I’m Not Crazy, I’m The One Who’s Crazy

Mitt Romney flip-flops on whether or not he’s a flip-flopper:

NBC’s First Read reports from New Hampshire, where Romney took a different line on one of his biggest vulnerabilities.

In the town hall of 250 people … Romney addressed perceptions and concerns that he is “a flip flopper.”

“In the private sector,” he said, “if you don’t change your view when the facts change, well you’ll get fired for being stubborn and stupid. Winston Churchill said, ‘When the facts change I change too, Madam. What do you do?’”

That’s different from what he said a week ago, when he said he doesn’t change positions. 

The American people “can tell when people are being phony and are pandering to an audience,” he said, “and you’ll see that in politics. You’re not going to see that in my campaign.” …

 The list of Romney flip-flops is just too long, and covers too much ground, to be a remarkable coincidence. There’s nothing remotely sincere about his repeated reinventions. The guy has demonstrated a willingness to flip-flop like no other American politician in a generation.

Indeed, can anyone name a single issue of any significance in which Romney has been consistent? Anything at all?

In all fairness to Republicans, they haven’t been consistent on any issues in the past ten years, either.

They’re united by mistrust of the Other, not by any policy program.

After all, they turned out in droves in 2004 to vote for Dick “Deficits Don’t Matter” Cheney and his running mate in the wake of such small-government, fiscally responsible policy innovations as the Bush fiscal policies, Medicare Part D, No Child Left Behind, the USA PATRIOT Act, and the incompetently waged & misleadingly advocated occupation of a Middle Eastern country. They voted in order to keep the world safe from John Kerry’s wimpy windsurfing and the civilizational threat of gay marriage.

Today, of course, they claim to believe that the deficit and entitlements are existential threats. I am not altogether persuaded of their sincerity.

Romney’s been there with them that whole time. Why shouldn’t he be the nominee?

The problem, of course, is that in the 1990s, Romney ran to Ted Kennedy’s left on issues such as rights for gays.

Folks like Paul Ryan, John Boehner, and Mitch McConnell may have been along for the ride with the GOP the past decade, but you can be dead certain they weren’t saying anything nice about gay people in 1994.

But it seems like Romney’s past seven or so years of playing conservative are good enough for whoever it is who selects the GOP nominee. Plus, Romney’s whole campaign is based on telling emotional lies about President Obama. It brings to mind David Frum’s take on New Jersey Governor Chris Christie a bit ago:

A left-wing friend of mine jokes that conservatives are “the party of affect”: meaning that conservatives tend to care much more how a politician speaks than what a candidate says. Christie almost perfectly exemplifies this rule. If he were a soft-spoken, conciliatory Northeastern budget-balancer, he’d be dismissed as a Bill Weld/Mike Castle RINO. But instead, he’s an-in-your-face confrontationalist. So he can favor handgun control and still be the Coulter choice for president. Just so long as he’s rude about it.

The GOP rank and file may not love Romney yet, but they’ll sure turn out in 2012 to vote for him.


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