In a half hour or so the entire political class with be immersed in the Supreme Court’s decision on Obamacare. But in the meantime, let’s consider the latest shiny object, a distraction and highly partisan storyline to distract from the president’s record.
The newest talking point: Mitt Romney is vague or has no ideas. When he gives an answer they don’t like (he’s opposed to gay marriage), he’s accused of ducking the issue. The most egregious variation is insisting Romney doesn’t have anything with which to replace Obamacare. He certainly does.
Let’s remind everyone: Romney has a tax plan with specified corporate and individual rates, a commitment to keep current progressivity, and territoriality for international businesses. On health care, he wants a premium-support Medicare plan, block-granting Medicaid, uniform tax treatment for individual- and employer-purchased insurance plans, interstate insurance sales, permission for small businesses to group together for insurance purchases, greater transparency and disclosure by insurance companies, and tort reform. On immigration, he has plans for family unification, legalization for those who serve in the military, expansion of visas for highly educated foreign students, employer verification and increased border control. He’s got tons of other policies — an outline for Social Security reform, expanded domestic energy development, reduction in the federal workforce and removal of Big Labor giveaways.
I could go on and on. So what accounts for the blatantly false assertion that has become the latest anti-Romney talking point?
It is a simple game of distraction or, if you prefer, a classic case of projection. President Obama has no comprehensive tax plan, nothing on immigration beyond his DREAM power grab, no ideas for Social Security or Medicaid reform. So the Obama team and his media minions attack Romney for not filling in all the blanks in his policies or in refusing to play along with an Obama-inspired storyline. (If Romney doesn't get his immigration plan, which would supersede and replace the DREAM power grab, would he keep the DREAM power grab?)
Now, it is true that Romney is obsessively focused on the economy. But not wanting to talk about a slew of issues besides his main message is not the same as having no positions on the issues. Frankly, the Romney team has been ridiculously passive in not combating the Obama-media talking point. And while the vast majority of political pundits don’t care about foreign policy, Romney (after a comprehensive white paper last fall) has generally ignored national security.
But as to domestic policy, at times it seems the media are genuinely ignorant, as if they don’t know what Romney has said or put out in writing. Don’t they bother to even check the Romney Web site, ask questions of Romney advisers or listen to his speeches? Many, of course, are simply regurgitating Obama talking points.
Whatever the explanation, the allegation is both false in and of itself (Romney has health-care proposals) and unfair insofar as Obama has far fewer specific proposals. It’s this sort of willful misrepresentation that gives the MSM the reputation for being in the tank for Obama.