By Scott Tibbs, December 21, 2012
Last week, a Republican candidate who lost in November sent out a rather bitter e-mail to supporters complaining about the "liberal media" which he says contributed to his defeat. This is not meant to pick on this candidate (which is why I did not name him) but to illustrate a problem Republicans have and need to fix quickly: The "sore loser" mentality.
Look, 2012 was a disappointing year, and the biggest reason for that disappointment is the re-election of Barack Obama. There were other disappointments as well, including the fact that we actually lost seats in both houses of Congress in a year where we thought we would gain control of the U.S. Senate. There is good news in Indiana, where a new Republican governor enjoys supermajorities in both chambers of the state legislature, but that is tempered by the loss of the Republican superintendent of public instruction.
The last eight years have not been kind to Republicans in Monroe County. In 2004, we had 5 of 7 seats on the county council, 2 of 3 county commissioners and 6 of 8 administrative offices. (The Auditor, Treasurer, Surveyor, Prosecutor, Recorder, and Clerk were Republicans while the Assessor and Sheriff were Democrats.) Democrats now control all of the administrative offices we had in 2004, except for Recorder.
All of this news can be discouraging. As a conservative, I obviously disagree with the choices of the voters in these races, from Obama on down. But the 2012 election is what it is and we are not helping ourselves when we whine about it or play the role of sore loser, whether it be in numerous letters to the editor or Rush Limbaugh complaining about how "we are outnumbered." We lose credibility by making ourselves look like children. It needs to stop.
It is especially important for defeated candidates to be gracious in defeat, especially if those candidates hope to have a future in politics. Picking a post-election fight with the news media (especially when the news media already hates you) does not help the cause, it does not help your future electability, it does not educate voters on the merits of your philosophy, and it does not help other Republicans get elected to other offices.
It is understandable that conservatives would be grouchy about the 2012 election results for a couple weeks, but it has gone on far too long. We should not be complaining deep into December about the election results, and that is especially true for our defeated candidates. We really need to stop this nonsense about how Hillary Clinton is unbeatable in 2016.
Now is the time to stop whining, put our big boy pants on and go about the work of educating people about the merits of our philosophy and preparing to win as much as we can in 2014 and 2016. I do not believe that we lost the country in only two years after the big red tide of 2010. America is not over and we need to be positive about what we offer the country and our ability to win elections and provide conservative solutions.