Romney’s Sudden Make-Over #341

Andrew Sullivan —  Sep 26 2012 @ 12:45pm

The one-minute ad above is the Romney campaign's response to the fundraiser tape fallout, deploying a drastically different tone from most of the campaigns ads and with Romney himself making the direct appeal to voters. Note how he repeats the word compassion and tries to draw a much more gentle contrast between himself and Obama.

The trouble is: the instant transformation might make things worse. Voters could look at this and say "This is just another sales technique. He'll try anything." The ideological shape-shifter becomes a human shape-shifter. He actually underlines the difference between his snide, callow remarks about half of Americans at a big fundraiser … and this new Mr Rogers version. Roger Ailes would have planned this media image from January on. But the GOP base had their chance, and Jon Huntsman got nowhere. The whole thing reinforces my conviction that this is a party in a near death spiral.

They cling to bromides from 1979, trying to repeat the unrepeatable in utterly different circumstances. Both Romney and Ryan live in bubbles – among mega-money-men and life-long Rand-groupies – utterly alien to most Americans. This is a riveting moment: a party nearing the edge of what could be a psychic break. By which I mean:

Patients suffering from psychosis have impaired reality testing; that is, they are unable to distinguish personal subjective experience from the reality of the external world.