The University of Maine student newspaper since 1875
Sunday, April 19, 11:08 p.m.

GOP needs to look itself in the mirror to identify where election failures came from

Time to face the painful truth: Mitt Romney lost. After Ohio was called for Obama, there were moments of shocked silence around the conservative world as many saw the instant fall of the future’s market and mourned.

The next logical step for the stunned GOP — blame everyone else. It’s not like the warnings were there from the beginning. People felt disconnected from Romney and his message. Well, it’s no wonder Mitt Romney was a moderate, running as a conservative, running as a moderate, because defying history and common sense — like Ronald Reagan and the 2010 midterm Tea Party revolution — never happened.

No, instead of recognizing that conservatism is the only thing that can save the floundering mixed messages of the GOP, the cool intellect of the GOP captains has decided social conservatism is to blame.

Utter malarkey, if I might borrow a term from the illustrious Joe Biden.

Where, exactly, was there extreme social conservatism in this election? Certainly not on the Romney-Ryan ticket. Yes, Todd Akin made a stupid comment — not a big deal, unless you’re a delusional media member attempting to perpetrate a completely imaginary war on women. Hank Johnson also was afraid Guam would tip over if too many Marines were brought there. Did that receive national media coverage? No. And Dick Lugar’s comments shouldn’t be all that controversial either, not unless President Obama’s support of late-term abortion starts to be bandied about with the same outraged tone.

Any sentient human being need only engage their brain for a fraction of a second to see no one in the GOP was talking about taking away contraception or sending women back to the Dark Ages.

So we can drop the ‘extreme right-wing menace’ narrative. Especially since the alternative narrative may be even better in terms of sheer incredulity.

According to some members of the GOP, Rick Santorum caused Romney to lose because Romney had to spend money in the primary to secure the nomination.

I’m sorry, but last time I read the Constitution, this is a country that protects dissent and difference of opinion. Yet, the brilliant and masterful heads of the GOP have made this tantamount to treason.

The absurdity of this claim doesn’t even merit refuting.

The GOP needs to pull its head out of the sand, wherein lies their happy little fantasy land of non-accountability. The level of mental gymnastics that are being engaged to produce excuses for the loss of this election proves just how delusional the party heads are. It’s time to realize the biggest problem is them — they stand for nothing, hold themselves accountable for nothing.

This is supposed to be a party about principles. Not the divisiveness of race and gender politics. Here’s a news flash, John Boehner: Holding up Marco Rubio like some kind of Messiah on the basis of his Cuban heritage just to prove you’re not racist is not only incredibly insulting, but racist.

The GOP’s real problem is its obsession with perception. How long did we spend talking about women instead of the economy? How many minorities spoke at the RNC because of the color of their skin not their integrity?

Enough already. These are the politics of division. And every time the party plays these games, we lose.

Time to take a few lessons from the Tea Party.

Lesson 1: Stand for Principles

The Tea Party has a clear platform: small government, controlled spending and a strong defense. And they vote those principles — they don’t buy votes or pander.

Lesson 2: Member Accountability

The Tea Party doesn’t let just anyone run under their banner. They investigate candidates before endorsing them, and if members violate the Tea Party principles, they are repudiated.

These aren’t exactly revolutionary ideas, but perhaps it is time to prove Thomas Jefferson right. He said, “a little revolution every now and then is a good thing.” The GOP leadership has yet again proven itself to be ineffectual and boneheaded. They refuse to recognize their problems. Fellow conservatives, are you tired of being proven right time and again, yet continuously blamed for the GOP’s problems? I know I am. Time to take a stand before it’s too late.