This point hadn’t really sunk in to me. But it did click pretty quickly with TPM Reader SR. From the start, Mitt Romney has faced the problem that his party is doggedly opposed to a policy that he originated (or was at least the first to enact). To square the circle he said the policy was awesome but it was only acceptable at the state and not the federal level — because it violated the constitution. Fair enough in structural terms if not quite true. But now the Court has knocked that stool right out from under him.
From SR …
Heard Romney say this on NPR at lunch today and felt my jaw drop open:
“What the court did today is say that Obamacare does not violate the constitution. What they did not do was say that Obamacare is good law, or that it’s good policy.
Obamacare was bad policy yesterday, it’s bad policy today. Obamacare was bad law yesterday, it’s bad law today.”
“Bad policy?” That’s what former one term governor Mitt Romney is going with now? It’s “bad policy?” Really?
In a nation with a functioning press (and, interestingly, only the British outlets seem to have made the connection so far), these words coming from the guy who pushed a law that was, from a policy standpoint, identical to Obamacare through the legislature of the state he once governed would bring forth a tsunami of headshaking and ridicule. Here, of course, we’ll have to wait for the debates because our media doesn’t think it’s civil to notice when Republicans engage in stunningly brazen hypocrisy.
But at the debates? How does this not come up and how does the rhetorical knot he’ll have to tie himself into explaining this not leave him looking unelectably foolish?