That, though depressing, is true. Romney isn't fumbling. He really does believe those outrageous statements we politely laugh at. We say, "Oops, he did it again!" But these aren't the result of his foot in his mouth; they're his fist in your face.
To some extent, Mr. Romney’s diminishing stature is because of two recent statements that revealed his deficiencies to a newly interested audience. He falsely suggested that the Obama administration was sympathetic to the violent Muslim protests in Libya and Egypt, illustrating his ignorant and opportunistic critique of foreign policy. And he was caught on video belittling nearly half the country for an overreliance on government handouts.
These moments, though, were not fumbles or gaffes. They were entirely consistent with the dismissive attitude Mr. Romney has routinely shown toward non-Americans or the nonrich. Now even long-undecided voters are starting to catch on and dismiss him. ...NYT editorial
The polls are looking good for Obama with two major polls* showing the president the safe zone -- beyond the margin of error. And no wonder, say the New York Times editors! Voters have picked up on Romney's cold, calculating, and "cavalier" attitude toward them. What the NYT doesn't ask -- yet --is how many fellow Republican candidates he's dragging down with him.
David Brooks, a conservative voice at the Times and one-time National Review writer, understands that the Republican party is no longer the conservative party but the party of the economic right. Not "right" in the sense of the rights all Americans count on, but "right" in the sense of falling off the far edge -- and taking the party with them.
Since they no longer speak in the language of social order, Republicans have very little to offer the less educated half of this country. Republicans have very little to say to Hispanic voters, who often come from cultures that place high value on communal solidarity.
Republicans repeat formulas — government support equals dependency — that make sense according to free-market ideology, but oversimplify the real world. Republicans like Romney often rely on an economic language that seems corporate and alien to people who do not define themselves in economic terms. No wonder Romney has trouble relating.
Some people blame bad campaign managers for Romney’s underperforming campaign, but the problem is deeper. Conservatism has lost the balance between economic and traditional conservatism. The Republican Party has abandoned half of its intellectual ammunition. It appeals to people as potential business owners, but not as parents, neighbors and citizens. ...David Brooks, NYT