HEY, DEMS: ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DRAPE THE GOLDEN AGE OF THE U.S. MIDDLE CLASS AROUND ROMNEY'S NECK?
Political pundits and bloggers who aren't talking about Hilary Rosen seem to be talking about this Politico story:
The Draperizing of Mitt Romney is under way.
He may not drink or cheat, and he lacks the fictional ad-maker's charisma, but Democrats, despite the potential perils of such a strategy, remain determined to paint Romney as a throwback to the "Mad Men" era -- a hopelessly retro figure who, on policy and in his personal life, is living in the past.
President Barack Obama has noted the presumptive GOP nominee uses archaic turns of phrase such as "marvelous" and warned in an email to donors Thursday that his rival would usher in "a social agenda from the 1950s."
The president's chief strategist, David Axelrod, has gone further, quipping that the former Massachusetts governor "must watch 'Mad Men' and think it's the evening news" while jabbing that Romney's views are out of a time when "bosses could dictate on women's health." ...
Even a Romney ally and prospective vice presidential choice, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, managed to underscore the Democratic line of attack at a meeting with about two dozen editors and reporters in New York this week, saying: "He reminds me of a lot of people I grew up with, a lot of people I know, who have that Midwest earnestness. He's kind of a throwback to the '50s" ...
If this is such a great attack meme, why is Paul Ryan using it, too?
I'll tell you why: When you identify Romney with the 1950s and 1960s, you're identifying him with the most prosperous period ever for the American middle class. And, of course, it's completely undeserved: that was a era of strong unions, top marginal tax rates that hovered between 70% and 92% for the last few dollars earned by the wealthiest taxpayers (Romney wants to lower that to 25%), and, ultimately, a shiny new socialized-medicine program called Medicare that proved wildly popular. Why seek to identify Romney with that era when his policies guarantee that the middle class won't prosper? I can see why Ryan would want the linkage to be made, but why the Democrats?
And why mention Romney and Don Draper in the same breath? I guess the Democrats hope to make Romney seem like an evil sexist throwback, but it seems to me that I've spent the entire Mad Men era reading article after article after article after article after article about how, yes, Don Draper is a nasty bit of work, but women love him anyway, and men want to be him. Why turn a guy most of America has concluded has no personality into America's sexiest dickish antihero? If you're going to describe Romney as a sixties pop-culture character, I'd rather you portrayed him as a craven underling -- Darren Stevens or George Jetson -- always desperately toadying to his tyrannical boss (who is played by Roger Ailes, Rush Limbaugh, and pretty much every right-wing ideologue/blowhard in America).