Here’s some reality. The reason the GOP is not up in the polls by 15 points against a President this weak in an economy this lousy is not due to a Vast Left Wing Conspiracy, or Evil Media, or Erin Manning or even the awesomely powerful Mark Shea and his hypnotic Svengali-like power over a docile American electorate, nearly .00000000000000000000000000000000000000000001% of whom read my blog and robotically obey my will. It’s because the GOP labored with might and main and could only come up with this cynical duplicitous liar as its standard bearer:
Such a liar inspires no trust but rather is himself a one man vote suppressor. So now, instead of being able to credibly turn to fencesitters on the Left (as, for instance, the revered but now ignored Reagan did) and persuade them to vote for Romney, the Thing that Used to be Conservatism is reduced to barking at members of its own ranks with a conscience to shut up and get in line, while ostracizing those heretics who refuse to do so–all while steadily refusing to devote its energies to forcing this cynical duplicitous liar to do as we will or face the furies of hell from an electorate that is sick of being lied to. So by tomorrow, we will not be seeing GOPers flooding Romney with demands he grow a moral center. Instead, we will all be told to ignore Romney’s complete and utter betrayal on the HHS Mandate:
Romney: “I’d just note that I don’t believe that bureaucrats in Washington should tell someone whether they can use contraceptives or not. And I don’t believe employers should tell someone whether they could have contraceptive care or not. Every woman in America should have access to contraceptives.”
This is basically conceding the farm on the Mandate. It’s a line straight from the Obama playbook. According to the Administration, employers who don’t want to be forced to buy contraceptives are “telling women they cannot have contraception”. Romney is signaling he opposes employers who make that argument just as much as Obama does.
Complete and utter betrayal.
It is not “realism” to pretend that the problem is with people in the party ranks who have a conscience or with Undecideds who can see what sort of duplicitous lying cynic the GOP has chosen to put up against Obama. It is with an almost Soviet level of refusal to engage the reality of who the GOP has chosen as its standard bearer–due to its refusal to address reality.
It is not Third Party voters who are laboring to lose Romney this election. It is Willard Mitt Romney. Third Party voters are trying to do their conscience–just as those who are holding their nose and voting for Romney. Mitt Romney just stabbed both of them in the back.
UPDATE: My good friend, the honorable and charitable Steve Greydanus writes:
Mark: You could well be right about what Romney will actually do. I have very little confidence about that myself. Insofar as the question is what he is saying here, though, I believe the correct context is the rhetorical attacks that Romney wants employers or legislators to decide if women have “access” to contraception, and that he really is saying “Don’t be stupid, of course women will still have access to contraception.” This statement isn’t a pivot away from his previous statements against the HHS mandate. He may well execute such a pivot in office, but this statement isn’t what it’s been made out to be.
Nah. Romney’s statement is a “Me too”, ripped from the Obama playbook–in identical language to that of the Administration’s–to make clear that employers have no right to deny the gals on “Sex and the City” their contraceptive candy. Those employers include all the Catholic organizations being attacked by the HHS Mandate.
Romney could have made clear that he supports giving women their state-issued contraceptive candy without infringing on the religious liberty of employers. He didn’t, because he was manifestly struggling to keep up with Obama in courting the vote of Sarah Jessica Parker and Co.. Instead, he used *exactly* the same language of the Administration in order to say “me too!” to the demographic Obama was appealing to–a demographic which, at that moment, he obviously cared more about than he cared Catholics concerned about religious liberty.
Exactly the same language.
He will continue this pattern of spousal abuse of prolifers and conservative Catholics as long as we continue to make excuses for him instead of going after him with a rolling pin. Why shouldn’t he? He knows perfectly well the overwhelming number of prolifers will go on making excuses for him no matter what and condemning those who don’t as “unrealistic”, “perfectionists” and prissy self-regarding narcissists.