Scott,I agree. The fact that the election was as close as it was was largely because of Romney's eleventh hour return to a moderate philosophy. If Republicans are interested in assessing blame for the defeat, they should blame the Tea Party.
Fly, I don't believe you can blame the Tea Party - you must blame the candidate for pandering to those within the party holding extreme fiscal and social policy positions. Supported Oabama in 2008 but would have switched my support to Mitt the Moderate. But when he began to abandon his past moderate positions (which were still conservative)in favor of his "severe conservative" persona, he lost me.
Did General Patton or MacArthur lead by listening to special interest groups under his command? No. Yet, they are two of the best leaders in the 20th century.
I agree with Bryant on this - blame the candidate for listening and pandering his campaign to a certain group of individuals. One must march to the beat of their own drum. If anyone follows the parade, it's just icing on the cake. That is leadership.
Even though I am libertarian, I would love to see President-Elect Herman Cain today. It's unfortunate some people saw him as a major threat and used dirty politics to remove him. In my opinion many conservatives would have supported him and the election results would look different today.