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Thursday, October 18, 2018

This week we were reminded that Republicans are masters of blaming everything—but their own beliefs.

Why did Mitt Romney lose? It couldn’t be because the GOP is wrong on taxes, health care, women’s rights, immigration, education, marriage, regulation, diplomacy, climate change, evolution, science, polling, jobs numbers, fashion, sex, Kid Rock, Ted Nugent, Meat Loaf…

No, it had to be Hurricane Sandy, ORCA, Chris Christie, Newt Gingrich, mean ole Barack Obama actually daring to release negative ads, one New Black Panther, a mural in one polling place

The truth is two Republicans and two Democrats—besides President Obama and his indomitable team, who came up with the ninja idea of taking Mitt Romney’s health care plan—deserve credit for defeating Mitt.

But before I reveal who the heroes and goats are, let me clearly state that none of this would have been possible if the GOP wasn’t just flat-out-100-percent-Dick Morris-wrong about everything.

Now I can tell you that the two Democrats most responsible for Romney’s defeat are Ted Kennedy and Bill Clinton.

In 2008, Kennedy gave Paul Begala a roadmap for defeating Mitt Romney. Kennedy said, “Don’t underestimate Romney. He’s smart and resourceful and will say anything, take any position.”

Kennedy explained how his staff tracked down ex-Bain employees and let their stories of Romney’s disregard for labor undo his ambitions. Begala had Kennedy’s advice ready when he went to work with the Priorities USA Super PAC:

The Priorities USA team set out to find people who lost their jobs as the result of a Bain deal, culling news reports and public records to find subjects. They eventually filmed interviews with 18 former employees of Bain-owned companies, some of which were too scathing to air.

Bill Clinton, of course, is the second Democrat who most helped defeat Romney in two distinct ways.

According to reports, the former president advised the Obama campaign not to focus on Mitt Romney’s tendency to flop on any issue as if he’s a goldfish in a two-year-old’s hand — that might actually appeal to moderate voters. Clinton was proven right at the first debate when Romney’s knack for reinvention shook the course of the whole race. Instead, Clinton supported exposing Romney’s Bain record and painting Romney as “Bush on steroids.”

What was even more important was Bill Clinton’s role as the Secretary of Explaining Sh*t.

As a witness for the defense, he was incomparable. With his 65 percent approval rating, he testified to President Obama’s successes and the virtue of his plan going forward. He also inoculated the president against criticism by repeatedly reminding voters that the same people attacking the president said terrible things about him—though they were now praising him as if he’d suddenly become Diet Reagan.