There is a cartoon "doing the rounds" on Facebook. It goes right to the heart of the current Republican Party, and their Presidential Campaign.
It takes the Rovian Playbook and turns it on its head, yet speaks to an essential truth.
There is a problem facing the current Grand Old Party. For generations they have bullied and cheated their way to power, gradually eroding the rights, and the standard of living, of middle class Americans.
With stark clarity we are seeing that they do not have a plausible plan to lay before the electorate, nor do they have a record of achievement upon which to campaign. Not helping is that they managed to choose for their champion, a man who cannot manage their only possible approach, that of the folksy culture warrior. The good old boy. A guy you could have a beer with, and talk straight.
Let's face it, when you are bereft of answers and the economy, and your own economic world is crashing around your ears, the feeling that you are electing a President you can have a beer with is attractive in some circles. Romney is not that guy.
Then they picked Ryan .... Bwaaaaaa Haaaaaa!
Ryan is not that guy either. Ryan is the policy wonk, the numbers man, the Washington insider who can lay out a path to prosperity. Except he can't. Those other "good old boys" who would have that cold beer gratefully, under normal circumstances, are on Social Security, or Medicare. Or their parents are, or they hope to be.
The other very strange thing that I have detected here in my Oklahoma Ivory Tower ... well its made of plastic, but don't tell anyone ... is simply this. Even here. even in Oklahoma, I am meeting people who just can't help liking Barack Obama.
Yeah, we know he is black. Yup, he's a Marxist ... but you know what, he's a nice guy. Of course we will vote Republican, that's genetic, but you know what, he might be black, but he's a nice guy.
Don't get me wrong. Few of them are saying that they like Barack Obama, but they have dialed back the rhetoric, which around here amounts at least to a grudging respect, and no one is saying that they like Romney. In a State where identity politics plays as big as it plays anywhere, that represents progress.
Granted these are but straws in the wind, and this is Oklahoma, but if I detect even a morsel of grudging respect for the Kenyan, then surely among the purpley states this feeling should be translating into votes. If they had picked another GW, you know, a candidate with a down-home approach even if he does have the intellectual curiosity of a gnat, and the intelligence of a flea on a gnat, then I would be worried ... but Romney?
Here in the Sooner State they cannot stand Romney. They don't like him, and they don't trust him. Yes, of course they will vote for him, but that is here.
It is refreshing, energizing even to see Democrats fighting back. Harry, you keep after them Axelrod, Plouffe, Cutter et al. Go for the guy and follow it up with a good left hook. Not only can they not hit back, they are crying because they have never actually had to.
If we were being opposed by fiscal conservatives who genuinely believed that their philosophy of small government, modest regulation and a free market economy was the key to success, then that is a debate we could have. That is the debate America has always had. Things went bad with Reagan, and since then have become steadily worse until we reached the point where there appear to be no checks, few balances. The Right is free to spread whatever lies and dis-information they like, with impunity. They have cash, a compliant media and a low-information electorate.
Worse, they have begun to realize that they can't win. They might win this time, and next, but the writing is one the wall. Demographics will kill them if they continue to allow ordinary Americans to vote.
And that is the line that shall not be crossed. They have crossed from opposition to enemy of the state. They have forfeit any rights they may have had by their naked attempts at election fraud. Suppressing the vote is the one thing that turns them from opponent to enemy. Not the enemy of the Democrats, the enemy of the people and their right to representative democracy.
So Harry Reid ... I don't care if you have information you haven't released. I don't care if you made up the whole attack. I am not concerned that you may, or may not be playing dirty. Keep it up, and get nastier because there is more than an election at stake.
They have changed the game by breaking the rules, and probably the laws too. They are trying to steal the country against the wishes of the people, and I'm sorry, but no peaceful tactic is too far to win that back.