Mitt’s a moderate, this much we know. He’s proud of his single accomplishment in Mass, passing what would be the forerunner of the Obama Affordable Care Act, but he can’t acknowledge that without alienating his base. He isn’t a fire breather. All of this, we know. And it often appears as though his differences with the foaming-at-the-mouth anti-Obama wing of his party will be what does him in. Maybe that’s true.
But really, what possible politician was going to win on the Republican Party line, now that they’ve spent three and a half years legislating against Obama, even when they needed to chop their own noses off to do it? The problem isn’t that Romney and Ryan disagree on how best to handle health care and Medicare – the problem isn’t that they don’t know what to do with that $780bn from the Medicare Advantage fiasco – but rather that, when you run on the Contrarian line, sooner or later, you’re going to have to answer for your contradictions. Far from the Party of No so many people wanted to label Republicans as, they have instead spent the last 3.5 years becoming the Party of Nuh-Uh.
Tax cuts for the Middle Class? Nuh-uh. Tax cuts for everybody or nobody.
Tax cuts for the Wealthy? Nuh-uh. We wouldn’t do that.
Deep cuts to military spending in our “Financial Cliff?” Nuh-uh. That was Obama’s fault.
Cut spending? Nuh-uh, you can’t touch Medicare.
Keep spending? Nuh-uh, you’ve gotta control costs in Medicare.
Affordable Health Care Act a success? Nuh-uh. We’re gonna magically get rid of all the bad stuff and just leave all that sweet, sweet sugar.
To paraphrase my epitome of journalistic integrity, Roland Burton Hedley III, “when Republicans say they’re going to pay for Medicare, cut Medicare, lower taxes and increase military spending, third graders everywhere think, ‘that doesn’t add up!’”
To now send a politician in to try to make any of these positions make sense is the hight of folly. Which is not to say that, with enough money in the right districts, he can’t get elected. Beware, Democrats! But it is to say that it is increasingly difficult to see how the debates don’t end up being colossal drains on both the enthusiasm of Americans for Mitt and by extension, Mitt’s campaign wallet.