Getting down to the wire, folks! Less than two weeks away from any of our opinions actually affecting national government in the slightest way! The tension is rising in the comments section of the Opinions page. Even from the PostScript emergency bunker, we’re feeling it. It feels like freak out.
Today’s concentration of freak out is highest in the 5,000-plus comments to Harold Meyerson’s column on Mitt Romney’s sudden moderation. More comments than not aren’t very relevant to Meyerson’s point. We, fevered arguers, just want to go where everyone else is and argue. Our arguing time is running short! Who will care what we think in two weeks!
But a thread did develop relating to Meyerson’s point. Meyerson argued that a Mitt Romney seeming to shift from his “severe conservative” of the Republican primaries to kinder, gentler, Obama-esque Romney, the one that Glenn Beck meant when he tweeted
Glenn Beck @glennbeck
I am glad to know that Mitt agrees with Obama so much. No, really. Why vote?
was meaningless. Even Moderate Mitt will be beholden to a radical Republican House of Representatives. George W. Bush was a moderate on immigration policy, and it mattered not one whit because of his House. Essentially, it doesn’t even matter what Romney says now, because U.S. voters would be electing John Boehner and Jim DeMint as president.
Which actually tremendously reassures some commenters, like Snapplecat07, who doesn’t want a Moderate Mitt, even if that’s who’s campaigning now:
I hope you’re right. Romney doing what tea partiers and Norquist want will get us on the right track.
My biggest fear like you is that when Romney wins , he ignores the tea party and Norquist who helped him get elected.
DOps, however, thinks that Romney’s ability to zig moderate now, while keeping his more extreme supporters happy, speaks well of his ability to moderate his whole party:
I think that we all need to acknowledge that ultra-partisanism does not effectively govern the nation. That goes for left and right. In part, I’m looking for the presidential candidate who is the most willing and able to tame the unwashed horde they sit atop — to govern on behalf of all the people, not the just the half that barely, barely voted him in. Someone who is adept at solving complex problems not just by hauling out their party’s playbook to raise taxes on “the rich” or cut taxes to prosperity or declare another entitlement to grease re-election but without regard to fiscal consequence.
I generally believe that Romney is no more or less an etch-a-scetch artist than Obama. But I do begin to marvel at how he seems to be “solving the problem” of getting elected atop a boisterous party by gradually moving to the middle — where he has always felt he belonged.
And california405 thinks that undecided voters won’t even have noticed the shift, because they’re only watching right now:
What Romney appears to be banking on, and which might in fact be a wise strategy, is that these people are just now tuning in for the first time. Their only exposure to Romney is the Moderate Mitt, not the Severely Conservative Mitt. Meanwhile, they see a feisty black man trying to protect his office from the specter of a neocon takeover. They are playing different games, and these morons who are going to decide the fate of our country are being duped.
ignoranceisbliss, however, thinks there’s only one way to find out how Romney would govern. Elect him. Don’t like it, you’ll get more input four years later:
So you would be voting for the Romney that has said he can turn the economy around. You can measure his success or failure over the first 2 to 3 years of his term, and then decide if he fulfilled his promises and was the Romney he said he would be. If not, he can be replaced. That is the beauty of our system.
What all these commenters have in common is that none of them believes that the presidential campaign is useful in determining what sort of actual president we get.
Also everyone seems kind of reassured about that.
Somehow PostScript wants to freak out even more.