Regular readers will know that Mitt Romney wasn’t necessarily my dream choice as GOP candidate. They may have inferred this from articles I have written with titles along the lines of Oh God, oh God, oh please God, no! Why Mitt? and The GOP is totally doomed! Der Krieg ist Verloren! Obama is here forever! and No, Really, Though – Anyone But Mitt!…
Nevertheless, I’d like to ask Ricochet readers: Is it just me – or is all this stuff I’m reading in the US press and even more so in the UK press about Romney being toast because of a few blunt words he spoke at a fundraiser not a little overdone?
I mean, I suppose it’s possible to conceive of things Mitt could have said or done which might have indeed resulted in Game Over. For example, he might have donned a white pointy hat and burned a cross; or maybe announced that from henceforward all workers on Wall Street are to be tax exempt because of the sterling work they do for the economy.
But is it really such a problem that we have a conservative presidential candidate who- admittedly behind closed doors – is prepared for once to tell it like it really is?
My Telegraph colleague Iain Martin says it’s not the kind of mistake Reagan would ever have made. This is true. And it goes almost without saying that Romney is no Reagan. But these are very different times.
Reagan did not have to inherit a multi-trillion-dollar debt mountain. Romney does.
Reagan lived in that golden era – golden era for the political class, at least – when it was still widely accepted by liberals and conservatives alike that one of government’s jobs was to make things better by spending money taken from the better-off through taxation. (The political argument was simply a question of degree).
That paradigm is over.
Quite how many people are aware the paradigm is over I do not know but one day, sooner or later, the markets and the economy are going to make this unavoidably clear.
One of the reasons I love America – and have so much more faith in its ability to recover from this mess than I do my own country’s – is that on the most basic level the average American gets this stuff. Thrift, hard work, limited government: it’s in your DNA.
Sure I agree with Peggy Noonan that there is much work to be done on the Romney campaign front. And again, I say he wasn’t my ideal candidate any more than he probably was yours.
But to me, this latest crisis smacks far more of the Mainstream Media’s persistent liberal bias than it does of the ground truth.
What say you, Ricochet?