I should just relax and laugh at Charlie Pierce's latest, in which he offers Mitt Romney advice about what to say to GOP voters who are reluctant to unite behind him. It's funny -- but I don't like the premise it's based on.
Here's what he says Romney should tell the base:
"I'm Willard Romney — and I'm all you got, bitches.
"I'm the only one with the money and I'm the only one with the organization, and I'm the only one with the actual campaign....
"Okay, so let me tell you about myself. I'm not one of you. I'm moderately pro-life. I believe that gay people are human, too, and that, maybe, there ought to be a way for them to get married. I am not what I have been pretending to be all these months. I am nowhere near as stupid and retrograde as you have to pretend to be in this primary, okay? Right now, bitches, you've got a gender gap that looks like the Gates of Hercules because Santorum -- and have Pierce and I told you recently what a colossal dick that guy is? -- is a sheet-sniffing, diaphragm-hunting male nun. You're losing two generations of Hispanic voters because you keep lining up behind immigration laws that seem to have been drawn up in Nuremberg. How's that going to work out for you in 2016, or 2012? You really want to be the party of angry white people in lawn chairs? I am the Massachusetts moderate, bitches, and I've got the money to make it work...."
It goes on like this. Santorum as "diaphragm-hunting male nun"? Priceless. The rest? Not so much.
Look, I left Massachusetts long before Romney became governor, while Pierce lived through Romney's term. Maybe that gave him a window into Romney's soul -- or whatever piece of state-of-the-art technology substitutes for same. I don't have that advantage.
But Pierce thinks Romney will revert to type by being a moderate if he's president. I think Romney will revert to type by going along to get along, exactly as he did in Massachusetts. In modern Washington, that means going along with the barking-mad Republicans who set the terms of every debate, even when they're not in charge (see: presidency of Barack Obama, first two years of). And if they seize control of the Senate and hold the House? Duck and cover.
I've cited this before, but let me bring back David Frum to talk about a speech Grover Norquist gave at CPAC last month:
Norquist: Romney Will Do As Told
... In his charmingly blunt way, Norquist articulated out loud a case for Mitt Romney that you hear only whispered by other major conservative leaders.
They have reconciled themselves to a Romney candidacy because they see Romney as essentially a weak and passive president who will concede leadership to congressional conservatives....
The requirement for president?
Pick a Republican with enough working digits to handle a pen to become president of the United States. This is a change for Republicans: the House and Senate doing the work with the president signing bills. His job is to be captain of the team, to sign the legislation that has already been prepared.
The principal piece of "legislation that has already been prepared," and that Romney would rubber-stamp, is, according to Norquist, the Paul Ryan budget.
And it won't be just that -- it'll be every monstrosity ALEC can cook up, plus every resentnik social-issue bill the God-botherers think they can ram through Congress.
And I haven't even brought up the Supreme Court. You really think Romney's going to pick moderate judges the way he did in Massachusetts? With this crop of Republicans, backed up by the right's media mad dogs? Hell, George W. Bush couldn't even get Harriet Miers a hearing!
So, please, Charlie, don't reinforce the notion that Romney as president would be harmless. He's a Republican. We can't run that risk.