I wrote a few days ago that I figure Obama will lose the 2012 election because of the stagnant economy. A reader sent me a comment that more or less said I should be more optimistic about Barack’s chances, since the current GOP field consists of dumb (Perry) and dumber (Bachmann). It’s the equivalent of an all-Palin ticket, suggested the reader, with the exception of Mitt Romney.
Indeed, the general consensus does seem to be that Romney is the strongest contender among the Republicans, but the poor guy’s watching his support be eroded by the more fanatical elements on the right who are taking a shine to Perry and Bachmann. (No one would play with Pawlenty, so he took his toys and went home.) Adding insult to injury, Romney faces the task of explaining how he’s not a hypocrite on health care. After all, he signed the near-universal coverage law into effect in Massachusetts, which has given that state the distinction of having the lowest level of uninsured persons in the country. Yes, the very same Massachusetts law upon which “Obamacare” is largely based. He obviously thought it was a good idea at the time, right? Either that, or he has to admit making a huge mistake. Most of the evidence, however, shows that the Massachusetts law is working–and working well. That makes it hard to label a “mistake.” Perhaps that’s why Romney’s passing the buck with a proposal to let the states opt out of the law if they wish. I don’t even want to think about the growing disparities in health between the northern and southern states if that actually happens.
Conversely, Rick Perry–who skipped the recent Tea Party Forum–thinks that the free market will solve everything, which explains why Texas went from 22% to 26% uninsured during his time as governor. No need to explain away a hypocritical stance on the Affordable Care Act, but he might want to prepare some talking points about the benefits of having no health care coverage. And Bachmann? Well, her best bet seems to be pointing out what a hypocrite Romney is on health care.