Put a bunch of conservatives in a room after an election loss and they are certain to come up with a self-absorbed, inane rationale for defeat. That might be true of all people; the urge to find a convenient excuse for what ails us was fodder for Shakespeare, too. Combine that, however, with the constant crabbing from the right wing that it has been “sold out” and you get a string of silly explanations for electoral defeat.
For a while, and to a great extent they still are, the mainstream media have been the favorite whipping boy.
This CPAC there was a new low in inane excuse-making as conservative speaker after speaker decided to blame “consultants.” The complaint was not incompetence, but ideological weakness and aversion to policy arguments. This is daft for a bunch of reasons:
The people complaining and the GOP candidates who have won also had consultants.
Consultant are picked by candidates, who approve their recommendations or reject them. Sometimes they even fire them.
Voters ultimately decide whom to vote for, so if they’ve chosen unwisely go lecture GOP voters.
Had more skilled candidates run in 2012 we might be praising the brilliant team of President Christie or President Jeb Bush. It is not like the best candidates ran in 2012 (although not for lack of pleading).
Like media bias, consultant conspiracy is a topic that has zero resonance with voters. When conservatives whine about it, especially in public, it is another sign to voters that these people have nothing to offer THEM, the voters.
Are there bad consultants just like there are bad candidates? Sure. But consultants helped the GOP take the House in 2010, elect Sens. Rand Paul and Marco Rubio, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker survive a recall and take 30 governorships.
Now, of course, a pol who went to the podium to tell the crowd not to hire bad consultants wouldn’t get a knowing laugh and rousing ovation. Frankly, the pols and pundits doing a lot of the bellyaching are the same ones who pushed such awful candidates as Sharron Angle, Christine O’Donnell and Todd Akin, and insist the problem with the GOP is insufficient rigidity.
Of all the dumb excuses Republicans have come up with for losing, blaming consultants has to be among the dumbest. Note who is making that argument. And then ignore everything they say hereafter.