Dirty Little (Public?) Secret

Well, well. The Romney campaign is out for laughs, asserting that a pro-Huckabee group is up to no good in Michigan.

"It was an attack call masquerading as a poll," Hoekstra said in a phone interview . . . Hoekstra said the calls attacked Romney on his past support for abortion rights, gun control and gay rights.

This is really so terrible? Basically, team Romney is upset that team Huck is pointing out the obvious: the former governor of Massachusetts' Reaganite conservatism is freshly acquired (to put it nicely). Funny thing is, there was a time -- a time in the not-so-distant past -- when this was public knowledge. Mitt was once your standard Yankee moderate, a RINO in bed with the likes of Linc Chafee and Chris Shays and Olympia Snow.

Throughout most of his public life, Romney situated himself away from the culture warrior wing of the GOP: he was first and foremost a competent and honorable manager, a man capable of shrinking and streamlining the state. That's a basic formula for New England's right-of-center politicians, particulary in Massachusetts (see: Jane Swift, Paul Cellucci, etc.). During his Senate run in 1994, he even declared openly for abortion.

It's a pity, then, that Romney let opportunism get the better of him. His (fairly rapid) transformation into a torture-praising, church-storming virtuecrat (well documented in Harper's September '07 issue) is one of the more bizarre consequences of this election. Ultimately, I think the change undermines the future of his career, severely impugning his integrity as an individual and a public servant. Once you start rubbing elbows with the wrong folks, their stink can really stick.
Ah, what things men will do for the White House. But what does it profit a man, if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?

1 comment:

Michael Corcoran said...

Indeed. Another Mass REP. worth looking into is William Weld, the pro-choice, pro-gay rights, pro-marijuana, libertarian Republican Gov. of the state back from the 90s.