Jonathan Bernstein thinks (as I do) that the Romney campaign's talk about "vetting" and invocation of Rezko, cocaine, and so on is a sop to the wingnut base -- but Bernstein thinks it's all empty chatter, meant to gull the crazies, and to distract them from Romney's essential saneness:
... what can Team Romney give them? Probably not a running mate; the logic for a dull choice such as Tim Pawlenty is too strong. Not policy, or at least not more policy than he's already given them....Similarly, DougJ doubts he'll follow through.
No, the main thing that Romney can give without hurting himself elsewhere is: attitude.
... It’s pretty cost-free to use the word "vetting," and you know that's a word that's exactly what the Breitbart crowd wants to hear. It would be far more risky to actually run ads about a lot of this stuff, but not all that risky to threaten to talk about it: sure a few reporters and a bunch of Obama operatives will get worked up, but that will fade quickly if there's no follow-up....
Well, maybe, maybe not. Or maybe he'll dodge direct winger attacks on Obama, but play the winger card in other ways -- likethis today:
During a town hall in Ohio on Wednesday, Romney responded to question about the United Nations by declaring that the international body will undermine Americans' Second Amendment rights and dictate how families should raise their children:Admittedly, he's trying to split the difference -- watch the clip and you'll see that he starts by saying he doesn't want to leave the UN, and he even thinks the UN does good things.
ROMNEY: Turning to the United Nations to tell us how to raise our kids, or whether we can have the Second Amendment rights that our Constitution gave us, I mean, that is the wrong way to go, right? Do not cede sovereignty. I'm happy to talk there. I'm not willing to give American sovereignty in any way, shape or form to the United Nations or any other body. We are a free nation. We fought for freedom and independence. We are going to keep freedom and independence.
But really now -- the UN grabbing our guns and telling us how to raise our kids? I assume Romney thinks he can talk like that to friendly crowds and it's no biggie, but he's making America stupider and more paranoid. Is he planning to do that for three and a half more months, just to get elected? And then maybe for four or eight years after that? If so, that's not going to be just some harmless campaign rhetoric. That's just more rhetorical poison. It's bad for America.