“So it’s clear to me that Romney is running against the Tea Party.”
– Rush Limbaugh; July 6, 2011
Exactly what has changed in the intervening seven months to disabuse any reasonable person of Rush’s assertion?
Has anything changed in the belief most recently expressed by Romney adviser and former U.S. Senator Norm Coleman that ObamaCare won’t be repealed? No.
Has Mitt renounced his love for the individual mandate, which if preserved or reintroduced will really mean that ObamaCare really wasn’t repealed? Nope.
Has he stepped away from his fling with the idea of a VAT (value added) tax, with apparently no other taxes repealed to offset their impact (as was the case with Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan which would abolish the payroll tax)? Nope.
Most important, has he given any indication of remorse or regret for serially violating the Massachusetts Constitution and the oath of office he swore to in early 2003 when he unilaterally imposed same-sex marriage in the Bay State in the wake of the Goodridge opinion? No way; he continues to falsely claim that doing so was the only option available. He’s wrong. Rick Santorum courageously pointed to most of the history in the final Iowa debate, including mentioning the fact that Romney did what he did to keep a promise to the Log Cabin Republicans.
Thus it is that the timing of a Washington Post op-ed from far, far, left field today by Theda Skocpol should be looked upon with extreme suspicion.
You see, Ms. Skocpol, who has allegedly studied the Tea Party movement, contends that Mitt Romney is a stealth Tea Party candidate who, if he wins the presidency, will give the movement all it wants without its name and its supposed associated negatives never having to be mentioned during the presidential campaign During the campaign, he is supposedly “endorsing the essence of the movement while remaining unburdened by its public label.” She claims she really believes that after over a year of researching the movement. She can’t possibly claim to be doing legitimate work if she hasn’t heard Tea Party-sympathetic people express frequent heated disdain for Mitt Romney, RomneyCare, and his other big-government and constitution-betraying tendencies for months on end.
So I’m not buying your sincerity, Ms. Skocpol. To me, this look like a transparent attempt to do two things directly relating to the presidential election:
- Cement the nomination for Romney by moving the one constituency with whom, despite your claim that he got half of Tea Partiers in Florida, he has made little headway into his corner (“hey, if this far lefty says this, we need to go to Romney”). If enough Tea Partiers bite, it finishes off Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum.
- Begin the “scary, dangerous conservative” campaign against supposed nominee Romney in the fall — just like John McCain was turned into a dangerous scary conservative by the press in the fall of 2008. Romney is in no way conservative; just ask him.
There is a third agenda item which is longer-term in nature: Labeling a squish Republican left-leaning moderate as a conservative means that every one to the right of him — even if it’s really a majority of the nation — can be tagged as an unreasonable extremist by the press and the RINO establishment, and thus people whose voices should be marginalized out of the political process.
The fact that Ms. Skocpol is from Massachusetts is enough to make you wonder if Team Romney or someone close to them in the GOP establishment who is too worried to resist Item 1, too dumb to recognize Item 2, and doesn’t at all mind Item 3, put her up to it. Readers will find more than enough inanity in her column to raise questions about what she thinks she knows and how she thinks she knows it.