We do not have to let Republicans off the hook for nominating a manor-born pension-looting multi-hundred-millionaire tax-evading dancing horse-owner who was on record for pushing GM into bankruptcy and leaving Bin-Laden alive until he gives a Republican President a do-over in Tora Bora.
Of course Republicans will probably never again be so stupid as to pick such a caricature as their Presidential nominee (at least during any period when memories are fresh of financial collapses and Wall Street bailouts).
But most Republicans will push for most of the policies that Romney championed. What better way to call each of them out on this than to label him or her as a “Romney Republican”?
Look how many decades of leverage Republicans got from labeling their opponents as “McGovern Democrats”, even though nobody really knew what that meant, other than “too early against the Vietnam War”, “bad a picking VP candidates", "too modest about personal heroism in World War II” and –most importantly– “big-losing nominee of a divided party”.
Romney similarly lost big, not only of most the battleground states, but by 4% in the popular vote, despite benefiting from Super-PAC spending, 8% unemployment, voter suppression and heavily-stoked racism.
Also similarly, Romney's VP pick was a bust (who can forget Ryan being booed at the AARP convention, after years of Republican investment in scaring seniors about Obama?
Also similarly, Romney’s party also was divided, as highlighted by the negative advertising and soul-selling that was necessary for Romney to get nominated.
An important difference between Romney and McGovern is that most people know a lot of the things that is meant when somebody is labeled a “Romney Republican”. In fact, the hard part is figuring out a top 3, top 5 or even top 10.
My preliminary list (not necessarily in top-to-bottom order) is below (all are welcome to comment/edit/expand in the comments).
1. Deficit-scolding while reducing millionaire taxes 20% more than W’s “temporary” deductions.
2. Reducing benefits of social security, etc., while retaining the payroll cap that means the higher your income, the lower your overall percentage of payroll taxes.
3. Defending the “fairness” of W’s 15% tax rate (with zero payroll taxes) on dividends, and on gains from investments held longer than two years.
4. Drilling and fracking for oil, gas and coal until flooded by storm surges.
5. Buying more warships and using them to intervene in more countries (and to confront our “No. 1 geopolitical foe” Russia in the fully ice-free Artic Ocean).
6. Ordering all US military uniforms (and eventually all manufactured equipment) from Chinese factories staffed by migrant teenage girls surrounded by barbed wire to keep out job-seekers.
7. Reducing veterans’ healthcare, retirement and other benefits.
8. Making life so unpleasant for brown people that they self-deport.
9. Cutting unemployment and welfare benefits.
10. Forcing “urban area” residents to move to agricultural regions to replace deportees, and to pick fruit and vegetables without any minimum wage or access to nearby voting booths.
11. Making abortions unavailable in most or (see Supreme Court) all states.
12. Appointing Supreme Court justices in the mold of Scalia-Thomas-Alito (perhaps Eric Cantor -- not a joke, but I will put a few fun exaggerations in a comment below).