“It’s clear the Romney campaign thinks they have a winner in their “three-legged stool” argument against Rudy, which holds that only a Republican who’s conservative on the triumvirate of national security, economic issues, and social issues can assemble a coalition that can win a general election,” opines a befuddled Greg Sargent in a TPM ElectionCentral post titled Romney Ratchets Up Criticism Of Rudy On Abortion, Gay Marriage

With Sam Brownback and many others beginning to predict that Rudy is doomed, and with the threat of defection from religious right leaders seeming more real by the day, the Romney crew may be on to something … etc., etc.

Just what does Mr. Sargent think Romney is “on to?”

Observe: Romney’s argument is never about Romney. It is always about Sen. Clinton. Viz: Giuliani cannot beat Clinton because “only a Republican who’s conservative on the triumvirate of national security, economic issues, and social issues can assemble a coalition that can win a general election.”

We are never asked to vote for Romney.

We are only ever asked to vote against Sen. Clinton.

Ask yourself: Why is that? Why are we being offered a deal—an exchange—a substitution? (Hypothesis: Romney has passed from denial to anger and on to bargaining. His latest arguments are an attempt to bargain with voters and GOP elites. G_d help us all when Romney passes into the depression and despair phase of the grief cycle—we will probably witness the most negative campaign in US political history.)

Here is the problem with Romney’s non-argument: even if we accept Romney’s absurd furniture metaphor and allow that “only a Republican who’s conservative on the triumvirate of national security, economic issues, and social issues can assemble a coalition that can win a general election,” it does not follow that Romney is such a Republican, or that he can convince anyone that he is such a Republican. Regard: Mike Huckabee trounced Romney at the value voters summit—he stole the show, even after Romney delivered the performance of his political career.

This is why Romney’s attacks seem so pointless, so groundless, so void of purpose—because Romney is always begging the question—he always simply assumes as true—or wants you to assume as true—the very point he’s trying to establish, i.e. his alleged conservative values. Romney is running a campaign of empty platitudes and constant attacks, writes Dean Barnett, a friend and close associate of Romney for 14 long years.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

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