so how did romney-ryan flub their campaign? plainly stated, they attempted to play the electorate for total fools. the fools, however, were not amused.
romney-ryan (and their moneyed backers) wanted to see just how far they could get away with outright lying as a central strategy, one that was dependent on the media playing along in its contemporary role as neutered stenographers. the stenographers, however, were not amused. the plan fell apart with romney's attacks on obama's welfare waiver; the press, not really enjoying serving romney as thankless eunuchs, chose their remaining credibility over complete irrelevance.
romney-ryan wanted to see just how far they could get away with running a campaign on nothing but glib generalities and baffling banalities. trust my wonk, romney assured us; everything makes sense in the details, which we'll happily bore you with ... after the election. however, a certain now-famous and doubtlessly pivotal tape revealed:
romney: if we win on november 6th there will be — a great deal of optimism about the future of this country. and we'll see capital come back and we'll see — without — without actually doing anything, we'll [chuckling] actually get a boost in the economy.heh heh heh ... surprise! no grand vision up my sleeve, no master plan beyond untethered hope, something conservatives invoking obama's 2008 campaign currently sneer at. meanwhile, the 47% were not amused.
so the romney-ryan bamboozlefest 2012 crashed and burned more than a month before the election, before even a single debate. in truth it never really got off the ground. perhaps they were doomed from the start. the republican brand has suffered nothing less than a total loss of credibility. with credibility goes a certain deference normally given, certainly by the press, to those cloaked in the authority of their reputations. they might have held onto a remnant of it by admitting their mistakes and cooperating in fixing them.
so who knows if it could have worked? perhaps if the team weren't so clearly incompetent, unable to turn either a scripted event, like their london tour or an unforseen one, like the libyan riots, to their advantage. one thing is clear, though: the electorate isn't nearly as idiotic as romney-ryan themselves turned out to be.
(edit: last paragraph, which previously read "... unable to turn either an event, like the london trip or the libyan crisis ...")