"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Modestly Revised Thoughts on the GOP Field

I will generally stand with my comments below that the GOP Presidential field is actually pretty strong.   But Romney's apparent doubling-down on the health care reform he helped enact in Massachusetts -- let's call it Romneycare, because everyone else will -- in his speech this week, effectively hobbles him as a GOP candidate.   Here's what Mark Steyn had to say:
Unfortunately for [Romney], his signature legislation in Massachusetts looks awfully like a pilot program for Obamacare. So in recent days, he’s been out yet again defending his record: If I understand him correctly, his argument is that the salient point about Romneycare and Obamacare is not that they’re both disasters, but that one’s local and the other’s national, and that Obama has a one-disaster-fits-all approach to health care whereas Romney believes in letting a thousand disasters bloom. Celebrate diversity!
Ouch!   Romney may think that this is what he has to do to distance himself from the Tea Partiers in the GOP and present himself as the responsible adult alternative, but I think he underestimates how damaging his support for the individual mandate part of Romneycare/Obamacare is in a GOP primary.   Obamacare is hated by GOP activists precisely because of the individual mandate, ergo, Romneycare and Romney will also be hated.   Again, here's Steyn:
American conservatives’ problem with Romneycare is the same as with Obamacare — that, if the government (whether state or federal) can compel you to make arrangements for the care of your body parts that meet the approval of state commissars, then the Constitution is dead. And Americans might as well shred the thing and scatter it as confetti over Prince William and his lovely bride, along with an accompanying note saying, “Come back. It was all a ghastly mistake.” For if conceding jurisdiction over your lungs and kidneys and bladder does not make you a subject rather than a citizen, what does?
Double ouch!

Romney has a reputation, perhaps undeserved, as a northeastern liberal Republican squish, not necessarily trustworthy on taxes or abortion.   And now this. 

Can you say "Mitch Daniels"?

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