7/6/12

Talking heads' echo chamber: Romney is in BIG trouble!

7/6/12
For the life of me I couldn't figure out what the deal was with a couple of seemingly small stories. Then the narrative started to take shape--that Romney is in big trouble, his campaign is confused, his supporters are angry at him, and Romney himself is looking like a flip-flopper among other depressing and nefarious things.

Take for instance this article from Politico:
On Thursday, Romney’s team put out word of a massive $100 million fundraising haul — but its skill in attracting donors has done little to tamp down longstanding concerns within the GOP about the insularity and rigidness of the Romney camp. Those gripes are now being aired in public, as center-right staples from The Wall Street Journal editorial page to conservative radio host Laura Ingraham lament what they view as an uninspired, passive campaign. Romney’s general-election approach has resembled the strategy he used during the GOP primaries, a keep-your-head-down, minimalist effort aimed at keeping the focus on his opponent.
Not to miss out on the media's current obsession, Bill Kristol wonders aloud if Romney is the next Dukakis or Kerry:
Adopting a prevent defense when it's only the second quarter and you're not even ahead is dubious enough as a strategy. But his campaign's monomaniacal belief that it's about the economy and only the economy, and that they need to keep telling us stupid voters that it's only about the economy, has gone from being an annoying tick to a dangerous self-delusion.
Of course Republican concern trolling is just not complete without the New York Times. Jeremy Peters opines:
The editorial was a stern reminder of Mr. Romney’s failure to win the trust of the Republican Party’s core conservatives, a group that pays close attention to Mr. Murdoch’s newspapers and cable news outlets. Though political strategists debate the ultimate impact of any single media outlet, what is written in the pages of The Journal and The New York Post and talked about on Fox News — all Murdoch properties — could have the collective power to shape the thinking of millions of voters.
So what do we conclude with this narrative that has saturated American punditry? Answer: OMG, Romney is gonna implode!!1!

As I mentioned, this boils down to two, very small stories.

First, one guy on Romney's campaign staff said that the Obamacare mandate is a penalty and not a tax. It's easy to take either side, or both sides, since the Court was very creative in justifying the mandate as a tax. So one guy went off message on something most normal people could take either side on. The semantics of the mandate/tax don't change what it really does.

So I would like to know, how this is so different from Cory Booker going off message? Why didn't that spell doom for the Obama campaign? Do tell.

Second and finally, the other small story is about what a rich guy tweeted. Yes, Rupert Murdoch has some problems with Romney, and why are we supposed to care? The election is a referendum on Captain Failed-Recovery Obama, not on the true conservative manliness of Romney. Murdoch even said it was a referendum and that "all else [is] pretty minor"! It's not part of the narrative so it doesn't get reported.

It's going to be one of those elections.

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