The time has come for the Republican Party to be honest with itself. Any hope Mitt Romney had of winning the 2012 presidential race ended on Jan. 21, the day he lost the South Carolina GOP primary. From that point on, his campaign was on Super-PAC life support, and without it, Romney was as viable on Election Day as Terri Schiavo was of winning American Idol in 2005. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until Nov. 6 that the good people of the United States decided to pull the plug on the one-time Massachusetts governor.

Perhaps you know this, perhaps you don’t, but the Palmetto State has a proud history of picking the eventual GOP presidential nominee. They did it for Reagan and Dole and Bush and McCain — all establishment-backed candidates and the eventual party nominee. But this year, South Carolinians took one look at Romney and decided that he didn’t have a chance in hell of beating President Barack Obama.

And so, they picked the one candidate who they thought not only had the cojones, but more importantly the guile, to stick a shiv in Obama’s back on Election Day. Unfortunately, that candidate was Newt Gingrich, arguably the single most despised politician in American, and, as we all saw, a round little mound of egotism who was fond of spouting race-baiting bon mots like calling Honolulu Barry a “food-stamp president” and a “Kenyan anti-colonialist.”

Regardless, shortly after the results of the S.C. GOP primary was announced, Romney’s fellow Republicans should have asked him to immediately drop out of the race. He didn’t stand a chance. But they didn’t. And right then and there, the GOP’s fate on Election Day 2012 was sealed.

Now, we can go through all the reasons many Republican failed to warm to Romney — the least of which being the fact that Mitt was as cold as the underside of a hospital bed pillow in the comatose ward — but there’s no need, especially when there are plenty of other folks to blame. Like say, Chris Christie.

That’s who noted GOP pundit Dick Morris blames. In his latest column, a mea culpa in which he explains the reasons why he predicted a Romney landslide, Morris writes:

[T]he more proximate cause of my error was that I did not take full account of the impact of hurricane Sandy and of Gov. Chris Christie’s bipartisan march through New Jersey arm in arm with President Obama. Not to mention Christe’s fawning promotion of Obama’s presidential leadership.
It made all the difference.

A key element of Romney’s appeal, particularly after the first debate, was his ability to govern with Democrats in Massachusetts. Obama’s one-party strident approach, so much the opposite of what he pledged in his first national speech in 2004, had turned voters off. But by working seamlessly with an acerbic Republican governor like Christie, Obama was able to blunt Romney’s advantage in this crucial area.

Sandy, in retrospect, stopped Romney’s post-debate momentum. She was, indeed, the October Surprise. She also stopped the swelling concern over the murders in Benghazi and let Obama get away with his cover-up in which he pretended that a terrorist attack was, in fact, just a spontaneous demonstration gone awry.

But while Morris believes that Obama’s victory was all but assured by his bromance with Christie, RedState’s Erick Erickson thinks other Republican turncoats are to blame, writing:

The Obama campaign ran a very good campaign. The Republicans did not. There was no fraud. There was no stealing the election. There was just a really good ground game from Barack Obama and a lot of smoke and mirrors from Team Romney and outside charlatans, many of whom will now go work for Republican Super PACs making six-figure salaries, further draining the pockets of rich Republicans when [they’re] not on television explaining how awesome and expert they are. Whether you can bring yourself to say it or not, like it or not, Barack Obama is, today, your president.

But like I said, both men are wrong. Mitt Romney lost for one reason and one reason only. We here in the great state of South Carolina took one look at him and saw him for what he was: a flatliner on Election Day.