Now that both sides of the debate accept as fact the mediocre performance of the economy, it is no longer in Romney’s interest to focus so much of his campaigning on lamenting economic weakness in the present. For one thing, it limits his ability to exploit Obama’s vulnerabilities in noneconomic areas. Regarding (and at times labeling) all noneconomic issues as “distractions” leaves an open field for Team Obama’s slicing and dicing of the electorate into recipients of narrow but attractive noneconomic messages.With the caveat that where GOP economic prescriptions are concerned, the past is not only not dead, it isn't even past, I say bring it on. Taxing and spending -- let's have it out. And let's make Mitt fill in all the blanks -- and lock the Etch-a-Sketch.
For another, it devalues a future-oriented economic debate that is more in Romney’s interest than Obama’s. Rather than falling into a backward-looking blame game that in major respects favors Obama rather than the GOP, Romney needs to contrast his plans for budget and tax reform to Obama’s desire for a stiff increase in tax rates to finance continued high levels of domestic spending.
* Hat tip to LOLGOP.