Friday, November 2, 2012

Romney will not become President "Moderate Mitt"

David Frum believes Romney is lying and that's the reason to support him

David Brooks and David Frum, my favorite conservative pundit, both endorsed Mitt Romney in the last week, both seemingly supporting him in hopes that he is really lying and would really govern as "Moderate Mitt."

I understand this impulse. If you are one of the few prominent moderate Republicans remaining, you must convince yourself that the Presidential candidate would govern more to your liking or else there would be little reason to remain a Republican at this point. At the Congressional level, moderate Republicans are practically extinct. The last chance for a moderate Republican to have any impact on the party is at the Presidential level and he/she will have a really tough time making it through a primary. Romney, to his credit, did win the primary rather easily. But his path isn't likely to be repeated by future moderates. They just don't make many as shameless as Romney, and only someone lacking in any conviction could reinvent himself on virtually every issue in such a short period of time.

Here's the thing though, history shows us Presidents try to keep campaign promises. Frum, at least circles this square, but pointing out that with the Democrats likely to retain control of the Senate, Romney won't be able to follow through on a lot of the crazy misguided stuff he promised his base during the campaign. It's not a very comforting thought to a liberal like myself that the future of ObamaCare, Dodd-Frank, etc, may hinge on a handful of Senate Democrats not caving and voting with the Republicans.

So the argument seems to go: vote for Romney because he's really been lying to us and will govern as a moderate....oh and if he wasn't lying, well the Democrats in the Senate will save us from "Severely Conservative Mitt."

I admire the hope that Romney is secretly running to stick it to the majority of his party and will govern as a moderate. It just seems extremely unlikely. I seem to remember a lot of moderates making the same case about George W. Bush in 2000. And while Bush was more moderate when it came to immigration, since his party was more moderate on that issue at the time, he governed as advertised or even more extreme than how he campaigned on virtually every other issue. As former President Bush said, "Fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again."

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