Now that Mitt Romney has done us all a favor by explicitly stating an indefensible position, reactions to the story seem to be neatly dividing the Red team into its crazy and non-crazy (or at least less-crazy) factions. David Brooks, Reihan Salam, and even Ramesh (Party of Death) Ponnuru see clearly the falsity of Romney’s factual claims, the moral horror embodied in his world view, and the political suicidality of saying it out loud. Anyone defending the tape (e.g. Erick Erickson) – as opposed to sticking with Romney despite the tape – can now be written off as utterly beyond redemption.
Romney himself could have chosen to join the less-crazy faction by backing off from, and apologizing for, his gormless and heartless remarks – as Barack Obama did in his parallel “bitter clingers” moment – but instead he chose to declare himself the Chief Bull Loony.
In response to the previous post, commenter “bdbd” points out “the ease and fluidity with which Romney talked to that fundraiser audience, completely unlike the stumbling discomfort he shows when speaking to a audience that might have some lazy moochers in it.” Perhaps we have finally penetrated the mystery of the real Romney: in his heart of hearts, he may actually be Thurston Howell III (as David Brooks calls him). Or, as Josh Marshall says, the caricature Mitt Romney is actually the man himself.
Update Bill Kristol chimes in: “Romney seems to have contempt not just for the Democrats who oppose him, but for tens of millions who intend to vote for him.” I’d never categorize Kristol as non-crazy – let alone non-evil – but at least he’s non-stupid. That distinguishes him – and Rich Lowry – from the riff-raff who seem to be drunkenly yelling, “Yeah! You tell ’em, Mitt!”