If Romney becomes the candidate, Obamacare is off the table.

Andrew McCarthy of NRO puts his thumb squarely on one of the two central problems that I have with a Romney candidacy:

In 2008, Obamacare did not exist. In 2012, it vies with our astronomical national debt — to which it will prodigiously contribute — as the most crucial issue in the campaign. It is Obamacare’s trespass against the private economy and individual liberty that transformed the Tea Party into a mass movement, perhaps the most dynamic one electoral politics has seen in decades. And of all the Republican candidates, Romney is the weakest, the most compromised, when it comes to taking that fight to the president.

Sufficiently so that, if Romney becomes the nominee, I will have to resign myself to not having Obamacare on the table as something with which to attack Barack Obama with in the general election. I refuse to lie to my readers by pretending that there is any meaningful difference between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama on this issue except for the truly trivial detail that the former only imposed it on the state level while the latter managed it on the federal one; and I certainly will not lie to my readers by suggesting that I have any confidence at all that Mitt Romney will do a blessed thing to either repeal or neuter the legislation. I am a proud partisan hack; but I am also an ethical, proud partisan hack.

I am sure that this revelation – and the fact that I’m publicly writing it – is going to bother people. Don’t look at me: I’m not the candidate who has managed to place himself on the wrong side of the single most energizing cause in American conservatism since Roe v. Wade.

Moe Lane (crosspost)