Just two days after Mitt Romney's top spokesman, Eric Fehrnstrom, said the former governor agrees with President Obama that the health insurance mandate does not represent a tax, the candidate reversed that positioning.
In an interview with CBS Wednesday from New Hampshire where Romney and his family are vacationing, the Republican candidate for president said due to the Supreme Court's majority decision, he too believes it's a tax.
"The Supreme Court has the final word and their final word is that Obamacare is a tax," Romney said. "So it’s a tax."
Ferhnstrom and Republican National Committee spokesperson Sean Spicer will likely fall on their swords over this.
Y'know, the Republicans used to be such a disciplined bunch of guys. You may not agree with what they stood for, but you felt they had come by that opinion honestly, and they kept their messages, however hateful and abhorrent, consistent.
That seems to no longer be the dynamic of the party, which we can trace to the Teabagger wing. It's hard to stay consistent when you feel your hands slipping off the life preserver that is winning elections. They'll lose, and keep losing, until they tell that wing to shut the hell up, and move to more moderate positions.
I think this dynamic, in part, played into the Roberts flip-flopping on ACA. While much speculation centers on his ego and vanity in what the legacy of a Roberts' court would be, weighing into that ego has to be a measurement of the insanity of the extremist right wing of both his court and the country in general. How could he not?
So when your political movement is affecting even the SCOTUS in ways that are harmful to your political aspirations, the time has come to jettison the loons.
Which would leave the GOP with precisely no base. Moderates have left the party in droves, now self-identifying as "independents" (and skewing that demographic rightward in the process), and many of those have found comfort in the arms of the Donkeys.
Which, of course, has given us on the left pause. After all, it was the likes of Ben Nelson and Blanche Dubois-- I mean, Lincoln that created the mess we found ourselves in when the ACA came to the fore in the first place.
Now, I've long held that a vital part of American democracy is two opposing forces wrestling over the issues of the day, but the key element has been two opposing forces with a single goal in mind: to legislate. Two opposing forces within the same party or two opposing forces that can't come to some understanding and get things done is an unhealthy situation.
See, as a winner-take-all electoral entity, America is subject to Duverger's Law. If you'd like a dirty and fast analogy, Duverger's describes American political parties as Sith lords: there can only be two. Never fewer, never more.
This is the extent of "choice" in America and as history shows, Duverger was spot-on. We've never had a viable third party but once, and that party ended up replacing the party it fractured from.
Screw that up, and you enter a period of extremist views, and some god-awful legislatin'.
Romney loses this November, and it should be a wake up call to the Republicans (whom you'd think ought to know better): get rid of the assholes and get back to work.
But it won't. And they won't. And that should bother us all.