Romney appears to be on his way to wrapping up the Republican nomination but not without a spirited fight. Mitt Romney is a terrifyingly flawed candidate who has steamrolled his competitors with negative SuperPac ads, but has yet to excite the GOP base. I have some advice for the Romney campaign on how to connect to Tea Party zealots and the Christian right. First, though, he has to understand that the current party is not his father’s Grand Old Party. Rather, what Romney finds himself the spokesman for is the Grand Old Party of NO.
As to advice, I offer 5 ideas and one tip:
First, Romney needs to generate a buzz with talk of running mates. I have a list of promising candidates sure to have the right dancing in the streets with unbridled enthusiasm. It is such a talented list that I can barely contain my own enthusiasm: Sharon Angle, Kid Rock, Wylie Coyote, Rick Perry, who is a much better hunter than Romney and a much straighter shooter than Cheney, Christine O’Donnell who once dabbled in witchcraft but is not a witch, Ted Nugent, Bozo the Clown, Sheppard “Pie” Smith, Judge Arpaio, Jan Brewer, Curt Schilling, “Feeling Groovy” Grover “the muppet” Norquist, the affable, laughable Foster “Grant” Freiss, Dan Quayle, who may have done some small game varmant hunting himself, the VA Governor, what’s his name?, Glenn Beck, Tucker Carlson and one of my favorites, Muttley, Dick Dasterly’s snickering dog from Hanna-Barbera’s Wacky Races. And indeed the GOP race has turned out to be just that.
Second, Mr. Romney (as he’s called in the NY Times) needs to talk about jobs, beyond just saying that he knows how to create them. Romney needs to get more specific and argue that all Americans should have the right to live in a right to work state with no union protection and the promise of limited benefits with no minimum wage. Watch the crowd go nuts when he announces a plan to eliminate the minimum wage and privatize social security in his first 100 days.
Third, Mr. Mitt should clearly articulate his energy policy, one that all conservatives could rally behind. The plan is simple really: dig, drill and frack every drop of oil on U.S. soil. I can just hear the crowd roar with a chant of their own – USA, USA, USA. Next, Romney should unveil a plan for the XL pipeline that involves a pipeline in every suburban backyard. And if that weren’t enough to satisfy the base, here’s the deal sealer: a tax break for those willing to convert their backyard pools into a nuclear waste site. Pure genius. Country First!
Fourth, he needs to assure the conservative base that he will do all in his power and more to deforest and patriotically denude the nation of its precious natural resources with a deregulating passion never before seen in a candidate. Out with the EPA – who needs clean air and water anyway? Personally, I prefer the flammable variety myself, builds character. The Romney team should focus group these new bold slogans: “Pollute with Impunity”, “Who Gives a Hoot, Pollute”, “Love That Fiery Water”, “Smoky the Bear is a Marxist”, “Pollutants are For Lovers”, and finally, “Acid Rain is Good for the Brain”. And when Romney gets on a role and has the crowd in a rabid frenzy, he might as well announce the end of the FDA, OHSHA, NHTSA, NIH and NPR too.
Finally, he needs to remind the party what it has become: the Grand Old Party of NO. And remind them not what they are for, but what they are against:
Women, birth control, sex, reproductive freedom, gays, immigrants, the poor, the middle class, unions, regulations, clean air, clean water, fuel efficient cars, conservation, gun control, consumer protection, taxes, fair elections, minimum wage, higher wages, income equality, the 99%, public education, college, the safety net, heath care reform, compromise, diplomacy, clean energy, science, and the separation of church and state. Now if this platform of NO doesn’t excite the conservative base, nothing will.
Tip: Lose the ironed jeans.