Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Mr. Etch-A-Sketch

Candidate Romney has taken outrageously extreme positions on contraception, immigration, the environment, and a host of other issues in order to appeal to the Republican base, described so vividly by Hendrick Hertzberg as "an excitable, overlapping assortment of Fox News friends, Limbaugh dittoheads, Tea Party animals, war whoopers, nativists, Christianist fundamentalists, à la carte Catholics (anti-abortion, yes; anti-torture, no), anti-Rooseveltians (Franklin and Theodore), global-warming denialists, post-Confederate white Southrons, creationists, birthers, market idolaters, Europe demonizers, and gun fetishists."  But what will he do after securing the nomination when he must attract a saner, more moderate electorate?

That's easy.  He will just stand on his head, shake, and try something new.  Don't believe me?  Here's what Eric Fehrnstrom, his campaign spokesperson said in response to a question on whether there was concern that Santorum and Gingrich might force Romney to tack too far to the right:
"Well, I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and restart all over again." 
Jed Lewison at Daily Kos notes that the only thing remarkable about this statement is that "Mitt Romney's campaign is admitting ahead of time what we already knew: that Romney doesn't have any real core principles and will say whatever he thinks it will take to win the election."

Steve Benen describes the earlier incarnations of Mr. Etch-A-Sketch:
Romney 1.0 was an independent who distanced himself from Reagan; Romney 2.0 was a moderate Republican with self-described "progressive" views on social issues and health care; Romney 3.0 was a social conservative who cared deeply about the culture war; and Romney 4.0 is a far-right businessman who represents the GOP establishment and the top 1%.
What will the post-primary Romney look like?  We'll have to see how it shakes out.


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