Greg Sargent looks at the hilarious quandry Mitt Romney will find himself in the 2012 election due to his own health care mandate in Massachusetts:
Romney, of course, passed a health plan as governor of Massachusetts containing an individual mandate, unaware that conservatives would soon decide that this once non-controversial policy tool constitutes the gravest threat to American liberty since King George the Third. It’s now perhaps the gravest threat to his 2012 hopes, too.
He’s tried various ways of getting around this vexing problem. He’s argued that the mandate is a “conservative” solution, which makes it even more amusing that he avoided health care today. He has also cast the state-based mandate as a freedom-solution of sorts, arguing that while the federal mandate is borderline tyranny, state governments should have the right to pursue ideas as they see fit. These haven’t washed with the right.
I’ve always had the feeling that Mitt Romney is a pretty bright guy with fairly moderate political views. The problem is that he will say literally anything to get elected, but isn’t convincing a liar enough to get to the very top. John McCain beat Romney in 2008 because McCain sold his soul to the hardcore Right of the GOP without batting an eyelid. Romney just doesn’t really have it to make President – he simply doesn’t believe the nonsense that comes out of his mouth, an unfortunate flaw given his profession. Romney is as greedy, vain and power hungry as the rest of them, he just isn’t a professional liar like the best politicians.
I’m really looking forward to watching the other candidates, and possibly Obama down the line run circles around him when it comes to his health care mandate. It will make for hilarious television as Romney tries to explain away his ideologically identical plan that has been used by his party as the defining battle ground against President Obama.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.