The Left's Remaining Tactic
It is still style over substance for the left. And it will remain so.
The left must rely on style from this point forward as they cannot argue, debate, or even discuss substance. Performance, acting, and show business are the important factors.
"Romney had a remarkable performance."
"He won on style."
"Obama seemed flat."
"He had the second term blahs."
Style and performance. Enthusiasm versus diffidence. Obama's attempted comeback will be based on theatrics.
It's predictable that policies, issues, and points were not emphasized as the reason for Romney's excellent debate performance. If the left concedes that Romney had good points, that Obama had vapid responses, and that Romney clarified his otherwise misrepresented policies, then all that remains for the Obama camp is a better "performance" from the president and continual obfuscations of the Romney message.
So, on with the little tricks, feints, and gimmickries! Tax cuts not "paid" for? This is their favorite inverted and backwards presentation of the revenue and spending equation. In truth it is the spending that may well not be paid for, while tax cuts are merely allowing the earners to keep that which they earned.
A perfect example of clouding the waters was offered up by Eleanor Clift on McLaughlin Group this weekend. In reference to Medicare, Clift said the following:
"Technically he is right. The President did take $716 billion out of Medicare... out of the payments to insurance companies who were creating these Medicare advantage plans and what he used that money for was to put it back into the program and extend the life of Medicare for another 8 years...and closed the doughnut hole for seniors on prescription drugs and seniors get free preventative care. Seniors have actually benefited from this, the insurance companies took a cut, and when Romney says he wants to take this money back he wants to give it to the insurance companies. Romney's gift is mixing facts and falsehoods putting them together in a Power Point presentation..."
Clift failed to mention the double-counting prestidigitation of Obamacare math. In the Obama world, that $716 billion is used both to extend Medicare while at the same time being counted as revenue to help bring down the overall cost of Obamacare. Ryan's plan uses the old math in which credits may be used only once and, in this instance, Ryan uses the $716 billion only to sustain Medicare. Call Paul old-fashioned.
Eleanor's comment about Romney wanting to "give" that money to insurance companies is curious, unsubstantiated, and suggestive. At the very least, Eleanor suggests that by using the word "give", nothing is received in return.
Charles Blahous (George Mason University) and James C. Capretta (former White House Office of Management and Budget) wrote the following for the Wall Street Journal:
"The health law's Medicare hospital insurance spending cuts and tax hikes are now claimed to have eliminated most of the program's medium- and long-term deficits -- even as they have also paved the way for the most expensive entitlement expansion in a generation. The government now has on its books two large, expensive and permanent entitlement commitments -- the health law's premium subsidies and the Medicare hospital insurance program -- yet Congress has only identified enough resources to pay for one of them."
The left's remaining tactic now is to misrepresent the Romney message. They apparently cannot argue against Romney's plans on a stage or in a debate format, but they are relentless in putting words in Romney's mouth or citing their own studies.
Obama now returns to the protective cocoon of the mainstream media. He stands on the other side of the schoolyard and yells that Romney isn't telling the truth. Perhaps Obama doesn't know the truth -- which would explain why he cannot defend his positions or attack Romney's. He says only what he is told to say.