Mitt Romney has, in the space of a single week, shifted his positions on tax cuts, the social safety net, Medicare coverage, abortion rights & women’s right to choose. The Ayn Rand/Paul Ryan Romney has been sublimated to the Rockefeller Romney. It will be fascinating in tonight’s VP debate to see which of the dueling Romneys Paul Ryan chooses to channel.
Interestingly enough, Ryan himself hasn’t always been permitted to “play himself” during the campaign as Republicans desperately try to soften his hard-edged economic austerity, Social Darwinism, puritanical approaches to birth control and sexuality, and pandering to the rich. And when he tries to play the “boy genius” role, he gets especially truculent when challenged. The numbers wonk has little patience for explication–he prefers declaratives.
Being two-faced, Romney and Ryan always want to have things both ways.