Romney needs to tell us the problem he’s trying to fix

by Ryan Streeter on May 20, 2012. Follow Ryan on Twitter.

Very insightful words from Yuval Levin in this new Weekly Standard piece, in which he  challenges Romney to lay out a vision for what is presently a vision-less campaign.

[Obama] desperately seeks to tell a story in which income inequality is at the heart of our economic woes and our existing entitlement system is the key to prosperity and security—a story both internally incoherent and utterly detached from reality, and which could only be sustained by misdirection and distraction.

It is more difficult, however, to see why Mitt Romney would not be laying out the nature of America’s predicament before the public. He has begun to offer an agenda that speaks to some key elements of the predicament, but he has not made a coherent case for that agenda as a whole, and so ends up presenting voters with laundry lists of policy ideas wrapped in general criticisms of Obama. He has yet to state clearly the problem to which he offers up his economic policies as a solution.

The problem is that America is unprepared for the future, and Barack Obama is not so much the cause of that problem as the embodiment of it. He stands for what has gone wrong, and his ideological views, his party’s most powerful constituencies, and his policy commitments stand in the way of America’s future prosperity. (emphasis added)