Now Mitt Romney has reduced himself to this:
"You know that if the President is re-elected, he will still be unable to work with the people in Congress," Romney will say, according to excerpts released by the campaign Friday, shortly before the rally. "He has ignored them, attacked them, blamed them. The debt ceiling will come up again, and shutdown and default will be threatened, chilling the economy."
In essence, what he's really saying here is, if you people are stupid enough to reelect the president, the Republicans are going to make sure this country goes into permanent default. Shutdown and default "will be threatened." Nice passive voice there. Threatened by whom? I think we all know.
David Frum advanced the theory more plainly in his somewhat odd Romney endorsement yesterday:
The congressional Republicans have shown themselves a destructive and irrational force in American politics. But we won't reform the congressional GOP by re-electing President Obama. If anything, an Obama re-election will not only aggravate the extremism of the congressional GOP, but also empower them: an Obama re-election raises the odds in favor of big sixth-year sweep for the congressional GOP - and very possibly a seventh-year impeachment. A Romney election will at least discourage the congressional GOP from deliberately pushing the US into recession in 2013. Added bonus: a Romney presidency likely means that the congressional GOP will lose seats in 2014, as they deserve.
I have referred to this previously as the National Lampoon argument, after the famous cover of theirs that said "If you don't buy this magazine, we'll kill this dog!" The GOP version is, "If you don't vote for us, we'll kill this country!"
I joke. But I don't laugh. This is pathetic and appalling. It's an appeal to voters that banks on their cynicism about government and their lack of knowledge about the process, and it's contemptible.