The Etch a Sketch Moment: Misplaced Glee

By Nancy L. Cohen, March 22, 2012


Things aren’t always what they seem, and having an intuitive sense of this truth is in the DNA of every good historian. (And part of what makes people love us or hate us at cocktail parties.) So, while I enjoyed Mitt’s communications director’s gaffe as much as the next guy, the red flags went up in my gut. Here are 3 things that worry me:

  1. Mitt’s rebranding. Contrary to conventional wisdom, I think it helps Mitt in the general election to be branded a flip-flopper. Make no mistake, there are plenty of economically moderate independents who want to believe that Mitt didn’t mean any of his anti-birth control, anti-gay, anti-woman promises to the right-wing sexual counterrevolutionaries.
  2. Timing. History suggests that the GOP delirium peaked too early in the election season. Mitt’s people are going to do everything in their power to shut down the public war on women. And now that Rick Sanctimonious is fading away, expect the GOP powerbrokers to get the overreaching base to quiet down.
  3. Overconfidence. Democrats naturally are running with this but I fear the unintended consequence: complacency.

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Nancy L. Cohen