Romney Cannot Talk About Ideas He Does Not Have

Mitt Romney might do better to just stop talking because when he opens his mouth he doesn’t say anything worth saying. There is no evidence that he got much of a bump from his convention speech and if he was going to get a bump, it should have been there. Things haven’t been any better since.

Romney says Obama had no new ideas. What, his old ideas are supposed to be so good? It’s a hoot hearing Mitt of all people talk about recycled ideas – Obama’s “Take two tax cuts, roll back some regulations, and call us in the morning!”

Of course, Romney isn’t the only one to claim Obama offered nothing new, but when was the last time any media pundit noticed that the Republicans haven’t had a new idea since 2001? And vague assurances, such as those he gave Iowa the other day, that he is “looking beyond the bad news” isn’t good enough.

In the land of people with no moral high ground, Mitt Romney is king of kings. Take a look at what Mr. I Hold Every Position in the Book had to say while on a campaign stop in Sioux City:

“There’s certainly nothing that he said last night that gives the American people confidence he knows what he would do to create jobs or build a stronger economy. I think that the message from last night was that the president’s plan is four more years of the four last years, and I don’t think the American people want four more years of the four last years.”

Of course, he is not about to mention the very publicly stated intention to block every move Obama made, to ignore the economy in order to make Obama a one-term president. Facts are so passé but very much in keeping with blasé.

Talking about his own awesome conservacred, he had this to say:

“I’m very pleased that people got to know me better. Those that took the time to watch and to listen in depth to the things that were said in the convention, I think, got a better picture of what I stand for and what I’d do to get America working again.”

I think he’s dreaming if he thinks we got to know him better. And to judge from the polls it’s not likely anyone was more impressed than I was. Romney is behind the eight ball here, terribly unpopular with the American people and not even all that popular with his own party. He needs more than a small bounce, and more than this blasé attitude.

“I’m very pleased that my Olympic experience allows me to talk about the Olympics in a straight talk manner. And I think it would be appropriate if the president would talk to China in a straight talk manner.”

Wow, the Olympics? He won’t talk about Bain. He won’t talk about his tax returns. He won’t talk about his time as Governor of Massachusetts and the Olympic thing isn’t all that impressive. And China? It was Republican economic policies that drove us into China’s arms, for crying out loud.

We’ve already seen how he told Fox News that he didn’t mention our troops because they weren’t important. In Sioux City he tried another of his million-and-one positions:

“I took time out from our convention to go to the American legion and speak to our veterans and speak about our commitment in Afghanistan and elsewhere,” Romney said. “The president apparently didn’t have time to go to the American legion as I did.”

Really, if this is the best Romney can do in response to Obama and the Democratic National Convention, he’s already lost. But of course, when you don’t actually have a position, or rather, you have a different position for every set of circumstances, I suppose it’s hard to go into any detail.

Vague is in for the 2012 elite Republican. Specificity is gauche, so very proletarian: Oh my dear, nobody who is anybody would ever think of sinking to the level of mere detail! Why, you’ll be laughed out of the party!

And apparently prepping for the debates didn’t solidify his thinking in any one of the myriad directions he has gone in his political career.

As some have noted, Obama spoke to America as an adult to other adults:

“America, I never said this journey would be easy, and I won’t promise that now. Yes, our path is harder, but it leads to a better place. Yes our road is longer, but we travel it together. We don’t turn back. We leave no one behind. We pull each other up. We draw strength from our victories, and we learn from our mistakes, but we keep our eyes fixed on that distant horizon, knowing that providence is with us, and that we are surely blessed to be citizens of the greatest nation on Earth.”

Contrast this with Romney’s vague policy assurances, never offering any real clue as to how he will accomplish all his goals. We’ll just “fix this” or “fix that.” A parent might say that to a child. A boss might say that to an employee. But the President needs to say more than that to the American people.

The media needs to take notice of that not only will the GOP not offer any ideas, they won’t talk about any ideas. As it has been since 2008, they are running a campaign of negation; negation of the Democratic Party, negation of Democratic candidates and Democratic policies without offering anything in its place. Look at his new ad (and they spent $4.5 million to buy the spots to say this):

“Here in [insert state name], we’re not better off under President Obama.”

Getting rid of something without replacing it with something else is nihilism; it’s not a platform.

When Romney goes on the campaign trail and submits to interviews and particularly when he engages in debates, it is going to be essential for him to actually elucidate a position. Because it is not Obama who has failed to do so, but Romney and the entire Republican Party. This vague, dismissive wave-of-a-hand politicking wouldn’t get him elected to mayor, let alone the highest office in the land.

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