Romney’s Etch-a-Sketch politics

Unless you were in a cave today, you’ve already seen Romney’s surrogate’s comments that he’ll just erase all his the positions he took during the primary and rewrite his deeply-held beliefs for the general election.

I actually don’t think he’ll get away with that or even try to do it since his base is already fairly suspicious of him, suspicious enough to abandon him in the general instead of thinking that he’s lying to everyone else about being moderate just to get elected (sort of the opposite of what Obama’s most energetic supporters were saying in 2008).

Anyway, there is something to discuss here about the media reaction:

One other point: Note how casually these remarks were greeted by the panel of commentators, as if his kind of thing is just business as usual. As I and others, such as Steve Benen, have been pointing out, it seems likely that many commentators will forget all about Romney’s flirtation with far right positions and grant him the presumption of moderation the second he becomes the nominee. It will be widely accepted that Romney didn’t really mean any of the things he said to get through the primary; all that silly stuff was just part of the game. The above foreshadows this perfectly.

I’ve been surprised by how many seemingly normal people I know have asserted that Romney is moderate. His positions have been anything but moderate for at least the last four years, so the assumption is probably that he’s just lying now and we’ll see the real, moderate Romney come out in a few months.
That’s really not good for democracy when we simply assume that candidates are supposed to lie to the rubes and then do what they want when they get in office. If we can’t judge them by what they say, especially when they’ve been out of office for so long, when how are we to judge them? If we can’t vote based on what we think they’ll do, then doesn’t that mean that democracy itself is bunk?

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