There were some huge Republican losses -- personal losses, professional losses, career losses, and of course job losses. And there are some watchers cataloging the losses. Let's start with Romney's loss -- by now perhaps the least interesting.
Team Romney has every reason to be shellshocked. Its candidate, after all, resoundingly won the election of the country he was wooing.
Mitt Romney is the president of white male America. ...Maureen Dowd, NYT
"Team Romney," as Dowd points out, really believed they were going to win. Couldn't see past their piles of money and how their crassness, and the crassness of so many of the Republican candidates, was affecting voters. Karen Hughes, W's aide for several years and a firm Republican, at least recognized what was going on. "If another Republican man says anything about rape other than it is a horrific, violent crime, I want to personally cut out his tongue."
Then, too, there were some pollsters who got it all wrong. If you want to see a sad, hangdog group of failures, just look at the numbers of well-known pollsters who got it wrong -- way wrong! Gallup was the worst. In the same group are Mason-Dixon and Washington Post/ABC.
...Polls conducted over the final three weeks of the campaign had a two-point Republican bias overall, probably more than can be explained by the late shift alone. In addition, likely voter polls were slightly more Republican-leaning than the actual results in many races in 2010. ...Nate Silver, NYT
Just about everyone -- save, of course, Karl Rove and the private consultants who made out like bandits during the campaign -- thinks American Crossroads is a bust.
With more than a little glee, Democrats and even some Republicans say the electoral defeat of so many candidates backed by his brainchild, a behemoth super PAC called American Crossroads, is proof that politics has finally passed Rove by. ...WaPo
One of the problems Rove's gang faces is that they want to win. The tea party wants to win, too, but not at the expense of "ideological purity." And here's the scary part:
Crossroads also is likely to invest more deeply in organizations such as the Republican State Leadership Committee, which has been trying to build a more appealing GOP farm team by, among other things, recruiting Hispanic candidates to run for state-level office.
And it is raising money to run advertising shoring up the congressional Republicans during the upcoming negotiations to avert the “fiscal cliff.”
For Crossroads, 2012 was a $300 million learning experience. ...WaPo
That's where the Republicans are confident they'll win. We've been watching over the past decade as Americans for Prosperity, the Kochs, and ALEC have focused on electing, buying, and persuading state legislatures to enact what would become national policies on immigration, education, collective bargaining and other key issues for corporate America. And don't forget state courts and the judges who are, increasingly, puppets of the right.
That's where the Democrats have a big job ahead.
How a candidate campaigns, says Paul Krugman, does in some ways indicate how effective that candidate will be as president. But within limits.
Smearing your opponent, flattering the news media, and suppressing the vote may work fine against hapless Democrats (back then they really were hapless in a way they no longer are); they’re no use at all in dealing with foreign governments and a troubled economy.
Yet there are some skills that do apply to both campaigning and governing — above all, an ability to face up to reality. And this, we’re now learning, was a skill that the Romney campaign utterly lacked. At least if postmortems are to be believed, they drank their own Kool-Aid, “unskewing” the polls and thus failing to understand what anyone reading Sam Wang, Drew Linzer, or Nate Silver knew.
Now, it’s one thing to do this and misjudge the prospects of rival American candidates. But suppose Romney had somehow ended up winning, and made the same kind of misjudgement of, say, Iran or al Qaeda — or of the economic outlook. Living in a bubble of conservative denial can lose much more than an election if it becomes a style of governing. ...Economics and Politics
See, for example, Bush on Iraq and later on Katrina. In neither case did he allow reality to intrude on his wishful thinking and (in my view) his laziness.
What do we learn from Romney's campaign? "Romney wasn’t ready, and neither was his party."