Carter makes the point that it is time for the Obama campaign to decide how best to attack Mitt Romney. Is he an extremist or a flip-flopper?
All Democrats want all Republicans to be wild extremists. It is what Democrats choose to believe. Therefore, this is the tentative opening assault on Romney. But the problem is, to be a good stereotype for the Democrats, a Republican must be angry, harsh toward those who are down on their luck, and willing to theatrically thump a Bible occasionally. Romney is none of these things. He is not a good bad guy for the Democrats, and even their campaign millions can't make the faux persona stick to the former governor.
It won't be easy to portray Romney as a flip-flopper because of Obama's blatant hypocrisy on issues ranging from coal to government spending. Also, because Democrats like “nuance.” The Democrat version of nuance can often be confused with deceit: Even when they believe something to its core, they surround it with hedging rhetoric to make it appeal to the political center. They always have a disarming phrase that masks their true intent. These days it is "tax fairness" that masks what they really want to do, which is to build class warfare and take punitive action against successful Americans. They will have a hard time sounding credible if they attack Romney for not being ideologically rigid since they don't want to be viewed themselves as ideologues.
Today's tax debate exposes both the vulnerability of the Obama economic record and the choices Romney must make about his attacks on Obama. Is Obama trying to push an economic plan that we disagree with, or is he trying to pursue an ideological nirvana that embraces policies more at home in Havana than in the heartland?
His so-called Buffett Rule, which I call the Obama Penalty, will be voted on today or tomorrow. It is a penalty, not a rule. Obama thinks you have done something that shouldn't be allowed (make money) and you need to pay a penalty as a result. It will fail in the Senate. Will Obama move on or stick with this gamble? Since the penalty would only raise $5.1 billion next year, it can't be said to be part of a serious deficit-reduction plan or serve any economic purpose.
If Obama sticks with this line of attack, Romney should make him answer for the results of his ideological passion. When you punish a select few by taking part of their discretionary income, who suffers as a result? I've never seen a good analysis of who loses their jobs if Obama gets his way. I wish readers would forward anything useful that they have seen.
But when people with discretionary income lose some of it, where do they make cuts? Landscapers must be among the first to go, then house painters and those who handle other home-improvement service jobs, vacation travel, restaurants etc. etc. Is it good enough for those that will lose their jobs that Obama is eager to put them on the government dole when their private-sector paychecks disappear? Will they appreciate his drive for “fairness”? The offer from Obama for these people and others like them is: Sacrifice your job, take government handouts, and we will all be better off as a result.
It is better and more accurate for the Romney campaign to expose Obama as someone who resents the private sector and wealth creation, rather than just asserting that he has a legitimate economic plan that Republicans would only marginally amend.