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Reader comment on: Romney and the 47 Percent

Submitted by David Gerstman (United States), Sep 20, 2012 10:59

A few weeks ago George Will wrote a column Voters are you bluffing? in which he began;

Now begins the final phase of this cognitive dissonance campaign. America's 57th presidential election is the first devoted to calling the nation's bluff. When Mitt Romney selected Paul Ryan, Republicans undertook the perilous but commendable project of forcing voters to face the fact that they fervently hold flatly incompatible beliefs.

Twice as many Americans identify themselves as conservative as opposed to liberal. On Nov.‚ÄČ6 we will know if they mean it. If they are ideologically conservative but operationally liberal. If they talk like Jeffersonians but want to be governed by Hamiltonians. If their commitment to limited government is rhetorical or actual. If it is, as Daniel Patrick Moynihan suspected, a "civic religion, avowed but not constraining."

This is the issue that Romney was addressing. Maybe a bit clumsily, but addressing it nonetheless.

Robert Samuelson just bashed Romney for bringing up the topic. But Samuelson concedes that it is a discussion we need to have. What will be important is how Romney builds on this.

One thing that ought to help Romney are senate candidates like Victor Cruz, Richard Mourdock and Dan Bongino, who are arguing against the expansion of government. A well coordinated campaign could make the issue starker to undecided voters, and help Republicans at more than the presidential level.

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