Of much greater significance than Republicans’ failure to recapture the White House is the fact that America will, for the first time ever, have its third consecutive two-term president. That’s more a commentary on the invulnerability of the modern presidency than on the weakness of the GOP message or its candidate. Such a topic deserves its own consideration, and seems much more relevant than the somewhat insipid “Republicans lost because they’re so extreme!” theory.
Mitt Romney had to contend with an unusually difficult primary battle, religious prejudice, a sitting president who outspent him by $100 million and a mainstream media content to ignore his opponent’s shortcomings while enabling his prevarications. Even for a leader as capable as Romney, that’s a tough battle.
So rather than buying the line that the GOP’s demise is all but certain, I’m going to remember the words of another great leader: “It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness; that is life.”
Jared Whitley is a writer living in Washington, D.C. He has worked for newspapers, Sen. Orrin Hatch, and the White House Communications Office under Pres. Bush.