Monday, September 10, 2012

Say What?

This election only gets more and more bizarre. I saw news clips this morning of Romney endorsing "segments" of Obama's healthcare plan. THIS? After months and months and months of hammering home that he would repeal "Obamacare," he does yet another about face and now endorses bits and pieces of it? Even though it was based on a plan HE legislated, Romney has repeatedly repudiated any and all of that legislation in his frantic quest to nail down the GOP nom.

I find this not only strange, but political suicide.

Note to Romney:

Mistake No. 1: You do NOT put all your eggs in one basket--in other words, the right-wing ultra conservative faction of your party that currently owns the party--and then walk away from it once you've nailed down the nomination. Obama will KILL you in debates. You are entering this election with a huge credibility problem as it is. You've done a 180 on issues that you ran on as governor when sold your soul to the Tea Party conservatives, and that's the thing about television. The Dems will keep replaying your flip-flopping. Even the most jaded person will find this hard not to see you as someone without ANY core convictions. You are all ready perceived of as someone who will say anything to get elected. You've just confirmed it.

Mistake No. 2: Your base is conservative white people. Sorry, even more importantly, conservative OLDER white people. And yet you chose a veep that has come out in favor of a voucher system to combat the Medicare crisis. No one but a goddamn fool would recognize that a voucher system where you have ONE person trying to shop for insurance isn't any way, shape, or form as powerful as, say, the U.S. government shopping for health care. Hey, so you've managed to alienate the elderly. If you lose Florida, thank Paul Ryan.

Mistake No. 3: Your other problem also relates to Paul Ryan. Dude, you should have picked a woman. Haley of South Carolina would have been perfect. She's a smarter Sarah Palin. She's relatively unknown, she's beloved by the Tea Party, and most importantly, she's not a white male. Conservative women have greater potential of shoving through conservative, reactionary social policies like limiting abortion than, say, a white guy like Ryan.

Mistake No. 4. This is a twofer. You alienated the seniors by picking Ryan, thereby endangering your lock on Florida. And by picking Ryan, you also widened your huge gap with Hispanics. If you just couldn't commit to having a woman as a veep, then Rubio was the obvious choice here. Tea Party, Hispanic, charismatic, let me name the ways in which he would have benefited your ticket.

Ryan does NOTHING to bring in the senior, women, OR Hispanic votes. We know that this election is going to be a squeaker. You need those votes and Ryan can't deliver them for you. Even worse, he's a liability in those very areas where you need help. Hell, even his seat in Wisconsin is now shaky.

At this point, all you have going for you is the visceral hatred of Obama floating out there. I think we should just label it what it is. There are a lot of people who hate having a black man in the White House. You've made a deal with those people. But they don't love you so much as they hate Obama. You'd better believe that the most damaging aspect of the Republican convention was not the hurricane or the lies or the Eastwood mess. It was the overwhelming panorama of faces in the audience. They were all white. Contrast that to the panoramas of the Democratic convention. The only way you could have nipped that pretty damning evidence that this is a party in freefall with limited appeal would have been to choose a non-white veep.

But you didn't. You made a pact with the extreme edges of your party and now you're realizing that, hey, they aren't representative of the majority of Americans. They are loud and powerful, but they are a minority. If you alienate them by moving to the center (and the reality is that you couldn't win the nom by NOT appealing to the extremists in your party and that's extremely sad), then you will lose them, too. They will write in Ron Paul. And as much as conservatives bleat about Obama's "socialist" agenda, the man is a basic centrist. As you know! He is running on the Clinton model. Keep center. Most people are center. It's only the fringes of your party (and fringes of the Dems) that are out there politically.

Mitt, you're blowing it. Think of it as a business. You've just lost your market share.

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