The latest unemployment figures are out. They're not good. The unemployment rate did decline, but mostly just because more Americans stopped looking for work.
The Free Beacon's Matt Continetti says our "Peevish POTUS has nothing to run on but demagogic attacks and demonization of Republicans." As if on cue, President Obama says Republicans want to "poison our kids."
Obama's opponents have much more fruitful lines of attack. John Podhoretz writes, at the New York Post, that Mitt Romney has found a good one:
In his speech in Wisconsin, Romney finally found the right argument to use against Barack Obama — indeed, located the very specific dividing line between the president and his opposition that Republicans and conservatives have been trying to draw for four years now.
The president, Romney said, has “spent the last four years laying the foundation for a new government-centered society.”
“Government-centered society” isn’t the most felicitous phrase, nor the most memorable sound-bite. But that may be for the best. What it lacks in mellifluousness, it makes up for in deadly accuracy.
Podhoretz notes that every major initiative of the Obama administration has placed government at the center of the policy. The $860 billion stimulus package that funded state and local governments, the $100 billion bailout of auto companies that led to the president's teams picking and choosing which cars the companies should be making, Obamacare and its mountains of mandates and regulations directing government power over every American.
Obama hasn’t nationalized the auto industry or the health-care industry, nor did he assume control of the economy via the stimulus. What he has sought to do is enmesh government, the economy and the citizenry in a new way.
That is why Romney’s “government-centered society” is a brilliant stroke, why it’s going to stick — and why Obama’s partisans and Obama himself aren’t going to be able to shake it off so easily.
It has been difficult for the right to define its ideological discontent with Obama in a way that might be convincing to those who don’t think in ideological terms.
Obama is more than just a standard-issue liberal, but less than a European social democrat. He has a centrist’s cool temperament, but a statist’s bald confidence. So what is he?
The strength of the Romney approach, Podhoretz writes, is that it redirects the line of attack from Obama personally to his philosophy and his vision for the United States.
I agree. This rhetoric from Romney could help people articulate what they don't like about the Obama presidency and provide them with a way to after the administration without personal attack. And perhaps the Ricochet brain trust could help Romney punch up the rhetoric a bit.