At a Romney event, a woman demanded that Obama be tried for treason. The audience exploded in applause
. Romney refused to silence or criticize his wacko followers
-- even though John McCain surely would have done so.
While Romney can’t be held responsible for everything his supporters say, it seems reasonable to expect him to stand up to the fringe in his party, especially when he’s providing a platform for their views (it was his microphone, after all).
I suspect that many in that crowd received -- and believed -- the same insane and inflammatory email from Larry Klayman published on this very blog, just a couple of posts down. Romney's refusal to make a public call for basic human decency, following as it does the Ric Grennell fiasco, buttresses the perception that Mitt Romney is the political world's version of Boneless Girl
Team Obama is asking for Romney to rebuke the nutball voices within the GOP
. This request may be a tactical mistake. What if Mitt "Boneless Girl" Romney does issue such a rebuke? I think he's perfectly capable of doing the right thing -- if his advisers tell him that their polls indicate that doing the right thing will work to his advantage.
Suppose he calls for civility. And suppose the rank-and-filers actually do manage to behave themselves. Suppose Fox and Rush start to act a bit less outrageously. Suppose that all of the Larry Klaymans out there get the message: "Cool it for now. We're trying to win an election here, and you're making us look bad."
Then...disaster. Disaster for the Democrats
. They will lose pretty much the only issue they have.
Right now, the Obama Team's argument comes down to this: "Yeah, policy-wise we don't differ all that much from George W. Bush. But at least we're sane
. The other team is filled with really scary psychos."
If Romney erases the perception that the GOP "big tent" has turned into the Bates Motel, do Democrats have any pressing reason, beyond brand loyalty, to vote for Barack Obama?