Advisers say the campaign has no plans to pivot from its previous view that diving into details during a general-election race would be suicidal.
That's less a "view" than elementary politics. Not that Mitt Romney could, but no politician would mount a stage and proceed to paralyze an audience with a rationally enumerated exposition of why his Subsection A, Part II is irresistibly superior to his opponent's Subsection B, Part I. It's just not done; in part, as implied, because most pols couldn't if they wanted to (notable exceptions being Carter, both Clintons and Obama), but chiefly because the audience would drop or drift.
Nonetheless Sargent is shocked:
Romney advisers are explicitly confirming that all of this is part of a grand strategy to only signal general direction to the American people. It’s a guiding idea that specifics are a political peril to be avoided.
Yes, well, but that's only because specifics are a political peril to be avoided.
I'm sorry, did I miss something?
I do have a larger and pertinent point, though, which is this: Mitt Romney's legal adoption of the infant Paul Ryan has made it invitingly easier for the Obama campaign to also elide specifics and instead attack its opponent's general direction, which, as noted, the Romney camp presumes is its strength.
Ryan's the key. Seemingly endless news coverage and analysis and commentary have been devoted to his "wonkiness." Yet the Obama camp can counterattack with the blistering correction that Ryan may be many things, including a world-class hypocrite, but he is no wonk. He's an ideologue. And that, by definition, liquidates the wonk.
Wonks engage empirical evidence and statistical data and genuine debate and deliberation to arrive at possible solutions to unanswered questions. Ideologues require none of that. They already possess the answers; they don't even really need to ask the questions. All problems, all complexities, all of life's little socioeconomic as well as international annoyances are pre-answered and thereby pre-resolved according to Ideological Scripture--in Ryan's case, the Books having been scribbled by Ayn Rand, the Koch brothers, Herbert Spencer, and assorted other anarchists and dog-eat-dog "philosophers."
Mitt Romney, now poisonously attached to Paul Ryan, has a "general direction" all right. And it's far more "suicidal" than any specifics could ever be.