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Tom Switzer’s Hewson/Romney comparisons

August 13, 2012

August 13, 2012, Tom Switzer ‘Memories of Hewson vs Keating as Romney picks policy maverick for VP’ SMH  – Switzer makes some interesting comparisons between the 1993 Australian election and the US 2012 Presidential election – the main argument being that by picking Ryan, Romney moulds himself into Hewson, by launching a descriptive, detailed right-wing economic plan which leaves him open to negative campaigning by the ruling party. Similar to the arguments most have been making, although like all conservative writers and even many mainstream journalists, Switzer considers the Ryan plan as if it had merit, and wasn’t simply the radical implementation of a corporatist agenda – there is no austerity with greatly lowered taxes for the rich and for corporations.

Ryan, a 42-year-old Catholic with 14 years of experience in Congress, is a political grown-up who takes ideas seriously. He is the intellectual architect of his party’s legislative agenda to end the rent-seeking politics of entrenched interest groups in Washington.

More laughable things have been said, but few come to mind. Yet he is correct when he characterises Obama as unable to run on his record – the economy is still terrible, the financial regulation is weak, and the debt has exploded (albeit this is but a long-term issue, economically if not politically). Obama’s habit of claiming reform as “historic” has proven to be his biggest weakness; he has ruled as Bill Clinton while claiming to be FDR, and it is only thanks to the ridiculousness of the Republican Party, Mitt Romney’s tax returns and the memories of Bush that he is likely to be re-elected. Obama may be re-elected, but the White House is awfully short-sighted – unless the economy really picks up in 2012-2016 or Republican candidates prove to be as woeful it is difficult to see Democrats winning the House, keeping the Senate, or even keeping the White House.

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