Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Romney's Scattershot Campaign

Ann: Mitt, don't screw this up by saying something
No, I'm not saying that Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan have decided to emulate Dick Cheney and shoot voters in the face, but they may have embarked on a virtual version of Cheney's famous face-shot heard 'round the world.

If Mitt and Paul were authoring a script for a movie, it might be aptly titled, "Hunt for Red October Voters."

If it's true, as many polls suggest, that there aren't many undecided voters left, then, yes, each campaign has to scrape and shimmy for the few remaining unconvinced. So let me put forth an explanation for the Republican ticket's apparent scattershot approach to convincing the unconvincible.

Shooting the nation in the face as a campaign strategy?

Since Romney and Ryan are suffering from a really big disadvantage, i.e. people don't like their policies, they first decided that it was best that people not be able to figure them out. This has not, repeat, not, worked out. People either think they're great because they're, well, conservatives, or they think they're shifty and untrustworthy.

But the number of diehards plus the number of hoodwinked rarely add up to 50.1 percent. So how to get to that magic number? Tomfoolery! Presto, winning margin.

What is this tomfoolery? Romney and Ryan will come out, temporarily, on both sides of every issue. In fact, if they can figure out how to be on four sides of an issue, so much the better. If they can so confuse voters which side is on which side, some people might stumble into election day not knowing who's who.

Romney's secret plan? I've got it here in my hand.

Barack Obama has to be careful here. He is, by all accounts, not simply pushing his own policy positions but also pushing back against Romney's and Ryan's as well, and also pointing out that his opponents don't actually have positions. If, however, while condemning his rivals, Obama doesn't clarify his positions well enough, then voters, especially the undecided, won't really know who took what position.

In that case, the deciders might just flip a coin or go for the candidates with the best jaws. Clearly Mitt and Paul have the best jaws.

Undecided focus group: C'mon people, focus.
It's long been demonstrably true -- and please forgive me, undecided voters, for what I'm about to say -- that undecided voters pretty much can't decide because they're the last to figure out what the fuck is going on, what the fuck they believe, and what the fuck the candidates believe. If they were quick-witted or well-informed, let's face it, they would have already made up their fucking minds.

There, I said it.

So, pundits who think that Romney and Ryan are running the weakest, least organized, messaging campaign in history may not fully understand that they just might be doing this on purpose. I offer a different theory: They're doing it on purpose.

Answer me any of the following questions:
  • What's Romney's position on tax cuts? (hint: we don't know anymore)
  • What's Romney's position on closing tax loopholes? (hint: we've never known)
  • What's Romney's position on healthcare reform? (hint: we don't know anymore)
  • What's Ryan's position on Medicare reform (hint: we don't really know)
  • What's Romney's position on Ryan's budget? (hint: Ryan has a budget?)
  • What's Ryan's position on his own budget? (hint: What budget? I like Romney's budget)
  • What's Romney's budget? (hint: Ryan's, except maybe no)
  • What are Romney and Ryan's positions on Social Security? (hint: don't ask)
  • What's Romney's position on the economy? (hint: he's in favor of it)
  • What's Romney's position on jobs? (hint: he's in favor of them, too)
  • What's Ryan's position on the deficit? (hint: he's a hawk except for during the whole Bush administration)
  • What do Romney and Ryan actually believe? (hint: about what?)

Okay, swamp oil is close enough.
 Anybody who has ever tried to sell snake oil (Was there ever any actual snake oil?) or pull off a neat magic trick or get the defense to go that way when you're running this way knows that the secret to the art of bamboozlement is misdirection. If they ain't looking or ain't listening or ain't thinking, you can convince anyone -- for a time -- that you're here when you're actually there.

Are Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan geniuses or idiots? We'll know eventually. The trouble is, what if they change their minds on this strategy, say, tomorrow? I mean, what are the odds of that?

No comments:

Post a Comment