The freefall that the Romney campaign is experiencing is plain for all to see. Well, almost everyone. Matthew Continetti demonstrates the typical right-wing immunity and aversion to reality, blaming it all on that darned liberal media for bringing up those stubborn facts that disturb his almost touching self-delusion.
The election is over, and Mitt Romney lost. He’s toast; his goose is cooked; put a fork in him he’s done; he’s yesterday’s news. Disagree? That’s too bad. The American media have made up their minds. And on this they are certain: Barack Obama is a lock for reelection. They may not be sure when Romney lost exactly—was it his trip to England, Israel, and Poland? Was it the Clint Eastwood speech at the RNC? Was it Romney’s response to the attacks on our embassies in Benghazi and Cairo? Was it his leaked remarks on government dependency? The exact date doesn’t matter. What matters is that the chorus has spoken. The politburo has decided. A consensus has been reached. Romney will lose, and the only question is by how much. The voters might as well stay at home.
The conceited arrogance with which our most sophisticated and well-schooled editors, writers, and journalists voice this conclusion makes it that much more annoying. Their eagerness to judge Romney a failure is not only premature but also erodes whatever credibility they had left. Indeed, the ridiculous manner in which the political press has covered the 2012 campaign suggests that “bias” is no longer a suitable description of the character of the media establishment. “Partisan toadies” may be a better one. “Obama’s army” is another.
There must be a course taught somewhere for conservatives called Blaming the Media 101. It’s almost a kneejerk reaction, a way of filtering out all those pesky facts that contradict what they want to believe. Romney hasn’t lost the election yet, but it should be clear to any reasonable observer that a loss is becoming more and more likely by the day. The last month has been one disaster after another for the Romney campaign and they are reeling. Anyone who could possibly see otherwise is simply filtering out inconvenient realities in order to preserve their wishful thinking.
Continetti never bothers to mention the tidal wave of criticism coming from Republicans, or the constant leaks from inside the campaign about how desperate things have gotten. It isn’t the press that has made one unnamed Romney adviser or staffer after another go to reporters and point the finger at everyone other than themselves. Has he noticed that there hasn’t been a single instance in this election of anyone in the Obama camp doing that? They have no reason to do so. Romney staffers, on the other hand, have already begun the post-mortem phase, trying to get ahead of the curve in directing the blame to others, including the candidate himself. That sound you hear coming from Romney headquarters is the sound of a thousand staffers and consultants updating their resumes.
It isn’t the liberal media that has made House and Senate candidates try to build a firewall between them and the Romney campaign. It isn’t the liberal media that made Peggy Noonan, Bill Kristol and many others talk openly about what the keystone cops-like operation of the campaign. When you start hearing a campaign talk about “retooling” and “rebooting” a few weeks before the election, that isn’t because things are going great — it’s because they know they’re going to lose if they don’t do something dramatic. It’s a sure sign of a desperate and flailing campaign.
The thing about reality is that it doesn’t disappear no matter how tightly you close your eyes and scream “LALALALALALA” at the top of your lungs.