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December 27, 2011

Jen Rubin: It Will Soon Be Time for Anti-Romney Forces To Get In Line

I discussed this with Domenech and Ben Howe on the podcast. I said I was actually trying to prepare myself for this eventuality. I tried to psych myself up with the bumper sticker:

Mitt Romney 2012

It's time to settle.

Even if this is an accurate message, I hope Romney supporters understand it is not an attractive one.

Now I don't think this is really a foul on Rubin's part, really -- she's been much more annoying in the past -- but others do, so here is her precis.

As a preliminary matter, it will be incumbent on Romney antagonists, should he win the nomination, to give up the fiction that the “elites” or “insiders” or “establishment” foisted Romney on the party. The notion that any clique could exercise such power was always a red herring, but if Romney wins a majority of delegates it will be confirmation that he, and not his antagonists, have the confidence of the Republican electorate. Whether the pundits who railed against him might then consider how little they understand the actual electorate (as opposed to their limited readership) would be an open question.

Our limited readership? As opposed to Jen Rubin's blog-column at the WaPo?

I agree that Romney has not been "foisted" on us by an "Establishment clique," though. Romney is winning because opposition to him is fragmented. Just as opposition to John McCain was fragmented between Romney and Mike Huckabee.

And, by the way, for those who continue to insist "RINOs like me" forced John McCain on the party: No I didn't. I endorsed three people ahead of McCain, and finally Romney, as the only guy who could plausibly stop McCain's nomination.

The man who foisted McCain on you last time was Mike Huckabee, and his voters. And I think Huckabee did that out of spite, because he didn't like Romney. Or Mormons.

At that point there would be no knight in shining armor whom some may look to for salvation. If New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie or Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) had wanted to run they would have. The recognition that “ideal” candidates are candidates who would have had to muster the gumption to run should dawn on disgruntled Republicans.

True. But there are other people in the race right now too, Jen.

In short, it will be time for anti-Romney forces, who flourish most visibly in the punditocracy and among activists and select organizations, to get real and get with the Romney election effort unless they want four more years of Obama. (And frankly some do, for being out of power allows them to foment continual discontent in the base and posit themselves as the guardians of political purity.)

And being so big on Team Romney, and being a "real journalist" and not a blogger (despite having a Twitter handle of "@jrubinblogger"), might just get you a job in President Romney's communications department. It's easy to play this game, which is why I do it myself. Because it's easy.

One question I asked during the podcast, which I Twittered to Jen Rubin, is what argument shall we who campaigned hard against ObamaCare and specifically against its most politically and constitutionally infirm strut -- the individual mandate -- take into the general election, should Romney be our candidate? What argument do we make that indicts Obama and yet spares Romney?

Romney's big argument seems to be that it's okay for states to impose nanny-state laws on its citizens but not for the government, which may or may not be true (the states are not invested with all powers over their citizens).

Whether or not it's true or not is highly debatable; what is beyond debate is that it it is unsatisfying as it slices the baloney slices so thin they are well-nigh invisible.

Is Romney really planning to challenge Obama merely on whether one government in the country's 50+ government is not permitted to boss its citizens around in order to foist a managed, socialized health care plan on us?

Given that Romney has as of yet come up with any argument himself that we could deploy -- he endlessly tells us he wished Obama had called him to find out what didn't work in Massachusetts, while not really telling us what didn't work in Massachusetts --- I don't think Jen Rubin is going to be able to craft a satisfying, effective argument either.

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posted by Ace at 04:52 PM

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