It’s Scrambling Time

What a situation to find yourself in.  You subscribe to the “Etch-A-Sketch” theory but unfortunately life events seem to be working against a miraculous do-over.  If people had no memory, then once the nomination was in hand you could kiss good-bye to all those promises you have made which had no chance of bringing about the change you said they would have.  I wonder whether Mitt Romney is feeling angst?  He might have to campaign on these promises.

This particular crack is into which Mitt Romney has worked himself.  It is a shame, even a tragedy, that the only way Romney could hope to obtain the GOP nomination was to propose policies which were internally inconsistent and unworkable politically.  The far right controls the money and therefore controls the route to the nomination.  Romney either follows their script or he loses.

President Obama, also has some supporters whose positions he disdains.  Tree huggers, unions, and social activists all have elements which demand far more than their fare share.  For the most part, however, these groups do not have the financial wealth that far right groups do.  As a consequence, Romney has had to more closely toe the line or face rejection.

Hence the desire to flip the “Etch-A-Sketch” pad and get a new clean slate.  A new slate would in theory allow Romney to now propose a more moderate, centrist philosophy.

To some extent, all politicians cling to the “Etch-A-Sketch” approach.  Get the nomination, then tack back to the middle where compromise is possible.  This approach is pragmatic but not very courageous.

The GOP has lambasted President Obama with claims of one “failure” after another.  The wasteful Obama stimulus even though fully one third of the $600 billion was tax relief which all GOP members love.  The Affordable Care Act is even more incredible as a target of GOP dislike.  The ACA is almost a dead copy of Romney’s Massachusetts health care plan.  Right once, wrong now.

The real problem the GOP “Etch-A-Sketch” approach is that almost everything that has been already proposed will neither lower the deficit nor increase jobs (or economic activity).  Each element could have merits but in combination, are not destine to work.

One is left with the unmistakable impression that Romney and the GOP simply want to gain office and participate in the benefits of office holding.  It’s all about money.

The complete bag of GOP promises (read their platform) contain many proposals which appeal to the right and have nothing to do with the economy or jobs.  These policies are so right of center that some voters will vote against these social issues and overlook anything Romney has said about the economy.

The “Etch-A-Sketch” irony is that Democrats and President Obama have no better plan.  (It is possible, of course, that doing nothing and letting the economy recover on its own may be the only reasonable course of action in the new “globalized” world.  No one, however, has said that.)

The real point is that Democrats and the President have taken no stand on how to increase employment or grow the economy or how to get the deficit under control.  Any reasonable and balanced GOP approach could have had wide resonance.

Instead Romney finds himself in the midst of one contradiction after another with unnecessary (and unneeded) policies spreading the impression that Romney is anti-woman, anti-gay, and anti-immigrant.

Well, I guess that is why Romney has bet so much on the virtues of “Etch-A-Sketch.

 

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