The issues are out there. It is easy to be distracted by sideline issuesin campaign 2012. Slim victory margins, sluts, a brokered convention (whatever that means), contraceptives, Cadillacs, and Satan all suggest a surreal, unhealthy campaign that isn't building momentum for the Republican candidate. But don't be fooled, the real issues are out there.
No matter who wins the Republican nomination, President Obama will be on the defensive on every major issue. He will have particular tactical achievements that he will try to promote, but his policies have been weak, failures or rejected. Health care, energy, jobs, economic growth, the Russian reset, Afghanistan — there is no area where he will not be on the defensive.
In the general election it will be the Obama campaign’s plan to introduce confusion, distractions and pettiness. The president has to avoid a referendum on himself. He has to hope that personality will triumph over policy and results in November. The easiest way to do this is through the old-fashioned politics of personal destruction. What other choice does he have?
This is probably the Republicans’ darkest hour. Our candidates look weak, and our campaign is a farce. But this won't matter in early November. The fog that Republicans are wandering through now will burn off and what really matters to voters will be revealed.