Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Is Mitt Romney a moderate? conservative?
But just where he is within that space isn't as hard to determine as some seem to think.
Just look at Republican opinion polls. However they tilt--there's Mitt, wide-eyed, earnest, and eager to tell you exactly why he's either always believed "it" or exactly what touching personal experiences led to his total reversal of position.
This isn't an entirely bad thing. The last thing I want in the Oval Office is an ideologue of any sort. President Obama--my own choice for 2012--has changed positions within the Democratic orbit, as Romney has within the Republican orbit. People do learn from their experiences, after all. And when experience contradicts preconception, I certainly want someone in office who'd sacrifice his preconceptions rather than reality.
Now all this does not mean Romney's a moderate. It's not "moderate" to become Far Right or Moderate as the occasion demands. It's opportunistic.
So I'd describe Romney's politics as "Republican Opportunist." You need the Republican part because I don't think he'd adopt the Democratic platform even if a majority of Americans said they wanted that in opinion polls. But he will go anywhere within the broadest possible definition of "Republican" as he thinks he needs to, in order to achieve his life's burning goal--which you might define as "serving his country and his people in the best way possible" or "get the highest office as he sees appropriate for his ego" depending on your own politics.
Therefore in talking with Republican friends, relatives and acquaintances, I'd recommend arguing with them when they say he's "really a moderate" or "really a conservative" Republican.
He's "really" a Romneyan.
In philosophical terms his is consequentialist morality. Antecedant morality means you do what you believe is right, regardless of the consequences. That's typically what bedrock conservatives espouse. Consequntialist morality means determining your behavior strictly according to what you think will result, which is more what liberals go by.
So in that sense I guess he's a liberal, but not in terms of political positions.
I still find it ironic that he's now so devoted to ending Obamneycare...
But none of this will matter if the Republicans succeed in making the election a referendum on Obama, demonizing Obama so much that people won't even care about the character and policy positions of the person they want to replace him with.
Which is why 90% of Romey's victory speech was about how bad Obama is, and only 10% was about how Romney would be an improvement.
Posted by Ehkzu at 1:33 PM