Now Mitt Romney — there’s a man who can put the pep into pander. “I am pro-family on every level, from personal to political,” he told the summiteers. (Take that, Rudy.) He reeled off anti-abortion pledges — not just the requisite anti-Roe Supreme Court nominees, but promises to “oppose abortion in military clinics, oppose funding abortion in international aid programs and I will work to ban embryonic cloning.” He was almost as impassioned as he was during his Senate race against Ted Kennedy when he talked about the “dear, close family relative who was very close to me” who died from an illegal abortion and his firm conviction that “we will not force our beliefs on others on that matter. And you will not see me wavering on that.”
When it comes to flip-flopping, this year’s Republicans make John Kerry look like those early martyrs who had their tongues torn out rather than renounce even the most obscure tenet of their faith. Do the values voters believe Mitt won’t flip back again? Should the people who admired Rudy Giuliani’s refusal to sign the idiot no-taxes-no-matterwhat pledge just presume that he was being insincere (pretend-pander) when he promised that he would rule out a tax increase for any purpose whatsoever? Are his fans voting for the Rudy who thought the flat-tax idea was stupid, or the new one who kinda likes it?
And are they voting for the Mitt who refused to sign a no-taxes pledge, or the one who is now bragging about having signed it at every conceivable opportunity? (When this man says “change begins with us,” he means it literally.)
This is a sensitive point, you know. We’ve been burned before. There was this Republican candidate in 2000 who opposed using U.S. soldiers for nation-building and promised he’d never invade a country without an exit strategy ...