The Corner

Arlen or Nothing

This gentleman attempts to figure out the problem with Mitt:

In 2008 I wasn’t on Team Romney but I didn’t hate him either. This time around I hate him with a burning passion. I’ve been trying to figure out why and I think last night’s debate finally clarified it for me. Romney is an internet troll.

We’ve all been in the comment section of a blog when some idiot comes along and starts making outlandish statements that derails the conversation…

As Exhibit A, he cites this response:

And let me — let me — let me mention one more — the reason we have Obama Care — the reason we have Obama Care is because the Senator you supported over Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania, Arlen Specter, the pro- choice Senator of Pennsylvania that you supported and endorsed in a race over Pat Toomey, he voted for Obama Care. If you had not supported him, if we had said, no to Arlen Specter, we would not have Obama Care. So don’t look at me. Take a look in the mirror.

As Drew muses:

Wait, what? How about we blame Specter’s parents. I mean, if they hadn’t had him, he wouldn’t have grown up to be a lousy Senator.

If Specter’s father hadn’t emigrated from Russia after the Revolution, he would never have met Specter’s mother, and the cause of our woes would never have been born! A butterfly flaps its wings on the Steppes and nine decades later Harry Reid is federally subsidizing cowboy poetry festivals. Coincidence?

Rich suggests Mitt is quite effective at such moments. I doubt it, not with the broader audience. He’s “effective” mainly because these are such stilted non-debate formats moderated by leaden plonkers. I’m in Australia as I write, and I can assure you such complete twaddle wouldn’t pass muster at Prime Minister’s Question Time in Canberra. And, if it’s so effective, how come it’s barely enough to get the “front-runner” from one eve-of-primary dead-cat bounce to the next?

I’m a Pat Toomey fan, if only because he’s one of the least unreal senators when it comes to the abyss we’re sliding towards. It’s embarrassing that Santorum made a very Romneyesque calculation in 2004, at a time when no one had ever heard of an obscure Illinois legislator called Barack Obama. Meanwhile, Romney enacted legislation that in its view of the citizen’s subordination to the state is philosophically indistinguishable from Obamacare — in every respect that matters.

Romney this week:

There was no requirement in Massachusetts for the Catholic Church to provide morning-after pills to rape victims.

Romney six years ago:

On December 8, 2005 Romney reversed the legal opinion of his own State Department of Public Health, instructing all Catholic hospitals and others to provide the chemical Plan B “morning after pill” to rape victims.  He was quoted as saying, “I think, in my personal view, it’s the right thing for hospitals to provide  information and access to emergency contraception to anyone who is a  victim of rape.”

Did Arlen Specter, fresh from having been endorsed by Rick Santorum, fly up to Boston and spike Mitt’s chocolate malt? Can we get the shuttle manifests from late 2005?

Does even Romney believe this drivel as he says it? Or, more to the point, do he and his advisers believe a shtick that’s barely working now will work against Obama?

UPDATE: On the other hand, let’s not overlook his surefire popular touch.

Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.

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