Romney the scold of the GOP (ii); Continetti: Romney hates fake people

Mitt Romney has enjoyed a week of good press for his “Change Begins with Us” ad, earning laudatory headlines such as “Romney Tells Republicans to Reform”, “Romney Issues Challenge to GOP”, and “Romney, in Ad, Criticizes His Party and Calls for Change”, writes the estimable Matthnew Continetti in a Campaign Standard post aptly titled Slick Mitt.

But listen closely to the ad:

Here Continetti links to the to Romney ad that famously seems to slam the GOP itself.

Or save some bandwidth and just read the text: “If we’re going to change Washington, Republicans have to put our own house in order. We can’t be like Democrats, a party of big spending; we can’t pretend our borders are secure from illegal immigration; we can’t have ethical standards that are a punch line for Jay Leno. When Republicans act like Democrats, America loses. It’s time for Republicans to start acting like Republicans. It’s time for a change, and change begins with us.”

What’s striking is that Romney isn’t really distancing himself even a millimeter from the party. Instead, he’s embracing every tenet of orthodox Republican self-criticism. If you were to poll Republicans on these four points (“Do you think we Republicans should put our own house in order? Should we be big spenders like Democrats? Should we pretend our borders are secure? Should we raise our ethical standards?”) majorities of between 95 and 100 percent would agree with the positions Romney stakes out here. Some critique!

This is the political equivalent of the high school student who boldly confesses to hating “fake people.” Don’t we all? … more [emphasis ours]

This is the best reading of Romney’s ad that we know of.

Also see:

Romney, admitted newcomer to conservatism, announces in new ad: I am more Republican than you are, and I am more honest than you are; I am more conservative than you are

yours &c.
dr. g.d.


  1. 1 Romney’s inflection point—the strange rhetoric of a troubled campaign « who is willard milton romney?

    […] Also: Continetti of the Weekly Standard demonstrates how the Romney message lacks moral courage in that it affects to criticize the GOP on grounds that any Republican or conservative would heartily agree with. Hence, what masquerades as a critique is in affect an empty, epideictic display. Romney the scold of the GOP (ii); Continetti: Romney hates fake people […]

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