Jordan Bloom comments on some of the bad arguments for Romney:
As for the bad arguments from the “Get in Line” conservatives over at NRO: No, Romney would not repeal Obamacare, so the notion that its implementation in the next administration will fundamentally change the social contract or the American character is a moot point. On immigration, no matter how much the movement right has tried to whip conservatives into a frenzy over one executive order that Romney would keep, Obama has deported record numbers of illegal immigrants. There is no evidence to suggest Romney would be more of a restrictionist than Obama.
I will say that Romney has positioned himself rhetorically as more of a restrictionist during this campaign than any recent Republican nominee, but it requires an inordinate amount of trust in Romney’s good faith to believe that he would govern that way. Romney claims to be different from the Bush/McCain view on immigration policy, which used to be his own view once upon a time, just as he would have us believe that he is a champion of fiscal responsibility after supporting every deficit-expanding measure under Bush. The problem with Romney on immigration is the same as the problem with him on fiscal issues: neither he nor the party leadership has any credibility. It isn’t just a question of Romney’s lack of principles. When corporate interests clash with the preferences and interests of their constituents, Republican leaders typically side with the former, and Romney is the least likely to break that habit.
As for repealing the ACA, Romney will likely not have enough votes for repeal in the Senate during a first term, and that assumes that his support for repeal wasn’t something that he said to mollify critics that viewed him with suspicion on health care issues. I don’t assume that a Republican takeover of the Senate in 2014 is by any means guaranteed, and even if it happened there would still be a substantial minority of Senate Democrats that aren’t going to budge on this issue. The normal pattern of the Republican administration that follows the passage of this kind of major legislation is not to seek its repeal, but to adopt it and claim to be better at managing it than the other party. Indeed, many of Romney’s more moderate and reformist supporters believe this is exactly what he will do, and this probably isn’t just wishful thinking on their part.
Krikorian cites a recent post of mine that refers to Romney’s apparent lack of interest in foreign policy, and comments:
Of course, Romney’s lack of interest in foreign policy could mean he’d be led by the nose by interventionist advisors, but given the staggering costs of our past adventures, I just don’t see that happening.
There are two points I want to make in response. First, Republican hawks and Romney seem much less concerned about the staggering costs of Iraq and Afghanistan and much more concerned about squandering our supposed “gains” in those countries. Romney and Ryan have criticized the withdrawal from Iraq in these terms, and they object to the planned withdrawal from Afghanistan in the same way. So there is not much to encourage us to believe that Romney and his advisers appreciate how costly these wars have been or how unnecessary the war in Iraq was all along. The wars that Romney might start in Syria and/or Iran if he were in office will have significant costs, but they are more likely to be in the form of regional instability and/or economic shocks. The danger is that Romney and his advisers will underestimate the costs of war, as interventionists frequently do, while greatly exaggerating the threat being countered by military action as well as overestimating the benefits and efficacy of that action.
One might have guessed that Bush’s ignorance and inexperience in foreign affairs would have caused him to be unusually cautious and skeptical of foreign entanglements, but it simply made him that much more susceptible to appeals to use force once the 9/11 attacks created a favorable political environment for interventionist arguments. There would be significant pressure on Romney from within his own party and likely from within his own administration to “do something” with respect to Syria or Iran or both, and he has so far shown no ability or inclination to rebuff or resist pressure from his party’s hawks.