The Circular Firing Squad

Posted: Nov 08, 2011 7:40 PM
Obviously, the press is only too happy to report a conservative pundit's opposition to Mitt Romney and predictions of electoral doom -- if one's favored candidate is tanking like the President is, one's fondest hopes must be pinned on the President's opponent being sunk by dissension within conservative/Republican ranks.

But notwithstanding the blistering critique of Romney, it seems to me mistaken for even those who oppose him to start publicly denouncing him; all that does is help President Obama and the Democrats.

One can disagree with Romney on principle (or on the ground that he has changed his positions too much).  Everyone is entitled to an opinion.  But until an electorally viable alternative emerges, it's a mistake to air intra-party grievances in the press.  Criticisms may attract attention, but how exactly do they advance conservative principles, or render an Obama victory less likely?

On the other hand, if the argument is that Romney CAN'T win because voters will simply reject him on the basis of his shifting positions on certain topics, that, too, is a mistaken assessment.  First, an election is primarily a judgment on the incumbent.  Second, although position shifts may scare off the most committed conservatives(because of a warranted sensitivity to the dangers of the leftward seduction of the Beltway and public life), for ordinary Americans, some hint of ideological flexibility may render Romney more acceptable to them, not less.

In any case, let's remember that the real opponent is President Obama.  Why assemble a circular firing squad, whose only real beneficiary is the man we need to defeat?