Romney’s Madden: Romney wants it both ways on the question of abortion and the prerogatives of federalism

First, recall Romney’s latest full-retreat, policy reversal: “Romney has once again changed his position on whether states should be allowed to retain abortion rights”

Now, in a web log post titled Romney’s Abortion Stance, the estimable Jonathan Martin of the Politico reports:

So which is it, a federal ban or local option?

Romney spokesman Kevin Madden told ABC that eventually his candidate does want a one-size-fits-all approach.

“We should aspire to passing a human life amendment when the country as a whole is prepared for it,” said Madden. “Gov. Romney believes that, ultimately, it’s a goal we should aspire to once we have the support of the American people. The American people just aren’t there yet.”

In the meantime, Madden said, Romney wants to let states decidemore

The maddeningly inarticulate Kevin Madden, Romney’s least eloquent helper-monkey in times of communicative crisis, which is every time and all the time at Camp Romney, issues a laboratory pure instance of casuistry. Jesuit slogan: when faced with a contradiction, draw a distinction. Madden’s distinction is, well, strangely enough, between the synchronic and the diachronic, a concept foreign to the idiom of policy or any deliberative process. Regard: Romney wants both

a “one-size-fits-all” solution on the question of abortion in the form of a constitutional amendment


for states to decide to the question

You see, we silly linear-thinking mortals believe the question can only be specified as one or the other, not both, a synchronic sort of account. A cannot be both A and not-A. But Romney-the-Dialectician assumes a more expansive view: he sees the one as passing into the other (or one as a different historical phase of the other) because the present historical moment will not support Romney’s true vision. Hence: no contradiction. We—i.e. we ordinary mortals—simply failed to deduce Romney’s true intent, a truly historical intention in that it plays out in historical time. (Translation: we failed, again, to read Romney’s troubled mind.)

We suppose this is Romney’s version of Trotsky’s law of combined and unequal development applied to the question of abortion. So, what’s next? The Romney version of Dialectical Materialism applied to the question of e.g. gay marriage?

But Helper-Monkey Madden’s casuistical Romney-apologia flatly contradicts the bitter and hateful “blogs for mitt” rejoinder to the Davis of story on Romney’s latest reversal, a rejoinder in which an enraged File-Clerk-for-Romney insists that there is no distinction between a states-rights mixed solution and a constitutional amendment!—we discuss the file clerk’s “argument” in the post-script to the web log post we refer you to above, titled “Romney has once again changed his position on whether states should be allowed to retain abortion rights.”

We ask: when will the Romneys and their hireling flaks, flunkies, and flatterers learn—whether through sounder counsels or, more likely, through bitter experience—to get their stories straight before they begin issuing their urgent rescripts and rejoinders? Note to the Romneys: Talking points, little ones. Message discipline. Have you ever heard of it?

Try not to make it up as you go along, Romney people.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.


  1. 1 Oliver teases out the multiple-meanings of a series of Romney contradictions and equivocations on the issues of life, family, and federalism « who is willard milton romney?

    […] Just so. This is normally where we would insert unflattering remarks about Kevin Madden. But not today. Today we want to salute the man for his heroic efforts to clarify what cannot be clarified. It cannot be easy trying to be Romney’s communications director. Here was our far less thorough or refined take on this issue: Romney’s Madden: Romney wants it both ways on the question of abortion and the prerogatives of fed… […]

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