OK, we’re back from my biannual Olympic stupor. What’s been going on?
Mitt Romney made some news? That’s still going on? Oh, yeah. It’s election season.
So, then, what’s the news? Romney picked a running mate? Doesn’t he have to be the nominee to have a running mate? Don’t they at least get to the convention before adding someone?
OK, OK. He chose someone. Who is it again?
Excuse me? Did I hear you right? Did you say Paul Ryan? Really? That sounds like a joke.
When did Mitt Romney and the Republicans decide they wanted to lose this election?
You see, I believe Ryan’s a smart guy. Has a pretty good head on his shoulders, and has ideas – something that’s usually a dangerous thing in Washington. His big thing is the budget. And it’s that issue that is going to bite the Republicans where the sun don’t shine.
So the big part of Ryan’s big budget overhaul is making changes to Medicare, Medicaid and pretty much every entitlement program you can think of. Most of which would affect seniors. And seniors, a prized Republican demographic, don’t like changes that are going to affect their health care.
And where are there a lot of seniors? Florida, a major swing state. Oh, wait; they’ll probably throw another strange ballot with hanging chads at the seniors again.
So, let’s review a little. The Romney-Paul ticket already has a good portion of women quaking in their boots. You have socially progressive folks (you know, the ones for gay marriage) afraid of anything Republican. And now you’ve gone and got the seniors over the barrel?
Yeah. Good strategy.
All kidding aside, this move seemed like Romney’s way of placating the people he needs on the far right side of the party (especially the budget conscious Tea Party folks) while giving him the leeway to move center to try and grab the undecideds.
But, so far, we haven’t seen any moving toward center. And I wonder if that’s even possible in today’s media landscape. Can the pundits at Fox News and outlets handle a Republican candidate who panders toward the middle? Or will they continue to force the candidates into the same talking points that are divisive rather than trying to find common solutions?
Which continues to be our biggest problem. No one wants to find the common solution. Everyone’s so afraid of giving ground that every election cycle is turning into a standoff between two babies fighting for the one stuffed bunny put in between them. Both sides are going to cry until one of them gets their way.
Meanwhile, the rest of us – the poor stuffed bunny – are left feeling dirty, used and frayed at our edges.
This can’t be the way forward. The constant fighting and bickering and partisan games need to stop. This country can’t get better with both sides saying they know the way, and have their teammates – the ones who should be helping find the way – out putting booby traps in the middle of the road. Or worse, sabotaging the car.
Well, we have one more week of relative quiet, I suppose. The conventions start a week from Monday, and that’s where the booby trapped boulder really starts picking up speed.
Let’s just hope we’re able to get out of the way in time.