Saturday, October 20, 2012
Romney isn't an extremist. But he isn't a moderate either. He's a winner.
The Democrats were wrong in trying to paint Boss Romney as an extremist, hard right ideologue. At the same time Romney is lying when he describes himself as a moderate. Because a moderate wouldn't sign a bill banning all abortions for all reasons, and Romney has said he would, on the record. But an extremist wouldn't shake the Etch a Sketch and say he doesn't believe in outlawing abortion.
But it's no paradox. You just have to understand that Romney is neither an extremist nor a moderate. He's a winner. That is, his true, underlying political philosophy is "I win. I say whatever it takes to whoever I say it to to win."
He can justify this to himself because he believes himself to be--as do most seriously wealthy Americans--to be someone who's entitled to be our Boss of Bosses. That his acumen in acquiring wealth makes his deserving of the position, and is due entirely to his acumen, not his accident of birth, because his father didn't set him up in business (after paying for his entire, very expensive private school/college education, however).
That he is so deserving of the position that it justifies lying constantly to voters. End-means.
He is correct in believing that no one can tell voters the unvarnished truth and become President. Because he'd have to tell voters that America can't have the social services most Americans--very much including the Republican ones--want at the level of taxation most Americans demand, and voters have a grossly unrealistic picture of who would have to sacrifice what in order to get this country on an even keel--again, both Demos and Publicans are equally deluded in this regard.
Nor can either candidate be honest about the limitations of the American President--how our Founders and their Constitution put so much budgeting power in the hands of Congress, and then tilted the voting playing field so much in favor of small rural states and the expense of rich urban ones, that the most ignorant, hidebound Americans have a disproportionate say in how our government is run, and the President's powers are most circumscribed in the area of domestic policy and spending.
President Obama can't tell voters he can't do much more in a second term than block the GOP's relentless drive to hand over all the country to the billionaires instead of just most of it. Boss Romney can't tell voters how much he'll be a captive of his party's most extreme voters and leaders if he wants a second term. "Campaign in the primaries from the far right; campaign in the general election from the middle; run the country for the far right."
So we get smoke and mirrors from both sides.
However, the nonpartisan factcheckers are showing that the Democratic leadership lies and spins about a third of the time, while the Republican leadership lies and spins about half the time--and even when they're telling the truth they're telling it in such as way as to get voters to believe a lie.
So the two parties are not morally equivalent. I attribute this to the Republican's admiration for raw power. They don't mind Boss Romney lying--he's their Great White Hope, after all. They don't mind him ordering around both the moderator and the President of the United States in debates. They don't mind him not telling us how his economic plan adds up when no reputable economist can figure out how it can.
As long as he WINS...all is forgiven.
The Republicans have embraced Coach Lombardi's guiding principle for the Green Bay Packers for all those decades: "Winning isn't the most important thing. It's the only thing."
And that's Boss Romney's utterly consistent political philosophy, carried out during the primaries with the foaming-at-the-mouth Republican Base, and now carried out with vastly different promises and policies with the mainstream voters and independents.
Of course this will continue through his first term as President as he signs every bill Congress sends him, no matter how Hardcore Right Wing it is, because if he doesn't he won't get re-elected. Bush I is living proof of what today's GOP does to presidents who act rationally.
Oddly enough, President Obama appears not to respect Boss Romney's profoundly consistent philosophy...