The Mitt Romney of 2007 and 2008 is BACK, BABY. He’s starting to reach the levels of hilarity he was hitting daily during his presidential campaign, when he just went into turbulent buzzword binges about why he was literally Ronald Reagan or why Bob Dole was a sack of shit or who actually let the dogs out. (Liberals.) This fresh Newsweek interview is a complete gem, doesn’t bother connecting one sentence to another, threatens spankings, etc etc.
Mittens’ very first response serves as an accurate model for the rest of the interview:
NEWSWEEK: You’ve described the Massachusetts health overhaul as “the ultimate conservative plan”? Why?
Mitt Romney: Right now, in lots of parts of the country, if individuals do not have insurance, they can arrive at the hospital and be given free care, paid for by government. Our current system is a big-government system. A conservative approach is one that relies on individual responsibility.
So great! He’s unbelievably bad at bullshitting, and he doesn’t even know it! He probably thought that chunky plop of birdshit you just read was a real hot number! Wearing my lucky crimson tie is paying swell dividends already, by golly!
NW: Many conservatives disagree with the idea that the plan you put in place in Massachusetts is conservative at all. The Club for Growth, for example, said that yours was “unequivocally not a conservative plan.”
MR: I’m not going to find fault with other people’s perspectives. What we did was insist on personal responsibility. In my plan, there was an opt-out for people who were able to pay their own way in health care—in other words, to self-insure. I think that’s a measure that should be preserved. Were I advising this legislature, I would say, “Hey guys, put in that opt-out.” I think that’s the right thing to do. But in my view, and others are free to disagree, expecting people who can afford to buy insurance to do so is consistent with personal responsibility, and that’s a cornerstone of conservatism. I think what many people don’t recognize is that we have universal health care in America already. We don’t have universal health insurance, we have universal health care—where government is paying for free-riders who could afford to care for themselves but instead push the burden to the government. That in my opinion is the big-government approach that we have. What we substituted instead is something which is more conservative in my view. Instead of government caring for people who can afford to care for themselves, we expected people to care for themselves.
Although filtered through the lens of huffy conservative tropes — pay your own way, be responsible for yourself, nothing’s free sonny, and whatever other old-miser, tough-love curmudgeonly words they stole from ’50s teevee shows and never modernized — he’s detailing many of the exact same problems that serve as the foundation for both RomneyCare and ObamaCare, which, again, are the same thing, which is why we’re having so much fun laughing at Mitt Romney right now.
NW: I’d like to clear something up about that federalist argument. During one of the 2008 debates, Charles Gibson said, “You seem to have backed away from mandates on a national basis.” And your response was, “No, no, I like mandates. The mandates work.” Were you saying that you supported federal mandates then, even though you say you don’t now?
MR: No. We created an incentive for people to get insurance at the state level. Our plan is a state plan. I oppose a federal plan for purposes of federalism. It would be like saying, a father has spanked his son. Do you think that the federal government should be allowed to spank children?
Finally, we understand the difference between the two plans. Do you want Mittens the Massachusetts Governor to spank you, or Obama, the communist? You must make a choice! (PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY.)
Imagine, though, if you knew everything about Mitt Romney except for this whole regrettable health care chapter during his term as governor of Massachusetts. If someone said the term “RomneyCare” to you for the first time, wouldn’t you immediately visualize a situation where people who got sick or couldn’t pay their medical bills lined up outside Mittens’ office, for spankings? There’s three licks, young man. It’ll be four the next time you forget to wear your blue blazer in the doctor’s waiting room. Now here’s a dime for a good sport. Go to the soda fountain and get yourself a rice pudding.