Thursday, July 05, 2012

WHY THE GOP'S FREAKING OUT: THE LAST MONTH'S WORTH OF POLLS

The Wall Street Journal editorial page is in a panic because Mitt Romney initially agreed with President Obama that the penalties in the health care law don't constitute a tax. The Journal and Bill Kristol are panicking as well because they think Romney has been inadequately specific about what he'd do as president, on the economy and other matters.

Was it only six weeks ago that Politico gave us a story titled "GOP Discovers That Mitt Romney Could Win"? Was it only five weeks ago that BuzzFeed gave us "Mitt Romney Wins Over The Right By Confronting Obama," with all its scenes of Romney taking it to Obama on Solyndra and sending hecklers to harass Obama surrogates? Was it only four weeks ago that we were hearing about Obama's horrible week and horrible month? Or reading this?
MARK HALPERIN's "Between the Lines," in the forthcoming issue of TIME: "Some Romney advisers sound especially bullish, with one positing that a big win by their side is now more likely than a narrow Obama victory."
It was all supposed to be working -- and then we got to the end of June and Obama was still leading in the polls. Romney's confrontational style wasn't moving the needle in his direction. Obama saying "the private sector is doing fine" wasn't a campaign-destroying error. Democratic criticism of pro-Obama attacks on Romney's business record didn't suggest a party in disarray (and didn't stop Obama and his allies from continuing the attacks, which are now acknowledged to be working).

To the Journal and Kristol, it can't be that the public is actually responding to the attacks on Romney as a fat cat. It can't be that Romney's uplift-free impersonation of a nasty, snarly right-wing talk radio host is offputting to swing voters. It can't be that attacking Solyndra and promising to repeal "Obamacare" is not what voters want to hear. It must be that Romney isn't being enough of an angry, fist-shaking right-winger.

Both the Journal and Kristol want Romney to be more specific. What Romney understands is that the only specifics he can offer that actually jibe with the right's grand plan for America are punishments to the middle class and poor. He's supposed to tell people they're going to get less and like it? He's soulless and heartless, but he's not stupid.

I hope he does follow the right's advice, of course. It would be great to hear him tell us how big the budget cuts are going to be, and who's going to be affected, so we can lower taxes on the rich even more, while eliminating even more regulations. Meanwhile, though, he's pretending his plan isn't going to be to drop the bomb on the non-rich once he's elected, and he hopes he'll skate by on that.

But if it doesn't work, the right will say he lost because he wasn't right-wing enough.

3 comments:

Victor said...

GOP POV:
Conservatism isn't failing Mitt.

Mitt's failing Conservatism.

That's what we R's get for choosing a rich Liberal MA Yankee elite as our Presidential candidate, and not some real fire-in-the-belly Southerner like Jim DeMint, or that dimwit Perry from TX.

Now, that DeMint boy's got it all:
he's a good Christian Conservative, who hates black and brown folks, women, furriners, and fags!
Why didn't he run?
Hopefully, he'll run in 2016, and tell the people what they need to hear - that the rich people need more money to help get rid of government sucking leeches, like black and brown folks, women, furriners, and fags. Oh, and old people, sick people, and children - especially sick children!
___________________________

C'mon, Mitt, do "The Perry Finger-listing Thing" for us, and tell us which among us you'll impoverish first!
And then who?
PLEASE!!!

BH said...

From what I've read too, tomorrow's jobs numbers may be pretty damn good, at least compared to the last couple months. All in all, it's looking increasingly uphill for Mitty to me. O's campaign seems to be in high gear, with deft timing & subject matter on the positives and effective avenues of attack on the negatives. Meanwhile, Mitty's campaign looks like a train wreck. Sure, the R's will be - are - awash in money, but this time I just don't think massively outspending the D's will do it. Not in the Prez race anyway.

Joseph Auclair said...

"Both the Journal and Kristol want Romney to be more specific. What Romney understands is that the only specifics he can offer that actually jibe with the right's grand plan for America are punishments to the middle class and poor. He's supposed to tell people they're going to get less and like it? He's soulless and heartless, but he's not stupid."

I think you are exactly right. If he tries to sound moderate the lunatic Republican base, from the trailer-trash to the big money men, won't have it. If he toes the line for them he loses the independents and uncommitteds.

I would expect him to get hyper-Zionist, militarist, and anti-Russian in foreign policy to appeal to his base, high and low.

That kind of thing actually sounds at least half way reasonable to the muddled middle and annoys or frightens only Democrats and the left.

And he will certainly keep running at the ACA, yelling it’s a job-killing taxation machine that robs Medicare and crushes liberty under the individual mandate.

That also works pretty well for the right, after all, so long as they aren’t forced to actually say out loud what are their “solutions,” total repeal of ACA and abolition of Medicare in favor of pitiful, shrinking vouchers.

He will do his best to keep quiet about that.

Meanwhile, it’s a real head-scratcher what his team will come up with for him to say about these things when we get to the phase of televised debates.

A definite puzzler.

I think.