On the evidentiary basis of Romney's "me-too-ism," Dionne declares that the far right has already "lost the election of 2012." Mitt has heaved "virtually all of his past positions overboard"--that is, his past right-wing positions, not his past moderate positions or his past center-left positions--in a desperate scramble to appease Middle America. And while Romney's abrupt ideological apostasy (which is every bit as meaningless as his original conversion, one should add) has drawn the media's attention toward his jarring political tactics, Dionne wishes to redirect that attention:
What should engage us more is that a movement that won the 2010 elections with a bang is trying to triumph just two years later on the basis of a whimper.
That Romney has moved to the center is of course indisputable, and I would agree with Dionne that a comparative analysis of the ideological right of 2010 and the tactically less radical right (on the public relations-presidential level) of 2012 is a worthy one. However it seems to me that what should engage us even more is the American electorate's horrifying willingness to entertain, to any degree, the malevolent mindset of the manifest madness that so recently brought us unprovoked war, exponential debt, ravaging unemployment, and a financial crisis to rival 1929.
In short, Are we nuts? Do we genuinely believe that Romney's 17 Bushie neocons among his 24 foreign policy advisers have suddenly taken a sober view of American firepower? Or that Romney's supply-sided fantasies--whose budget-busting ramifications represent the Gipper and W. squared--would, this time, somehow prove that three is the economically miraculous charm?
What's more, far right movements almost always moderate prior to popular elections. See? We're not so radical, they say. Hear us. Trust us. On occasion, rather innocent electorates do just that, to their later shock and profoundest regret. Yet in this instance we already possess empirical knowledge of the right's enduring contempt for the working classes and its global recklessness. And that knowledge is far from ancient; it was only four years ago that these virtually selfsame bungling incompetents and chest-pounding chickenhawks and deliberate class warriors brought us to our knees. Four years, people. Just four years ago.
And it's already time, maybe, to give them another shot, because this time they swear they're actually quite nice and very pleasant sorta-quasi-extremists? I ask again: Are we nuts?