Apparently our friend Rush Limbaugh has been discussing my column today, which is very flattering. Alas, I couldn’t hear the segment — I’m at the office without radio — so I just have to go by what people have e-mailed or tweeted to me about it. If I get the gist wrong, my apologies. As I understand it, Rush sees my column as a sign that there’s “buyer’s remorse” for Romney among the “conservative establishment” (I love that I’m a member but Rush somehow isn’t).
I think there’s some truth to that. That was the point of my column to a certain extent. My problem with the analysis — again, as it has been relayed to me — is the assumption that I was a booster of Romney’s in the first place. I hear this sort of thing all of the time. The only problem is there is pretty much no evidence for it. If someone can point to a single paragraph or even sentence I’ve written or said that suggests that I’ve been “in the tank” for Romney, I’d very much like to see it because I don’t think it exists. In fairness to Rush, he did say he didn’t know for sure whether I was a Romney backer before I came to my “buyer’s remorse.” But that’s the problem. If I didn’t buy the product, I can’t have buyer’s remorse.
With all due respect, I think the idea that the “conservative establishment” didn’t want a conservative never mind the suggestion it did everything it could to try and stop one from emerging as an alternative to Romney is just wrong. As I’ve written before, today’s establishment is awfully conservative. For instance if there’s anybody who represents the so-called conservative establishment more than Bill Kristol I have no idea who that might be. Well, Bill’s a very conservative guy. And short of wearing a sandwich board and ringing a bell while walking the earth like Caine shouting “There’s still time for someone else to get in the race,” he’s done about everything he can to get someone else in the race. As far as I can tell none of the people he’s had in mind are named Lincoln Chafee or Olympia Snowe.
Meanwhile, the single person most responsible for ensuring a Romney primary victory is probably Ron Paul, who has refused to attack Romney in any serious way and who has prevented an alternative to Romney to emerge. Ron Paul is not a member of the conservative establishment, I don’t think. And if he is, I still seriously doubt he’s on any conference calls with Bill Kristol coordinating strategy. But that’s just a hunch.
Since it appears that he’ll be the nominee, I hope he and his number crunchers feed enough data into the computron and figure out how to fix this problem soon. But it is a problem.
Update: I now see that even Newt considers his attacks on Bain indefensible. Good for Newt.
Update II: To spare another few hundred of you the bother, yes it’s stupid of me not to find Rush on the web. Not sure what I was thinking save that by the time I realized it, I figured the segment was over.