Saturday, June 04, 2011


I have to agree with John Cole that this could really be the final nail in the coffin of Mitt Romney's campaign:

Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney broke with Republican orthodoxy on Friday by saying he believes that humans are responsible, at least to some extent, for climate change.

"I believe the world is getting warmer, and I believe that humans have contributed to that," he told a crowd of about 200 at a town hall meeting in Manchester, New Hampshire.

"It's important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may be significant contributors."

I've always thought there was a percentage of non-insane and not-as-insane-as-the-rest Republican voters who'd go for Romney, but he's diminishing the size of that likely vote with this (and with his determination to defend the individual mandate in his Massachusetts health plan). I know there's an argument that John McCain won in '08 while deviating from conservative Correct Thinking, but I'll say it again: he could win over old-school, pre-Fox, pre-talk radio GOP voters with an appeal to old-fashioned patriotism, and on what was still the #1 issue for Republicans at that time, support for the Iraq War, he was unswervingly, sincerely on the same page as the vast majority of the Republican electorate. If Mitt were the leader of the anti-health-care-law fight, or the #1 proponent of Ryanism, then maybe he could get away with some ideological deviations. But he's not like that on any issue. McCain's defense of the Bush Doctrine is the reason he could win in '08. Romney has no ace like that in the hole.

I have to believe Romney's falling for the David Brooks/George Will delusion that the grown-ups are going to wrest control of this campaign back from the crazies. If that's the Kool-Aid he's drinking, he's going to have an embarrassing flame-out. He may be weaker than even skeptics suspect, because he'll keep trying to toss out deviations from the dogma. That really won't work.

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