For 30 years Republicans have said that the way to fix the mess in Washington is to use private-sector methods to run the government. Now the GOP finally has a guy heading the ticket who not only understands this, but is trying to do it. So how come the Republican Establishment (Kristol, Noonan, et. al.) doesn't like it? I'm a business guy who voted for Obama but Romney's plan sounded good to me.
Business is simple. Come up with a product, figure out who will buy it at a price that will earn a profit and off you go. So it all starts with market research. And if you listen to Romney's remarks in Boca, that's exactly what he did. He hired a competent market-research team (hell, these guys had done campaigns all over the world,) they ran their focus groups and compared their product (Romney) to the competition (Obama,) then they came up with a plan.
As a result of their research the Romney sales team learned that they had a potential total market share of 53%. Which is pretty good, when you stop to think about it. Toyota would love to have a shot at 53% of the people who buy cars, even Apple would drool if 53% of all the cell-phone users had I-Phones stuck in their ears.
So the marketing guys showed their results to Romney and he said okay, now let's put it together and execute the plan. Buy hey guys, don't forget to run the plan past Budget, because it's not like we have unlimited funds, even with the Super Pacs chipping in. And Romney's no dope, he knows you always have to watch the bottom line. Which means that if your marketing people tell you that 47% of the market won't buy your product at any price, then you don't spend one dime on that 47%.
And this is eaxctly what Romney did, and this is exactly what he told the group in Boca he would do, and this is exactly what being a smart and successful businessman is all about. The fact that so far the competition has come up with a better marketing plan is irrelevant. It's the method, the strategy that counts.
So why the big hue and cry from all these Republican types who have been telling us that government needs to do it the way the private sector does it? Because the truth is that the Republican Establishment isn't comprised of people who have ever been in business (of which the same could be said about the Democratic Establishment, btw.) It's comprised of people whose function is to spread a consistent story about the GOP that will differentiate it from the competition while keeping in sync with the Party base. And for reasons that have nothing to do with history or even current events, the real base of the GOP isn't the Tea Party, nor the Evangelical Movement, nor the NRA. It's the Chamber of Commerce whose demands for low corporate taxes and less regulation differentiate it very clearly from the true base of the Democratic Party, aka, the UFT.
But the fact that the Republican Establishment considers itself the flame-keepers for the Business Party doesn't mean that any of its members know anything about business. When was the last time that Peggy Noonan got in her car to drive out and make a sales call? And Irv Kristol didn't send little Billy to Harvard just so he could come back to New York, go down to the garment district and peddle a few shmates on the corner of 37th Street and Sixth.
The truth is that Mitt did exactly what business guys always do and the fact that it hasn't worked doesn't make it the wrong approach. Marketing plans are exactly that - plans. That's the whole point of business, successful or not.