I often wonder if, in the history of America, have two candidates ever been more alike than Willard Mitt Romney and Barack Hussein Obama. Really, what we have here are two moderate republicans running against one another, struggling to differentiate themselves because they stride in uniform cadence on so many issues.
Case and point, yesterday I heard some pundit make the very real point that both Romney and Obama will cut Medicare, only that with Romney, more cuts are made to the beneficiaries of the program, whereas with Obama, more cuts come from payments to providers and pharmaceutical companies. That’s a difference for sure, but if the best surrogates can do is to amplify minor dissimilarities, then, for practical purposes, there’s not much daylight between Obama and Romney.
The Obama / Romney phenom is indicative of the seamless melding of the two parties. Their stump speeches couldn’t be farther apart, but their policies are more alike than not. And since the two parties are so much alike, party loyalists are forced to fabricate differences between the candidates that don’t actually exist in order to concoct a real political race with two candidates who have genuine ideological differences. So what makes Obama different from Romney? He’s “Muslim” and “Kenyan”, both fictions. And what makes Romney different from Obama? He’s privileged (as if Obama’s not). The 2012 election is one largely based on the electorate’s imagination.