It's hard to describe how happy Democrats are to see Mitt Romney embrace Paul Ryan's House Republican budget plan. Much of the glee is seen behind the scenes, but the phrase "Christmas in March" keeps coming to mind.
Last week, the Republican frontrunner proudly proclaimed, "I'm very supportive of the Ryan budget plan. It's a bold and exciting effort.... I applaud it. It's an excellent piece of work and very much needed." By the end of the week, Romney was even defending the Ryan plan, in a remarkably dishonest way, against Democratic criticism.
It hardly came as a surprise, then, when White House senior adviser David Plouffe appeared on Sunday shows yesterday, arguing, "[T]his is really the Romney-Ryan plan. It will be rubber-stamped if Mitt Romney is elected president."
Oddly enough, around the same time yesterday, Paul Ryan was saying the exact same thing.
For those who can't watch clips online, Ryan told Norah O'Donnell yesterday he fully expects Romney, if elected, to enact his budget plan and follow through on Ryan's proposed reductions.
And that's exactly what Democrats wanted to hear: the more Romney is on the hook for backing Ryan's radicalism, the easier it will be for Dems and the Obama campaign to use this against the likely Republican nominee in the fall.
Indeed, at least on policy grounds, this may well become the anti-Romney criticism of 2012.
While the various themes and narratives are important -- Romney's flip-flops, his dishonesty, his out-of-touch elitism will clearly matter -- the more straightforward attacks will simply reference the Ryan plan Romney has accepted so enthusiastically.
Romney is "very supportive" of a budget plan that ends Medicare's guaranteed benefit, takes health care coverage from millions, radically redistributes wealth in the wrong direction, slashes taxes on the very wealthy, and would "take food from poor children, make it harder for low-income students to get a college degree, and squeeze funding for research, education, and infrastructure."
Shaking the Etch A Sketch won't make this go away.