When an aide to Mitt Romney said something favorable the other day about health-care reform in Massachusetts, the Mittster’s principal achievement as governor of that state, right-wing pundits went ballistic.
The message was clear: Let’s have no more talk about RomneyCare.
Brian Beutler puts it THIS WAY:
Those are the marching orders, and thus far they’ve controlled Romney’s campaign. Romney’s health care heresy was the biggest breach, and the right’s reaction was swift and demeaning — one compared it, in a widely approved tweet, to housebreaking a dog.
The most recent manifestation is an all-hands-on-deck effort to make Romney pick Paul Ryan as his vice president. Choosing Ryan would heighten the substantive stakes of the election, but it would also put a watchdog on the ticket — one who would be disinclined to march along if Romney wandered away from the conservative agenda.
“The clamor you are hearing for Paul Ryan for VP is not about helping the Romney candidacy,” wrote conservative writer, and former George W. Bush aide, David Frum. “It’s about controlling the Romney campaign—and ultimately the Romney presidency. It’s about forcing a platform on Romney, and then dictating the agenda for that presidency’s first year. The platform happens to be suicidal, and the agenda impossible, but that does not matter to the Ryan advocates. They take the old Tammany Hall point of view: ‘Better to lose an agenda than lose control of the party.’ In that sense, the Ryan proposal is a test of Romney’s leadership. If he accedes, it’s a big surrender of control—and a surrender to many of those who most opposed (and who inwardly continue to dislike) his nomination.”