Grow a pair and start attacking, Obama

Romney is ridiculously vague. His plan for health care is to repeal “Obamacare” and let the free market run. But as Ezra Klein noted yesterday, Romney’s little briefing paper says he would “end tax discrimination against the individual purchase of insurance.” What that means in English is do away with the tax deduction for employer-purchased health care. That’s a tax increase. But of course he doesn’t explain how he’ll end this vicious discrimination, because explaining inevitably gets into cost which in turn gets into how it’s paid for, and he obviously just hopes to avoid talking about that.

There’s only one way to make him talk about that and 50 other things like it. Obama has to raise them and ask the pointed questions. The press won’t ask unless and until Obama asks. That’s how this works. Two weeks of sharp, specific questions and accusations would change the dynamic in a hurry.

Democrats, as is their wont in these situations, wring their hands and start soul-searching. What’s needed here isn’t soul-searching. It’s gut-punching, as in, get out there and do some. Of course, it helps if they act like they’re on the same team, which they didn’t during Bain week. But they ought to be able to do it on the questions of stewardship of the economy and Romney’s dreams to lift every boat of the top 1 percent of the country. A candidate who’s tossing out zingers and on the offensive and looking like he’s having fun is a candidate who’ll energize everyone in his party.

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