Monday, November 1, 2010

Poor Mitt...sort of...

Politico is reporting that once they get past Midterm elections--tomorrow--establishment GOP members will take some of their focus off of beheading President Obama and direct it towards the champion of hunters' rights to hunt wolves from a helicopter, Sarah Palin.

For an establishment Republican, this is a sensible move. As Politico reports, Palin's chief flaws--her divisive rhetoric and unscrupulous attention to policy detail (which sunk McCain's '08 bid)--haven't gone away. In fact, they remain. And they're the reason that Tea Partiers love her. However, moderates fed up with partisan rancor are not jumping on board in support of Sarah Barracuda.

That brings me to the title of this blurb: Mitt Romney. The two front runners for the 2012 nomination seem to be Mitt Romney and MN governor Tim Pawlenty. Romney's 2008 run was inhibited by 180-turns on hot button topics such as abortion and gay rights that distanced him from the far-right in the primaries and hesitancy by the religious right to rally around a Mormon candidate. (Huckabee famously capitalized on this fear when he misrepresented Mormon doctrines about Christ's "family members" in a NYT interview). Really, what can you do when conservative southerners can't rally around someone because he believes in a religion that shares all their values politically, but has different doctrine. Poor Mitt.

Mitt's past will likely hurt him again. Although abortion, religion, and value voting will always be strong points for the religious right, this year the party of no has a new universal opponent: full-coverage health care. The Party of No has made a pejorative out of Obamacare. Good luck trying to get around Romneycare, Mitt.

Truth be told, I think Mitt has some arguments on his side. The big issue, with some Conservatives, is about states' rights. Romneycare wasn't a nationalized plan. Point Mitt. But it had an individual mandate. Point opponents. Conservatives want tort reform. They blame high medical bills on malpractice suits. Prior injuries and patient screening mean nothing to them. Romney will probably lose the race on this point.

I doubt an obstructionist party which has spent all their energy rejecting any health care proposal besides tort reforms and generally any domestic policy other than keeping the Bush tax cuts, will be able to accept someone who administered a program so close to the enemy's. Leaving Mitt, once again, a victim of his past and a rigid right.


Reuben said...

This is a well-reasoned argument.

Anonymous said...

Why thank you Reuben.