Saturday, August 11, 2012

Romney/Ryan 2012 Means We'll Ignore The Biggest Issue of Our Time:

But attention is to an extent a zero-sum game. And focusing attention on the big-picture disagreement between Democrats and Republicans about long-term fiscal policy means we won't be focusing attention on what ought to be the most pressing economic policy issue of our time—mass unemployment and the tragic waste of human and economic potential it represents. To be sure, politicians will still talk about this. But obviously Obama would prefer at this point to talk about long-term vision and the contrast between his "balanced approach" and the GOP's cut-cut-cut approach. With Ryan on the ticket, he more and more gets his way. Which means conservatives also get their way. Romney doesn't just run as "Mr Fix-It" who'll clean up the mess, he's running as an ideological candidate with a major vision for changing the country. But that means the terrible economic performance since 2009 and the large jobs deficit built up during that period are going to receed further into the rearview mirror. Romney is essentially conceding that the past 18 months of 150,000 jobs per month are good enough to get Obama re-elected, and he needs to wage a campaign about something bigger.

Which means that, a bit weirdly, the issue that ought to dominate the campaign is going to fade into obscurity.