Romney would be doing a triple disservice to the country if he allowed the campaign to proceed on these lines. First, because the country deserves a more serious discussion of the stakes of the election. Second, because this sort of campaign would make it more likely that the worse alternative prevailed. Third, because an electoral victory achieved on these terms would reduce President Romney’s ability to make accomplishments on the scale the country requires.
The alternative campaign strategy is to stick to the basics, as outlined in the speech last night: Obama’s policies are not working; they will not work, because Obama misunderstands the limits of government and the genius of our country; and there is a better way. On that last point, Romney can be more specific than Obama was about his agenda in 2008 without getting bogged down in details. To some extent, Romney already has offered such specifics and begun to draw the appropriate contrast.