Ezra Klein makes this observation on the economic advantage of a Romney presidency:
Even if you disagree with every one of Mitt Romney’s policies, there’s a chance he’s still the best candidate to lift the economy in 2013.
That’s not because he has business experience. For all his bluster about the lessons taught by the private sector, his agenda is indistinguishable from that of career politician Paul Ryan. Nor is it because he’s demonstrated some special knowledge of what it takes to create jobs. Job growth in Massachusetts was notably slow under Romney’s tenure. It’s because if Romney is elected, Republicans won’t choose to crash the economy in 2013.
If the consensus is that the GOP intends to destroy the country if it doesn’t get the presidency, then that’s the perfect argument for why it’s imperative to stop the GOP.
Why? Because they’re willing to drive that bus off the cliff and into a river of hungry crocodiles next to a nuclear plant during an earthquake just as the tsunami wave reaches 50 meters carrying a school of piranhas being chased by great white sharks with al-Qaeda tatooed on their dorsal fins and plutonium bombs between their teeth.
An exaggeration? Consider this tidbit of compassionate conservatism from the Pew Research Center:
[W]hen it comes to the social safety net, the drop in support has been driven largely by a substantial shift in the values of Republicans and, to a lesser extent, independents. At the same time, views among Democrats have remained relatively constant. …
Since 2007, Republican support for the safety net has declined significantly even as Democrats continue to support government assistance to the poor and needy as they have over the last 25 years. As a result, although the safety net has long been one of the areas where the opinions of Republicans and Democrats most diverge, the current party gap is now larger than ever.
Majorities of Republicans now say they disagree that the government should guarantee every citizen enough to eat and a place to sleep (36 percent agree, 63 percent disagree) and take care of people who can’t take care of themselves (40 percent agree, 54 percent disagree). As recently as 2009, Republican opinions on these questions were more evenly divided.
They just don’t want to destroy themselves. They’re willing to take the rest of us down with them.
But this is the most annoying thing about the poll:
Eight-in-ten (80%) Americans now agree with the statement: “I like political leaders who are willing to make compromises in order to get the job done,” and support for compromise –framed in this way – is little changed over the last 15 years.
Today, an overwhelming majority of Democrats (90%) find compromise appealing in a political leader, as do 68% of Republicans. Over the past 15 years, more Democrats than Republicans have preferred political leaders who compromise.
And that is why Democrats lose. Until the voting population shows it is committed to crushing a party that defines compromise as “You agree with everything I say, or else,” compromise is not an option. It’s a lesson President Obama has probably learned too late.