One thing I've noticed about the reports on the Romney camp -- and the right in general -- post-election is that they are really, truly stunned by the loss. There's lots of speculation as to why -- Maha has what I think is a good take on it:
The right-wing world view is based on a faith in several unsupported assumptions, one of which is that a solid majority of American citizens share their views, and liberal/progressive beliefs are held only by a shadowy elite fringe of egghead academics and aging hippies (never mind that “elite hippie” is something of an oxymoron) plus angry and demanding nonwhites, various “pervents” like gays and feminists, and foreign infiltrators. In the rightie mind, all of those groups added together make a big enough minority to be of concern in a national election, especially with that voter fraud thing going on. But still, a minority.
After all, the press has been telling them for years that America is a center-right nation. They just decided to ignore the "center" part of it. I'm not even sure about the "right" part -- I suspect that most Americans are like me: we want responsible government that doesn't spend itself into a hole regularly, or at least not a very deep one, and that stays out of people's personal lives.
Update: They just don't get it. Here's Peggy Noonan on what the Republicans need to do to recover:
Noonan, however, says Republicans don't need to rethink their principles such as limited government, but how to present such ideas. . . .
"One of the things I think the party will have to do now is listen to certain voices, such as up here in New York, Heather Higgins of IWF (Independent Women's Forum). She has been some time to party political professionals the answer is not to drill deep into the base; the answer is to expand the base. And that is through going to people, that is through conversation, that is through talking to them about the issues that they case about. It is not operating from 'up here' with big ads that just press people's buttons; it's operating in a way like the Obama campaign did. It's going down on to the ground and talking to people. It's labor intensive, but it's a way of growing. It's a wake of persuading people, which I think Republicans have gotten kind of bad at," she said.
"Kind of bad at." Yeah, you could say that. What's key here, and where Noonan is missing completely, is that part about not rethinking their principles. Granted, she's probably thinking of the stated principles -- the small government thing -- but not about the actual principles -- small government for the 1%, Uncle Sam peering over your shoulder for everyone else. She doesn't get it. (I fail to understand why Noonan is considered a "respected political commentator.")
David Atkins has a better take on it.
But did the Republicans really believe that women, youth, minorities, and educated folk wouldn't recognize a visceral threat to our existence when we saw it? That we wouldn't turn out to vote? That we wouldn't do everything in our power to prevent the measures of our lives from being determined by these people?
Of course, they could always respond with threats.
Footnote: Digby has what I have to consider the cherry on top.