Is Romney Lying to Antichoicers?

It takes a lot of little fables to add up to the big fat myth of Moderate Mitt From Massachusetts. And one of the fables currently circulating, with an active push from the Romney campaign, is that despite all his promises to the vast legions of the antichoice movement, Moderate Mitt would not think of doing anything to threaten reproductive rights.

Romney himself has taken the tack of suggesting that he’s going to be way, way too busy with job-creating and deficit-reducing and non-apologizing to find the time to restrict abortion rights. I mean, he’s still for saving millions of babies from slaughter, of course, but it’s just going to have to wait for more important things like reducing capital gains taxes and freeing coal production from vicious tree-huggers. Gotta have a sense of priorities.

Former Sen. (and Romney surrogate) Norm Coleman has taken a slightly different approach with a Jewish Republican Coalition audience, per Evan McMorris-Santoro of TPM:

“President Bush was president eight years, Roe v. Wade wasn’t reversed. He had two Supreme Court picks, Roe v. Wade wasn’t reversed,” former Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) told a Republican Jewish Coalition meeting in Beechwood, Ohio. “It’s not going to be reversed.”

Bush, of course, chose two Court nominees deemed almost certain to support reversal or at least a major modification of Roe. One of them replaced the retiring Chief Justice who had dissented from the original Roe decision. So the Bush years produced a 1-vote swing against Roe, one short of a majority. I gather Coleman’s audience doesn’t know those very basic facts, but Norm probably does.

More broadly, though, Coleman is suggesting to a socially liberal Jewish audience that Romney is continuing a Republican tradition of playing the poor dumb bible-thumper goyim for suckers. Let ’em do the grunt work of the campaign day in and day out, dreaming of the day when the baby-killers will finally be put out of business. It’s like a mechanical rabbit keeping them running around the dog track, but it’s not real!

Snakes alive, the most remarkable thing about Mitt Romney and his supporters is how little respect they all seem to have for each other.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.