Monday, March 22, 2010

A Romney Backlash?

Click on Ben Smith to watch the video (via Memeorandum). This is ridiculous. The Democratic-left is totally freakin', and notice the line of attack: "This is Mitt Romney's bill as Governor of Massachusetts." Blah, blah ...

Andrew Romano's got the classic title, "
Absurdly Premature 2012 Watch, Vol. 12: Romney's Ridiculous Response to Obamacare ." And Talking Points Memo's on the anti-Romney bandwagon as well, "Romney + HCR = Toast." Expect more attacks on Romney in the days ahead. He'll be hammered at least as hard as Sarah Palin's been in recent months, and in fact some double-barreled action is being directed at both of them right now (see Chris Good, "Romney Backs Repeal Campaign; Palin Warns of November").

So, let's face it: Mitt Romney's looking to establish himself as the prohibitive frontrunner for the 2012 GOP primaries. And why not? It's certainly not too early, despite the yelps. We'll likely get a couple official announcements from some second-tiered candidates before the year's out (most likely after the GOP picks up congressional seats in November). And Romney's no fool: He's right to start campaigning today, not just for himself, but for the American people. ObamaCare's an abomination. By all means repeal it, the sooner the better.

But note most importantly: This Romney backlash is classic smear politics (and Screaming Howard Dean's the last person anyone should trust on anything). Recall this piece just last week at National Review, "
Obamacare Isn't RomneyCare":
In today’s Wall Street Journal, my good friend Grace-Marie Turner of the Galen Institute focuses on the similarities between Obamacare and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney’s health-care plan. But she ignores their more profound differences.

Both include an exchange, a subsidy for the poor, and an incentive for individuals to become insured, the so-called individual mandate.

The difference is that Romney’s plan did not raise taxes on individuals or businesses, didn’t cut Medicare, didn’t include “public options” or raise spending by a trillion dollars, and it didn’t impose insurance price controls. Romney’s plan made no attempt to take over health care. The Massachusetts legislation was a scant 70 pages long, compared to Obamacare’s gargantuan 2,000-page maze of regulation.

Perhaps most importantly, Romney’s plan is a state plan, not a one-size-fits-all federal usurpation of a power constitutionally reserved to the states. States should be free to adopt reforms that work for them. They can borrow the best ideas from one another. The federal government’s role is to be flexible about how their share of health-care dollars may be spent.
I just met Mitt Romney. I'm reading his book, and I endorse it heartily. But to be clear: I'm just as wary of Romney as the next guy. I hammered him repeatedly in the 2008 primaries and to this day I consider Romney a fairly unprincipled flip-flopper. I nevertheless have always thought of him as a basically good and decent man. And I'm frankly impressed with Romney's new "No Apology" tour (he's campaigning as the antithesis of President Obama, and I love his aggressiveness against healthcare).

And finally, something else is crucial: If conservatives join in on the Romney backlash that'll only feed the fortunes of even more unprincipled hacks like
David Frum (and his lackeys) and Daniel Larison. It's early, yeah, but not too early to look out for the right's demon-sheep, and that ain't Mitt.

RELATED: From last June, "
Romney: President Putting Country in Jeopardy."


Sue's views said...

Why did a Republican (Romney) ever pass this catastrophe of a healthcare bill that has HIS name? Ultimate progressive stupidity. I WILL NOT VOTE FOR HIM!!!

A Conservative Teacher said...

One thing that liberals and Democrats don't understand is it that trying something at the state level is different than at the federal level.

First, it is unconstitutional to do what the liberals did at the national level, but it was legal for Romney to do what he did at the state level.

And second, Romney gave it a shot in a liberal state that supported it- that is much different than jamming it on the entire protesting nation.

Romney in 2012!

smitty1e said...

Romney's path to viability is the Federalist one.
Any candidate not arguing State's rights, financial- and entitlement reform might as well be signing Britney Spears.

Tom the Redhunter said...

I too think Mitt Romney is a good and decent man. And his reason for changing his mind on abortion makes sense so I accept that too. He was my favorite in 2008.

But I do think that health care will be his downfall. The system he crafted for Massachusetts is costing that state more than they thought it would, and he'll be hammered mercilessly in the GOP primary over it. Because of this along, I don't see him getting the nomination.