Was The 2012 Election Lost Or Stolen?

The following is an edited version of my reply to a pile of emails I’ve received with allegations that the 2012 election was stolen. Most of them focused on a legal injunction, stemming from past efforts to intimidate legitimate voters, that prohibits the RNC from engaging in voter fraud prevention activities in certain precincts with high percentages of minority voters. I had pointed out that “the RNC is not the GOP, and there is nothing preventing state parties, national campaigns (Romney’s included) or other organizations from addressing voter fraud in those precincts where the RNC’s past behavior has earned these restrictions.” The friend who forwarded these emails hopes to build support for a grand jury investigation that he believes could end with the entire popular vote results in several states being discarded, sending the election to the House of Representatives. While we all know who would come out ahead in such a preposterous scenario, there simply isn’t a whistle-blower’s chance in Quantico that this could ever happen. Besides, I’m not convinced that what little voter fraud there was had any impact on the outcome, and, as readers of this blog know, I seriously question whether Romney would have been any better, on balance, than Obama. As I told my friend,

“If we (as in the Republican party) want to understand what went wrong in this election cycle we’d better start by looking in the mirror. I don’t believe this election was stolen, at least not by votes being cast illegally. There seems to have been some of that but not nearly enough to change the results. Obama won because he went out there and made an impassioned argument for wealth redistribution and the nanny state, and a large portion of the electorate bought it. There’s We the People for you. That We did so is frightening. But what was the alternative?

“Let’s face it, the GOP leadership hasn’t backed a presidential candidate who was willing to make the case for economic or individual freedom for a very long time. If we don’t like the direction of the country we need to see to it that the next election offers We the People a genuine choice. That needs to start with a long-overdue shakeup within the GOP, not with throwing out We the People’s votes because they reflect ignorance, greed and immorality.”

His response was that while Romney left a lot to be desired, he believed in an America that was good for business, would never have let four Americans be killed in Benghazi and was vastly better than Obama. (Talk about blind faith; the last Republican president let three thousand Americans be killed right here at home.) A third party to the exchange asked me to post my response here. So for whatever it’s worth, here it is:

“Bottom line – I worry that this focus on election rigging is a distraction from the real problem, which is that team A and team B do not represent different directions for the country. Your comment that Romney believed in an America that is good for business is about as specific as his campaign ever was. The Benghazi furor is just smoke and mirrors. We have no idea what really happened, but all the military brass publicly denies ever being told to stand down, and contrary to popular right-wing static, no flag officers were relieved of duty. Look it up anywhere you like; Carter Ham is still AFRICOM commander and is scheduled to retire next spring.

“And even if someone was told to stand down, that could well have been a tactical decision that saved many more lives in the long run. Washington himself had to “stand down” on more than one occasion and allow part of his army to be lost rather than risk a bigger disaster. Any blame associated with Benghazi belongs to the irresponsible CIA, as well as the fools who embroiled us in the Libyan civil war to begin with, including not only Obama and his henchmen but nearly the entire Republican establishment, including Romney. And Romney wanted us to do the same in Syria.

“You couldn’t fit a business card between Romney and Obama on foreign policy. Neither of them had a credible plan to balance the budget or pay down the debt. Both believed or claimed to believe that government can create jobs. Both promised to protect entitlement programs that are unsustainable. Both supported government-run healthcare and government-mandated health insurance. Both were interventionists and supported trashing the Bill of Rights because of the terrorist threat created by decades of interventionist policies. Both supported government control of the internet. Both were in bed with agribusiness and opposed to freeing small farmers from the current suffocating regulatory burdens. Both supported the trend toward a police state and used national security as a magic excuse for unlimited executive power. Both believed that Israel should be able to force America into a war with Iran. Both supported the extra-judicial assassination of American citizens. Both held that naked body-scans and strip searches are a necessary part of keeping us safe.

“Yes, Romney was (at least rhetorically) better than Obama on abortion and religious freedom. I voted for him because of that difference. But many Americans don’t agree with you and I there. Fact is, we couldn’t have picked a worse candidate. And now we are suffering the consequences.

“For me, this election was lost 9 months ago. I just don’t see the life-or-death struggle between Romney’s and Obama’s respective visions for the future of America. There is precious little that sets them apart, and that little wasn’t enough to sufficiently inspire conservative voters.

“You asked if we will have another election. Why not? They seem to work out well for the statists and still allow the people to feel like they are in control. I don’t see why the establishment wouldn’t want to keep the game up as long as possible. Even the Soviets had elections, and our two party system is vastly superior to their single party affair. Bill Clinton’s mentor and Georgetown law professor Carroll Quigley wrote thirty years ago in Tragedy And Hope that it was essential for powerful nations to have two political parties with opposing rhetoric but similar underlying policies, so that the voters could “throw the bad guys out” in any given election without causing “instability.”

“I am certainly not a fatalist, and you are right about the need for prayer. Please forgive my inability to see how a Romney presidency would save our country, or even give us another chance. Americans need to change before anything else, and prayer is indeed the first step in that change.”