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Why keep you in suspense – it’s Willard “Mitt” Romney.

Whenever we nominate a Romney Republican, the Democrats tap dance on our tushies. And still, like a small bird mesmerized by media snakes (or Charlie Brown and the football), we fall for it time and again.

“John McCain is your best bet in 2008,” the media murmured. “He’s experienced (at betraying his party). He’s serious. He’s a statesman. He’s funny, an engaging speaker and a war hero to boot. (What would the Rough Riders have done without him?) Why, he’s just the greatest thing since Bob Dole.”

Of course, after he was safely nominated and the Party of Soros chose the anointed one – the media discovered that the Republican they’d idolized for two decades, the man they lionized as a “maverick,” was in fact a grumpy old man who egregiously pandered to the radical right, had been in Washington too long and had no real ideas.

Even Sarah Palin couldn’t rouse a dispirited party base. If McCain-Feingold, McCain-amnesty and McCain-always-ready-to-roll-over-for-the-Dems wasn’t depressing enough, in September, the standard-bearer of the party of small government suspended his pathetic campaign for a few days to rush off to Washington and push corporate bailouts. This was putting the country before politics, he preened. As Ayn Rand observed of the triumph of Russian bolshevism in 1917, when given the choice between socialist Kerensky and Marxist Lenin – the Russians asked, “Why not the real thing?”

The 2008 campaign was a reprise of 1996 all over again. In Bubba’s first term, Republicans trounced Hillarycare, elected a majority to the House for the first time in 40 years, and bimbos were erupting all over.

Bob Dole’s time clearly had come, the MSM and GOP insiders intoned. He was seasoned – 30 years in the Senate (two years as majority leader) and Ford’s running mate in 1976 – another reach-across-the-aisle guy and as charismatic as Vinegar John McCain. He had a reputation as the Democrats’ tax collector. They could always count on Dole to do the “fiscally responsible” thing – raising the taxes to pay for their profligacy.

Now comes Willard “Mitt” Romney – the man everyone from the Washington Post to Ann Coulter assures us is the inevitable Republican nominee. So let’s stop wasting time pining for an authentic Republican and get busy electing Slick Mitty.

Like McCain and Dole, Romney is Mr. Resume – successful businessman, saved the 2002 Winter Olympics, elected governor of one of the bluest states (whose economy he turned around) and amply vetted. He’s been running since 2007. He’s a world-class fundraiser (the suites and suits love him), and he’s collected the usual RINO endorsements – like former House Speaker Dennis (I-know-how-to-lose-like-a-gentleman) Hastert.

“Mitt Romney attracts new support as donors and elected officials coalesce behind him,” blared the headline in an Oct. 12 Washington Post story, which quotes Republican strategist Ed Rollins (fresh from running the triumphant Bachmann campaign) revealing that Romney is “viewed as an almost inevitable candidate.” Whenever the MSM and establishment tell you a Republican is inevitable, head for the hills.

The cherry on the whipped cream is a Nov. 16 Ann Coulter column (“If not Romney, who? If not now, when?”). After savaging former House Speaker Newt Gingrich for some of his dumber moves (at least Newt admits his mistakes; Romney either ignores them or lies shamelessly), Ann proceeds to recount the swellness of Mitt.

Coulter: “The mainstream media keep pushing alternatives because they’re terrified of running against him.” Huh? The GOP’s conservative base keeps pushing alternatives to Mitt Romney because they’re terrified of running with him – which is why, after five years of campaigning, Romney rarely breaks above 25 percent. The rest is a solid anyone-but-Mitt vote.

Coulter also asks us to admire Mitty for: 1. successfully lying to the Massachusetts electorate – she calls it “trick(ing) liberals into voting for him”; 2. “nearly beating” Ted Kennedy (41 percent to 58 percent is nearly beating? – and he only had to run to the left of the Enormous Ted on social issues to achieve this feat); and 3. being more of a spellbinder than Texas Gov. Clem Kadiddlehopper. (BTW, he’s also saner than Ron Paul.)

When Republicans nominate a conservative or someone who can successfully pass as one, we win. Every time the party picks a Dole McRomney, we lose. Over the past 50 years, Goldwater in ’64 is the only exception.

In 1960, Nixon ran as the very model of an establishment Republican and lost. By 1968, he had successfully adopted conservative coloration and won – a myth he was able to maintain in 1972, thanks in large part to the anti-war movement and George McGovern.

Gerald Ford, who didn’t think Poland was a communist country, lost to Mr. Peanut in 1976. In 1980, Reagan was the first presidential candidate to unseat an elected incumbent since 1932. Reagan was re-elected in 1984 and 1988 (the last by proxy).

By 1992, Bush 41 could no longer maintain the fiction that he had anything to do with Ronald Reagan other than sitting at the same table at state dinners, and lost to a blubbery border-state governor with a chronic zipper malfunction.

Dole did a repeat performance in 1996, even after his party’s historic midterm election victory. And McCain managed to lose to the least-qualified, furthest left presidential candidate in history, who was associated with whack-jobs like the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Bill (The Demolition Man) Ayers.

Now, the handwriting is on the wall, in 36-ft. flashing neon lights.

There’s a difference between politicians who lie convincingly and those who lie so preposterously that you get a stitch in your side laughing about it. When asked to consider the credibility of Romney’s pro-life conversion, our expert panel of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy snickered, guffawed and fell on the floor laughing.

It seems that while contemplating his first run for the White House, the governor encountered a mysterious stem-cell researcher from the hallowed halls of Harvard, who informed him that: 1. An unborn child has a human genetic code (who knew?); 2. At 10 weeks, this child has a heartbeat, brainwaves, fingers and toes (exceeding the average OWS protester in human characteristics); and 3. the difference between abortion and infanticide can sometimes be measured in inches (outside the mother’s body) and seconds.

Presumably, about the same time, Romney encountered an ethicist who told him that the wanton destruction of innocent human life is wrong and a legal scholar who told him that a right to abortion in the First Amendment is a hoot and a half.

Even more fantastic is Romney’s avowal that he’s pro-marriage and did everything in his power to forestall the mockery it’s become in the Gay State – a judicially transmitted disease that’s spreading nationwide.

In 2002, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (Elena Kagan in overdrive) decided that our state constitution mandated unnatural marriage and ordered the state legislature to pass enabling legislation. The legislature did nothing, noting perhaps that said constitution gives the governor and legislature sole and exclusive jurisdiction over matters pertaining to marriage.

Romney could have followed the legislature’s example and done nothing. He could have notified the court’s one-vote majority that he would take their attempt to have unnatural relations with the state constitution as letters of resignation and wished them bon voyage.

Instead, when the court’s deadline expired, he acted as if the legislature had acted and ordered city and town clerks to begin issuing marriage licenses to Chuck and Larry.

But he believes in traditional marriage, really he does – almost as much as he believes in judicial restraint. In his time as governor, Romney appointed more Democrats than Republicans to the bench, including two gay activists. Don’t expect Romney to pick constitutionalists like Thomas and Scalia for the Supreme Court. We’d be lucky to get more Anthony Kennedys.

Nearly as hilarious as his explanation of why he became pro-life and how he tried to save marriage in Massachusetts is Mitt’s insistence that Romneycare wasn’t a forerunner of Obamacare.

Both require the peons to buy health insurance, known as the “individual mandate” in Obamacare. But rather than admitting he made a blunder on par with Custer’s decision to deploy the 7th Cavalry on a hilltop in Montana, Romney hops from foot to foot, insisting that statism (buy this or else) isn’t statism if the decision is made by Big Brother in Boston instead of his national counterpart.

To the governor’s implausible avowals, Jonathan Gruber, a health-care economist who helped hatch Romneycare, says something unprintable. “Basically, they’re the same f—king bill,” the clearly perturbed MIT professor told a New York audience last week.

Since it passed 18 months ago, Obamacare has remained wildly unpopular. In a late October Kaiser Family Foundation Poll, only 34 percent supported Obama’s socialized health insurance, versus the 51 percent who opposed it.

Opposition to Obama’s social engineering animated the tea party, which in turn handed Republicans their historic victory, giving the GOP its largest majority in the House since 1946. Nominate Romney, and Obamacare becomes a non-issue – or another Democrat talking point to prove Romney’s flip-floppery.

So the case for Romney is based on what? He lied his way to victory in a liberal state, by credibly claiming he’s a liberal? He’s only been married once? (On that basis, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid – who’ve both been married longer – are better qualified.) He had a conversion to the pro-life camp that nearly no one believes? He says he really, really likes marriage a la Genesis, but facilitated the first major victory for gay unions? There are semantic differences between Romneycare and Obamacare? He has a nice haircut and doesn’t get totally tongue-tied in a debate?

Writing in The Nation (which hungers for a GOP victory next year the way I hunger for borscht), Ben Adler discloses that “moderate” Republicans are blithely unconcerned by Romney’s conservative mummery for four reasons, “the importance of biography over platform (watch the walk, ignore the talk), the widespread assumption that Romney doesn’t believe what he says, the lower salience of social issues and the lunacy of his competition (who really are pro-life and pro-marriage).”

Having bought Dole in 1996 and McCain in 2008, the media and GOP establishment hope Republican primary voters will go for the triple crown of RINO-ism next year with Mitt Romney. If they do, Obama can begin making plans for his 2013 inauguration – save the date.

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