In the last few days, Romney has signaled that he is Etch-A-Sketching away his previous positions on immigration and on student loans. Romney has now hinted that he’s open to supporting Marco Rubio’s DREAM Act. If Romney embraces Rubio’s approach, as seems likely, will he pay any price from the right? Romney’s own immigration adviser, Kris Kobach, has said any such measure would also have to include self-deportation to be acceptable to conservative hard-liners. But now Kobach is already signaling that he thinks he and Rubio can coexist comfortably in Romney’s universe.
Meanwhile, during the primary, Romney repeatedly drew a hard line against government help with student debt. But as soon as Obama launched a campaign to extend low interest rates on federally funded student loans, and signaled that he’d make it central in the presidental race, Romney supported Obama’s position. Will conservatives who previously opposed the Obama student loan measure revolt? Well, House Republicans are already finessing the issue by signaling that there may not be any significant differences between them and Romney on the issue, after all.
Putting aside the reaction from conservatives, who have their own reasons for letting Romney’s pivoting skate, both of these turnarounds are being widely covered in the press as mere process stories, as if they’re as inevitable and unremarkable as a campaign staffing up in advance of the general.
Call it flip-flop fatigue in reverse.