Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Friday, May 18, 2012

Romney's Strategery

Basically, Romney is counting on dissatisfaction with the economy sweeping him to victory. 

As Chait says, that's not a stupid strategy.  I would say that's especially true when you're running such a mass of mediocrity as Metamorphomitt. 

But at the same time, R-Money is perhaps the wrong messenger, depending on where people place the blame for the economy.  If people tie the bad economy to Wall Street, then they are likely to vote for Obama.  If they blame it on bad governmental policy, especially post 2008, then they will vote for Romney.

Two things.

First, the evidence from Europe is pretty clear that the problem post-'08 was not too much governmental spending, but too little.  Of course, as we have noted, evidence means less than nothing in our political discourse.  Blaming things on Washington rather than Wall Street only works if you already hate Washington.

Which brings me to point two.  Romney's strategy seems a good example of epistemological closure.  The GOP is so obsessed with "government is not the answer to the problem, it is the problem" that they are constitutionally unable to see Wall Street is the problem.  For them, Washington is always the problem.

While this is not true, the success of GOP messaging means that a lot of people have internalized that idea.  The question is have enough people internalized this idea in order to overcome an unpopular candidate leading an unpopular candidate against an incumbent in a bad economy.

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