Maybe We Weren't Conservative Enough?

In the aftermath of President Obama's re-election, Republican pundits are trying to figure out what went wrong, and their conclusion? They believe -- incorrectly, according to Earl Ofari Hutchinson in the Huffington Post -- that the GOP candidates who lost weren't extreme enough.

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Karl Rove (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

With Mitt Romney's loss, there has been a firestorm of finger-pointing among the GOP as to what happened and who or what caused the Democratic win. And in that swirl, many Republican pundits feel that their party just wasn't focused enough on extreme right ideas, writes Earl Ofari Hutchinson in the Huffington Post -- and they're wrong.

Yet, in the deluge of soul-searching, hand wringing, and finger pointing at what went so haywire for the GOP with the election, one would never know that any of this happened. The parade of GOP hardliners peddle the delusion that Romney and GOP ultraconservative candidates lost because they weren't conservative enough, or their self-inflicted gaffe wounds did them in. They denounced and slough off any talk from the GOP party leaders of re-messaging, mounting an aggressive outreach to minorities, even Hispanics, and do a reversal on immigration.

This is more than a stupendously high flight of fancy that the GOP can win future national elections if they hue to hardcore conservative views and back candidates that do. It's pure self-serving delusion. Now here's the reality. Every conservative GOP candidate since Barry Goldwater's wipe out loss to LBJ 1964 has spouted hard conservative line in the primaries, and then quickly moved to the center when they want to win. Romney much too belatedly did the same. He softened his positions on immigration, was silent on gay marriage, soft pedaled his touted budget whack of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, and did a photo-op at an inner-city charter school. If he hadn't done that he would have come close to being the Goldwater of 2012. It would have been an Obama landslide.

Read Earl Ofari Hutchinson's entire piece at the Huffington Post.

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Sept. 19 2014 8:34 AM