Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Romney Scrambles to Offset Ryan

In that alternate universe inhabited by the GOP standard bearer, the next move after taking a stand is to neutralize or reverse it. So it appears with the“bold” Paul Ryan choice.

At the Republican Convention,  featured roles are handed to non-Ryans who would have brought other qualities to Romney’s ticket: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, with his street-fighter style, will deliver the keynote, and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio will introduce Romney.

Instead of scaring the elderly with Ryan Social Security and Medicare threats, Rubio would have appealed to Hispanic voters and helped carry his own state, which houses so many of both.

The question here is less whether Romney has politically suicidal instincts but whether, from his sheltered tax-haven life, he has any at all. He goes from one step to the next, with no apparent awareness that there is any connection.

Abortion? Gay rights? Ryan? Christie? Rubio? Romney sees politics as an endless Chinese menu. Order one now, and have the others later.

Or all at the same time. As he chooses Ryan, Romney takes on a new “senior adviser,” a Karl Rove protégé who denounced Ryan’s Social Security fixes during the Bush years:

“(A)small number of conservatives...prefer to push only for investment accounts and make no effort to adjust benefits--therefore making no effort to address this fundamental structural problem. In my judgment, that's a bad idea. We simply cannot solve the Social Security problem with Personal Retirement Accounts alone. If the goal is permanent solvency and sustainability...Personal Retirements Accounts, for all their virtues, are insufficient to that task.”

But not to worry. In Romneyworld, they will find others to go in the opposition direction and back Ryan.

It’s one approach to running a three-month political campaign, but it would be a hell of way to run a country for four years.

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