The Romney Paradox
As the election season wears on, and in-fighting continues between the various “flavors” of Republicans, over who is the better candidate, Mitt or Newt, I have realized that there are some strange things happening to the lead candidate. There have been a number of paradoxes that I have seen arise in regard to Romney, and it confuses the hell out of me. Formerly pragmatic, and well-reasoned people, now seem to have lost that sense, and are buying into rants, rhetoric, and broadcast low-blows.
First, we are to believe that the media, which had formerly been a happy Obama lapdog, is now pushing Mitt Romney down our throats. Despite so many polls that show Mitt as the president’s toughest election opponent, the media seems to want him to face the incumbent president. Doesn’t that fly in the face of sense? Why on earth would the president’s supporters want him to face the toughest opponent possible? I suppose a person could make the claim that Romney is spending huge amounts of money, and that it is draining his coffers, and that means fewer resources available to run a campaign against the billion dollar candidate, Obama, but I am not buying it. I simply cannot accept that the partisan media, so infatuated with Obama, who seem to take every opportunity possible to impugn Republicans, would now switch to building one up.
Over the last week or so, we began to see various media sources try to link Romney to a Florida State Rep. (Will Weatherford) with knowledge of re-drawn Florida electoral districts, where Tea Party darling Allen West’s district would be re-drawn with many more Democrats (thereby putting West’s seat in danger). The blogger who broke the story (Javier Manjarres) went as far as calling Mr. Weatherford a Romney “spokesman,” seemingly setting up a division between Romney supporters and more conservative West/Tea Party supporters. At the very least, the implication was that Mitt had parties in place to do battle with the more conservative Republicans, and it was all some sort of cunning master plan. It turns out, that the truth is far more innocent – due to increases in Florida’s population, the geographic sizes of districts will actually shrink, and Florida’s newly drawn district lines are subject to the Voting Rights Act.
Something else that bothers me, is the quickness that self-respecting Republicans, who value free-markets and capitalism, seemed to turn on Romney and Bain Capital. Discounting the many more companies that were turned around, rather than the failed ones that were liquidated, shows the critics as more interested in playing politics, rather than supporting their supposedly espoused values. To me, to paint any GOP candidate as beholden to bailouts and crony capitalism, is tantamount to claiming they are one in the same as Obama. Numerous candidates have tried to make this comparison, and have seen their support sag for their efforts. Whether you appreciate the methods or not, capitalism is not all rainbows and bright skies – some businesses will fail – some should fail, and others may be saved and restored to their one-time profitability and greatness. I see the country as a similarly, poorly-run company, thanks to our “CEO” Obama – and it is in dire need of a serious turnaround – and we should be asking ourselves, who is the best candidate to do this?
A last issue that irritates me, is “Romneycare.” As a conservative, I believe many of us recognize the importance of states’ rights, and we fully appreciate the Tenth Amendment. States’ rights have been a major plank of the Tea Party movement – allowing citizens to determine their own destinies at a more local level. Yes, it is abhorrent to me, to force any American to join a program or buy a product – but when Mitt Romney followed the people of Massachusetts’ wishes and signed “Romneycare” into law, somehow it indicates the heavy hand he would use across the entire United States? That is quite an assumption, and I am more concerned that Newt Gingrich has named a frequent wielder of Federal powers, Franklin Roosevelt, as his favorite president, and even called himself a “Realpolitik Wilsonian.” Roosevelt was infamous for threatening to add Justices to stack the Supreme Court with friendly justices, to ensure he would receive the votes he wanted.
So, without saying who I support (and it is one of these two men – probably not the one you would expect), these are my main election concerns. I really wish they could leave the petulant BS behind them, and attack each other honestly, and on issues, rather than via assumptions and associations. I have little faith that the garbage being produced now, by both campaigns, will not be used by the “Chicago Machine” in their presidential re-election bid.
Apologies for all the links, but I think they are all pertinent and add something to the conversation. I learned a bit through them, and so I hope they will make you think as well. – JB