The second such attempt to explain Romney’s possible win comes in a paradoxical and confused column by the dean of liberal journalists, E.J. Dionne Jr. Writing in the Washington Post, its top political analyst explains that even if Romney wins, Democrats should not despair, because the Tea Party and conservatism have lost! In other words, if the candidate they hate and fear so much wins, Dionne now says in effect liberalism has still won — after denouncing Romney and the Republicans in prior columns over and over.
The right wing has lost the election of 2012.
The evidence for this is overwhelming, yet it is the year’s best-kept secret. Mitt Romney would not be throwing virtually all of his past positions overboard if he thought the nation were ready to endorse the full-throated conservatism he embraced to win the Republican nomination.
If conservatism were winning, does anyone doubt that Romney would be running as a conservative? Yet unlike Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater, Romney is offering an echo, not a choice. His strategy at the end is to try to sneak into the White House on a chorus of me-too’s.
So Dionne, ignoring all that Romney has said on economic and fiscal issues and on ObamaCare, proclaims Romney to be a secret liberal — because otherwise, in Dionne’s eyes, there is no way anyone could vote for him. In Dionne’s eyes, Republicans and conservatives are supporting Romney because:
It turns out that there was no profound ideological conversion of the country two years ago. We remain the same moderate and practical country we have long been. In 2010, voters were upset about the economy, Democrats were demobilized, and President Obama wasn’t yet ready to fight. All the conservatives have left now is economic unease. So they don’t care what Romney says. They are happy to march under a false flag if that is the price of capturing power.
According to Dionne, Romney has me-too’ed Obama on foreign policy, deserted the hated neocons (although other liberals continue to blast Romney for heeding the advice of Dan Senor and John Bolton) and, on domestic policy, given up the “selfishness” that he says is the mainstay of Paul Ryan’s Ayn Rand economic policies. To put it another way, he thinks the public sees Romney as someone willing to work across the aisle to solve our problems, which is actually true. He showed as governor of Massachusetts that he did just that. Dionne also forgets that, in fact, it was Paul Ryan who modified his original proposal on health care to work with liberal Democrat Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon. Ryan, also a major fiscal conservative, has shown he knows how to work with Democrats to address our nation’s problems. Yet Dionne still can argue that no matter who wins, “the right-wing has lost the election.”
So, let’s get that straight. If Mitt Romney and the Republican Party win — the party supposedly run by Tea Party extremists — it still means that left-liberalism has won. That is, definitely, one way of pretending that you’ve won when everyone else thinks you’ve lost.
Dionne and others are hence preparing themselves for a possible outcome they never thought possible. Let’s get out there on Election Day and make their fearful dreams come true.