by Robert B. Reich
There are two major theories about why Mitt Romney is dropping in the polls. One is that Romney is a lousy candidate, unable to connect with people or make his case. The other is that Americans are finally beginning to see how radical the
Most Republicans hold to the first view, for obvious reasons. And their long knives are already out.
Conservative columnist Peggy Noonan called the Romney campaign "incompetent" and "a rolling calamity." Republican guru William Kristol termed Romney's videotaped remarks "arrogant and stupid." Bryan Fischer of the
As his poll numbers continue to slide, conservative carping against Romney is growing louder -- prompting his wife, Ann Romney, to tell conservatives, "Stop it. This is hard. You want to try it? Get in the ring."
OK, so maybe Romney isn't the best campaigner the world has ever seen. He's no Bill Clinton. But to put all the blame on Romney and his campaign misses a fundamental reality: Today's
Don't just take my word for it. Norman Ornstein, a distinguished political observer and resident scholar at the
"We have no choice but to acknowledge that the core of the problem lies with the
While Democrats "may have moved from their 40-yard line to their 25," say Ornstein and Mann, "the Republicans have gone from their 40 to somewhere behind their goal post."
Most Americans don't pay all that much attention to politics most of the time. But as the presidential election has begun to loom, they've started to notice.
They saw the Republican primaries and then they watched the Republican convention. And they've found a
Instead, they've found a party dominated by Tea Partiers, nativists, social Darwinists, homophobes, right-wing evangelicals, and a few rich people whose only interest is to become even wealthier.
These regressive elements were there in 2000, to be sure. They lurked in the
But never before have these regressives held so much sway in the
Unfortunately for the
In other words, the
But Brown's poll numbers have been dropping in recent weeks. That's not because of the Romney campaign. Romney was governor of Massachusetts; if Romney had been Brown's problem, it would have been a problem from the start.
Brown is dropping because he's had to carry the burden of the public's increasing distaste for the
Romney hasn't been letting the
And that's exactly the problem for Romney -- as it is for many other Republican candidates -- because what the
(Robert B. Reich, Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the
Mitt Romney's Biggest Problem is His Own Party | Politics
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