The DNC fires up a flare for the general election, should the GOP nominate Mitt Romney.
It’s devastating and demoralizing to see just how easy it is to depict a flip-flopper as a flip-flopper. But we can expect this x1000 if Romney gets the nod. Well, this plus shameless play of the race card. Obama could get away with the majority not knowing where he stood on many issues because he was new and hopeychangey, and his actual policy preferences were so far to the left that they had to be masked to maintain his viability. But Romney’s problem is different. He’s not new, and he isn’t masking policy preferences for any real strategic reason beyond obvious pandering. His contradictions are too obvious to avoid. The question remains whether they will be fatal in the general election, and what they tell us about what sort of president he would be. My guess is he would get rolled by the hysterical media, but that’s only a guess. We only have his four years as governor of Massachusetts to go by in terms of actual public office performance.
Should an attack ad like this drive us into the arms of Newt? Well, not so fast. His flip-flops are a little bit harder to pick out but they’re there in his previous support for an individual health care mandate, in his couch potato ad with Nancy Pelosi to drum up action on global warming and on immigration Gingrich does seem to be pushing a form of amnesty for illegal aliens.
It’s interesting to see that for all our conservative skepticism of politicians and their promises, the polls show clearly that we as a party are much more interested in political rhetoric and promises than actual records. Both Bachmann’s and Cain’s rises are directly attributable to how they performed in debates; neither has a substantive record to point to. Both have since proven that they’re out of their depth. Gingrich’s recent rise is once again tied directly to debates. His record is great in his early years, mixed in his time as speaker and not good since his fall from power. But the shiny shiny of what he says is consistently trumping what he has actually done. Tim Pawlenty had a better record as governor than Romney by a long shot, but went nowhere, and Rick Perry has the best record of all the nominees, but seems to be suffering the same fate as Pawlenty now. Both have been solid governors; neither did well in debates.