by Hardball guest host Ron Reagan
Let me finish tonight with Mitt Romney. The former Republican front-runner has changed his mind again. That might not make headlines above the fold. Romney switches his opinions more often than Newt Gingrich swaps wives.
Romney seems to treat his own beliefs like clothing purchased at Nordstrom’s - he tries them on for a while then, if somebody complains that he doesn't look good in green, he trades them in for something new.
This is a guy, after all, who pretends not to approve of his own health care policy. Back in June - that's June of this year - Romney seemed to accept - if only in a hazy, noncommittal kind of way - the overwhelming scientific consensus that the laws of physics still apply here on planet earth, that if you pump heat trapping gases into our atmosphere, they will tend to trap heat.
"I believe the world is getting hotter, and I believe that humans have contributed to that." So said Romney way back in the misty before-time 2 1/2 months ago.
Since then, he's discovered that science, reason, even the laws of physics have no welcome place at the current Republican table. With the exception of John Huntsman, who seems driven either by vestigial self-respect or a keen urge to commit political suicide, today's ambitious Republicans tend to see facts as annoying obstacles blocking the view of their more colorful fantasies. We don't need any stinking science! Take your "reality-based community" and shove it!
So Romney, sensing the danger posed by his tepid embrace of reality, is once again calling on his greatest talent: vagueness. Does Romney still think the planet is warming? "Yeah," he admitted yesterday, "I don't know that but I think that it is. I don't know if it's mostly caused by humans."
In other words, you may suspect that I credit scientist's warnings of droughts, floods and other calamities arising from an overheated planet, but rest assured, if elected your president, I'll do nothing about them. What a profile in courage!
Republicans, Romney included, may regard the natural world as akin to Wall Street: something endlessly manipulable by money interests. Nature, of course, makes her own plans. And as someone once pointed out, she always hits last and she always bats a thousand.