Monday, August 20, 2012

Ryan and Romney Budgets: Bait and Switch, Smoke and Mirrors

So, Romney picks Ryan, famous only for his budget...a budget about which Romney has waxed rhapsodical in the past...then Romney claims he isn't advocating Ryan's budget....though his own "budget" is, basically non-existent.

Thus we have a bait-and-switch, where we are switched to something so vaporous as to be virtually non-existent.

The strategy here is a common one: hold up an idea that is sexy and alluring to some, and give them clear signs that you really, in your heart of hearts, accept that idea, at the very least in principle. Give 'em the old nudge-nudge wink-wink...then retreat from the idea and claim you don't support it when challenged to defend it. It's common at that point to switch to a different, more modest, more easily-defensible idea...though in this case, we are switched to something that almost isn't even there.

Will the American people fall for this? Yes, of course--some will. Let's hope it's not too many.

Romney/Ryan should at least be forced to defend an actual budget plan that they actually endorse. We can't demand an unreasonable level of specificity, of course, but it's got to be an ordinarily reasonable and specific plan. They can't be allowed to gesture at Randroid fantasies when it suits and then wave their hands incoherently at an unspecified alternative when it suits.

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