We were there first! The AT as Paul Revere! The closet conservative is coming, the closet conservative is coming! That was the premise of "Mitt Romney: Tea Party When Tea Party Wasn't Cool." Romney" In word and deed, Mitt Romney was and is conservative, Tea Party in all but formal affiliation.
The result was more angry emails than ever before, with supporters of other candidates letting me know that was the dumbest thing they ever heard. Newt's supporters, especially, went all Newt on me. Mitt Romney, conservative? Why, that's as absurd as...well, having a socialist in the White House. Oh, wait... Even the kindly folks at The Daily Show called to explore a guest appearance with Jon Stewart. Based on the conclusion that Mitt was a constitutionalist and a conservative, they had a progressive central casting dream: a hard right, God-fearing, Romney-loving wingnut ready for the slicing.
But a month has passed and The Washington Post editors, on break from all that heavy-lifting for Barack Obama, bothered to listen, really listen to Mitt. OMG -- the man sounds conservative! And so they are sounding the alarm, alerting the Beltway to a crazy scenario: Mitt Romney is Tea Party conservative, Tea Party-daft even. Listen, all you Beltway morons-and those of you outside Congress, too-we have a problem, "Mitt Romney: the stealth tea party candidate."
And so The Washington Post put out this weekend a four-macaca alert: "the same Romney who has been pegged as too moderate to attract tea party voters and hard-core conservatives" is actually "a champion of the tea party agenda." He is putting one over on us, "able to fool enough pundits and moderate voters to win the White House" while joining those nutjob Tea Party types in "(p)ushing the Republican Party to the hard right and denying Obama a second term."
What a mad, mad, mad, mad world!