George Will has a new op-ed out today, basically offering an apologia for the relatively non-conservative front-runners for the presidential nomination of the nation's more conservative party.
Most of the column is what you might expect: go easy on Rudy, McCain and Romney because Reagan wasn't a conservative purist while governor of Caleefornya in the '60's; all that really matters for conservatives is the court system, which Rudy, the liberal former mayor of New York City pledges to bolster with "strict constructivists"; Although wishy washy on tax cuts in the past, the new McCain is now committed to making Bush's estate tax and other tax cuts permanent and besides, his conservative scorecard is pretty good; and blah, blah, blah.
But Will's apologia for Romney is the most striking in its blatant disinterest in political principle:
Romney, however, is criticized by many conservatives for what they consider multiple conversions of convenience -- on abortion, stem cell research, gay rights, gun control. But if Romney is now locked into positions that these conservatives like, why do they care so much about whether political calculation or moral epiphany moved him there?
Yes, indeed. Although my head's still spinning from the endless right-wing spin about the need for and essentiality of "character" in our presidents during the Clinton '90's, and from the endless right-wing spin about Kerry flip-flopping not even three short years ago in the most recent presidential election cycle, Will now says that whether Romney's conservative conversion is "political calculation" or "moral epiphany" should not bother conservative primary voters, and presumably, neither should it trouble general election voters later on.
Fortunately, for the first in many years, Democrats have two very good candidates in the race, and several other just "good" ones, from which to choose. Who will receive the much-coveted Senator Jay Billington Bulworth endorsement? You'll have to stay tuned. But for now, rest assured the choice will be an audacious one.