Mitt Romney’s ardent supporters are fit to be tied today. Andrea Saul cited Romneycare approvingly, conservatives rightly piled on, and Romney supporters are defending the guy.”You’re hurting him,” cried one.”Thanks for making this the big story of the day, Jackass,” cried another.Andrea Saul made this the big story of the day. She is hurting Romney. She is an official voice of the campaign. This was an unforced error of monumental idiocy and the blowback is deserved, appropriate, and — most importantly — absolutely necessary.As Dan McLaughlin noted on twitter
What conservatives are doing re Andrea Saul’s comment is the same as how you housebreak your dog. Romney needs to know not to go there.
The reaction should come quickly and be vocal or the Romney campaign, which is not conservative, will take it as a tacit admission from conservatives that it is safe to let their hair down on these issues.Many will say this should wait until after the campaign is over. But we’ve seen this play out before. Once George Bush was elected, we had to keep the fragile coalition together. Then it was the war. Then it was re-election. We got to TARP and the GM bailout and people were still yelling that we could not criticize the Bush Administration lest we help Barack Obama.These supporters are enablers of the $16 trillion debt we presently have. If we cannot vocally and forcefully hold Mitt Romney accountable now, there will be a new excuse after the election for why we cannot hold him accountable, just as there always has been up to $16 trillion.Last year, while many of us were telling the GOP to hold the line on raising the debt ceiling, the very same people who today are telling us to shut up about Mitt Romney were telling us to shut up about not raising the debt ceiling. What did we get? A super committee and possible sequestration in exchange for two extra trillion dollars in debt. Now many of these same people are telling us, with the super committee’s failure that so many of predicted would fail by design, we must scrap sequestration because of defense cuts. So we’ll get several trillion dollars more in debt with no cuts. This is exactly what I and others were warning about and it came to pass exactly as we said it would.Still the Republican enablers would have us say nothing because . . . campaign season.Should Mitt Romney be elected President of the United States, the very same American press corps that calls both small government conservatives and white supremacists “far right,” will call Mitt Romney a conservative whether he is or is not. The press corps is either too stupid or too liberal to be nuanced on these issues. [Note: embrace the healing power of “and”]Therefore, if we are not vocally on the record now that it is madness for the Romney camp to praise a failed healthcare regime in Massachusetts, between the press and Romney’s present enablers, we’ll surrender that right after the election.No one doubts we must beat Barack Obama. No one doubts Mitt Romney is the only vehicle with which we can beat Barack Obama. But I doubt we can if the Romney camp makes unforced errors and those errors — not being vocal about those errors — shake the fragile truce conservatives have with him in the name of beating Obama.You and I may go vote for Mitt Romney, but there are some in the center-right coalition who lean toward the libertarian end of the spectrum who will just sit it out. There are independents who will sit it out. They need to know Romney has seen the error of his ways and is not, as so many of the candidates in the primary season said he was, not very different from the man he is trying to beat.Also, it is worth noting as some of you forget, I carry water for no candidate, including for Mitt Romney. I’m not willing to sacrifice intellectual honesty or integrity to see him head into office thinking he can get a pass from the right on a destructive healthcare policy he still refuses to admit is economically damaging.