Ross Douthat mostly makes the pro-Romney, anti-Obama case you'd expect him to make in The New York Times today: President Obama, if reelected, will continue to lead us on the Western European socialist road to perdition, while Mitt Romney will give Americans the tough love they need. ("The conservative vision requires making structural changes to popular programs, and asking the middle class to accept further creative destruction in an age of insecurity," Douthat writes, and he means that as praise for "the conservative vision.")
But near the end of his column, Douthat gives us this critique of Obama:
He's the candidate of the Medicare status quo in a country facing an entitlement crunch, of government bailouts in an economy with a crony capitalism problem, and of contraceptive mandates in a society with a birth dearth.Wait -- what was that last bit? Obama is the candidate "of contraceptive mandates in a society with a birth dearth"?
A few paragraphs above this, Douthat writes,
It's one thing for a young, fast-growing nation -- like the America of the 1960s -- to embrace a permanently larger public sector. It's quite another for a graying society with a stagnant economy and a sinking birthrate to do the same.So what is his argument? That we should decrease the amount of contraception available to Americans so they'll be compelled to have more babies who will then grow up to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes? That we should replenish the coffers of these programs by making American women have unwanted children?
It's a plan, I guess, Ross. A sick plan, but a plan.