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Old 10-23-2012, 11:41 AM  
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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Mitt Romney

It's obvious from the get-go that Romney was probably never going to get my vote. I'm a Democrat, I've always really liked the President and mostly approved of the job he's done, and I'm liberal. There's not a ton Romney offers me that I'm terribly interested in versus the horse I'm already backing -- except perhaps Olympic-caliber fancy dancing.

And originally, I never even liked the guy. I always felt like Romney looks like an experiment somebody conducted to turn a gigantic mutli-national corporation into a human being. In his appearance to his smooth professionalism to his occasional woodenness (his awkward, soul-less laughs during the Republican primary debates were amazing), all just looked like he'd been constructed in a lab by some corporation.

I'd liked the job he did as the governor of Massachussetts, obviously. His accomplishments there deserve praise. Massachussetts is always a nation-leader in healthcare, education, quality of life, combating poverty -- but he actually improved the state on all those fronts by becoming essentially a center-left governor. I've always got a soft spot for guys who can appreciate the other's point of view, and Romney's time as governor demonstrated that to me. He wasn't a flawless governor, but so few are. He was a strong governor in a state largely favored by his political opponents.

Of course, the Romneys of the '08 and '12 GOP primaries, really the Romney for the past seven years, had been deafeningly offputting for me. In the '08 primaries, you learned that Romney once ran as a straight-up liberal Republican a decade ago against Ted Kennedy. And now he was singing a completely different tune, and running against the absolute worst combination of candidates for that kind of record: McCain, who had decades of pretty consistently standing by his principles on his record, and Huckabee, a superbly charistmatic, silver-tongued debater who constantly exposed Romney's flip-flops while making him look completely unlikeable. (The best anti-Romney line to this day remains Huckabee's: "I trust a change of heart more on its way to Damascus than I do on its way to Des Moines.")

To make matters worse, all the things Romney did in the first place to make him so appealing to me, he blatantly ran away from -- he should have stood by Romneycare, and treated it as the greatest accomplishment he's made in his professional life. Instead, he ignored it and let Huckabee frame it on the campaign trail.

To go from hard liberal, to center-left, to hard-right just reeks of opportunism, bald ambition and careerism to me, and it didn't make matters better when he spent the next three years basically popping up on Fox News to argue that whatever Obama did at any time was the opposite of the right thing (except for murky, difficult issues like the Libyan intervention, in which nothing but radio silence was heard from his camp). Even while it was things Romney himself had once worked for and endorsed: the stimulus package, Obamacare, etc.

All the while, doing, well... nothing. He wasn't in office, he wasn't really running Bane anymore, he was just traveling the country, amassing donors for his next, inevitable run. And there's nothing less inspiring than simply running for President not because the moment demanded your service (as he was running for President in 2012 since January 21st, 2009), but simply because you have the financial and political infrastructure in place for it.

The Romney in 2012's primaries was less offensive to me in a way, primarily because he was the second-best candidate in the field behind Jon Huntsman. Romney and Huntsman displayed an ability to at least see what the other half the country was saying. But Gingrich, Cain, Bachmann, Perry, Santorum.... what an atrocious, inflexible field of folks who just hate roughly half the country. But at the same time, it was more offensive. The Republican Party had merged so crudely with the Tea Party wave at that point that Romney's only way forward was to go even further to the right of his 2008 persona, which for my money was "simply" hard-conservative. Now Romney had embraced reactionary regressivism, a point of view squarely at odds with my own, with so much of the Republican Party's pre-Tea Party history.

He endorsed Ryan's budget. He called the Arizona immigration law a national model. He threw away his time as a left-leaning governor and bragged about being a "severe conservative." He ran as the CEO of Bain, a company which served the interests of those running other companies, often times to the detriment of the workers. He favored huge, massive tax cuts for the wealthy on top of the huge, massive tax cuts they are already getting. He said he wasn't concerned about the very poor. He became a jingoist, exclaiming that any admission of America's missteps to others is apologizing for it. He's argued that we should treat Israel as the 51st state. He argued that the President should defer to his generals. Most damning to me: he argued that he would refuse 10 dollars in spending cuts for 1 dollar in additional revenue.

This Romney, of course, I detested. He seemed less detestable than Gingrich et al, but that's not exactly raising the bar.

Of course, he's since developed into a center-right candidate the past month. But that brings me to the very center of my dislike of Mitt Romney: despite this most recent evolution, I am genuinely concerned that he is a rightwing reactionary, or at least has developed into that guy the past five years.

And to everybody who wants to argue that there's no way Romney can be this guy, that he was a successful governor of a blue state, that his positions in the past month are the "real" him... I have several rebuttals.

1. There's just no way to know. There isn't. He's now run as a hardcore liberal and as a reactionary regressive. He's made pitstops at every location in between. There is absolutely no way to know which Romney is the real Romney, or how he will govern as President since he so frequently omits details and then reverses himself on key, fundamental issues like the federal budget and healthcare. It's entirely possible he emerges as the centrist figure his record as governor indicated. But given his blind ambition, it's also possible he was just doing in Massachussetts whatever he could to succeed so he could get to the next level and be more true to himself.

Reactionary, regressive policies would be absolutely damaging to this country at this time in its history. We're climbing through purgatory out of the 7th circle of hell that was the 2008-09 global recession. Income inequality is brutal, and devastating. The fundamental restructuring of how American companies operate in an ever-more-global economy will put even more Americans in underemployment or on the government dole. Class mobility is getting worse. As is, sadly, geographical mobility for a lot of Americans.

I am of the belief that the deeply regressive policies will put these people behind the eight ball even more than they are today. It is heartbreaking to think about. Any realistic chance that Romney could genuinely espouse these policies is a backbreaker for me.

2. Paul Ryan. Romney's embrace of the Ryan budget and the author behind it make me genuinely believe this is a man who holds Ryan's deeply regressive policies at the heart of his political considerations. Ryan's budget has been modified a few times to be slightly less insane, and Romney's embrace of it since winning the GOP nomination has weakened.

But selecting a running mate is the only Presidential decision non-incumbents make in an election. It's the only one with lasting consequences into your Presidency. And the fact that Romney chose to elevate Ryan to potentially being a heartbeat away from the Presidency is shocking, considering Romney once was the left-leaning governor of Massachussetts. I believe Mitt Romney has simply evolved.

3. The forty seven percent remarks. It's so hard to tell what Romney really believes from h is public statements, that the hour-long tape behind closed doors in a confidential conversation with big money donors obviously seems incredibly damning. I really do know what conservatives felt like in 2008 now, when Obama's "clinging to guns and religion" remark emerged behind closed doors. It felt like your worst fears of a candidate being vindicated on every level.

It's not remotely possible he was inarticulate, as he's since argued -- that excuse would work if just a sentence or two was being snipped out of a tape, but in this case it was a several-minute diatribe. It's more feasible that Romney was just full of shit and telling his fatcat donors what they wanted to hear. Wouldn't be the first time a politician did that.

But his construction of the argument sounded exactly like the author of the Ryan plan would sound. That these public programs were not worthy of the vast majority of the people receiving them. That the less fortunate are dead weight that we have to tolerate. That they don't care about shit other than getting more money from richer people. That they aren't thoughtful, and that they all reflexively back the bigger hander-outter. This is a disdain for the poor, or at least a total lack of consideration for the less fortunate, that has fueled so many Romney gaffes and show why he no longer cares about the successes he fueled for the poor a decade ago.

I've come around on Romney, personally, over the past few weeks. Moderate Mitt works for me, if it were the pitch I'd received all along, though my vote would probably still be with Obama. He doesn't seem like a corporate tool anymore to my eyes -- he seems incredibly engaging, very intelligent and nuanced in his thinking, and I've even seen some charm eke out of him the past few weeks. His performances in all three debates were strong, showing he's dead serious about the tasks at hand. (And I do actually love that he's a Mormon, but that's more of a reflection of my satisfaction that America is thisclose to being comfortable enough with one to make him President.)

But that's Dr. Henry Jekyll. The guy I'm genuinely concerned about, the guy I am vehemently opposed to even getting a glance at the Oval Office, is Mr. Edward Hyde, a.k.a. Regressive Mitt.
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:21 PM   #16
DementedLogic DementedLogic is offline
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
Considering his competitors were Gingrich, Bachmann, Cain, Santorum, and Perry...

Besides, Romney ran as a seriously conservative campaign in the 2008 primaries.

In 2012, he went above and beyond. He ran a downright regressive and reactionary campaign.
What policies that he ran on define him as a hardcore conservative?
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:25 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by DementedLogic View Post
What policies that he ran on define him as a hardcore conservative?
In 2008?

I thought that was pretty clear. Is there a website that delineates his positions in his 2008 run?
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:25 PM   #18
DJ's left nut DJ's left nut is offline
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Mittens is a robot. He is a vacuous person that will say whatever he thinks his audience wants to hear.
It could be worse - he could be a a vacuous puppet that will say whatever his handlers tell him to say.

The Oval Office has never been occupied by an emptier suit than our present model.
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:26 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by DementedLogic View Post
What policies that he ran on define him as a hardcore conservative?
Don't expect an answer. Direckshun doesn't answer questions.

It is ironic that Direckshun somehow thinks Romney is a fire-breathing conservative, when all along Romney has had problems shoring up the conservative base, many of which thinks he leans to far to the left.

Romney is a centrist who leans right.

When the left is critical of Romney being too far right, and some on the right are critical of Romney being too far left, that is a decent indication that many of his policies are more to the center.
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:27 PM   #20
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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Originally Posted by DJ's left nut View Post
It could be worse - he could be a a vacuous puppet that will say whatever his handlers tell him to say.
Romney doesn't fit this description?
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:32 PM   #21
cosmo20002 cosmo20002 is offline
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Mitt is our Quinn and Barack is our Cassel.

Had enough of one, let's try the other.
Obama is Trent Green--lifted us out of some bad times, had some successes
Mitt is Cassell - Made ton of money, makes a ton of mistakes
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:33 PM   #22
cosmo20002 cosmo20002 is offline
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Originally Posted by DJ's left nut View Post
It could be worse - he could be a a vacuous puppet that will say whatever his handlers tell him to say.
It was--George W. Bush, with Cheney as Handler-in-Chief.
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:37 PM   #23
DementedLogic DementedLogic is offline
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
In 2008?

I thought that was pretty clear. Is there a website that delineates his positions in his 2008 run?
You made the claim that he ran as a hardcore conservative. I would expect you to have a reason for making that statement.

If it is because he was the "conservative alternative" to John McCain, that doesn't take much. Aside from being a Neocon warmonger, I'm not sure what else people would use to define John McCain as a conservative, and even that is debatable.
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:44 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by DJ's left nut View Post
It could be worse - he could be a a vacuous puppet that will say whatever his handlers tell him to say.

The Oval Office has never been occupied by an emptier suit than our present model.
Um...GWB?
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:46 PM   #25
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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Originally Posted by DementedLogic View Post
You made the claim that he ran as a hardcore conservative. I would expect you to have a reason for making that statement.

If it is because he was the "conservative alternative" to John McCain, that doesn't take much. Aside from being a Neocon warmonger, I'm not sure what else people would use to define John McCain as a conservative, and even that is debatable.
http://selectsmart.com/president/2008/Romney.html

Quote:
Iraq War issues: "While Romney supported the March 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq and backs Bush's current troop increase, he has repeatedly said the post-invasion period was "mismanaged" with a lack of preparation for the insurgency and adequate planning for a government handover."
Bush did not do an "adequate job" explaining the reasons for the war before the first shots were fired.
The attack was based on faulty intelligence.
The United States hasn't had "sufficient" troops in Iraq to stabilize the country after initial combat.
The prisoner abuse that followed at Abu Ghraib was "unfortunate." Source
Opposes withdrawal.
Security/liberties: Romney suggested wiretapping mosques and conducting surveillance of foreign students Source
Social Security: Radio Iowa (August 25, 2006) Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, a potential Republican presidential candidate in 2008, says it's time to reform the two major "entitlement" programs in America: Social Security and Medicare, government-paid health care insurance for the elderly. Source
Stem cell research: Vetoed a stem cell research bill. "Mitt Romney defended his opposition to embryonic stem cell research despite the fact that his wife suffers from multiple sclerosis, a disease that some scientists believe could be cured with stem cells. He is confident that existing stem cell lines and adult stem cells have just as great scientific promise."Source
Same sex issues: Has supported gay partnership recognition, but opposes civil unions and same sex marriage. Source Governor Mitt Romney, who frequently tells Republican audiences that every child has a right to have a mother and father, acknowledged yesterday that same-sex couples have ''a legitimate interest" in adopting children. Source
Trade issues: "Which course is better for America? A European model of high taxes and regulations? Or, low taxes and free trade - the Ronald Reagan model?" Source
Budget issues: The Federal government must stop its borrowing and spending binge. The debt is a burden on our economy, our currency, our foreign policy, and our future. This is beyond pork barrel spending. We must address entitlement programs - not just to save money - but to give Americans confidence in their future. Source
Business & labor issues:
Abortion issues: Has moved from being a pro-choice Massachusetts governor to the pro-life presidential candidate.
Capital punishment: Supports the death penalty.
Marijuana: He has said things in the past that indicate he's not as opposed to the issue as one might expect a Mormon, conservative Republican to be. At a White House Office of National Drug Control Policy summit in Boston in 2003, he wondered aloud why medical marijuana couldn't be treated like any other potential pharmaceutical: "Would it not be appropriate to subject marijuana to this same [drug-testing] process?" Source
Gun control: Mitt Romney, who has touted his support of gun owners since launching his presidential campaign, yesterday acknowledged he did not become a member of the National Rifle Association until last August, campaign officials said. A former advocate of gun control, Romney during his 1994 run for the US Senate backed measures the gun-rights group opposed, such as a five-day waiting period on gun sales and a ban on certain assault weapons. Source
Minimum wage: Governor Mitt Romney yesterday rejected the Legislature's plan to raise the state minimum wage to $8 an hour over two years, angering Democratic lawmakers and advocates who accused him of abandoning a 2002 campaign pledge to significantly boost the pay of low-wage workers Source
Health care: The health of our nation can be improved by extending health insurance to all Americans, not through a government program or new taxes, but through market reforms. Source
Prescription drugs: The issue of Medicare Part D "is a complicated one," Romney said. He noted that President Bush "wanted to bring prescription coverage to seniors. He got that done, that's huge.... It has with it a financial burden which is very large. I don't imagine that that was what he was aiming for when he thought about this during his campaign." Romney said, "I would have hoped to do it differently, I would have hoped to include within the additional prescription benefits certain reforms to Medicaid, Medicare, and our entire healthcare system to be able to pay for a very helpful prescription drug benefit." Source
Environmental issues: "If climate change is happening, the actions we take will help. If climate change is largely caused by human action, this will really help. If we learn decades from now that climate change isn't happening, these actions will still help our economy, our quality of life, and the quality of our environment… I'm not a scientist. I read one book over the summer that said, 'gee, global warming is happening for reasons unrelated to human participation,' and other reports, far more, indicate, 'no no, it's very much driven by humans.' Well, I don't know." The Boston Globe. May 7, 2004.
Immigration issues: We must reform the current immigration laws so we can secure our borders, implement a mandatory biometrically enabled, tamper proof documentation and employment verification system, and increase legal immigration into America.
Mostly opposes amnesty/permanent legalization for illegal aliens. Opposes temporary legalization for illegal aiens as guestworkers Source
Education issues: "If we are going to compete in the global economy, we have to set our education goals higher." (AP, May 16, 2005). Source Supports vouchers.
For starters.
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:46 PM   #26
King_Chief_Fan King_Chief_Fan is offline
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Obama is Trent Green--lifted us out of some bad times, had some successes
Mitt is Cassell - Made ton of money, makes a ton of mistakes
lifted us out of bad times brought to you by the letter O and the number 16 trillion
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:50 PM   #27
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Obama lifted us up.
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:01 PM   #28
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Like this is a surprise...you have never voted for anyone other than a Democrat in your entire life.
He's old enough to have voted in what? One election? So that would be 100%.
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:03 PM   #29
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Obama lifted us up.
Lifted us up? Last I looked, we're still on the floor. The sad thing is, the bar is so low to show improvement, and he still managed to fail.
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:04 PM   #30
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Um...GWB?
Gimme a break.

GWB, as much as any modern President, was always one to speak his own mind and follow the courage of his convictions. The problem was that his convictions often led him down the wrong path.

Perhaps he'd have been better served to listen to his advisers more, but that's not the discussion.

I know it's just standard practice to respond to any criticism of the mighty O with the standard "Well what about Bush?", but in this regard the two could not be any more different.
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Last edited by DJ's left nut; 10-23-2012 at 02:10 PM..
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DJ's left nut is obviously part of the inner Circle.DJ's left nut is obviously part of the inner Circle.DJ's left nut is obviously part of the inner Circle.DJ's left nut is obviously part of the inner Circle.DJ's left nut is obviously part of the inner Circle.DJ's left nut is obviously part of the inner Circle.DJ's left nut is obviously part of the inner Circle.DJ's left nut is obviously part of the inner Circle.DJ's left nut is obviously part of the inner Circle.DJ's left nut is obviously part of the inner Circle.DJ's left nut is obviously part of the inner Circle.
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