Today’s vocabulary word is Charlie-Foxtrot: the phonetic abbreviation of military slang which rhymes with “monster truck.” If you need further explanation, you’re not going to find it on this blog.
CF aptly describes Romney’s utter failure of a get-out-the-vote (GOTV) plan. I use the word “plan” because “effort” or “organization” would suggest that actual work was being done or that someone, somewhere, knew what the hell was going on.
Judging by the stink-bombs being dropped around the internet today, it appears that in fact nothing was being done and that no one had a friggin’ clue as to what was happening on the ground, in the voting booths. This election was lost because three million fewer Republican voters turned out than for the listless John McCain in 2008.
Let that sink in for a moment. How can that be?
Romney was not my preferred candidate by a long shot, but he ended up being the best choice among a disappointing field of also-rans (Newt could’ve been devastatingly effective if only he showed more self-control, but that ship sailed years ago). I grew to appreciate the man as time went on and he grew more comfortable in his role. He projected an aura of capable, sober trustworthiness that should have prevailed over the Dem’s relentless negativity.
However, one must be willing to punch back when attacked. He didn’t, not until the first debate, and we all know how much the momentum shifted at that point. He also played it much safer than I would’ve preferred in the final debate – and let’s get real: he had a civic duty in my opinion to publicly call out Obama over the Benghazi fiasco since the press clearly wouldn’t.
Meanwhile, the other side ran a campaign expressly designed to frighten voters and suppress our turnout. Which they admit to. Which is fine. Politics ain’t beanbag, as they say. Romney’s people at least claimed to understand this, which is why they promised such a sophisticated GOTV program: determine who’s sitting this one out, in real time, and persuade them to come vote. It would’ve been brilliant if it had only worked.
Even if ORCA was hacked somehow (and at that point, it likely didn’t matter anymore), that’s exactly the sort of dirty trick one should expect…right? So long as they’re not actually rigging the vote (cough – Philadelphia – cough), it’s all fair game. If I were an IT nerd I’d probably get off on it – expect a denial-of-service attack, and defeat it.
GAME DAY IS NOT THE TIME TO BETA-TEST YOUR SCOREBOARD!!!
Holy crap on a cracker, how hard is that to understand? And I’m not even an IT guy, I’m just one more schlub out of millions relying on networked software every freaking day just to do my job.
Of course, this is only one big piece of a much larger puzzle. There’s more to this debacle than just misplaced trust in a software app (I’m looking at you, jackass Senate candidates). But it does explain something else that had been bugging me…I volunteered on two separate occasions to be a poll watcher but was never contacted. No email, no phone call, certainly no credentials or strike list. And don’t tell me they didn’t need all the help they could get in Ohio.
Jonah Goldberg nailed it, as usual:
If Romney had merely gotten as many votes as McCain he’d be president-elect now. Hell, Romney got fewer votes than George W. Bush did from — wait for it — Mormons! Seriously, did they appoint one of those Chinatown tic-tac-toe-chickens to run the turnout operation?
Constitutional and Libertarian principles, to the limited extent they were advocated, had their best chance to prevail in decades and our side blew it. Again. A candidate who appeared to be much better than 2008’s, who appeared to run a much better campaign, appears to have left millions of votes on the table. We lost because during the home stretch, his organization placed all of its faith in a software app that hadn’t been tested and didn’t work.
And there was no plan B.
Now we, as a country, are left with no plan B. Thanks again, GOP.
UPDATE: Was the whole campaign essentially a money-grab by soulless “campaign consultants” whose mouths were writing checks their brains couldn’t cash? RedState seems to think so.