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Archive for October 1st, 2012

Paul Ryan And His Budget Deep-Sixing Romney Campaign

Posted by Phoenix Woman on October 1, 2012

It’s five weeks to Election Day, and the Republicans are already working like hard to spin the looming loss of the presidential contest as somehow, chiefly, a failure of the lead candidate on the ticket, Mitt Romney. 

Now, Romney isn’t my beau ideal of a presidential candidate — that would be Shirley Chisholm, but alas she is no longer with us — but it’s not entirely, or even mostly, Mitten’s fault that Barack Obama can safely keep his daughters enrolled at Sidwell Friends for the next few school years.  There are two problems that outrank Romney’s unsuitability as presidential timber, and these problems are intertwined.

The first problem is that what excites a Republican base voter, inflamed by and saturated with bigotry because of the GOP’s half-century-long use of the Southern Strategy, is what turns off most nationwide general-election voters, so the only way for a Republican to win is be hard right in the primaries and then immediately pivot back towards sanity in time for the general election.  The second problem is that, as John McCain showed in 2008, it is no longer possible for a Republican presidential candidate to drop the hard-right stance and move towards the middle once the primaries are done; the base must continue to be wooed and won, or it goes bonkers.

Romney’s trying, as best he can, to finesse an un-finesse-able situation.  By picking Paul Ryan, the zombie-eyed Randian granny starver, for his running mate, he signals to the nutcase right that he’s somehow One Of Them and that he won’t forsake them with a moderate turn as the general election draws near, even if it means deep-sixing the GOP efforts to woo seniors and people who aren’t white males.  But the hapless Romney thinks he can get away with holding Ryan and Ryan’s budget at arm’s length:

The first 48-72 hours of Ryan’s VP candidacy saw John Sununu zipping from one TV interview to another to announce that Romney was NOT adopting The Ryan Budget and would have a budget plan of his own. Since then, both Romney and his surrogate speakers have been tripping over themselves to remind voters that Romney, not Ryan is at the top of the ticket.

Indeed.

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