By Cos E. Callis
Perhaps it is only natural that when a contest ends 'closely' analysts focus their attention on 'the little things' that could have altered the outcome. A football fan may focus his ire on a singular 'bad call' during the final drive of a game, court watchers will apply considerable scrutiny to how one justice's vote might have been swayed in a 5-4 decision. It is not unsurprising that political observers of the 2012 election have expended substantial effort on the issues and tactics that might have moved the polls by a 'point-or-two', and then only in 'key battleground states'. While such analysis is not without merit, it does a disservice to the GOP to focus too much attention on 'the little things' when there are (at least) three major failings in the prevailing Republican strategy that could have made a seismic difference in the outcome. First, Romney left too many important issues 'on the table' in favor of a one-dimensional attack. Second, the GOP has continued to fumble the immigration issue. Finally, the Republican party has allowed President Obama and the Democrats to re-write the history of recent GOP Presidents without serious challenge.
With an emerging scandal in Benghazi tee'd up for him, Mitt Romney played the role of Lucy to the GOP's Charlie Brown. In the second debate the Governor did not just eschewed his opportunity to challenge the Presidents handling of Libya, but he (Romney) did so in a way that made it very difficult for others to carry the issue. Of the various crises over the past four years Benghazi, more than any other, demonstrated just how unfit Barack Obama is for the office. In Libya it was self-evident, from day one, that security at a U.S. consulate had been sacrificed. Further, we quickly learned (without the need for a protracted 'investigation' or 'hearings') that security had been downgraded against the advice of those to whom the president and Ms. Clinton should have been listening. In the face of overwhelming evidence that more security was needed, not less. It was no great leap of inductive reasoning to understand that the president sacrificed security in order to project the desired administration narrative. a U.S. ambassador and three others were murdered (Ambassador Stevens was even raped in the process). This was the greatest violation of American sovereignty since 9/11. It was obvious from the very beginning that it was the result of bad policy emanating from the White House. These events should have been a coup for the GOP, discrediting not only Obama himself but Hillary Clinton and their shared 'world view'. How 'big of a difference' could this have made? This week Gallup posted some interesting results: Republicans [92%], Independents [87%] and Democrats [86%] overwhelmingly agree that "Preventing future acts of international terrorism" is a 'very important' goal of national security. So what happens if the Romney/Ryan campaign indicts the president's performance by pointing out that President Obama's strategy to reduce terrorism is to merely redefine it? Imagine if, during the second debate, Mitt Romney had said, "We have a president whose chief strategy to reduce terrorism is to pretend it isn't terrorism." Of course a comment like this would have required aggressive prosecution, but it was there to be had. It is predictable that this alone could have swayed more than just a few points in the polls.
For too many years GOP has allowed the Democrats and 'the media' to control the narrative on immigration-politics....
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