The Corner

Change of Fools

Romney and the Republicans have taken a few shots at Obama for saying “you can’t change Washington from the inside.” But it seems to me that Romney is missing the more important part of Obama’s comment. Here’s what the president said: “I’ve learned some lessons. Most important is you can’t change Washington from inside, only from the outside. That’s how some of our biggest accomplishments like health care got done — mobilizing the American people.”

That last sentence is full-on delusional. Obamacare didn’t pass because “the American people” were “mobilized” behind it. It passed over the opposition of (depending on the poll) a plurality or majority of the public, and it passed in large part because the Democrats cut deals with powerful interest groups such as the pharmaceutical lobby–deals cut, yes, inside Washington. You’d think that Romney might want to remind people of that, instead of getting into an ethereal discussion about the conditions for “change.”

Ramesh Ponnuru — Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg View, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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