Mitt Romney was true Conservative. There can be no doubt about it.
He was as big a wingnut as anybody out there. The proof of this was highlighted by Steve Benen this morning:
His post is a reaction to a CBS News story about how the Romney Campaign was certain of victory and blindsided by defeat:
"We went into the evening confident we had a good path to victory," said one senior adviser. "I don't think there was one person who saw this coming." [snip]"There's nothing worse than when you think you're going to win, and you don't," said another adviser. "It was like a sucker punch." [snip]
"He was shellshocked," one adviser said of Romney. [snip]
Easy: magical thinking. And that's what makes Mitt Romney a true conservative.
While the Obama Campaign focused on math, GOTV, data, turn-out and reality, the Romney Campaign focused on what they felt should be true and then filtered all information to support that vision:
Romney and his campaign had gone into the evening confident they had a good path to victory, for emotional and intellectual reasons. The huge and enthusiastic crowds in swing state after swing state in recent weeks – not only for Romney but also for Paul Ryan – bolstered what they believed intellectually: that Obama would not get the kind of turnout he had in 2008.They thought intensity and enthusiasm were on their side this time – poll after poll showed Republicans were more motivated to vote than Democrats – and that would translate into votes for Romney.
As a result, they believed the public/media polls were skewed – they thought those polls oversampled Democrats and didn't reflect Republican enthusiasm. They based their own internal polls on turnout levels more favorable to Romney. That was a grave miscalculation, as they would see on election night.
Republicans, conservatives, wingnuts—whatever name you want to give them—all share a core belief in magical thinking. To be a conservative in America today you must replace reality with your fantasies, but reality has a way of getting your attention from time to time. Mitt Romney was the perfect candidate for them. His campaign proved that he was severely conservative.