Conservative base “lied to,” Frum, Scarborough say

The finger pointing in the Republican presidential election 2012 meltdown continues, as conservative pundit David Frum recently weighed in on what caused Romney to be handily defeated by President Barack Obama.

“The problem with Republican leaders is that they’re cowards,” Frum said, adding that the party’s base of donors “went apocalyptic” in the last four years.

Republicans have been fleeced and exploited and lied to by a conservative entertainment complex,” he said.

“Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough pressed him to “name names,” which Frum skirted around, but he said there were “too many.”

Frum said he interviewed protesters at Tea Party rallies and found that a majority was convinced that taxes increased and that the federal government spent more than $1 trillion on welfare each year. Both claims are false.

The followers, the donors and the activists are so mistaken about the nature of the problems the country faces,” Frum said.


MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, a former Republican congressman from Florida, pretty much said the same thing:

If I were a donor, my biggest problem would be that I was lied to. I was lied to by the, as David Frum said, the conservative entertainment establishment. I mean, the conservative media establishment. They lied to the donors, they lied to the base, they lied to everybody about how Romney was ahead and things were looking good in the Senate.

The pollsters lied. Everybody lied! And so guys keep writing checks and find out the reason they went to Minnesota and Pennsylvania is because all of these people that were saying Romney was going to win Ohio, they knew he was not going to win Ohio. They knew all along!

I will say I noticed most Republicans/conservatives convinced themselves into thinking they had all the momentum on their side. They pretty much relied on historic analyses of elections that indicate incumbent presidents typically have a harder time getting their base back out to the polls in re-election bids. The conservative base, as well as the politicians, advisors and pundits, over-estimated Republican/conservative rage at President Obama while underestimating Democratic turnout, as CBS noted.

It’s an interesting point of discussion and could be seen as one of the many factors that handed Mitt Romney his deafening loss. As I argued last week, there were many mistakes the Republican Party collectively did that tipped the election into President Obama’s favor.

I do believe that Fox News and other right-wing media lovers tend to live inside a bubble and can’t see the forest for the trees. They can’t see past the hyperbole, misinformation and inaccurate “reporting,” pandering and race-baiting to comprehend that the rest of America doesn’t buy into the Tea Party, ultra-conservative Ayn Rand view point of the world.

Even Mitt Romney was in denial; he didn’t even bother with a concession speech, but mused that he only prepared a victory speech. The candidate, along with members of his campaign, reported feeling shocked when Election Day results didn’t turn out to be favorable for the party.

The now infamous Election Night string of denials and calls for caution done in vain by Karl Rove on Fox News also suggests something similar to conservatives walking around with their heads in the sand. A check of the Republican Party Facebook group I subscribe to reflected a feeling of shock and dismay among stalwarts and avid backers on Election Night and in the days after the news sank in that President Obama was, in fact, re-elected by a considerable margin. Even some pundits are still bitter from Mitt Romney’s lost.

One has to wonder if this self-imposed bubble lifestyle could have contributed to a false sense of hope and optimism among conservatives.