In a few months, establishment media will cease all serious criticism of Mitt Romney. He will be seen as a serious, resolute, Burkean moderate and anyone who disagrees will be cast as a highly partisan liberal. So let’s enjoy this while we can:
The most consistent note in Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign is attacking his rivals for their ideological inconsistency. It’s a nervy strategy for a candidate whose own greatest vulnerability is the sense, especially among conservatives, that he has serially reconsidered his positions for political advantage on issues from abortion to gay rights to immigration.
In 2004, Republican strategist Karl Rove made famous the tactic of attacking an opponent’s greatest strength by directly assaulting Democrat John Kerry’s credentials on national security. Romney seems to be taking that idea one step further by attacking his opponents on a front that is perceived to be his own greatest weakness. Or maybe Romney is just validating the old belief that the best defense is a good offense.
Greg Sargent asks the obvious question:
Fun thought experiment: Imagine the wall-to-wall media mockery that John Kerry or Al Gore would have endured if they’d tried even a fraction of the shenanigans Romney has resorted to so far.