The Irony of the GOP Race
2:14 PM, Mar 13, 2012 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
Summarizing President Obama's accomplishments to date, Jonathan Cohn writes in the New Republic, "Health care reform alone constitutes a major legislative legacy. The Recovery Act launched infrastructure and energy projects that could shape the economy and, by the way, education for a generation. The financial regulation bill created a new consumer bureau and a new regimen for regulating the banks. I could go on."
Cohn concludes, "This election is about ratifying, and protecting, the accomplishments of [the] last four years. For that reason, Obama’s top priority for a second term should be getting one."
The irony of the Republican presidential race is that the candidate whose message is most focused on the latter (the need — and his alleged ability — to beat Obama) seems to be the least focused on the former (the reason why beating Obama is so essential). From a liberal perspective, Cohn is absolutely right that Obama's top remaining priority should simply be to win another term and thereby block repeal of "his major legislative legacy," particularly Obamacare. But the Republican frontrunner hasn't yet conveyed a similarly clear understanding that his top priority must have a dual nature: He needs to beat Obama so that he can wipe Obama's agenda off the books.
Instead of emphasizing dogged determination to repeal Obamacare and the other worst aspects of Obama's legacy, in a prominent place on Governor Romney's website, his campaign writes, "When Mitt Romney says that fostering job creation through economic growth will be his top priority from his first day in office, he means it."
What if he really does mean it?
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