I have tremendous admiration for the work that columnist Jonah Goldberg does. But even he is, on occasion, wrong. This is one of those occasions.
See his "What Is Wrong With This Guy?". In it you'll find Goldberg savaging Mitt Romney for the latter's having said yesterday, "I’m not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there. If it needs a repair, I’ll fix it. I’m not concerned about the very rich…. I’m concerned about the very heart of America, the 90-95 percent of Americans who right now are struggling." Goldberg was aghast, writing, "[G]reat politicians on the morning after a big win, don’t force their supporters to go around defending the candidate from the charge that he doesn’t care about the poor. They just don’t."
Well, they do if their message is the right one. A solid one. One that we as conservatives yearn to defend.
News flash: America is awash in "poor" people, Mr. Goldberg. And awash in programs to lift them out of poverty (though it's arguable whether the intention is to lift or to simply sustain) (might there be a direct correlation between the number of poor people and the number of programs to eliminate poverty?). The more programs the government has come up with to assist those "less fortunate" among us, the more "less fortunate" we have. If there is a segment in society, Jonah, that doesn't have to worry about its future, it's the poor. They're taken care of. By us. Cradle to grave. To the tune of four trillion dollars in transfer payments since it was decided years ago that they needed our help.
They're now drowning in help.
It's US that needs attention, pal.
If for no other reason than the fact that there are fewer and fewer of us as each year goes by. And because we are under assault from those who choose to help the poor with our hard-earned money. And because of people like Jonah Goldberg who don't have the balls to stand up and say, "Enough is enough. The poor are getting all they are going to get"
What Mitt is communicating to this tortured land is the message that we - the backbone of this country - need government off our backs and out of our wallets. And he's right. The middle class in this country is shrinking like never before. And Mitt says he's going to help.
And Goldberg can't deal with it.
Pander being his order of the day.
My question is this: Will Mitt Romney be up to the challenge? He stirred this up. Will he rise to the occasion, as Ronald Reagan did, make his case in unequivocal terms, and not back down in the face of withering criticism from Democrats and the media that he knows is coming? Or will he apologize and "clarify"?
I have lingering doubts.
But it's a teachable moment. And his is a position worth defending. One that I am more than ready to defend.
Let the Democrats dream up new programs aimed at "helping" the poor. As they've done for the last eighty years. And let them defend those programs in an age when those programs are proving to be abject failures - we have four times as many poor Americans as we did when anti-poverty programs were first instituted - and when Middle America is pleading for relief.
You go, Mitt. Take that message to the people. Shout it from the rooftops. We got your back.