The Moderation of Romney

Ezra KleinEzra Klein discusses Moderate Mitt isn’t so moderate. In it, he notes that what was once a Republican extremist is today called a Republican moderate. I’ve sort of come to terms with this by noting that while Republicans may not have been this extreme in public, this was always who they were. You know, Nazis.[1]

Klein puts forward a really good definition:

As the Republican party has moved to the right in recent years, so too has our standard for what counts as a moderate Republican. These days, if you’re willing to admit that President Obama was probably born in the United States, that the U.S. Treasury probably shouldn’t default on its debts, and that someone, somewhere, might occasionally have to pay taxes, then congratulations, you’re a moderate Republican!

He then goes on to note the ridiculousness of Romney’s claim that he can work “across the isle”—from a different perspective than usual. He gets to the heart of Romney’s character:

The problem for those of us who would like to see the return of Moderate Mitt—and I count myself in that number—is that there’s little reason to believe Romney would find himself forced to work with Democrats if he was president, at least at the outset. Rather, a Romney win is likely to also mean Republicans take the House and the Senate. Romney’s worries, in that world, will be losing conservative Republicans in the House and inspiring a primary challenge in 2016. There’s no way he’ll pick fights with the right in order to govern from the center. And given that Republicans already don’t trust Romney, he’s likely to have less leeway than the typical Republican president in redefining what “right” is, the way George W. Bush did with the bipartisan No Child Left Behind Act.

Yep. That’s about it. I would just add that “Moderate Mitt” is not all the great anyway. Also: No Child Left Behind is not a good thing.


[1] “You know, morons”:

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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