I’ve made this point many times, but perhaps not as succinctly as Andrew McCarthy at the National Review:
The issues in the election are Obamacare and debt. Focusing on them massively favors the GOP … except that Romneycare is the building block for Obamacare and, far from admitting error, Mitt has doubled down. As readers will see, I believe his federalism defense of Romneycare is fatuous. The Massachusetts program is indefensible. By nominating someone who vigorously defends it, I am very worried that we are giving away our best rationale for deposing the president and dispiriting the base whose enthusiasm is vital.
Moreover, the Republican establishment’s rallying around Mitt despite his continued championing of Obamacare’s precursor is of a piece with the GOP’s abdication of the Obamacare fight which, as I pointed out in a November column, has been delegated to the lawyers fighting the constitutional issues in court. This has counterproductively made these issues center-stage. Important as they may be, they are a sideshow in the greater scheme of things.
A Romney nomination will effectively be a vote of confidence for ObamaCare, and Republican primary voters seem increasingly likely to provide it as Romney’s surge in the polls indicates. In the extremely unlikely event Mandate Mitt beats Obama, he has indicated he wants to “repeal the bad and keep the good” in ObamaCare:
Precisely which part or parts of ObamaCare does the Mittster consider “good”? Do these sound like the words of someone committed to repealing the law? These questions, of course, are academic since Romney has no chance of beating Obama. If he’s the nominee, the GOP will go into battle against Obama’s billion dollar campaign machine with both hands tied behind their backs. Mitt Romney will have zero credibility to attack Obama where he’s most vulnerable, and he has no constituency beyond the beltway.
Romney is the wrong guy at the wrong time to take on Obama and reverse the advancing socialism that’s burying this country in debt, taking away our freedoms, and destroying our future. He’s a perfect caricature of the rich, out-of-touch, country club Republican that class warriors like Obama live to run against, and this Bain Capital kerfuffle is just the tip of the iceberg. For those who believe the Supreme Court will save us by doing what Romney won’t, McCarthy has some sobering words:
I happen to think the Supremes are going to uphold Obamacare — not that they should, but that they will (for the reasons outlined in the aforementioned column). That won’t mean Obamacare is good policy; it is disastrous policy. It will just mean that Obamacare is one of the many suicidal things our Constitution allows a free people to do to itself. But when the Court’s ruling comes down, the GOP will have done nothing to lay the groundwork for what should be the far more consequential political battle to repeal Obamacare — indeed, by doing nothing and nominating Mitt, the GOP will be saying, implicitly, that it is fine with most of Obamacare, perhaps with a few Washington-style modifications. The Supreme Court decision will thus hit in July — the campaign stretch-run — and, if it comes out the way I think it will come out, it will be a crackling political victory for the Obama campaign.
I can’t argue with any of that. If there’s anyone out there who thinks Anthony Kennedy will put the genie back in the bottle and restore some sanity to the commerce clause, I have some swampland to sell you. The only way to get rid of the ObamaCare disaster is through the political process — before 2014 when it’s fully established — and Romney has neither the conviction nor inclination to do it. We better get used to ObamaCare folks, because the Romney nomination in which the Republicans Establishment has so much invested is looking quite likely, and our one opportunity to consign ObamaCare to the dustbin of history is being willfully forfeited by the party which claims to be for limited self-government.