He’s too modest to say it, so I will do it for him. The other day, our man David French wrote the following:
Ultimately, I think the mere accusation that the Governor is a “flip-flopper” is not enough to undermine his conservative support. It is not the kiss of death for a political leader to change–as we have pointed out time and again on EFM, some of the most beloved members of the conservative movement came from pro-abortion, Democratic pasts. From the conservative perspective, change to our side of the argument is good, so long as the change itself is convincing (the Governor’s actions in Massachusetts speak volumes), and the reasons for the change are well-articulated and compelling.
One of Ronald Reagan’s most powerful assets was his story of migration from the Democratic party to the Republican ranks. As he spoke about this change, millions of people said to themselves, “He’s also talking about me–he’s telling my story,” and they felt emboldened to cross party lines and vote for him. Now, more than 25 years later, we live in bitterly partisan times–with the cultural battles over abortion and same-sex “marriage” the source of much of the bitterness. The elite media would have us believe that it is only a matter of time before we all “grow” to become more “tolerant” and “accepting” of the destruction of life in the womb and the continued destruction of the traditional family.
For Governor Romney–a man who once supported abortion rights and the expansion of legal protections for homosexuality–to survey the cultural landscape, see the societal costs of such positions, and very publicly change course, speaks volumes. He is defying the left in its own backyard, and I believe the story behind this change will speak to millions of Americans who are growing increasingly uncomfortable with an elite culture that devalues life, views the selfish interests of parents as more important than the best interests of children, and so often uses sexual orientation nondiscrimination laws as a club to drive religious expression from the public square.
I thought of David’s ruminations upon reading the following comment over at Ankle Biting Pundits, whose proprietor, Patrick Hynes, is virulently anti-Romney (and pro-McCain, who is one of his clients):
Pat – you have obviously become so shrill and biased about Romney you sound like the MSM. And I have found out that I have a new reflex – you have made me sympathetic toward Romney.
Up until around 1976 I was for abortion, up to the age of about 16. (Just kidding about the 16.) I changed my mind after I thought about it for a while.
Nearly every Democrat that was pro-life has since become pro-choice. (God, I hate euphemisms.) None have switched back. So Romney believes something a little different than he did 10 years ago. Don’t we like his position now?
“If you agree with me on 8 out of 12 issues, vote for me; if you agree with me on 12 out of 12, get counseling.” Ed Koch.
Now, that’s not Jeane Kirkpatrick’s (RIP) 1984 speech on “San Francisco Democrats,” but it is one data point lending some credence to David’s words. Good call, dude.