There's an old saying that necessity is the mother of invention. I might add that incompetence is the father of desperation. This election cycle, the White House was the Republican's to lose, and lose it they seem destined. It's strangely similar to 1980, when the economy was in the doldrums, and American embassies were under siege in the Middle East. Take some back room dirty dealings by the Republicans, add a charismatic candidate, and boom - Jimmy Carter was a one-term president.
The difference this time is that it's President Obama that has all the charisma, and the cause of the economic situation is not that far in the rear-view mirror. Where Reagan seemed steadfast, Romney is a wind sock. Where George H.W. Bush added some gravitas to the ticket, Ryan adds fluff, and the concern of draconian economic rememdies and regressive policies towards women.
The Romney campaign has a reason to be desperate. In just a few weeks the running mates have managed to contradict themselves and each other on numerous topics, giving the appearance of an unfocused and undisciplined campaign and team. Recent polls show Obama ahead
in three key swing states (Ohio, Virginia, and Florida). This has required that Romney take some risks, and he has handled them with all the aplomb and grace that he exhibits when talking to "regular" people.
His recent attempt to smear Obama with "apologizing" for the embassy attacks backfired and made him look impetuous (like President Bush, ready to jump to conclusions before all the facts are in). Rep, Todd Akin (R-MO) tried to pile
on, saying President Obama apologized because he doesn't like America. Yes this is the same Todd Akin that thinks women have magic vaginas that can repel a rapist's sperm. With friends like this, who needs enemies? Romney was even heckled
in VA for politicizing the attack on the embassy while he was trying to say that the Middle East needs U.S. leadership
. Imperialism at its finest...
After flubbing the convention, flubbing the post-convention politicking, and flubbing the first real foreign-policy test, Romney is trying to steer the campaign back to the economy
. The problem of course is that President Obama has already accurately characterized Romney's plan as a rehash of the failed Bush policies. Economic studies have shown that that tax cuts for the rich do not stimulate the economy
. They can talk about "job creators" all they want, but everyone knows it's the same trickle-down nonsense with a new name. People buying stuff are the real job creators, not people who stash their cash in off-shore accounts.
It's gotten so bad that even lifelong Republicans are jumping ship. Being an "elector" in the electoral system is a rare honor, but one such person in Iowa resigned rather than face voting for Romney
A Republican appointed to the Electoral College, Melinda Wadsley was expected to cast her vote for Mitt Romney if he won the state of Iowa in the presidential election.
Wadsley decided Thursday she couldn't in good conscience vote for Romney...
"I have always been a straight-ticket Republican, and for the first time in my life I am an undecided voter, therefore, I need to resign my position as a Republican presidential elector," Wadsley said in an email exchange with The Associated Press.
Romney's advocates are showing their desperation as well. FOX "News" is fudging the numbers
on unemployment, and Kansas is the latest state to consider using the birther approach to removing President Obama from the ballot
(not that it would matter - the state will go to Romney in the election). Other states have flirted with the idea, then whithered under the ridicule. This is likely more desperate bluster, but should it come to pass, it will be a dark stain on the history of our country.
The Romney campaign is in real trouble. They have no new ideas to offer (except some that scare the dickens out of the electorate, such as converting Medicare to VoucherCare), and Obama has already beat them to the middle on numerous issues. House Republicans have made cartoon characters of themselves by reflexively voting against anything Obama is for, including things Republicans would typically vote for, so they are no help and have further tarnished the GOP brand.
The net 8 weeks will be interesting to see what they try next. Grab your popcorn.