Better late than never. Read the detailed prelude to see Romney airbrush his book, and here’s the thrilling conclusion:
Mr. Romney has every right to cling to theories that were flawed in conception and have proven false in practice, though the rest of the GOP field has the responsibility to challenge his canned answers. The mental contortions that his health-care record requires need to be dissected—the way Mr. Obama will do if Mr. Romney is the nominee—to give GOP voters a chance to weigh the political liabilities that his candidacy might pose in 2012.
Or, if he is the nominee and if he is elected, to drive him to reject the RomneyCare model in favor of patient-centered, market-driven health-care reform. Mr. Romney laid out such a plan in Ann Arbor in May, even as he now evinces an unaffordable faith that government must pay to reduce the uninsured rate. But the uninsured rate would fall as costs were disciplined through choice and competition in a truly reformed system that Mr. Romney says he favors everywhere except Massachusetts.
Mr. Obama’s unbridled expansion of government means that the election will present the electorate with the largest philosophical choice since 1980: To continue the trend toward a larger and growing government and the ever-higher taxes to pay for it, or to modernize the 20th century’s broken government institutions. Republicans do not want to wake up in 2012 to discover that they have nominated someone who is unprepared, and maybe unwilling, to lead the reform of government that America needs.
We probably wouldn’t be hearing so much from the WSJ and others now about the glaring weakness that is ObamneyCare, if first Rick Santorum and then Rick Perry hadn’t used this week’s debate to puncture Mitt Romney’s air of inevitability. That is among the things that these debates are for, and is among the reasons that for the long game ahead, that debate was such a disaster for Romney.