The Corner

Romney, Romneycare, and the Nomination

Sorry for being mostly AWOL for the last few days, folks (and many thanks to those who noticed!). Past-due deadlines loom and the piper insists on being paid.

For what it’s worth, I think there’s a lot to be said for what Yuval argues — too much of the Romney campaign is about how bad Obama is (we’ve got that), how wanting his competitors are (ditto), and how he’s inevitable (so time to get on board, etc., etc.). The latest argument that his rivals can’t get the necessary majority is really lame, as Yuval suggests. Quite apart from the stubborn fact that the failure of Rick, Newt, and Ron Paul to get a majority does not give Mitt one, there is something else that really grates. I feel like I’m watching so-so Team A beating so-so Team B in the semifinals of a football tournament. A is telling me that we’re in the third quarter and A is far enough ahead that B can no longer win even if B scores on all of its few remaining possessions. I’m thinking, great — but how does that convince me A is not going to clobbered by Team C? Team C, Obama, may not be particularly good, but is biding its time, resting up for the finals, and while it has weaknesses, A may not be able to exploit them.  

On that last point, as I’ve said before, I like Mitt but I am worried that Romneycare will render him ineffective in attacking Obamacare, which is our best issue. So I’d like to offer him some friendly advice — or, rather, urge him to take somebody else’s friendly advice.

Grace-Marie Turner has a terrific column at the American Spectator, explaining that much that is bad about Romneycare would not have been in Romneycare if Mitt had had a freer hand. She suggests that instead of praising Romneycare, trying (not very convincingly) to distinguish it from Obamacare, or trying (also not very convincingly) to posit a states’ rights rationalization for Romneycare, Mitt ought to explain (a) how he tried to veto some of the worst parts of it but was overridden in the Democrat-controlled legislature, and (b) what Romneycare would have looked like if it had been more in line with the Romney vision of health-care reform.

I am not saying that reading what Grace-Marie wrote turned me into a Romneycare fan or even necessarily a fan of everything Mitt wanted to do but couldn’t because Democrats controlled the legislature. Far from it. But it did make me feel a bit better about Romney’s prospects as someone who could take the fight to the president on our most crucial issue, Obamacare.


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