Awakening to the danger, Obama dominated the next two debates. On the defensive, Romney spent the Long Island townhall debate arguing that his promised 20% across-the-board tax cuts won’t really cut taxes, which begs the question, “then why bother?” He devoted the foreign policy debate to endorsing Obama administration policies on Syria, Iran and Afghanistan that he’d previously condemned. No warmonger, Mitt.
Nevertheless, although state-by-state polls have shown President Obama rebounding and very likely to score an electoral college win, nervous Democrats fear that permanent damage was done. Hence the return of what Obama calls “Romnesia” as a theme, with the president having a good time on the campaign trail mocking his opponent’s multiple positions to laughing audiences of loyal supporters.
“Romnesia’s” definitely funny, but it misses the mark. Mitt’s less a flip-flopper than a particularly shameless opportunist. Writing in The New Republic, Alec MacGillis argues that the whole business of “framing” political opponents can be overdone anyway. “Ninety-nine times out of 100, the line of attack that works best is the one that really rings true.”
A while back I observed that “how anybody purports to know what the GOP candidate actually thinks about any issue other than the size of his own offshore bank accounts beggars my poor imagination.”
But the real point is that it hardly matters what Romney REALLY thinks. His is a Trojan horse candidacy. Obama needs to make that clear in the campaign’s closing days. Make no mistake: elect Moderate Mitt and you get the whole right-wing GOP agenda, Ryan budget and all. Anybody who thinks a President Romney would restrain the Tea Party and stand up to the Bush era neoconservatives on his foreign policy team can’t have been paying attention.
However, there may be good news for Obama in all the bad news. Amid the catastrophic destruction of Hurricane Sandy, Romney’s pronouncement that it’d be a good idea to turn the responsibilities of the Federal Emergency Management Administration over to private enterprise makes him look like a crank—and a heartless one at that.
This time, I doubt Mitt has enough time to talk his way out of it.
Photo by Gage Skidmore via Flickr.com
Copyright 2012 The National Memo