Romney Claims To Be As Consistent As Human Beings Can Be Despite Evidence To The Contrary

While Mitt Romney, fighting for a Republican nomination whose winner will be chosen by some of the most reactionary and authoritarian voters in the country, has been trying hard to convince the religious right that he is with them on issues such as abortion. Romney wasn’t always this way. The Washington Post describes the Mitt Romney who was Governor of Massachusetts:

Mitt Romney was firm and direct with the abortion rights advocates sitting in his office nine years ago, assuring the group that if elected Massachusetts governor, he would protect the state’s abortion laws.Then, as the meeting drew to a close, the businessman offered an intriguing suggestion — that he would rise to national prominence in the Republican Party as a victor in a liberal state and could use his influence to soften the GOP’s hard-line opposition to abortion.

He would be a “good voice in the party” for their cause, and his moderation on the issue would be “widely written about,” he said, according to detailed notes taken by an officer of the group, NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts.

“You need someone like me in Washington,” several participants recalled Romney saying that day in September 2002, an apparent reference to his future ambitions.

Romney made similar assurances to activists for gay rights and the environment, according to people familiar with the discussions, both as a candidate for governor and then in the early days of his term.

The encounters with liberal advocates offer some revealing insights into the ever-evolving ideology of Romney, who as a presidential candidate now espouses the hard-line opposition to abortion that he seemed to disparage less than a decade ago…

The abortion rights supporters came away from the meeting pleasantly surprised. Romney declined to label himself “pro-choice” but said he eschewed all labels, including “pro-life.” He told the group that he would “protect and preserve a woman’s right to choose under Massachusetts law” and that he thought any move to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision would be a “serious mistake for our country.”

I have summarized many of Romney’s flip-flops in the past and I don’t think it is necessary to repeat that now. Unlike the flip-flop charges against John Kerry, which were based upon distortions of Kerry’s views by his political opponents, Mitt Romney is on record for frequently sounding very sincere about polar opposite views on social, health care, and environmental,  issues. There are very few things which liberals and the far right Republican base agree on, but one is that Romney is a flip-flopper and neither liberals or conservatives can count on him supporting their goals.

If Romney does win the Republican nomination this will raise issues of character which very well could not only make him unelectable but also suppress Republican turn out and cause them to lose Congressional and various state races. Romney is well aware of the danger he faces, but his response today will not convince anybody:

Mitt Romney, under fire from all sides on the strength of his political convictions, said Thursday he has been as consistent as a person can be during his political career.

“I’ve been as consistent as human beings can be,” Romney said in a meeting with the editorial board of New Hampshire’s Seacoast Media Group. “I cannot state every single issue in exactly the same words every single time, and so there are some folks who, obviously, for various political and campaign purposes will try and find some change and try to draw great attention to something which looks like a change which in fact is entirely consistent.”