Friday, January 11, 2008

Mitt Romney's New Low

I've never been a fan of Mitt Romney, the former Republican Governor of Massachusetts and presidential candidate. I often read the Boston Globe as my daily paper, and saw enough during his final year as Governor to become convinced that he is little more than an opportunistic shell.

I came to this conclusion even before taking his supposedly-calculated flip-flops on immigration, gays, and abortion into consideration. Now, there's nothing wrong with changing your position on an issue as you learn more, but it does seem suspicious when a politician shifts his position on so many issues dear to his party just before running for president. These flip-flops have led many to say the key to understanding Mitt Romney is understanding issue polls: don't know where Romney stands on something? Find out where the majority of Republicans stand, and then you'll know. Anything to get the nomination. I've never been sure if he's a moderate in conservative clothing or a conservative in moderate clothing, and I've never cared. Either way, he's very clearly pandering, which fits the pattern of naked opportunism we saw in him as Governor.

Pandering is, if not respectable, at least politically understandable when it's flipping from one viable position to another, but Romney sank to a new low last night at the South Carolina GOP debate.

Mitt Romney drew a distinction with John McCain while answering the opening question on the economy, a salient issue in Michigan more so than South Carolina.

"He said, you know, some jobs have left Michigan that are never coming back. I disagree," Romney said, challenging his chief rival five days before the primary in the economically suffering state. It's one the former Massachusetts governor can't afford to lose after defeats in Iowa and New Hampshire.

McCain shot back: "Let's have a little straight talk. There are some jobs that aren't coming back to Michigan. There are some jobs that won't come back here to South Carolina." But, the Arizona senator said, the country is obligated to help displaced workers find new employment.

Either Romney believes the manufacturing jobs America has lost overseas will come back despite our higher labor costs, in which case he's delusional and unprepared to lead us into a new economic era, or he was telling the voters of Michigan and South Carolina what they want to hear, even though he knew it wasn't true. Either way, this man is not fit to lead.

I'm a Democrat, and I will more than likely support the Democratic nominee for President this year. But as I watch my Republican friends pick their nominee, I pray they pick a true leader. Many Democrats want the Republicans to pick the easiest candidate to beat in November, but I don't think that way. There's always the possibility, no matter how slim, that the Democrats will blow yet another presidential election. In that unlikely event, I hope the leader we're stuck with is truly a leader - the best, or at least most reasonable, of the Republican nominees. I've written before about why I like Mike Huckabee, and I have an even greater respect for John McCain. I can't say the same thing for Mitt Romney. At least he's no Rudy Ghouliani, but that's not saying much at all.


Anonymous said...

"Either Romney believes the manufacturing jobs America has lost overseas will come back despite our higher labor costs, in which case he's delusional and unprepared to lead us into a new economic era, or he was telling the voters of Michigan and South Carolina what they want to hear, even though he knew it wasn't true."

There is a third possibility. Maybe Romney thinks if he wins the nomination, we can finally shrink the size of government, lower the ridiculous taxes we impose on corporations that provide the jobs, and get some jobs back.

When people demand more and more entitlements and government increases spending over and over and over again and imposes a 35% corporate tax (the 2nd highest in the world) to pay for these entitlements, those same people have NO RIGHT WHATSOVER to complain that their jobs are going overseas. Business are not the enemy, but like people, they do make decisions based on their own self interest... if you give them a fair chance to hire in this country, they will come back. If you regulate and tax them to death, our jobs will leave and our economy will tank. Mr. Romney has made it pretty clear where he stands on this issue and how he would go about shrinking the influence of government so jobs might be able to come back.

The New Arch Druid's take on the news said...

I had blogged about this at AOL, I believe. Taxes and regulations do not prevent businesses from existing in this country. Businesses in fact have managed to exist quite well regardless of high taxes and despite regulations. However, anonymous; Idaho has a "business climate" that prohibits some businesses from making catalog purchases of say onion, garlic and shallot sets because of the presumption that anything of that order sent to North Idaho will afflict their crops of onions, garlic and shallots down south. Regulations set up by business interests do have an effect on what smaller and not so powerful businesses can do elsewhere in the same state. So, businesses aren't anti-reg if it will serve their purpose, nor anti-tax if it will benefit them. How else would they get gvt grants if not immediately from the taxpayer?

If businesses outsource today, it is not merely that they wish to avoid high labor costs, taxes and regs; but that they have come to believe they need to maximize profits. But take a look, a car manufactured by Toyota costs in the 10s of thousands. If a worker making minimum wage and working at 40 hours a week, saved all of his pay for a year, then he could in fact buy a Toyota. How about that HDTV manufactured in China for two to 3,000 dollars. The same minimum wage worker saving his entire paycheck for 3 months could in fact buy such a TV. But that is presuming the same worker bee doesn't have to eat, pay bills, rent, buy clothes, etc. in the meantime. For many people, the effort by American based businesses to go global in pursuit of the all mighty dollar still makes the cost of goods unaffordable to those who make minimum wage. Mitt Romney has major problems, that is he doesn't know how to get here from there. Huckabee has his own problems, God matters more than the rule of law.