Right wing falls in love with Mitt Romney ... because they finally realize he's kind of a jerk
Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 07:30 AM PDT
by Jed Lewison
After a day spent waging bi-coastal combat with the Obama campaign, Mitt Romney's team in Boston earned the highest compliment Rush Limbaugh has ever paid them Thursday afternoon: "I'm telling you," he said. "This is not the McCain campaign."To put it another way, these conservatives are realizing that Mitt Romney, Cranbook's senior bully, and Mitt Romney, 2012 Republican nominee, are one and the same—and they'd love nothing more than to see Eric Fehrnstrom pin President Obama to the floor as Willard shaves that crazy hair right off Obama's head, lest it turn into an Afro.
Once-skeptical conservatives knew exactly what he meant. In the eyes of many on the right, John McCain's 2008 presidential bid was a disaster not because he lost, but because he refused to fight. Conservatives believe McCain bought into a liberal media narrative that personal attacks on Barack Obama were unseemly and even racist. The conservative caricature of Candidate McCain that emerged in the wake of the Republicans' defeat wasn't of an unreliable moderate — rather, it was one of an Establishment figure paralyzed by political correctness, and unwilling to go blow for blow with Obama.
But if the Vietnam veteran disappointed conservatives with his gun-shy campaign in 2008, Romney is uniting the right by playing the role of the bomb-thrower.
They really aren't paying attention the substance of what he says, at least when it comes to policy, because so much of what Romney says on policy is a jumbled mess of contradictions and falsehoods. But when Romney goes after Obama, it really gets them hot-and-bothered.
For example, when Romney yesterday defended sending his staff to disrupt an Obama press conference on his gubernatorial record, he said he was merely responding to heckling from Obama. That would be reasonable (though childish) if true ... but it was utterly false. And nothing makes conservatives hornier than a brazen lie told in pursuit of the destruction of Barack Obama.
The only thing that surprises me is that conservatives are surprised that Romney can be so nasty. They were more willing to accept Romney's about-face on Romneycare and reproductive rights than they were to accept that Romney is a slash-and-burn politician, but that's exactly what he is. He won the GOP nomination by destroying his enemies, and there was never any reason to believe he'd back off once Barack Obama became his opponent.
All that being said, I'm not so sure conservatives realize what's best for them. Yes, Romney's attack dog style (Seamus!) satisfies their carnal lust for Obama smashing. But when Romney's campaign style pleases Rush "She's a slut!" Limbaugh ... it's not a sign he's setting himself up for victory in the fall.
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