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Monday, September 10, 2012

Romney: the Republicans' Folly

Conservative pundits are befuddled.  With the terrible state of the economy—and things not trending well—why is Obama on track to win a second term? Why can’t Romney make any headway—after all, he’s a successful businessman, right?  He should be tailor-made to wrest the office from an incumbent who has not been able to turn the economy around. Well, here’s a clue: I’m a conservative, and I’m not going to fill in a ballot for Romney in November.

The reason why the election isn’t close is because the Romney/Ryan ticket has—incredibly!—lost the working middle-class vote!  Yes, you heard me.  The Democrats have actually made a better case for the middle-class vote. Those people care about Medicare and Social Security; much more than they care about the tax rate for people earning more than $250,000. The only segment of the electorate that Romney will win handily is those very same $250,000+ income folks.  The Dems are obviously going to win the entitlement class and the diversity crowd. But without a solid majority of the working middle class, the Republicans have no chance.

But even if that was not the case, the candidate that ‘sensible’ Republican pundits pimped for, Romney—how was that again, because he was the candidate most likely to beat Obama?—is manifestly unfit for the office and this is abundantly clear to a large swathe of voters cutting across all demographics.

I’m not talking about simple disagreement with the man’s positions—I’m saying that he is manifestly unfit, and shame on the party intelligentsia for not realizing this when the campaign began and we had a chance to have one of the other candidates—several of whom would have ultimately proved to fare better against Obama.

Here is why Romney is unfit for the office:

1. A person who throughout his entire career has reversed positions on serious, profound issues—not to mention ephemeral things like healthcare mandates—simply because it appeared to be expeditious at the time, cannot and should not be trusted with the highest office in the land. This cynical strategy of Romney betrays an actual disdain for the voter, if not for democracy itself. This is the reason why I would never vote for him.

2. Romney’s wealth from the latter part of his career at Bain Capital is not the kind of capitalist success that the millions of unemployed Americans want to see in the Oval Office. ‘Equity capitalism’ is not about job creation, it’s about the financial ‘instrument’ paper wealth creation more akin to the excesses of Wall Street that were responsible for the financial crash. Romney obviously refuses to release his tax returns because what is in them is something that would be even more injurious to his Fat Cat reputation than the condemnation he gets now for refusing to release them.

3. The president of the United States is not just a metaphorical CEO of state; he has to have a knowledge of, and presumably an interest in, international relations. Romney is a BEAN COUNTER. He may be a very good bean counter, but that’s all he is. His positions on foreign policy, such as they are, were clearly crafted by the same cynical political calculus that led him to flip-flop time and time again throughout his career: Set up a task force to analyze public opinion on Obama’s various foreign policy positions. Identify those for which there exists a sizeable opposition. Adopt those contrary positions as your own.

So, I blame Republicans who pushed for the unelectable Romney during the primaries, wrongly believing that among a field of weak candidates he had the best chance of beating Obama. He didn’t. The other candidates may have had whole constituencies that had to be written off—but none of which were large enough to guarantee a victory for the Democrats.

We all know the Latin for "buyer beware"—caveat emptor. But what’s the Latin for “buyer’s remorse”? It’s what Republicans nationwide are going to have come November 7.

My advice to the party? Concentrate on the Congressional elections, and try to prevent a negative coat-tails effect from the disastrous top of the ticket.

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