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Posted by on Nov 4, 2012 in TG Roundup, USA

Anybody but Romney

My dear tiny cross-section of desis who are American citizens and follow this blog:

I am sure that this comes across as a non-surprise to you.

My first choice for POTUS is Dr. Ron Paul. Dr. Paul is the only one who has shown clear understanding of the problems and their root causes. Unfortunately, he is not in the race. That leaves me with a choice between Mitt Romney and Barak Obama. My choice is very clear – anybody but the spineless, heartless, and mindless robot called Mitt Romney.Yes, on Nov 6th I am voting for the reelection of President Obama.

Even though it would appear that Obama is my choice by no choice, I acknowledge that Obama has done a few good things in his first term: notably, passing Affordable Care Act, repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, killing Bin Laden etc. I understand the fact that some of these things were accomplished under the most vehemently partisan congress, which is why I am a little sympathetic about the things he disappointed me about. My single biggest disappointment with Obama is his administrations incompetence in bringing any meaningful criminal cases against the largest criminal enterprise on earth – the banking sector which is responsible for the largest financial calamity on earth.

The negative case for Romney is abundantly clear: as the Washington Post editorial piece aptly put, Romney’s campaign insults the electorate.

By , Published: November 2

THROUGH ALL the flip-flops, there has been one consistency in the campaign of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney: a contempt for the electorate.How else to explain his refusal to disclose essential information? Defying recent bipartisan tradition, he failed to release the names of his bundlers — the high rollers who collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations. He never provided sufficient tax returns to show voters how he became rich.

How, other than an assumption that voters are too dim to remember what Mr. Romney has said across the years and months, to account for his breathtaking ideological shifts? He was a friend of immigrants, then a scourge of immigrants, then again a friend. He was a Kissingerian foreign policy realist, then a McCain-like hawk, then a purveyor of peace. He pioneered Obamacare, he detested Obamacare, then he found elements in it to cherish. Assault weapons were bad, then good. Abortion was okay, then bad. Climate change was an urgent problem; then, not so much. Hurricane cleanup was a job for the states, until it was once again a job for the feds.

The same presumption of gullibility has infused his misleading commercials (see: Jeep jobs to China) and his refusal to lay out an agenda. Mr. Romney promised to replace the Affordable Care Act but never said with what. He promised an alternative to President Obama’s lifeline to young, undocumented immigrants but never deigned to describe it.

And then there has been his chronic, baldly dishonest defense of mathematically impossible budget proposals. He promised to cut income tax rates without exploding the deficit or tilting the tax code toward the rich — but he refused to say how he could bring that off. When challenged, he cited “studies” that he maintained proved him right. But the studies were a mix of rhetoric, unrealistic growth projections and more serious economics that actually proved him wrong.

This last is important — maybe the crux of the next four years. History has shown that it’s a lot easier to cut taxes than to reduce spending. Republican Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush promised to do both, managed to do only the first and (with plenty of help from Congress) greatly increased the national debt.

Now Mr. Romney promises to reduce income tax rates by one-fifth — for the rich, that means from 35 percent to 28 percent — and to raise defense spending while balancing the budget. To do so, he would reduce other spending — unspecified — and take away deductions — unspecified. One of the studies he cited, by Harvard economist Martin Feldstein, said Mr. Romney could make the tax math work by depriving every household earning $100,000 or more of all of its charitable deductions, mortgage-interest deductions and deductions for state and local income taxes.

Does Mr. Romney favor ending those popular tax breaks? He won’t say. But he did take issue with Mr. Feldstein’s definition of the middle class: Mr. Romney said he would protect households earning $250,000 or less. In which case the Feldstein study did not vindicate the Romney arithmetic — it refuted it. Yet the candidate has continued to cite the study.

Within limits, all candidates say and do what they have to say and do to win. Mr. Obama also has dodged serious interviews and news conferences. He has offered few specifics for a second-term agenda. He, too, aired commercials that distorted his opponent’s statements.

But Mr. Obama has a record; voters know his priorities. His budget plan is inadequate, but it wouldn’t make things worse.

Mr. Romney, by contrast, seems to be betting that voters have no memories, poor arithmetic skills and a general inability to look behind the curtain. We hope the results Tuesday prove him wrong.

 

In Washington Post endorsement of Obama for the second term, The Post also adds.

WHICH BRINGS us to the third test: What kind of case has Mr. Romney made for himself? He promises, appropriately, to focus on recovery and job creation. Though his political résumé is thin, his business record is impressive, and he has managed a disciplined campaign. Perhaps his administration would be more pragmatic than his campaign rhetoric suggests. Surely he understands the risks of further widening the deficit. Would “moderate Mitt” occupy the White House?

The sad answer is there is no way to know what Mr. Romney really believes. His unguarded expression of contempt for 47 percent of the population seems as sincere as anything else we’ve heard, but that’s only conjecture. At times he has advocated a muscular, John McCain-style foreign policy, but in the final presidential debate he positioned himself as a dove. Before he passionately supported a fetus’s right to life, he supported a woman’s right to abortion. His swings have been dramatic on gay rights, gun rights, health care, climate change and immigration. His ugly embrace of “self-deportation” during the Republican primary campaign, and his demolition of a primary opponent, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, for having left open a door of opportunity for illegal-immigrant children, bespeaks a willingness to say just about anything to win. Every politician changes his mind sometimes; you’d worry if not. But rarely has a politician gotten so far with only one evident immutable belief: his conviction in his own fitness for higher office.

So voters are left with the centerpiece of Mr. Romney’s campaign: promised tax cuts that would blow a much bigger hole in the federal budget while worsening economic inequality. His claims that he could avoid those negative effects, which defy math and which he refuses to back up with actual proposals, are more insulting than reassuring.

2 Comments

  1. Well said!