Establishment columnist George Will and the gang at the neo-conservative Weekly Standard are uncomfortable with the thought that Mitt Romney might become the Republican presidential nominee.
No, it isn’t a matter of Romney’s legendary flip-flops on social issues, which so annoy the Tea Party types. Rather, it’s stuff like THIS:
Romney is running a purely results-based campaign against President Obama. His message is simply that things are bad and Obama hasn’t made them better. (Slogan: “Obama isn’t working.”) Romney’s theme elides why things are bad and says very little about what he intends to do to make them better, other than the fact that he, Mitt Romney, is the man to do it. He soft-peddles the hard-core anti-Keynesianism, Randian ideas that have animated the right. He can’t make a principled argument as to why the Affordable Care Act violated freedom because everybody knows he doesn’t believe it. Rather than defend the idea that rich people pay too much taxes and poor people pay too little, Romney is promising to help the middle class and ignore the rich.
His reasons for doing so are plain enough. The latest CBS/New York Times poll shows the degree to which economic class remains a liability for the GOP. The public assessment of how Obama treats different classes is highly balanced — 28 percent say he favors the rich, 23 percent say he favors the middle class, 17 percent say he favors the poor, and 21 percent say he treats all groups equally. But as for Republicans in Congress, 69 percent say they favor the rich. The poll likewise shows now-familiar support for increased measures to stimulate the economy and for higher taxes on the rich.
Romney’s campaign treats conservatism as an obstacle to his reelection. He wants to get through the primary with his ideological flexibility intact, unencumbered by unpopular commitments.