Let me finish tonight with the wayward shift of the rightward party.
I have thought for awhile that if President Obama were to lose this election, it would be because voters believed both candidates—he and Mr. Romney—were both to the left of where they say they are.
Obama would successfully be accused of being intent on a far larger government role than he has supported, Romney being able to sell himself as a candidate far more moderate—far more to the left—of the commitments he made in the primaries and since.
Now, given the events of the last weeks, I think that scenario is unlikely. It's increasingly obvious that Mitt Romney, whatever stance he took as governor in Massachusetts, has married the right wing of his party: the neo-cons, the no-taxers, the religious right, the hardliners against abortions rights. He is not, nor can he be confused, with the guy who pushed health care in Massachusetts, who once called himself stronger on gay rights than Ted Kennedy. That memory is as faded as the old newspapers of that era—if any remain anywhere—except in Romney's scrapbook.
No, I think the rise of Todd Akin, the picking of Paul Ryan, the emergence of Ryan's hardline position on abortion, the whole menu of it means that Romney has set the table for himself. He's made too many deals with the right that he cannot disentangle himself from.
He's one of the people now he's gotten in bed with—and that, ladies and gentlemen, is a fact.