I don’t get this Stanley Kurtz column at NRO.
It seems to me he’s making an awful lot of assumptions without illustrating them, and assuming we share them. He says that those who dismiss the Democratic convention as “relatively meaningless” are “fooling themselves,” but he never offers any evidence whatsoever that the convention itself is meaningful or has influenced anything.
He indicates that Republicans don’t seem to be aware of how leftward the nation has gone, but my impression is that they are very aware. And very concerned; I don’t know a single conservative who isn’t. Who’s Kurtz hanging out with? Not the folks at neo-neocon.
Kurtz blames Romney for keeping the gloves on:
Only the Romney campaign can cut through the cultural, educational, and media filters and force a debate over the Obama Democrats’ bogus redefinition of the American dream. The media can ignore what conservatives say, but they still have to cover the candidate. With the exception of his welfare ads, however, the Romney campaign has avoided an assault on Obama’s ideology. Romney’s entirely plausible strategy is to downplay the ideological battle (Ryan nomination notwithstanding).
Again, I must disagree. Why dismiss the Ryan nomination as being of no import? And the very hard-hitting Ryan speech at the convention? Has Kurtz missed where Romney pretty much called Obama a liar? And speeches such as this one?:
At the Republican convention, speaker after speaker talked about the growth of big government under the Democrats. Sure, they didn’t use the “leftist” word for Obama (at least, I don’t recall them doing so), which seems to be one of Kurtz’s beefs. It’s not one of mine; I don’t think that approach would resonate with most Americans who need to be persuaded. But the days of “Obama is a nice guy” are long gone, although on occasion Romney may continue to utter that phrase (which is basically condescending, if you think about it). But “Obama is a nice guy in over his head” is not the theme of the Romney campaign.
I think you’ll see plenty more hard-hitting ads and speeches from Romney/Ryan before Election Day that attack (sometimes more subtly than Kurtz would like) Obama’s ideology. Whether the American public is too far to the left to hear or care remains to be seen.