On the day after Mother Jones magazine released the secretly-recorded Mitt Romney “47 percent” video, the slavish Washington Post Romney-booster Jennifer Rubin wrote the following:
The Romney-Ryan campaign is going all in with its critique of President Obama’s dependency society. … The Romney-Ryan campaign quite correctly, I think, has seen that while there were certainly problems with how Romney spoke to his donors about the 47 percent, the terrain on which he now finds himself is exceptionally favorable: Are you better off with Obama’s government-centric approach or will you do better under an opportunity society?
Conservatives should be pleased that Romney has finally figured out where to focus his campaign. It has the benefit of turning the race back to Obama’s record. And it is squarely based on mainstream conservative philosophy that government must give space for individuals and free markets to prosper.
Yet on the day when Romney’s postmortem “gifts” remarks surfaced, Rubin was aghast:
Frankly there have been whispers at the Republican National Committee and elsewhere that Romney has used even more grotesque language, suggesting that the loss is due to Hispanic voters who have become enamored with Obamacare. …
The “voters are slobs” or “voters are hopeless” attitude is noxious, and it is good other Republicans have stepped forward to denounce it. But neither should they tolerate these other tactics, which also hold the party back from reviving itself and innovating.
You know what might help improve conservative “messaging” problems in future campaigns? A more honest class of professional pundits.
Take it away, Conor Friedersdorf.