“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

On Challenging RomneyCare

Last Thursday, the Wall Street Journal's lead staff editorial discussed the need for Mitt Romney to reconcile various statements and actions of his regarding Massachusetts' RomneyCare, ObamaCare, and what he would do if elected president.

Specifically, the editorial observed,

"Mr. Romney has every right to cling to theories that were flawed in conception and have proven false in practice, though the rest of the GOP field has the responsibility to challenge his canned answers. The mental contortions that his health-care record requires need to be dissected- the way Mr. Obama will do if Mr. Romney is the nominee- to give GOP voters a chance to weigh the political liabilities that his candidacy might pose in 2012.

Or, if he is the nominee and if he is elected, to drive him to reject the Romney-Care model in favor of patient-centered, market-driven health-care reform. Mr. Romney laid out such a plan in Ann Arbor in May, even as he now evinces an unaffordable faith that government must pay to reduce the uninsured rate."

A few lines on, the piece waggishly notes that Romney supports a market-based health-care system "everywhere except Massachusetts."

All joking or sarcasm aside, I'm pleased that a major media outlet has finally, explicitly noted Romney's tortured, conflicted positions on this topic over the past decade and calls for him to make a clarifying explanation of his current beliefs. As well as the reasons why he's changed his mind, if so, or, if not, why not.

But I disagree with the Journal editorial staff that other GOP candidates should be challenging "his canned answers."

Isn't that what the media are for? To hold candidates accountable for their positions- past or, if now different, present?

I'd prefer other GOP candidates to stick to their own campaigns and positions. If they want to highlight their differences with Romney's ideas- if they can figure out what those are- and why theirs are better, fine.

But it seems a breach of Reagan's 11th Commandment for other candidates to just open fire on Mitt. This is precisely the sort of thing about which Brett Baier should be grilling Mitt in his "Center Seat" segment.

If the major media, either in interviews, so-called debates or other formats, can't do this, for what are they any good in this campaign season?

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