciled their views (they can’t perhaps because of the religious base) with women’s demand for freedom of choice is one reason why the Republicans lost the White House and the Senate. In terms of popular vote, they could have lost the House too except for extensive gerrymandering in a number of red states.

    • Patrick

      Generally, I disagree with a lot of what you say, but I do agree that the GOP would be well advised to widen the umbrella to allow more pro-choice candidates or at least candidates that would allow exceptions for health of the mother, rape, or incests and aren’t as purists. I also think the GOP needs more charismatic candidates who are clear messengers like President Barack Obama was for the Democrats and Ronald Reagan was twenty years ago.

    • John Daly

      Oh brother. Regardless of how individuals feel personally about contraception in their own family planning, not even Santorum (the most socially conservative guy there is) has been pushing legislation to keep women from using them. So where’s the controversy? As far as abortion goes, national polls always show a 50/50 split on pro-life vs pro-choice, whenever women are polled. So I don’t know where this idea that “women as a whole” are pro-choice comes from.

      I don’t disagree that the “war on women” nonsense hurt Republicans, but there was also a time when polls showed that the Birther movement was hurting Obama. Both were bologne.

      • AllenJ

        John:

        I’d say that vowing to overturn Roe v Wade is seen as a call to arms by many women. I think that Republicans would like to re-criminalize abortion because they see it as killing unborn human life. If that’s not so, the GOP hasn’t got the message out to the voters.

        • John Daly

          Vowing to? Who vowed to? Saying that you would favor the overturn of Roe vs Wade to put the decision back to the states isn’t vowing to overturn it. Politicians can’t do it anyway. It would be a Supreme Court decision. And it would never happen anyway.

          George W. Bush – a more socially conservative politician than Mitt Romney is – was our president for eight years. His time in office included a full sweep of Republican control of the Senate and the House that was full of social conservatives. Abortion and contraception were never under any jeopardy during that time. Yet, suddenly, it’s become this huge fear from women that both are going to be taken away if Mitt Romney becomes our president?

          The notion is ridiculous and was nothing more than Obama fear-mongering that paid off.

          Romney would have done what Obama hasn’t done – spent his time fixing the economy.

          • AllenJ

            I grant you that GWB and the Republican congress didn’t get around to outlawing abortion. However, GWB did end fetal stem cell research and tried to defund Planned Parenthood. Let’s be clear that the Republicans have never embraced what are referred to as “women’s issues”. If they have, please show me the proof.

          • Royalsfan67

            He did not end fetal stem cell research, he ended federal grants for it because of the slippery slope it would lead to. All major break throughs in stem cell research had come from adult stem cells and soon after Bush’s decision, they discovered stem cells from the placenta could be used and were more effective. Notice how the entire controversy went away after about a year? It is because Bush was right and the left quit debating it.

          • JohnDalyAuthor

            Royalsfan67 is absolutely right about this.

          • JohnDalyAuthor

            How was fetal stem-cell research a woman’s issue? And no, Bush never tried to end the government subsidy to Planned Parenthood – only similar organizations outside of our country’s borders. Romney did say he wanted to end the subsidy within the United States, which would have done nothing but let the organization continue doing what it does with privately-raised money (which most of it is now).

            The difference between Republicans and Democrats on “women’s issues” is that the Republicans don’t define women’s concerns solely (and insultingly) on their reproductive parts.

        • twin130

          Another media point that had nothing to do with Romney’s campaign. You’re not alone; the media scared a lot of people into believing this. It will never happen.

    • twin130

      Nobody proposed outlawing abortion or contraceptives. The question on contraception was who should pay for it. Most women have always paid for their own contraception so I don’t understand why this became such a big issue. Also, Romney said that he is pro-life but that is his peronal belief and he would not push that on a country whose citizens did not want it. That, to me, was the perfect response.

  • Bob

    John, I don’t disagree with your point. I think the 3% margin could have easily been made up with a better candidate, an embracing of the libertarian movement within the Republican party, and a few less mistakes. Beyond that, you are absolutely correct, the President should be answering some hard questions about Benghazi and other issues that just aren’t being asked right now.

    The question is, how do we do so? You mention the New Media, but the New Media has been screaming about this for a month – no one is listening. What I don’t understand is why isn’t the old media challenging the President on these issues? Sensational news like a massive coverup that got Americans killed seems like it would attract viewers and sell newspapers, so why doesn’t it get printed? Are ridiculous ideas like the “War on Women” more interesting and getting viewers to tune in? Is investigating and reporting the truth just too expensive and not a good return on investment? MSNBC and CNN have both struggled in ratings and revenue in the last few years and FNC has as good ratings as both of those channels combined. All the cable news combined has 1/10th the viewership that the three networks have.

    With 25 million people watching ABC, NBC and CBS every week how can we possibly combat any bias they have?

    • John Daly

      Honestly, between the Republican primary candidates that actually ran, Romney had the best chance of winning. Do I think there were better candidates than Romney who didn’t run? Yes. Regardless, the media is going to be dead-set against ANY Republican candidate, and they’ve shown over the past two election cycles that they’ll pretty much do whatever it takes to get their guy in the White House. So, mainstream-media marginalization needs to be a part of the Republican’s overall strategy. I agree that new media is already pretty vocal, but I think they can make some differences in the area of investigative journalism. James O’Keefe showed us a couple of years ago how two people and a camera can take down a corrupt organization as large as ACORN. Breitbart.com and The Daily Caller also did some good work this year, and got their findings to be recognized by at least some of the mainstream media. Like I said, I don’t have all the answers but something needs to be done.

  • Artlouis

    If Obama continues to screw up the economy and our foreign affairs  in his second term, the media might be less inclined to ignore the fact. They got their guy reelected, and he can’t run again, so perhaps some of them will play at being journalists, rather than campaign operatives.   They would have nothing to lose and perhaps something to win, like a raise and public recognition.

    Obama was a special case. I am not so sure the media will fall in love with any old Democratic party hack who gets nominated in the future. Bonehead Biden, for example.  Even Hillary doesn’t have the aura that Obama did.

    Even if the liberal media stay mum during Term Two, more and more voters are going to catch on to the ineptitude of the incumbent. He came pretty close to losing this time, which means that a lot of people who voted for him the first time got a wake-up call. The alarm clocks continue to tick. 

    Furthermore, it has become rare for a single party to win three consecutive presidential elections. Since 1948, it has happened only once (1980-84-88).  People get disillusioned with  the party in power sooner or later, for any number of reasons, usually economic ones.

    I absolutely reject the notion that we should start kissing up to groups that we don’t like, and that will remain resolutely pro-Democrat no matter what we say or do. Such obvious  pandering will lose us more votes than it will gain.

    • John Daly

      I hope you’re right, but I’m not inclined to give the media that much credit.