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Post Partisan
Posted at 04:34 PM ET, 10/15/2012

PostScript: Dionne, Romney and shape-shifting

PostScript is unclear on many things. We absorb several contradicting ideas and aren’t sure how to figure out which one is false, or whether falsity even exists anymore.

For example, there are almost no undecided voters. At all. Anywhere. Yet somehow over the last two weeks, the polls moved like 10 points, meaning a whole lot of people changed their minds and support Mitt Romney now. But it’s still a dead heat, and there still aren’t any undecided voters.

E.J. Dionne Jr.’s column today zeroes in on a different cognitive dissonance: Romney has taken diametrically opposed positions at various times on various issues — abortion, for example, or whether to raise, lower or freeze taxes on the rich, or whether he really believes half of us are moochers. Dionne wonders why and how Romney supporters seem to accept those statements that they agree with while ignoring the very different others.

PostScript finds herself at a disadvantage here: She is familiar only with commenters, who are very, very opinionated and thus are not the people who might changes their minds because of such nuances. Here in the bunker, moderates, independents and undecideds are an unproven but fiercely believed-in thought exercise, sort of like the Great Pumpkin. Nobody has ever seen them or can predict their behavior, but they might shock us all on their chosen night by appearing and doing . . . whatever they might do!

But what is thick on the bunker ground is partisanship. So we can get a good look at the diehard Romney supporter who, despite various Romney statements to the contrary, thinks Romney’s thoughts and actions as president would precisely align with his or her own. We here in the bunker, as fertile, unmarried, religious women, are most interested in how Romney is simultaneously planning to legislate against abortion/guaranteed access to contraception and not legislate against it, but so far we have been unable to find a diehard conservative willing to explain this to us.

But other things are becoming clearer:

flyover22, while concentrating on economics, has a gut feeling about Romney’s bio that jibes with his or her thoughts. The rest — even the social stuff?! — is just campaigning:

There is no doubt in my mind Romney approaches the presidency and the economy as a Bain Capital deal, tempered by being a Governor and working the Olympics. That is his experience and that is his background. A leopard can’t change his spots. Romney views it as a jobs, economy-growth and efficiency-problem set.
Obama is a Community Organizer, and thus his approach is about government services and not growth or jobs.
Both men will do anything to close the deal. Nobody gets to this level running for the Presidency just to back off.
Only a fool would think both sides are not doing the same thing to sell their “product” and only a fool would let a disdain for politics or political “skills” over five months overshadow the skills and abilities needed for the Presidency over four years.
As for Romney, what does it matter? He’s is pro growth, pro jobs and pro-business and pro-fiscal control (remember Clinton). Other than pro-business that’s what the Democrats used to be for as well. Can he be any worse than Obama?

jfv123, too, sees a very simple message, uncomplicated by contradicting Romney statements:

Romney/Ryan are clearly campaigning on the following principles:
- cut tax rates in exchange for reducing deductions/loopholes
- reform entitlements to reduce their growth
- cut discretionary spending on optional programs and reduce the number of Federal employees
- North American energy independence.
You might not like these principles, but the message has been clear and consistent.
Aside from opposing these Romney/Ryan programs, all Obama offers is hope and change or Forward.

zeke27 argues that a lot more detail about HOW these things would happen would be nice:

I think we should be examining the energy independence that Romney is talking about. More coal and oil extraction, less environmental protections, more public expense for clean up. (privatize the profit, socialize the expense) Oil is an international product, which is why, even when we export gasoline, the price keeps going up. How does Romney propose to keep our oil at home and at reasonable prices when Asia will pay top dollar to run all those little cars in India? Big oil is not a group of patriotic companies that some would like us to believe it is.

Ericcallenking, though not a Romneyite himself, has a possible explanation for how well the right wing takes Romney’s perceived moderation:

All Romney’s current shapeshifting is just a smokescreen to confuse the voters in the middle. He picked an ideological Conservative for his running mate so the right knows every moderate position he pretends to take is just a sop the to the voters in the center. They know he has thrown his lot in with the extreme right wing just as Bush did in picking Cheney
kimrit has another theory:

Romney’s campaign retracts every moderate position he takes in public — to reassure the far right that he still will promote an extremist agenda.

And veritas71 suggests an extremely intriguing alternative. Maybe all of Romney’s supporters are as mercurial as he:

I listen and I agree with Romney on ALL points!

PostScript is aboard with this idea! Support everything Romney has said.

Be for abortion and against it! Be for soaking the rich and coddling them. Deport illegals and grant them citizenship. Once he’s elected president, all these views will cancel each other out and the presidency will cease to exist! Presto-change-o, radically smaller federal government!

He’s mercurial . . . like a fox.

By Rachel Manteuffel  |  04:34 PM ET, 10/15/2012

 
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