What Tomasky’s argument comes down to is that by not mushing down the middle on social issues and government entitlements by choosing Ryan, Romney has made it easier for the Dems to pick up the uncommitted by “extremism.” They’ll come in on Obama’s side because Ryan won’t promise them Government Cheese.
The counterargument is that by picking Paul Ryan, Romney has decisively broken from Obama’s policy path. The selection of Ryan means Romney is no longer running as Obama-lite. He’s bet that the guys in no-man’s-land don’t want Government Cheese. They want a real job. They want a real future. They want to be citizens of the greatest country on earth again.
But that Tomasky even thought Romney would seriously consider running as a watered-down version of Obama should worry him. Romney “broke” the unexpected way. He confounded Tomasky’s conventional — or pretended — wisdom, which indicates that the Republican presidential candidate fully understands the comparative asymmetries in their respective platforms even if the liberals don’t.