Conservative Backlash Against Mitt’s “Boca Moment”

Just when you probably thought the entire conservative commentariat was in lusty full cry in favor of Mitt Romney’s identification with the “47%” myth and the division of the American people into virtuous “makers” and shiftless “takers,” a backlash has gained some momentum on the Right. it’s most notable at The Weekly Standard, where Bill Kristol called Mitt’s remarks at the Boca fundraiser “arrogant and stupid” (though by virtue of a false-equivalency comparison to Obama 2008 “Bittergate” comments, he saves his endorsement of Romney), and Michael Warren catalogues other conservative critics. Prominently among them, and sharply dissenting from several of his colleagues who have already put on the war paint, is National Review’s Reihan Salam, who emphasizes the very deliberate responsibility of conservatives for many of the tax policies that produced the “lucky duckies” with no federal income tax liability. And then there’s Ramesh Ponnuru, who’s been disputing the “47% myth” for some time, and reprises his argument today for Bloomberg.

Maybe this will turn out to be a good debate after all.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.