Romney abandons conservative line; reverts to previous line
David Brooks by way of the increasingly tedious Jim Geraghty:
At the Lincoln Financial Group in Concord, Romney had slipped away from the policy chunks of his stump speech and was talking about his success in business and in running the Olympics. He was talking about how you assemble a team of people with complimentary skills. How you use data and analysis to replace opinion. How you set benchmarks and how often you should perform self-evaluation.It wasn’t impassioned or angry (he doesn’t do anger). But it was Romney losing himself in something he really cares about, and it opened up a vista of how government might operate … more
This is Romney’s new line. Rather: This is Romney’s old line, before his newly minted faux-conservative line. It reads like this:
- Not policy, but team building.
- Not politics, but data analysis.
- Not leadership, but benchmarking and self-evaluation.
This is the equity sector candidate, and we predicted long ago that Romney’s social-conservative extreme makeover would fail and that Romney would revert to his familiar form, that of technician, technocrat, and, eventually, “social progressive.”
Geraghty begins his argument by quoting Brooks himself:
Then there’s the issues. Iraq will still be a shooting war in 2008. Health care is emerging as the biggest domestic concern. This is natural Democratic turf. So as I travel around watching the Republican candidates, I’m looking for signs that they’re willing to try something unorthodox. Eighty percent of the time, what I see is the Dole campaign: Republican candidates uttering their normal principles – small government, military strength, strong families – and heading inexorably toward defeat … more
Geraghty concurs with Brooks: the “normal principles” valued by the Republican coalition—“small government, military strength, strong families”—will fail. Conclusion: distance yourselves from the conservative base; attempt to build your own base.
So where does this leave us? You know, those few of us left who actually-really-genuinely believe in limited government, a strong defense, low taxes etc.?
The Reagan coalition is dead and crying will not bring it back. All that is left for us is to oppose Willard Milton Romney, the purest expression of the failure of the Republican Party. It is becoming increasingly clear that despite this man’s lies and incompetence, he will probably be the Republican candidate. Reasons: (a) Romney’s personal wealth and (b) the dissolution of the Republican Party since 2006 under Bush (e.g. the loss of both houses of Congress, the immigration bill disaster, the failure to make the case for the war in Iraq or to manage the war effectively).
Time to vote Libertarian. Or: Constitution Party.