Skip to comments.Byron York: Romney and conservatives remain uneasy partners (Barf-worthy premise alert)
Posted on 08/09/2012 5:51:45 PM PDT by markomalley
"There has been barely a squawk from any significant and/or loud Democratic voice over Harry Reid's tax accusations or the new Obama SuperPAC ad," writes Time magazine's Mark Halperin. "And yet when Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul makes some stray, random remark about health care, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, and Erick Erickson go code red in their criticism of Romney and his campaign."
Halperin is right. When Harry Reid, without any evidence, called Mitt Romney a tax cheat, and when an Obama Super-PAC, equally without evidence, held Romney responsible for the death of an uninsured woman, Democrats and liberals mostly fell in line and stayed quiet. Whatever they thought of their team's down-and-dirty tactics, they didn't speak up.
But after Saul offered a confused-sounding defense of Romney against the Super-PAC ad by approvingly citing Romney's universal health care program in Massachusetts, some of the most prominent voices on the Right let loose. What accounts for the difference?
"It's pretty basic," writes Limbaugh, in response to an emailed question. "The Democrat/liberal side is NOT divided. They are UNIFIED in wanting to destroy conservatives, every time, everywhere. The GOP/conservatives ARE DIVIDED, and the GOP establishment does NOT see the same disastrous threat posed by Obama and the Left that we conservatives see. We are NOT united."
What irked Limbaugh most was not that Saul fumbled her talking points but that she seemed to accept the premise of the Obama Super-PAC attack. "That ad is not about who has healthcare," Limbaugh writes. "That ad is part of the systematic attempt by Obama to DESTROY Mitt Romney, and the concern I have is that our side doesn't even see what's happening."
For her part, Coulter sees a continuing problem with the people who run GOP campaigns. "Republicans are hapless Elmer Fudds, constantly employing people who couldn't care less about the country, but want to be on TV and in spreads for Glamour magazine," Coulter writes in an email. "Who is the Democrats' equivalent of Andrea Saul or the Etch-A-Sketch guy? Name one! The Democrats are focused on winning and hire spokesmen who don't make constant unforced errors."
Finally, Erickson sees holding Romney to account as a matter of keeping candidate and campaign on a conservative path. "The GOP is more often open and consistent, and the Democrats fall in line," he writes. "I realize there are plenty on our side who disagree with me, but I think if we are not consistent in our criticisms of the Romney campaign when they go off the reservation, they'll take the silence as permission, once elected. Barack Obama sure did with the Left."
As influential as they are, Limbaugh, Coulter and Erickson don't set the agenda for Republicans. But their reactions underscore the continued fragility of Romney's relationship with the conservative world. When Romney hews to a strongly conservative line, he is fine. But when the former Massachusetts governor sends any signal -- a poorly worded phrase, a staffer's mistake -- that sounds like something a conservative would not say, some of his critics on the right immediately recoil and say, "See -- I knew he wasn't one of us."
Romney has grappled with the problem from the moment he entered national politics. This year, it accounted for one of the more awkward moments of the campaign, his February speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference in which he used the word "conservative" more than 20 times and noted that he was "a severely conservative Republican governor" in Massachusetts.
Many Republicans hoped the problem would go away in the general election campaign. After all, in the primaries Romney was trying to convince mostly conservative Republicans that he was a better candidate than his mostly conservative rivals. Now, as Romney runs against President Obama, many supporters hoped Romney would face fewer calls to prove his conservative bona fides.
But the problem hasn't gone away. And it will likely flare up again in the future, when Romney messes up the answer to a question or one of his aides mangles an appearance on television.
The worries expressed by Limbaugh, Coulter and Erickson aren't nit-picking. They are concerns about the very nature of Mitt Romney and the people he has chosen to run his campaign. Maybe those concerns are mistaken or misdirected. But Limbaugh is right: At this moment, deep down, Republicans and conservatives are not united, not under Mitt Romney or anyone else.
The fact of the matter, Byron, is that Willard has no partnership with conservatives and conservatives have no partnership with Mittens. He is a snake-oil salesman with striking similarity to the common chameleon. And any conservative sees that.
Some conservatives may choose to tolerate him because of the moral imperative to oust the current illegal regime so that the anti-christ cannot do any more damage to this country (note the lower case use of anti-christ here and consider its meaning versus the meaning if it was capitalized).
And, Byron, every time one of Willard's spokespeople issues an idiotic comment such as the "she'd have been covered under Romneycare", it reminds us that Willard is just another big-government northeastern liberal and if anybody but Hussein was occupying 1600 Pennsylvania, all of us would sit this one out (and even with Hussein squatting at that address...there are not a few of us who will still sit this one out because of the offensiveness of Mittens).
There is no partnership. Get it straight Byron.
What Rush, Erick and even loon Coulter are saying is right - they want Team Romney to fight back instead of simply accepting the lies or trying to play around with it and the problem they all point our to is the advisors, mostly out of Boston who are idiots anyway
You know who already occupies the position as "the beast', so that wouldn't really work here.
As usual, when it comes to evil there are always an almost limitless supply of "acolytes".
Seriously, though, I have no idea why he's dragging along that godawful staff with him. Those people shouldn't even be employed.
Exactly the same lady came out about a week prior and said Romney still believes gays should be able fully to participate in the Boy Scouts, and not a peep that I’ve heard from the so-called, conservative commentators.
These people — all of them, apparently — have abandoned social conservatism.
To all of them, Jesus’ words: “lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and rust corrupt and where thieves break through and steal. Instead, lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven where moth and rust do not corrupt and where thieves do not break through and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
Given that early defection from the conservative camp, does a Byron York byline automatically qualify as its own barf alert?
That said, the article isn't too bad, except insofar as you point out that York still thinks there is some sort of "Thing" or meeting of the minds between conservatives and the Mittens camp. Not with all those long needles, swords, and dirks sticking in Sarah's back, all with the Mitt Romney monogram embossed on their hilts and pommels.
Romney has slimed himself completely out of the circle of what conservatives can embrace or even put up with, and York doesn't seem to get it.