Mitt Romney is obsessing about size again and doing a great disservice to the American people by fixating on a bankrupt ideology of smaller government rather than on real, practical, public policy.
There is no reason why the American people should trust Romney's pledges that smaller government is the answer to America's economic and social challenges.
It's not about small government or big government.
That's a convenient rhetorical frame but it's also a bogus one.
If it ever was believable it is now becoming increasingly transparent as unoriginal and unresponsive to the needs of the American people.
Americans want real answers to practical problems and needs - not ideological lectures, vague claims, and evasive promises.
Sometimes it helps to trim down government programs, other times it makes sense to scale them up.
Size is not everything.
Government regulation can save lives and maintain vital standards - safeguarding our air and water, protecting our food supply, ensuring the quality of our medical care.
It can also be bureaucratic, overbearing and stifle initiative.
It depends on the subject, the context, the location, and the situation.
Many Americans have much to be grateful for and have experienced the best of government by police and firefighters, emergency response teams, teachers, and other government employees that pursue essential, often life transforming and life saving work.
Government needs to be accountable, effective, responsive, and efficient. It can be those things but not if a political ideology of self-defeat and low expectations holds it hostage.
Ultimately Mr. Romney, if government is such a problem, if it is such a toxic thing, then you should not seek to lead it.
If you have so little faith in it then it is irresponsible of you to seek out the highest elected office in our democracy.
Abraham Lincoln called for a 'government of the people, by the people, for the people.'
He did not denigrate government and its ability to do good.
He did not demean our democratic institutions by denying their capacity to reflect the will of the people and to be productive.
Abraham Lincoln's words resonate with Americans precisely because they are words grounded in democratic ideals and pragmatic idealism and not in the intrinsic pessimism and negativity of hollow anti-government rhetoric.
We need conservatives who seek to make government more accountable, efficient, and effective. But not at the expense of the poor and the working class, of veterans and seniors, middle class Americans, children, and the economically and socially disadvantaged.
We need conservatives that stay grounded in a civic vision that respects the rights and well being of all Americans, seek to realize these rights and increase equality of opportunity, and understand that to relentlessly depict government as intrinsically flawed is to render conservatism powerless to effect positive social change and expand true freedom, transforming it into a vapid ideology of obstructionist paralysis in the face of urgent social needs.