Amid all of the verbiage about what a terrible candidate Romney is, whether the economy is going to affect the election, and demographic analysis of "white, working class, I-93 corridor, lacrosse step-dad, replacement-ref hating, The Voice-watching, two-bedroom-colonial-house-living-in voters," this election is really quite simple.
Voters have finally figured out that the Republican message is:
We are going to screw You. So Vote for us.Of course, this has been the shrouded Republican message for years, but until now, it's been successfully hidden through a whole series of devices: Culture war distractions on abortion and gay marriage (2004); deception concerning the the true regressive nature of tax cuts (2000); fanning the flames of fear of terror (also 2004); and finally, successful lying about who really wants to cut Medicare (2010).
The last was the most Orwellian, as "Obama Cut $500 Billion from Medicare" became an article of faith through relentless propaganda, and the off-year electorate chose tea party representatives who voted for the Ryan Plan to kill Medicare just three months after winning as its protectors.
Fortunately, it's harder to get away with this in a Presidential year, and even raising the "cuts" from $500 billion to $716 billion didn't work for a variety of reasons: People were on to Paul Ryan and his Plan (dating back to the NY-26 special election), the Obama campaign mobilized to show it was the pro-Medicare side and Clinton's convention speech put the icing on the cake, with devastating quotes like:
It takes some brass to attack a guy for doing what you did.This year, the Republicans are essentially making little effort to hide their anti-middle-class agenda. It's right out there in the Ryan Plan, their Platform, their protection of tax cuts for the wealthy and their loony down ballot candidates like Akin, West and even Tommy Thompson.
Oh, the media tries to continue the charade, getting the vapors at the Bain charges, being appalled at Reid's Romney tax statements and accusing Obama of "betraying" bipartisan hope and change.
But the great news is that the voters have actually seen through all of this. When the choice is as stark as "We're going to screw you. So vote for us," polls showing Democratic gains are not at all surprising.