The Spectacle Blog

Gingrich, Romney Implode on Health Care

By on 5.16.11 | 12:29AM

There goes the conservative neighborhood.

Or is that conservative majority?

Mitt Romney, newly minted candidate for the presidential nomination of America's more conservative party, refuses to apologize for RomneyCare's mandate to buy health care insurance.

Now Newt Gingrich, seeking the same nomination from the same conservative base, chimes in and says he too is all for a mandate that forces Americans to buy health insurance.

Incredibly, Gingrich went on Meet the Press to declare his liberal/statist Republican credentials by saying: "I am for people, individuals -- exactly like automobile insurance -- individuals having health insurance and being required to have health insurance."

To which one can only ask, astonished of a man reputed to be a conservative: while every American is born with their health, which of us is born with a car? The first is a precondition of life provided by the Creator (as in the Declaration of Independence, etc etc etc); the second a choice of products and lifestyle. No one, of course, has to own, rent or drive a car. It's a privilege, not a right from the hand -- or the breath, as it were -- of God.

Without doubt Romney -- who is defending the right of the state to impose health insurance -- and now Gingrich, who sees no difference between your health and a car, have both just sharply changed the Republican nomination race. Drawing a line in the sand very clearly between those who believe in mandating Americans to buy a product simply to draw what was once presumably a breath of free air -- and everybody else. And once this "right" of the government is established -- it isn't rocket science to know that bureaucrats somewhere will be mandating everything from Kleenex to birth control pills to abortion. Can sex and DVD mandates be far behind?

Which quickly breaks the GOP fight down as presumptive GOP liberals/statists Romney and Gingrich against a conservative field.

Never has a race for a Republican presidential nomination seen two presumably major candidates effectively implode their credibility with conservative primary and caucus voters almost simultaneously and so quickly in a race. Joining Romney by in essence proclaiming himself a statist -- make that liberal -- Republican on health care (can you say President Specter?) the two have quickly positioned their understanding of the role of government precisely as the Wall Street Journal said (pre-Gingrich) of Romney: "compromised and not credible."

What are these two thinking?

Not of being the first conservative president since Reagan.

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli for president, anyone?

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