No matter how obvious it seems to outsiders that Mitt Romney’s the GOP’s most electable potential challenger to Barack Obama, conservatives don’t like him. There are a lot of reasons for that. Of course, there’s the conviction issue (the impression that he lacks it) and the track record issue (liberal Republican governor of bright blue Massachusetts) but the right’s problems with him go beyond the ways in which they feel he’s crossed them. Turns out Romney’s got an intelligence problem.
Take George Will, a conservative columnist for the Washington Post, part of whose Sunday column was leaked to Politico.
Romney, supposedly the Republican most electable next November, is a recidivist reviser of his principles who is not only becoming less electable, he might damage GOP chances of capturing the Senate: Republican successes down the ticket will depend on the energies of the tea party and other conservatives, who will be deflated by a nominee whose blurry profile in caution communicates only calculated trimming. Republicans may have found their Michael Dukakis, a technocratic Massachusetts governor who takes his bearings from ‘data’ … Has conservatism come so far, surmounting so many obstacles, to settle, at a moment of economic crisis, for THIS?
Yes, data. Conservatives don’t like Romney in part because he lets facts and events influence his views. This is unacceptable. So as Republicans come around to the idea that he may be the party’s best hope in 2012, conservative hold outs are trying to prevent the Romney consensus from taking hold.