Whenever Republicans lose—and, let's face it, they have been losing a lot lately—a certain faction of the conservative moment is sure it knows why: The candidate wasn't conservative enough.
So went the explanation for the 2008 and 2012 elections. "The moderates have had their candidate in 2008 and they had their candidate in 2012," one movement activist said after Barack Obama won a second term. "And they got crushed in both elections."
After Mitt Romney's 2012 loss, the national GOP conducted a postmortem that included the results of a nationwide survey. The survey "said that the Party is 'scary,' 'narrow minded,' and 'out of touch' and that we were a Party of 'stuffy old men'," the postmortem noted. "This is consistent with the findings of other post-election surveys."
Au contraire, insisted conservatives. "The Republican party lost because it's not conservative, it didn't get its base out," explained Rush Limbaugh. "People say they need to moderate their tone—they don't."
"We don't need to change who we are," said Republican Party of Virginia Chairman John Whitbeck a few months after Sen. Mark Warner (D) beat Ed Gillespie in 2014. When Gillespie ran for governor this year, the hard right derided him a "Establishment Ed."
Sure enough, when he lost, the interwebs blasted him for running a campaign of "boring, centrist 'moderacy'." In The Hill, Rick Santorum's former press secretary blamed Gillespie for not following "Politics 101—you bring your base together so they're united and motivated to turn out and vote for you."
But this problem is broader than commonly understood. Just look at what happened last month in Virginia's elections for the House of Delegates, where the GOP lost more than a dozen seats.
Case in point: the 13th District, where Democrat Danica Roem beat Republican Bob Marshall by 7 points. Why? Obviously, because Marshall was too liberal. True, he co-sponsored the state's constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, opposes abortion in just about every instance, and—in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting—filed a bill requiring public school personnel to carry concealed weapons. But he clearly stood too far to the left for hard-right Northern Virginia. So to drive that point home, voters elected not only a Democrat, but a transgender one.
Now we have the latest data point: Alabama, where Republicans nominated Roy Moore to run against Democrat Doug Jones.
Moore—a former state judge—was kicked off the bench twice, first for disobeying a federal court order to remove a Ten Commandments monument from public space, and again for ordering other justices to ignore the Supreme Court's decision on gay marriage.
He considers homosexuality an "inherent evil" and Islam a "false religion," and thinks America would be better off without the constitutional amendments that outlawed slavery and guaranteed women's right to vote.
In other words, he's just another squishy, feminized RINO. And look what happened: Moore lost! Not only that, he lost to a Democrat who is an abortion-rights absolutist. How much more proof do you need that the GOP needs to move to the right?
Or take Joe Arpaio, "America's toughest sheriff," as he liked to style himself. A federal judge found Arpaio's practice of racial profiling—part of his Ahab-like pursuit of illegal immigrants—violated the Constitution. Another judge found that conditions in Arpaio's jails also violated the Constitution. Arpaio was convicted of contempt of court for defying the judge in the first case. He's also a birther and a big fan of Donald Trump.
But last year voters threw him out of office. Why? Obviously, because they were tired of this limousine liberal's sob-sister sympathy for Latinos, criminals, Barack Obama, and other assorted lowlifes. So they picked the Democrat instead.
It should be clear by now that the GOP will continue to lose so long as it keeps running crybaby beta males like these. If it wants to get tired of winning, it needs to start picking some candidates with real guts—human ones, preferably, worn around their necks like meat jewelry.
Which brings us to Virginia's next big election: the contest for Democrat Tim Kaine's Senate seat. So far the two most prominent Republicans to enter the race are Corey Stewart, the Prince William supervisor, and E.W. Jackson, a minister.
Some choice. Stewart is another immigrant-basher who gave away an AR-15 during the primary. He has railed against the GOP's "establishment pukes" and appeared with Jason Kessler, organizer of the Unite the Right disaster in Charlottesville.
Jackson has said Planned Parenthood has been worse for blacks "than the KKK ever was," considers homosexuality "perverted" and "sick," and has warned that meditation could leave the door open for Satan.
Two more P.C. snowflakes, in other words. Yawn.
Everybody seems to think Kaine has a pretty good shot at winning re-election. And you know what? If the GOP can't find a real conservative to run against him—someone in the mode of Benito Mussolini, say, or Jean-Bédel Bokassa, the (alleged) cannibal dictator of Central African Republic—they're probably right.