Why does Mitt Romney “inspire such angry contempt” among my fellow conservatives? asked Michael Medved. They’ll tell you it’s because he’s “a gutless, unprincipled moderate,” but the real reason is more troubling. Romney just doesn’t reflect the “rage and paranoia” that have deformed the GOP since Barack Obama’s election. In 2008, the former Massachusetts governor won the support of Rush Limbaugh and almost every other talk-radio conservative; Laura Ingraham even called Romney “a conservative’s conservative.” Since then, Romney has only solidified his conservative credentials.
So why the stubborn refusal to accept him as the party’s best candidate? It’s a matter of style: Romney is “cool and collected, reasonable and restrained,” while the Right wants a nominee who embodies its fury and disgust. After three years of Obama’s “self-infatuated grandiosity,” conservatives long for the political equivalent of Conan the Barbarian—an avenger who will lay waste to Obama and the liberal agenda once and for all. Obviously, Romney is no Conan; but if you’re looking for a president, isn’t a “pragmatic problem-solver” better than incoherent rage?