With the nomination of Donald Trump looking more likely each day, I've seen an increase in articles blaming...Mitt Romney.
Here's how this tortured thinking works: Romney's campaign was too left-wing for the run-of-the-mill Republican, who became so incensed at the excesses of Barack Obama that he was ripe for radicalization by Donald Trump.
Ridiculous. And absolutely necessary to refute.
If Romney was too liberal for the average Republican, then the average Republican was already on the way to radicalization. Romney was conservative where it counted: constrained government operating under previously-determined limits. Romneycare, such as it was, was a Republican's response to the nation's most-liberal state's goal of single-payer healthcare. Withholding a vote from Romney (which, in a two-person race, limits the threshold needed for Obama the same way that a vote for Obama would) because you were mad that he didn't sound opposed enough to Obamacare--thus ensuring a continuation of Obamacare--is the type of logic-free decision one would expect from the low-information voters who drive Obama's and Trump's popularity.
Eight years in the wilderness is not long enough to qualify as time spent in the wilderness, especially when both branches of Congress have been under Republican control for most of that time. Blaming Romney for Republicans' inability to stop themselves from voting for Trump is irresponsible. The voter is making the poor choice. He's not being driven to it because of something in the past.
Here are the two biggest questions that need to be answered to understand the end of the Republican Party: Why did Mitt Romney's campaign team so thoroughly botch the roll-out of ORCA on Election Day, and why did Paul Ryan embrace the worst aspects of John Boehner's ineffective leadership as Speaker of the House? (Perhaps related to the second question is one more: why did John Roberts switch his vote on Obamacare?)