Mitt Romney is the Only Conservative Left Who Likes Romneycare

| Thu Aug. 9, 2012 10:28 AM EDT

The conservative blathering class went bananas yesterday when Mitt Romney's press secretary pushed back against an ad implying that Romney was responsible for the death of a woman whose husband was laid off from a company that went bankrupt under Bain Capital. Nobody minded the pushback. What they minded was Andrea Saul's suggestion that everything would have been OK if this had happened in Massachusetts, which passed Romneycare six years ago. Noam Scheiber comments:

As we await the Romney campaign’s decision about Saul’s fate, it’s worth reflecting on one under-reported aspect of this latest conservative blow-up: Saul was saying precisely what her superiors in the Romney campaign believe, not least of them Mitt Romney.

I spent a lot of time talking to Romney campaign officials while reporting my recent profile of Stuart Stevens, his chief strategist. The unmistakable impression I got from them is that, to this day, Romney remains extremely proud of having passed health care reform in Massachusetts.

....Unfortunately for Saul and Romney, the whole episode confirms the main conclusion of my piece, which is that the campaign has massively underestimated the fever on the right from the very beginning, and that this underestimation continues to complicate their lives in all sorts of ways.

Yeah, that's a bitch, isn't it? But Romney long ago decided that pandering to the fever swamp was his ticket to Pennsylvania Avenue, so it's a little late to abandon them now. He has grabbed the wolf by the ear and can neither hold him nor safely let him go.