[This reader’s comment came in response to the post “If legislation re abortion is not on his agenda, is Romney really pro-life?” It’s such a succinct statement of the illogic involved in trusting Romney’s pro-life and other conservative declamations that I think it deserves general notice.]
The pattern is clear, and has been repeated numerous times on every important issue conservative constitutionalists care about. Romney makes a statement to a left leaning media outlet that directly contradicts a promise or position previously stated to the conservative base. Later, when his campaign reps are confronted with the flip-flop, they say he “misspoke,” “didn’t understand the question,” or “He didn’t really mean what he said. He still believes _____, etc.” And on cue the conservative base goes from alarm and concern to misgivings, and finally back to naive trust and hope that this latest betrayal will be the last. He really is our man after all, they assure themselves. This reminds me of the pattern of spousal abuse. The abuser assaults the victim, victim is shocked by the bad treatment and betrayal. Later the abuser says, “I misbehaved.” or “It was all a misunderstanding. I was drunk/high/confused…etc.” or “I didn’t really mean to do that. I still love you…”. And back the victim goes with the abuser. The abuser will often end his excuse making apology with what may be, at least for that moment, a real desire to reform. “I’ll never do it again,” he says. But that is something the conservatives so willing to forgive Romney’s every betrayal never hear. And that is because he has every intention of betraying them again.