ROMNEY’S ECONOMIC MODEL
NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
NEW YORK TIMES
…If you want to see how Romney’s economic policies would work out, take a look at Europe. And weep. In the last few years, Germany and Britain, in particular, have implemented precisely the policies that Romney favors, and they have been richly praised by Republicans here as a result. Yet these days those economies seem, to use a German technical term, kaput. …All industrialized countries experienced similar slowdowns, and the United States under Obama chose a massive stimulus while Germany and Britain chose Republican-endorsed austerity. Neither approach worked brilliantly. …Still, America’s economy is now the fastest growing among major countries in the West, and Britain’s is shrinking. Which would you prefer?
TWO NEW POLLS SCREAM ‘ADVANTAGE OBAMA’
TIME Magazine released a new Ohio poll that has Mitt Romney trailing in the Buckeye State by 5 points. …TIME’s poll should rattle the nerves of Romney supporters because the results run contrary to Team Romney’s ongoing claim that their internal polls show a dead heat in the Buckeye State. Maybe that’s the case among voters planning to go to the polls on election day but it looks like early voters are tilting dramatically in the president’s direction. If the TIME poll is accurate, it means Mitt Romney will have to grab most of Ohio’s remaining undecided voters if he wants to win this critical battleground state. … While Mitt Romney has made up ground in the three Southern swing states of Florida, North Carolina and Virginia, voters in Ohio, Nevada and Wisconsin seem do not seem inclined to be easily swept into Romney’s camp.
THE TEA PARTY IS OVER
EJ DIONNE JR
Mitt Romney would not be throwing virtually all of his past positions overboard if he thought the nation were ready to endorse the full-throated conservatism he embraced to win the Republican nomination. If conservatism were winning, does anyone doubt that Romney would be running as a conservative? …His strategy at the end is to try to sneak into the White House on a chorus of me-too’s. The right is going along because its partisans know Romney has no other option. This, too, is an acknowledgment of defeat, a recognition that the grand ideological experiment heralded by the rise of the tea party has gained no traction. …A movement that won the 2010 elections with a bang is trying to triumph just two years later on the basis of a whimper.
BEHIND ‘MODERATE MITT’
Rather than confront Americans with a macro-shift in policy that they don’t want, Romney has focused on blaming Obama for the state of the economy and promising better times on the basis of the most vacuous, undefined economic policies we’ve seen since — well, since McCain, who had no economic policies to speak of. This has surely been the more prudent option. The only presidential candidate to frontally challenge the New Deal’s social guarantees was Barry Goldwater, and we know how that turned out. Ronald Reagan, by contrast, campaigned by attacking Jimmy Carter’s stewardship of the economy (and of much else) and didn’t mount a Goldwateresque attack on universal social programs… The anti-government proselytizing of the Republican right is all well and good, Romney’s strategists concluded, but even Reagan knew that was no way to win an election.
PAUL RYAN’S POVERTY PLAY
CHARLES M. BLOW
NEW YORK TIMES
Paul Ryan gave a speech on poverty and economic mobility. …What he didn’t say is that he and his budget have taken sides in that war — and not on the side of the poor. This is just the latest of Mitt Romney’s home-stretch attempts to kick up the dust of confusion, soften harsh rhetoric and policies, and slip into the White House. But there’s a problem: Ryan’s budget was actually printed — on paper, at that. It was passed by the House in March. It can be examined and evaluated. … ThinkProgress points out that Ryan’s budget would gut “healthcare for low-income families.” So Ryan — the man whose budget would wreak havoc on the poor — steps to a podium and pretends to be a defender of the poor. Sometimes you just run out of words for galling.