Monday, January 23, 2012

The Economist endorses Mitt Romney

The last issue of The Economist endorsed Mitt Romney for President. The Economist tends to be economically quite conservative / pro-business without all the Social Conservative baggage of the American conservative movement.

This was my comment:

The Economist's encomium for Mitt Romney seems to reveal a basic ignorance about the difference between parliamentary politics and the American system.

In parliamentary systems the prime minister is the CEO of the party that controls the legislature. So the PM speaks with the one voice of the government.

In the American system Congress can be and often is controlled by the opposing political party. And the American Congress can thwart most of what the President proposes--and vice versa. Hence all the talk about governmental gridlock.

Enter Mitt Romney. Currently Congress is controlled by his party: the House by an unstoppable majority, the Senate by a minority that can stop anything the majority does.

There is very little chance that this control of Congress by the Republicans will change this November--in fact they stand to gain a majority in the Senate.

Any consideration of the American presidency MUST take place in the context of Congress. He doesn't get to run the country by himself.

And if we get a Republican president coupled with a Republican Congress, Romney's unlikely to oppose his own Congress--no more than Bush was--especially considering the ideological fervor that currently controls the GOP. So even if Romney as Governor of a state with a Democratic legislature worked as a "let's all work together" smart moderate, that's not what we'll get from a President Romney riding the tiger of a Tea Party Congress.

Not to mention the fact that despite Romney's obvious intelligence, the things he's said during this campaign--both from a teleprompter and spontaneously--represent the most beetle-browed, knuckle-dragging, factually challenged reductionism and misrepresentation of facts. I'm not talking about political differences. I'm talking about him saying things are factually false--over and over and over.

And if we take him at his word...well, it's hard to believe a conservative European publication such as the Economist would back him, since he condemns Obama for taking ideas from--gasp--Europe. As if that's the worst thing you could say of an American president.

Is a blatant jingoist Europhobe really what you want for us? Or do you think he's just lying about that? In which case do you want a blatantly opportunistic, demagoguic liar--who accurately reflects what the Tea Party Congress believes--as our president?

Seems like the most small-c conservative thing you could wish for is a pragmatic moderate like Obama for 2012.

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