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Old 10-23-2012, 10:41 AM  
Direckshun Direckshun is online now
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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, 05:33 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
He didn't have much of a chance anyway in this election of securing my vote. I like his Democratic opponent too much.

In another, hypothetical election where I was not supportive of his Democratic opponent, well then maybe, if I determined he was truly Moderate Mitt. But that's just a maybe. Because, really, who knows.

But after the past few years of Regressive Mitt, I was off the Romney ship no matter what.
The main point, wrt Flopnuts, is that the candidates aren't really changing your mind on anything consequential. You're looking for a candidate who represents your views best. Nothing wrong with that, btw.
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:35 PM   #62
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You like all Democrats too much. You have never voted for anyone else but one.

The last two Republican nominees have been the most moderate since Gerald Ford over 35 years ago. You did not consider either one of them, so I doubt there is any Republican who would ever get any serious consideration for your Presidential vote.
He would have given Arlen Specter or Lincoln Chafe serious consideration before finally voting for whatever party stiff the democrats nominated.
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:50 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by mnchiefsguy View Post
The last two Republican nominees have been the most moderate since Gerald Ford over 35 years ago.
McCain sure did not run like a moderate. I agree he had a moderate-right track record. But... yikes. He did not run like it.

Romney has spent two years staking out territory in extreme regressivism, up to and including putting Paul Ryan on his ticket. Who the hell knows where he is on the map, anyway.
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:51 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
The main point, wrt Flopnuts, is that the candidates aren't really changing your mind on anything consequential. You're looking for a candidate who represents your views best. Nothing wrong with that, btw.
I would say that is mostly true.

Candidates don't change my mind on anything.

Experts and facts do.

Nor do I believe Flopnuts was arguing that they change my mind, but I digress.
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:57 PM   #65
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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.
Horse shit. Shrub hired all his daddy's, nixon's, and raygun's people and did what they told him to.

He opened his mouth and showed himself to be an idiot on multiple occasions but Shrub was doing what he was told to do.
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Old 10-23-2012, 06:00 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
I would say that is mostly true.

Candidates don't change my mind on anything.

Experts and facts do.

Nor do I believe Flopnuts was arguing that they change my mind, but I digress.
Is there a major political issue on which experts and facts have changed your mind during this election cycle? Is there any such issue on which your mind has been changed in the past 4 years where Obama's position didn't coincidentally change too?
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Old 10-23-2012, 06:54 PM   #67
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Horse shit. Shrub hired all his daddy's, nixon's, and raygun's people and did what they told him to.

He opened his mouth and showed himself to be an idiot on multiple occasions but Shrub was doing what he was told to do.
Mojo you are such a jaded and angry pendejo. You don't even know the man, yet he is and idiot that somehow got elected twice as POTUS and led us through an unimaginably dark time in our country's history. Think you might have a case of the Romnesia yourself.
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Old 10-23-2012, 07:29 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
Is there a major political issue on which experts and facts have changed your mind during this election cycle? Is there any such issue on which your mind has been changed in the past 4 years where Obama's position didn't coincidentally change too?
During this election cycle or the last four years?

Hmmmmmmmm.............

On the issues, I changed my mind on quantitative easing, for one (around the time QE3 was announced). Thinking it was a bad thing, when it doesn't necessarily have to be. I changed my mind on disability, having been in a position where I see it being abused on a regular basis (this was about two-three years ago). I've changed my mind on Afghanistan, and no longer believe even a perfunctory central government system implanted by the West can subsist there (this was a couple months ago).

I've changed my mind on our intervention in Libya several times, and I remain on the fence about it -- there was a thread I was interacting with Donger where I was literally talking myself back into it (from 8 months ago? within the past year at least). I changed my mind on medical and retail marijuana (around a year ago).

Politically, I changed my mind on the insalvageability of Hillary Clinton's reputation (somewhere around 2009 or 2010ish). I changed my mind on Mitt Romney over the debates, as I said in the OP, though it was not an about-face or anything. I've changed my mind on whether we can even come close to attaining successful legislation on climate change (about 5 or 6 months ago).

These are all changes that were no precipitated political movement by Obama that dictated my thoughts.

You?
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Old 10-24-2012, 07:23 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
During this election cycle or the last four years?

Hmmmmmmmm.............

On the issues, I changed my mind on quantitative easing, for one (around the time QE3 was announced). Thinking it was a bad thing, when it doesn't necessarily have to be.
Was this really something you believed you were knowledgeable enough about to have a strong going-in position before you changed your mind?

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I changed my mind on disability, having been in a position where I see it being abused on a regular basis (this was about two-three years ago).
From what to what? Were you for it before but against it now? Surely that's not the case.

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I've changed my mind on Afghanistan, and no longer believe even a perfunctory central government system implanted by the West can subsist there (this was a couple months ago).
What did you believe before?

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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
I've changed my mind on our intervention in Libya several times, and I remain on the fence about it -- there was a thread I was interacting with Donger where I was literally talking myself back into it (from 8 months ago? within the past year at least).
If you're on the fence now, does that mean you had a strong opinion one way or the other before and if so, what was it?

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I changed my mind on medical and retail marijuana (around a year ago).
From what to what?

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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
Politically, I changed my mind on the insalvageability of Hillary Clinton's reputation (somewhere around 2009 or 2010ish).

I changed my mind on Mitt Romney over the debates, as I said in the OP, though it was not an about-face or anything. I've changed my mind on whether we can even come close to attaining successful legislation on climate change (about 5 or 6 months ago).
These aren't really the kind of things I'm talking about here. I'm talking about value-based opinions or policy positions. I didn't think the country would elect Barack Obama, but I changed my mind sometime in November 2008.

It seems to me that maybe you're quicker to take a position than I am in some cases. For example, Afghanistan. I'm not sure exactly what your positions have been, but I've never been confident that we could establish a central government there (as opposed to Iraq where I had great confidence), but I've never been absolutely convinced that we couldn't either. I can't say that I've changed my mind on Afghanistan since I never felt confident enough to have a solid opinion.

Likewise with issues like Quantitative Easing. I presume it can be used with positive effect up to a point but then becomes dangerous. The problem is that I have no idea where it transitions from a positive to a negative. And I suspect that even the most knowledgeable economists are uncertain or, at least, of different opinions on the subject. But of course, they're in a far better position than I am to have an educated opinion. I defer to experts I trust on issues like this (as I suspect you do too).
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Old 10-24-2012, 07:29 AM   #70
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It's obvious from the get-go that Romney was probably never going to get my vote.
I'm not a democrat but i'd NEVER vote for Romney.
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Old 10-24-2012, 07:30 AM   #71
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I'm not a democrat but i'd NEVER vote for Romney.
If not for the ethch-a-sketch political career...I would have considered it.

Is it the Mormon thing?
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Old 10-24-2012, 07:40 AM   #72
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If not for the ethch-a-sketch political career...I would have considered it.

Is it the Mormon thing?

saw an interview with Joe Walsh on Pierce Morgan the other night and he kinda summed it up, with the Gridlock in Washington it don't matter who the President is.
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:01 AM   #73
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Mittens is a robot. He is a vacuous person that will say whatever he thinks his audience wants to hear.
so, you mean he's a politician?
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Old 10-24-2012, 10:03 AM   #74
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so, you mean he's a politician?
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Old 10-24-2012, 11:19 AM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
Was this really something you believed you were knowledgeable enough about to have a strong going-in position before you changed your mind?
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
If you're on the fence now, does that mean you had a strong opinion one way or the other before and if so, what was it?
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
These aren't really the kind of things I'm talking about here. I'm talking about value-based opinions or policy positions. I didn't think the country would elect Barack Obama, but I changed my mind sometime in November 2008.
You've moving the goalposts on me.

Our discussion is my alleged partisan rigidity and inflexibility in my political beliefs. You asked if I've changed my mind on major political issues in ways that weren't prompted by Obama's actions:

Quote:
Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
Is there a major political issue on which experts and facts have changed your mind during this election cycle? Is there any such issue on which your mind has been changed in the past 4 years where Obama's position didn't coincidentally change too?
I gave you several.

Now you're saying "I meant have you changed your mind on major value-based issues in ways that weren't prompted by Obama's actions when you had a strong going-in position, were already very knowledgeable about said issues?"

Hell, I'd like to know if anybody on this forum can say yes to this.

Typically, when you are very knowledgeable on an issue and have amassed considerable data that you believe leads you to a conclusion, you're going to stand by that stance for a very long time until a significant amount of evidence pours in to the contrary (and sometimes, not even then...). That's not a downfall of mine, that's human nature, and it's not a downfall at all.

So whatever my answer to your updated version of your question (and I'd argue a couple of my answers still apply to it), even answering "no" to it doesn't prove that I'm partisan or don't challenge my own thinking. You've moved the goalposts too far for it to be relevant to what you were hoping to prove.
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