Wednesday, October 3, 2012

For Obama Opponents, Not Much to Hope For in Tonight's Debate

My hope meter jumped a couple of notches when Romney picked Paul Ryan as his running mate. Then came his fold on ObamaCare and his 47% comment. This is the tip of the iceberg. As columnist Paul Mulshine points out:

   I can’t see a dime’s worth of difference between these two. Romney somehow convinced Republicans that he represents a real change from Obama. But back when he ran Massachusetts, Romney’s policies were virtually identical to Obama’s on just about every issue of importance, from health care reform to the cap-and-trade approach to reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
   Look no farther for the reason he’s behind in the polls. There’s an old saying to the effect that the best lie detector is a television camera. And every time Romney gets up in front of one, it is obvious to anyone paying attention that virtually everything he says is a refutation of something he said in the not-too-distant past.  Obama doesn't have that problem. When he endorses all those liberal positions that Romney used to support, he’s telling the truth. He really believes this stuff.

I basically agree with Mulshine here, although I'm not sure how many Republicans Romney actually convinced "he represents a real change from Obama"--i.e., is a proponent of individualism and free markets. It was obvious to me he never was. But that's me, and I'm not a Republican.

The problem is not bad ideology. It is much worse than that. As Mulshine observes, "Romney...has no deeply held beliefs." Romney's inept campaign is the consequence, and it is hard to see how Romney can do much to tip the scales in his favor in these debates. Despite some of his shallow rhetoric, he is basically Obama Lite, just like W. Bush. Why elect another Obama Lite, when you can have the real thing?

As Mulshine notes, quoting George F. Will, "If the Republican Party cannot win in this environment, it has to get out of politics and find another business." Or, I would suggest, radically restructure its message.

As for my wife and I, we won't be watching tonight's debate. We'll tape it, in case we care to watch it later. Tonight, we'll be focused on something more substantive. We'll be watching the New York Yankees attempt to clinch the American League East crown.


Related Reading:

Romney vs. Romney on Coercive wealth Redistribution

Is Romney Really on the Political Right?

Romney Addresses Entitlement Mentality, Misses Fundamental by Ari Armstrong

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