IN which the Opportunism in question is Mitt "Windsock" Romney's, and the Upside is, why, it's Yours and Mine, America!
To get re-elected in a country with a rising minority population and a shrinking Republican coalition, Romney’s shape-shifting nature would induce him to govern as a center-right moderate. To get his tax and entitlement reforms through the Democratic Senate, Romney would have to make some serious concessions: increase taxes on the rich as part of an overall reform; abandon the most draconian spending cuts in Paul Ryan’s budget; reduce the size of his lavish tax-cut promises.
Or, if it's the Tuesday Before The Election, It Must Be Time To Paint The Republican As David Brooks.
("Shape-shifting nature"! I'm surprised Brooks didn't cite a sociological paper to back that one up.)
Leave us remind everyone, one more time, that 2012 is the election season when Republican mouthpieces actually became desperate enough to announce that lying on the campaign trail means absolutely nothing, that it's the ultimate reckoning that counts. I'm sure they'll be generously applying that rubric to both party's candidates from now on.
You'll also note, of course, that in BrooksWorld there is absolutely no doubt whatsoever that a) Republicans, however nutty, are going to flat-out cut 3% of GDP off the national budget and then b) stand willing to take the responsibility for it, although c) that is, apodictically, an immediate, roaring success for the national economy.
In other words, precisely the opposite effect of the last 24 years of Republican economic engineering.
Republicans would like to take the reform agenda that Republican governors have pursued in places like Indiana and take it to the national level: structural entitlement reform; fundamental tax reform.
Oh, I'm sure they would. And when the national economy becomes as amenable to flimsy PR manipulations in place of real results, I'm sure they'll be eager to take Mitch Daniels back at OMB.
Fuck: Mitch Daniels raised the sales tax in Indiana 17%. He did that to pay for capping property taxes, a showy little soak-the-poor accomplishment he got away with because it's Indiana. He slashed spending across the Procrustian board, because he had a compliant state legislature, and because Indiana doesn't have any aircraft carriers or nuclear warheads. Thank God. And, as a result of this Economic Miracle Finaglin', Indiana's unemployment rate is 8.2%, compared to the national rate of 7.8%, and it's right in line with the rest of the region. Except for Ohio, which is at 7%.
So thanks, Mr. Brooks. But if you're just gonna make shit up, I'd prefer to stick to butchering reality. Those flights of sociological fancy of yours are downright disturbing.