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E.J. Dionne writes that the Republicans’ unrelenting focus on social issues has allowed Mitt Romney’s extremist economic plan to slide under the radar, in his column, “The Two Cadillacs Fallacy:”

Maybe Rick Santorum is helping Mitt Romney after all: Santorum’s wacky statements about college and snobbery, along with his upset stomach over a 52-year-old John F. Kennedy speech, are distracting attention from Romney’s extremist economic ideas.

Yes, Romney needs Santorum to keep doing his exotic fan dance on social issues because the stage act diverts everyone (especially journalists) from examining the reactionary and regressive ideas Romney is cooking up on substantive questions. If Romneyism is what now passes for “moderation” in the Republican Party, no wonder the authentically moderate Olympia Snowe decided to end her distinguished career in the Senate. There is no room anymore for proposals remotely worthy of the moderate label.

Romney’s plan is simultaneously extreme and very, very boring. It draws on the one and only idea that today’s conservatives offer for solving any and every problem that comes along: just throw yet more money at rich people.

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