… and it ain’t even close to November!
Since the nomination of Mitt is inevitable (no dis to the other three), the Democratic strategists are enjoying the construction of quite possibly one of the simplest political game plans in history. I envy those folks at the DNC. I really, really do. Their job will be simple considering the fact that many Americans have a very limited knowledge of economics and are used to being spoon fed fast-food style news by a media that is overwhelming biased in its support for left-of-center opinion and politics.
Gotta admit, the Mittster sure is making it easy to build the case against himself – not to mention all the help he is getting from the rest of the Republican lineup. Romney’s little sound bites with the context removed make for great ammo that delivers the force and impact of a hollow point round, especially when used with the marksmen-like skills of political spin-doctors on the left.
However, with Romney, the target is extra big and easy. It is all about envy and class warfare. Period. Nothing more – nothing. Facts and figures need not be told. There is no need for any deep discussion when you have such an easy, emotion-driven tagline.
The strategy is simple. Lowest common denominator politics once again will rear its ugly head. Romney is the perfect archetype for the current populist symbol of evil; with his hair neatly coiffed and his tailored suits unwrinkled, he just simply looks like a rich Wall Street moneymaker. He looks like the type of fat cat who has been in the business of investing in, or buying and selling whole companies, making some rich while unfortunately (and unavoidably) making some unemployed. Never mind the truth, details or results. Never mind the companies saved or jobs created. Never mind the millions in charitable contributions. Context just isn’t important.
What matters is that this guy has not suffered as much as most in the wake of the strongest economic quake since the great depression. Financially, he has more than most, and there are many that just don’t like it (although they seem to be fine when it comes to Kerry, Pelosi, etc.). And by making money as a venture capitalist, he must have done something that has stretched the boundaries of business ethics, right? To put him in the role of a corporate marauder of the Gordon Gekko mold will be a snap. To make the characterization even more complete, throw in some good old race card politics and point out Romney is a white guy looking to take a black man’s position, and you have a liberal/statist/progressive/Marxist dream scenario for propaganda. Just for good measure, and to put a cherry on the top, try to paint him as a part-time animal abuser on par with Michael Vick.
This montage of the supposed evils of Romney will play exceptionally well with the young public university crowd, the 99%’ers, union activists and the well-constructed block of Democratic voters that pay no federal income tax.
Now that the picture has been painted, all that must be done is to continually pound the message and caricature that Romney is a rich, white guy from Wall Street that wants to throw grandma off a cliff while kicking Rover in order to put a minority out of a job, and game over!
Or is it?
The one nasty little annoyance the far left must cope with is the resume of Obama. The last three years have been anything but kind to helping the poor – or the nation as a whole. The spinmeisters employed by the DNC will need to worry about the failed energy policy (or lack thereof) that have and will make utilities and gas more expensive. They need to cover up the incredible lack of any meaningful rise in employment. They need to worry about the record of resistance to charter schools & voucher programs that lock poor kids in failing schools. They need to spin the record deficit spending of the first three years alone. They need to worry about the dramatic rise in the number of children that are now living in poverty. They need to do some serious spin on the failed promises that Obama threw out to the liberal masses in 2008.
The magic of the hope and change message has worn away. There are no unicorns and rainbows like we were promised. There is no self-replicating pile of cash tucked away in a Treasury Department vault that can be extracted when needed for the noble good of continuing broken entitlement programs. We are now at the point of needing real solutions and making serious adult choices based on reality, and not some infantile notion of fairness and forced charity.
This is where Romney has a chance to turn the tables. But it will not be a cakewalk. In order to be effective, he will need to get out of his comfort zone, mess up his hair, not shave and roll up the sleeves. While he’s at it, he should sport a fresh “Live Free or Die!” tattoo. After he has mastered his look of a feisty no-bull scrapper, he will need to talk tough – and smart. Not about Obama and his band of merry liberals, but about Obama’s record. The focus should be on the long list of policy failures of this administration, along with the gross ineptitude of the Democrats while having a majority rule in the first two years of his administration.
While envy and class warfare is and will be the flag of the left, ineffectiveness and incompetence will need to be the mantra of the right. Romney will need to actually mean what he says while saying it with the spirit and tone of an annoyed Newt being asked about his past indiscretions. The Tea Party and Ron Paul enthusiasts will need to hold his feet to the fire. They represent a big pile of votes that won’t come out on election day just for the lesser of two evils if the message isn’t solid and real. They will need to become the conscience of the Republican Party and keep Romney from moving to the center.
It will be a tough task for Romney, and he had better decide here and now if he is up for it. If not, the GOP may need to draft one those Midwestern governors that are turning things around outside of Washington.