Friday, April 27, 2012

Wedgie opportunities

Political parties, especially of the R persuasion, are always looking for wedge issues, to drive a wedge between an opponent and voters.  It seems to me that right now Dems are presented with a target rich environment of wedge opportunities, and the Mittster will get a wedgie in the process.  Here's how it's going to work.

Dems in congress will (or should) keep bringing up legislation aimed to help the middle class, or women or minorities, or young people.  Because Rs refuse to go along with almost everything, they will oppose this stuff, or want to.  Like the student loan interest rate reduction.  The Mittster, on the other hand, needs to move to the center, away from the crazy edge of R politics where he's spent the last few months.

So, Mitt will tend to separate from the Rs (thereby making Obama look that much more reasonable).  Or, he'll hang tough on the right and alienate those core constituencies, which will help Obama.

So there's the choice.  Mitt can try to broaden his appeal, and in the meantime make Rs look bad and Obama look good, or he can cleave to the right and hurt his chances of getting elected.  Beauty.  And BTW, some decent legislation might end up getting passed, like the Violence Against Women Act.


Idahoan said...

Interesting take. I've always agreed with the conventional wisdom that Mitt will attract moderates after he's rolled out his pre-arranged Etch-a-Sketch campaign to the center right. I hadn't ever thought that any moves to the center would actually hurt him by making Obama look like the (original) reasonable guy in the room. I still tend to go with the former logic, as I think that much of the electorate won't pay much attention to the election until summertime. And by then Mitt will have already re-invented himself as a center-right candidate. But I guess we'll see.

One thing's for sure: Obama will benefit by holding Mitt to his earlier primary campaign statements. Watching Romney wriggle out of his most recent hard-line statements (i.e., immigration, contraception, abortion) at the debates should be entertaining. As in painful.

Alan said...

I think that Mitt moving to the center will undercut the hard-liner tea party types, which might then lead to some legislation actually getting passed, which in turn might help Obama show he's getting stuff done. Exactly the opposite of the Republican strategy the last 3 years.