As the issue of allowing gays to openly serve in the military raged last year, Mitt Romney let it be known he roundly opposed the idea. He was outraged…incensed. Many conservatives were certain this was the real Mitt revealing himself after years of having to pretend to embrace gay rights as governor of Massachusetts. With this messy business of his position on gay rights out of the way, they could at last breathe a sigh of relief and support the man they thought looked and sounded presidential and had the credentials to turn the economy around.
But now that has all changed. In an interview with the Des Moines Register editorial board last Friday, the former Massachusetts Governor explained that it wasn’t the concept of having gays openly serve in the military that had troubled him…only the fact that the change was being made in a time of war. Now that the conflict is over, he would not, as Commander in Chief, do anything to change it.
This will surely make the fiction that Romney is the most conservative candidate in the Republican field harder to defend.
“What I am saying now is of the available candidates, Romney is by far the most conservative, tied with Michele Bachmann,” declared Ann Coulter to Sean Hannity. A long time supporter of Romney, Ann’s enthusiasm for him has now been incorporated into campaign ads in Iowa.
Following Coulter’s lead, Mitt Romney used his interview with the Washington Post Editorial Board to position himself as the true conservative by attacking Newt Gingrich for being “an extraordinarily unreliable leader in the conservative world.”
“Defending himself against charges that his own conservative credentials are suspect, Romney turned the question in Gingrich’s direction and said that it is the former House speaker who has strayed repeatedly from embracing conservative doctrine in recent years,” reported the Washington Post.
As if to drive his point further, Romney added that Gingrich’s “unreliability” hadn’t just been 14-15 years ago, but in the last 2-3 years. Yet Mitt Romney’s latest leap from conservatism had only taken place a few days prior. What kind of audacity does it take to stand before a news agency editorial board and brag in the face of the evidence that you are the most conservative candidate?
And what conservative can possibly claim, given Romney’s history, that he is the most conservative candidate?
He implemented socialized medicine in his own state. It wasn’t a free market plan, it was a top-down big-government program. Whether he did or did not say or pen that his plan should be the model for the country, he certainly DID lend his advisory team to President Barack Obama to develop the current national mandate, arguably the mirror image of the Romney Plan. The bottom line? When health care problems presented themselves in Massachusetts, Romney’s instinct was to turn to government not the free market for the solution. That is not the fall back position of a conservative.
Romney invited Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider to the table in the development of his Massachusetts healthcare plan which subsequently made sure abortions were covered and affordable for a mere $50 dollar co-pay.
One could go further back with Romney’s liberal/conservative iterations, but these are current examples which in the case of gays in the military, goes back not a few years but a few days. Surely it is a quantum leap to assign him the mantle of conservatism in the current race.
Truth and honesty are inconvenient at times, but they are as much a part of conservative values as any position on the economy or national defense. Dishonesty and deceit are basic disqualifiers and bend as we may to excuse the inexcusable, in Romney’s case, they are very hard to ignore.