Opinions, Context & Ideas from the TPM Editors TPM Editor's Blog

Heller Bails Out

"I do believe the federal government has certain responsibilities. One of those responsibilities is building bridges and roads, and national defense," Heller said Wednesday in Washington. "I also believe in a safety net for individuals who need the help, so that's why I would respectfully disagree with the comments that (Romney) made."

Heller pointed out that his mom was a school cafeteria cook, so that he had a "different view of the world" than Romney.

One thing I notice is that these 'distance comments' are all very similar. From Scott Brown: "It's not the way I view the world." Distancing but antiseptic. For obvious reasons they have no desire to denigrate or create their standard-bearer. But saying you have a different world view is actually a pretty global, pretty totalizing criticism.

There's one way you react to this if you're a professional ideologue. Quite another if you have to face actual voters. In case it needs saying, calling half the population trash is toxic.