Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Romney sez Obama's given it his best shot but failed--he's over his head

Romney's strategy was hard at work with his victory speech after last night's primaries: he's the smiling, competent businessman about to take the reins of power from the likeable big government guy with no business experience who can't run the country.

The part of his strategy that wasn't on display was the ugly all-fronts attack on Obama's intelligence, patriotism, nationality, religion, and race that Romney's allies are mounting in everything from email chain letters to ads by PACs whose money sources are a secret and whose veracity doesn't need to be proved, thanks to five conservative Supreme Court justices (via their Citizens United decision that showed their total contempt for stare decisis).

But set that aside for the moment.The essence of Romney's own part of the GOP campaign rests on a humongous lie: the unspoken assumption that the President of the United States is a monarch: that what he says, goes. That he can single-handedly enact legislation.

Even when he had a majority of both houses of Congress he didn't have a free hand, due to the Republicans redefining "majority" from the 50%+1 that the Constitution envisions to 60%+1--and even when the Democrats had 60+1 it had a handful of Democratic senators in iffy districts who could be dissuaded from going along with the President.

So regardless of whether you like ObamaCare or not, it's a miracle that he was able to get any kind of healthcare reform through Congress, Democratic majority notwithstanding, after 100 years of entrenched, successful opposition from the medical industry. But that's why the package that was passed didn't contain more cost containment--starting with a transition to single payer.

All this gives the lie to Romney's Biggest Lie. The Presidency is a powerful post, to be sure, and the President has been--as the NYTimes recently observed--exploring just what a president can do about a do-nothing Congress. But he isn't a king, and Romney's simplistic bumper-sticker-slogan-level analysis presumes he is.

Romney's a smart guy, so he has to know how much he's lying. Which is against his religion. I guess he justifies it by telling himself that it's just part of the political game. Lying to the American people isn't like lying to your wife.

Personally I'd prefer that he lied to his wife and told the truth to us. If he had an uncontrollable urge to lie to somebody, which appears to be the case...

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