How Romney Will Turn Out The Base

Jun 4 2012 @ 12:50pm

McKay Coppins unpacks the strategy: 

His aggressive tactics stand in for the sort of policy compromises that could damage him in November; better, his advisers argue, to court conservatives with a press conference shouting match than with a high-profile fight over abortion or gay marriage. What’s more, they say, the media obsession with Romney “pandering” to the right represents a misunderstanding of conservatives, who can live with Romney’s moderate record – as long as he’s a fighting moderate. "I thought we were going to see John McCain all over again,” said Brad Thor, a bestselling novelist and popular figure on the right who supported Santorum. “But you know what? That fire I've felt for previous candidates, I'm starting to feel it. And that surprise presser at Solyndra was like pouring accelerant on the fire.

Waldman calls it the "Howard Dean strategy," but qualifies: 

I wouldn't take the Dean analogy too far, because his aggressive posture toward George W. Bush was almost entirely about policy, especially the Iraq War, which was the defining issue of 2004. For Romney, on the other hand, this new posture seems to be entirely about things that aren't issues at all (like playing footsie with birthers) or things that have some relationship to policy but are really just barely relevant distractions (like Solyndra).

The stupid, policy-irrelevant spats of anti-Obama aggression seem Breitbartian to me. Or should that be Alinsky-like? But for all that, they are effective against a stalling economy.