Sour Grapes and Denial from Fox News

Mitt Romney was a deeply flawed, inadequate and unpopular candidate from the beginning, who went on to offend almost every demographic group in the country.

Op-ed

In a Nov. 7 article titled “Five ways the mainstream media tipped the scales in favor of Obama,” Rich Noyes of Fox News thrashes the major media as the sole cause Obama’s victory.  Noyes faults the networks for reporting on the gaffes Romney made during his trip to Europe. He points to Mother Jones’ reporting of the sensational “47%” video in which Romney denigrated millions of Americans who don’t pay income taxes, saying the “networks hyped it as a sensational sex scandal.” Noyes whines that the major news networks failed to report on Obama’s “You didn’t build that” comment, when in reality the networks engaged in appropriate journalism by refusing to take that remark out of context like the Republicans insisted on doing. Noyes complains that Romney was “pounded with partisan fact-checking,” when the media was forced many times to correct errors and mis-statements Romney frequently made, including his bizarre repetition of an easily-verfiable geographical error he repeated no fewer than five times during the campaign that “Syria is Iran’s route to the sea.” Noyes also faults the debate moderators, the lack of clarity over what happened in Benghazi and reporting on the state of the economy for Romney’s defeat. He faults everyone but the GOP itself.

Noyes doesn’t want to acknowledge that Obama won re-election in part because the Republican Party has what is now clearly an outdated and unpopular agenda. Obama also won in part because the Republican Party ran an extraordinarily poor quality candidate. In the primary and general campaigns, both Romney and the other GOP candidates ran on a platform that promoted injustice toward and harassment of women, denigration of immigrants and minorities and policies like tax cuts and deregulation that have already had a good, long try and failed our country miserably.

Romney also was extraordinary in another way, too. He left many people scratching their heads, trying to understand how a man — and particularly a man who claims to be so religious — could have campaigned in the national spotlight while also appearing to be almost a pathological liar. Romney made such a huge quantity of blatant, verifiable lies that a Daily Kos website attempting to track them all finally had to divide them into broad topic segments, like lies on the economy, lies on defense, foreign policy, social issues, health care, taxes, finance, etc. By the end of his eight years of campaigning, Romney had not only told a historic number of lies for any presidential candidate, but he had offended virtually every possible demographic segment of the country except conservative, old white men — and by tacking toward the political middle at the very end, he likely offended many of them as well. Romney offended women backing a “personhood amendment” that would effectively ban contraception by declaring a fertilized human egg a person. He threatened to do away with Planned Parenthood, Roe v. Wade and women’s right to obtain an abortion. His “47% “comments alienated poor people, the elderly, members of the military and virtually anyone who had ever gotten any kind of government assistance. Romney claimed he “loved teachers” while simultaneously taking swipes at teachers’ unions. He offended hispanics with his comments about “self-deportation.” Romney even ran anti-automobile manufacturer ads (that were lies) in the heart of automobile manufacturing country , and thought that would actually help him win Ohio. Romney made thinking people cringe when he vapidly and panderingly said he loved trees and streets and cars and lakes and water whatever he laid his eyes on. He offended southerners by patronizingly saying he was “learning to say y’all” and eat grits. It was just sickening. The truth is that Romney wasn’t just a weak candidate with outdated ideas and a pandering attitude. He was a loser from the start. He got only tepid support from his own party. The establishment GOP embraced Romney with the enthusiasm of a kid ordered to eat his green beans. Even those who came around to support him at the end did so with obvious acrimony. It was clear they were faced with the fact that as faulty as Romney was, he was their only remaining bet to try to get Obama out of office.

So Romney lost, and not because of the media, or a hurricane, or any other extraneous causes. He lost for many good reasons. The only real burning question remaining about the results of November 2012 general election was how so many people could possibly have voted for such a deeply flawed and offensive candidate.

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