Michael Gerson tried desperately to pen an op ed that explains why conservatives could be comfortable with a Mitt Romney for President. Unfortunately, it makes Mitt even less savory to principled conservatives. Worse, Gerson makes a few assumptions with his argument that doesn’t make even a tiny bit of logical sense no matter to who they are applied.
Gerson calls his Washington Post piece, “The conservative case for Mitt Romney,” and at least acknowledges that Romney’s main political vulnerability “is a serious one.” And that serious one is flip flopping– even though Gerson does not give it its proper name.
Romney’s main political vulnerability is a serious one. Running for Massachusetts’ governor in 2002, he was a pro-choice, economically centrist, culturally liberal, business-oriented Republican. Running for president in 2008, he was a thoroughly pro-life, orthodox supply-side, culturally conservative, Fox News Republican. Romney’s shape-shifting 2008 campaign only reinforced the impression of a consultant-driven candidate.
Calling Romney merely a “consultant-drive candidate” is far, far too kind. The truth is Romney is a man that has no principle from which he won’t run full tilt while hunting a campaign victory.
Gerson goes on to excuse Romney’s flip flops by saying Mitt’s past left-wingery was but a result of “ideological regionalism.” Yeah, we call that east coast liberalism in the real world. Gerson uses a lot of neologisms and pretty vernacular to say in code words what we are all thinking. Romney is a man without principles, he’s one buffeted by every political wind.
Catch this gentle way of saying Romney just bowed to liberalism at every turn in order to win in Massachusetts: “Being an elected Republican from Massachusetts all but guarantees past political heterodoxy.”
In other words, as far as Gerson is concerned we should not be so worried about a guy that compromises his principles because, why, heck, he had to win elections in Massachusetts.
That does not reassure anyone that Romney can be trusted, does it? It doesn’t me, anyway.
So, can we believe Romney, the man that supported abortion only about 15 years ago? That’s awfully late in his life I’ll note. Can we believe a man that didn’t come to feel that life is precious until he got to his 50s?
Ah, but Gerson has an answer for that. “But Romney has converted to a view that seems more consistent with his background,” says he.
Sorry, Mr. Gerson, but that is sooooo weak!
Oh, but Gerson is not even close to being done dealing out weak arguments in favor of Romney. The weakest is yet to come.
Catch this absurd argument:
Even conservatives who buy none of these explanations may calculate that Romney is acceptable. Precisely because he has a history of ideological heresy, it would be difficult for him to abandon his current, more conservative iteration. He has committed himself on key conservative issues. Having flipped, he could not flop without risking a conservative revolt. As a result, conservatives would have considerable leverage over a Romney administration.
Um, what? Romney won’t change back to being liberal because he’s changed too many times already? Really, Mr. Gerson? that is your argument for why we should accept Romney as a conservative torch bearer?
Were I texting I’d write “OMG!” hereabouts.
Let’s use an example to show why this is idiotic. Imagine this conversation: “Gee, Mrs. Adams, I know your husband has cheated on you a dozen times already, but he’s come back and said he loves you. He would never risk cheating on you again! Why, he’d lose credibility!”
Do you think Mrs. Adams would believe that hollow argument? I doubt it and if she did she’d be a fool.
So, neither will Mr. and Mrs. Conservative America.
No, what is far more likely is that Mitt Romney will, after promising conservatives the moon, get into the White House and become the Democrat lite president the second someone at The New York Times scolds him for the first conservative idea he floats. We know this will happen because it’s happened before.
The founders had a saying. “Let history be your guide.” If we do that with Mitt Romney we find a center left politician that would be more comfortable in Ted Kenedy’s office than he would in Ronald Reagan’s.
Speaking of the 40th President, in 1994 Romney dissed Reagan, too. He then said he is no follower of the greatest conservative president in the modern age and wouldn’t want to return to those times.
Sorry, Mikey, baby. I love ya, but this is the worst excuse for an argument that I’ve heard for a long time. Epic fail, Mikey. Epic Fail.