The day after health care reform passed, Romney was ready with a biting attack on Obama in National Review Online. Among the criticisms, Romney says:
Rather, it is an historic usurpation of the legislative process — he unleashed the nuclear option, enlisted not a single Republican vote in either chamber, bribed reluctant members of his own party, paid-off his union backers, scapegoated insurers, and justified his act with patently fraudulent accounting. [emphasis added]
I found the entire piece, and particularly the complaint I’ve bolded above, to be fairly hilarious. Romney, the former Republican governor, crafted a health care reform in Massachusetts that was a near carbon copy – and some would say the model for – the just-passed legislation. Yet Romney wants us to believe that there is something especially insidious about Obama’s bill because it was passed with no bipartisan support.
The corollary of this is that Romney must be forgiven for passing health care reform before passing health care reform was the not-so-cool thing to do. Because he’s a Republican, he automatically grant a bipartisan imprimateur to any entitlement he hands to Democratic legislatures. So there is nothing bad about the new taxes, entitlements, and coercions that he sponsored. How could there be?
And the title of the piece? “A Campaign Starts Today”? We get it. You’re running for President in 2012. But Republicans should be reminded by these timid procedural complaints that Romney is not the man who can rebrand the GOP as the party of liberty and freedom. He probably can’t even be trusted not to pass something even worse.