Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Romney And A Federal Mandate

So it turns out that Mitt Romney had backed a federal individual health insurance purchase mandate back in 1994.  He now seems to think that a such a federal mandate is unconstitutional. I don't know if this revelation of one more flip-flop (and on the federal individual mandate!) will be politically fatal.  I'm not sure that it necessarily should be.  Obama was against a federal individual mandate just three years ago.  1994 was a long time ago.  This isn't like Romney changing his abortion position just as he looked to switch jobs from Massachusetts governor to President of the United States.   I think it is possible that Romney has learned a few things about health care policy and the Constitution since 1994.  I hope he has a plausible explanation tomorrow.  
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Discussions - 7 Comments


I know you believe that Herman Cain doesn't have a chance. Well, I believe that Mitt doesn't have a chance. When the fat lady sings, we will see who is right.
Have a great day.


You know, if Mr. Romney would just get up there and say the following--like a man does--I'd respect him a lot more:

"Look, like a lot of other intelligent people, during my career I got caught up in the conventional wisdom about what was constitutional and what wasn't. Well, you know, the conventional wisdom was wrong and we who accepted it or didn't challenge it were wrong. Period. I at least see that now.

I hope the reason was understandable. You get so caught up in heading off the liberals and keeping the MSM from being able to attack you on something that you end up ceding ground you really shouldn't have. Well, no more. I understand some may think I'm a Johnny-come-lately on this, and fair enough, I guess maybe I deserve that. But I a.) want to tell you that it is a genuine feeling and b.) that I want to thank the people who stood firm and were willing to be unpopular over the issue of constitutionality over the years, because someone ought to. You guys held the bridge when the rest of us wouldn't, and you were derided and called cranks, and I'm here to say I'm sorry--you were right and we were wrong. I can't change the past, but I can do my individual best to make sure the correct guys get the historical nod.

So once again, you guys were right and all of us smart guys who "knew how politics was done" were wrong. I think I still have a lot to offer you. Over to you---and the rest of the public--to make the call on whether or not I do. But I want to make it clear to everybody that this is not a flip-flop designed to make me electable. It is a recognition that as a nation, as a people, that we have been on a decades-long fiscal and constitutional bender and that though we are sobering up, there was a group who never gave in, who were willing to accept scorn because they did not wish to go with the flow, and they should be recognized and honored for that. If they can never find it in themselves to trust me in the future, or for perhaps understandable reasons don't think I'm much of a leader, I still want to thank them for making it possible for us as a nation to get back to the Constitution as a true constraint on government, because, honestly, it happened in part because they wouldn't yield when the rest of us would. I cannot claim to be one of the heroes on this. I am in reality one of the rescued, not a rescuer. All I can therefore claim is that I will try my best to move the work forward, in whatever way I can, at whatever level I can, and hope that people understand it wasn't just me--it was a whole lot of us, and we have seen the light--and will act in accordance."

Instead, we will probably get something crafted by the typical political pundit sort, designed to once again sell us on the idea that we have unerring infallible SuperBatman before us, if only we were smart enough to figure it out.

cowgirl, I'm not disagreeing with you. I'm also not agreeing with you. I'll try to get around to watching Romney's health care speech today or tomorrow.

Federalist, Romney's earlier flip-flops make that course much more difficult "this is not a flip-flop designed to make me electable." just calls attention to earlier convenient switches of position and cast further doubt on the most recent switch.

Just watched it, Pete. The Federalist will be disappointed. He went the "distinguish" route and said that he was still proud of his health care plan.

Personally I find this approach more satisfying.

Like I said, I'm not surprised. I was thinking of something bigger than one man's campaign. Oh well. I predict an early out for Mr. Romney next year, personal money notwithstanding. We will see one way or the other how correct I am.

"I think it is possible that Romney has learned a few things about health care policy and the Constitution since 1994."

Almost certainly, let those who know more enter the octagon!

Now Romney is a policy guy Pete. up, up, down, down, left, right, a, b, start and Newt rips his heart from his chest cavity, or perhaps Rush tosses a hand full of Oxycotin or Lorcet at him, and his chest explodes.

Frankly I don't know how this all works out, you have Obama who is staked out against "Citizens United", this puts him rather firmly on the side of policy against inflamed partisan rhetoric and demagogery.

Can Romney run an anti-demagogery campaign, when Romney care is already linked to Obama Care? Isn't he too much of an enlightned statesman, and isn't this all passe in the rough and tumble caveat-emptor world?

I am also thinking something bigger than one man's campaign.

Romney spent a lot of time on his policy, perhaps it was different and distinguishable from Obama Care, but if you ever want to start doing policy you are going to have to put in sleepless nights, a lot of effort, and it isn't just something you give up on.

On a purely technical basis, I am somewhat impressed by the fact that Romney actually developed something that was incorporated (perhaps in a perverse fashion, so he argues) into ObamaCare.

That is pretty impressive.

Also the way I see it, you have a pretty powerful political disjunction. You have this ObamaCare out there, that is essentially "unripe". So I am with the dissent in Abbott Labs v. Gardner.

But if Romney wants to come in and distinguish his policy proposals that might add clarity.

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