There's No There There
(Click on image to enlarge and then please hustle on back.)
David Horsey has a wonderfully acerbic column on Mitt Romney's amazing ability to change positions at the blink of an eye. Horsey focuses primarily on Mitt and Medicare, but he does mention a few other "flip-flops" which have been so glaring that even wimpy Democrats have been pointing them out.
After watching the verbal contortions Mitt Romney has put himself through in the last week when speaking about Paul Ryan’s budget plan, it has become impossible to take seriously anything he has to say.
The soon-to-be presidential nominee of the Republican Party has praised Ryan’s plan as a commendable product of the “intellectual leader” of Congress. But, after naming Ryan as his running mate and being hit by a torrent of questions about the harsh particulars of Ryan’s budget, Romney and his surrogates quickly put distance between his own budget plan and that of his new political partner.
Yet, almost simultaneously, to keep the party’s conservative base from thinking he was shying away from Ryan’s fiscal rigor, Romney contradicted himself by describing his own plan as essentially the same as Ryan’s, apart from a few minor details.
And then, when the Romney campaign began running ads slamming the Obama administration for $716 billion in cuts to Medicare funding, observers pointed out that Ryan’s plan takes a similar amount out of Medicare. President Obama hit back on the campaign trail, insisting his cuts come at the expense of insurance companies and service providers while the costs of Ryan’s voucher alternative come out of the pockets of Medicare recipients.
In response, Romney announced that, as president, he would restore the money Obama took away -- which makes it hard to imagine he will become a champion for Ryan’s cuts. Implicitly, Romney has joined a growing list of Republican candidates running from the Medicare piece of Ryan’s budget. [Emphasis added.]
Mitt has engaged in the same contortions regarding when it comes to Planned Parenthood, health care, gay rights. It's no wonder that right wingers are a little hesitant to go crazy for him.
It is abundantly clear that when he is not spouting generalities and platitudes about the greatness of America and the wonders of free enterprise, the few specific stands he takes are completely provisional. Romney goes beyond mere flip-flopping; he never really lands anywhere.
Sincere fiscal conservatives are right to mistrust the man who becomes the official GOP nominee in a few days. Yes, he would probably further lighten the tax and regulatory burden on big corporations, but that is easy duty, popular with big donors and party stalwarts. When the tougher challenges face him, though, like fixing Medicare and balancing the budget, it is not hard to imagine Mitt Romney doing back springs as he runs away.
My theory is that Mitt Romney believes he is entitled ... to everything. He is a rich white male who has coasted through life. He isn't used to being questioned, to being challenged. He has been successful, at whatever cost to everyone else, so he intends to be successful again, at whatever cost to everyone else. We should should all just shut up and hand him the presidential crown. It's his proper due.
Like I said: there's no there there.