Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
It was reported that President George H.W. Bush's response to the suggestion that he turn his attention away from short-term campaign objectives and focus on the larger picture was "oh, the vision thing." The phrase "the vision thing" has come to personify any politician's failure to incorporate a greater vision in a campaign, and has often been applied by the media to politicians or public figures.
Enter POLITICO today, Mitt Romney not Into ‘vision thing’:
Mitt Romney has made it clear what he’s against.
What he’d be for as president is another question.
The presumptive GOP nominee has some Republicans worried he lacks the “vision thing” that has hurt previous presidential candidates and haunted George H.W. Bush in his quest to succeed Ronald Reagan.
Some GOP officials fear that their nominee for president has so far failed to articulate a clear and compelling plan for the country if he defeats President Barack Obama in November. Instead of framing his ideas in a positive and specific way — like some of his GOP primary challengers — they say Romney must stop solely running a defensive campaign that leaves voters without a clear idea of where he stands.
Ah, but there is also another favorite media meme at play here. Whenever a Democrat disagrees with the party leadership the media villagers instinctively trot out "Democrats are in disarray." Well, the shoe's on the other foot in this POLITICO story. "Republicans are in disarray," in particular, the far-right radical extremists who are still not sold on Willard "Mittens" Romney.
“I don’t know what he’ll do on anything,” Club for Growth President Chris "Count" Chocola told POLITICO. “And that’s, that’s the concern that people have always had is, you don’t truly understand what Mitt Romney is going to do.”
* * *
“At the end of the day, you can’t just be all, you know, anti-Obama,” said former Ohio Secretary of State [and senior fellow at the Family Research Council] Ken Blackwell, whose state is key to Romney’s chances. “It has to be, I think, two parts that and one part here’s the antidote, here’s the vision, here’s the path that I would like to lead America down.”
And GOP strategist Mark McKinnon — who advised former two-term Republican president George W. Bush — said it’s time for Romney to outline his agenda.
“It’s important to establish the problem when you are a challenger because you are asking voters to fire the incumbent. So, Romney has to file his grievances,” McKinnon said. “But at some point he has to show that he has a vision of a better way. He can’t just say ‘The future is bleak, follow me.’ Because no one will.”
POLITICO takes note of Romney's lack of substance:
[Romney] has been extraordinarily light on specifics, even on the economy, which he bills as his trademark issue. He touts the fact that he was a successful businessman and knows how to create jobs, but has to be pressed to outline specific ways he will transfer that know-how to the U.S. economy.
In an interview this week with Time’s Mark Halperin, for instance, Romney treated inquires into specifics about about spending cuts as president as a gotcha question.
* * *
Even on issues where Romney is most emphatic — repealing Obama’s health-care reform and striking down the Dodd-Frank financial industry regulation — his rhetoric on the campaign trail has at times been fuzzy.
* * *
Romney has likewise called for the repeal of the Dodd-Frank and Sarbanes-Oxley financial reform laws, but has been vague about what, if anything, he would favor to replace them.
After the $2 billion loss incurred by JPMorgan Chase, Romney further called for “commonsense” regulations, but didn’t detail exactly what mechanisms should be created.
* * *
As for reviving the economy, Romney’s major campaign plank, Romney is vague on the policies he would implement besides displacing Obama as president.
His campaign points to his 59-point plan for redoing the economy. But the lengthy white paper, to which he wrote only the forward, spends more time outlining problems with Obama policies than bolstering his own.
But here is the part of the story that should concern voters: this may be a deliberate strategy to say as little as possible and to encourage voters to vote against Obama rather than for Romney. Romney will have stood for nothing, but if elected, Romney will claim a "mandate" and the Tea-Publicans in Congress will govern from their far-right radical extremist agenda. It is a "stealth" strategy of making this election a referendum on Obama rather than a choice between two competing visions for America.
This "stealth" strategy is revealed in comments from Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole, a former National Republican Congressional Committee chairman:
“He’s essentially adopted the Ryan budget,” Cole said, referring to Paul Ryan’s plan to reform Medicare. “Has that been put together in a compelling and direct way? Not yet. But I think it’s awfully early for that.”
Cole said revealing little is part of a strategy, which he endorsed, of outlining few specifics about what Romney would do as president until later in the campaign.
“It will all come in due course. They’ve certainly shown throughout the primary the ability to deliver a message and stay on the message,” he said. “The big thing to me now, from now to the convention, is to avoid any mistakes. If you’re a Republican and you keep it close to the end, you’ve got a good chance to win.”
A similar reveal comes from Ken Khachigian, a speechwriter for Ronald Reagan:
[He] said it makes more sense for Romney to keep his ideas vague for as long as possible.
“At the end of the day, this is a political campaign and you conduct it in such a way as to win the election and get in office so you can govern,” Khachigian said. “There are a lot of things you can do in a political campaign that don’t help you at all, that are countervailing to your desire to get elected. Why would you do them?”
It is up to the voters and, unfortunately, our feckless corporate media villagers not to allow these evil bastards to get away with this "stealth" strategy. Electing an empty suit like Willard "Mittens" Romney, who would be a Trojan horse for a far-right radical extremist agenda that is alien to our American values and democratic principles, and who was never fully vetted during the campaign would be a travesty and a tragedy.