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Who Are You Going To Believe? Me, Or Your Lying Eyes?

It is difficult to say what is wrong with Mitt Romney. Outwardly he seems just fine. He certainly looks Presidential. Despite two runs for the Oval Office there has never been so much as a hint of any dirty laundry. He was immensely successful in business; heck he saved the Salt Lake City Olympics and managed to become Governor of the People’s Republic of Massachusetts. By all accounts he is a decent, hard working family man who loves the baby Jesus. So why is it that he cannot seem to win us over…why is it that he is losing ground in his latest bid for the Presidency?

His supporters are called upon with increasing regularity for spin control. They have been telling us that Mitt has “evolved” on abortion, that health care reform in Massachusetts was a different issue than it is on a national scale, that he has changed his mind on assault weapons, Medicare reform, and General Motors. Lately much energy has been expended trying to convince an increasingly skeptical electorate that he is just a bit awkward and odd; that he sometimes makes “inelegant” remarks. No, they say, Mitt is a good guy who just sometimes has trouble saying what he means. So when Mitt says he enjoys firing people and has a long record of being quite good at firing people, we are supposed to hear “I’m a jobs creator and only I know how to make jobs”. When he touts himself as an “outsourcing pioneer” we are supposed to self translate that into “I know how to make jobs right here in River City”. When he says that 47% of Americans are no good-for-nothing loafers who believe that they are “victims” who are entitled to government hand outs….we are supposed to take that to mean:

“Of course individuals are going to take responsibility for their life, and my campaign is about helping people take more responsibility and becoming employed again.”

Oh, I get it, if I accept the campaign staffers’ explanations, Mitt Romney, like George W. Bush, can’t be taken at his word because he is apparently so limited intellectually that he cannot count on his lips to form the words that his brain has formulated. His mouth just goes all rogue, and can be counted upon to utter out of touch and politically suicidal remarks almost every time he goes off script. I really do get it….we should vote for Mitt because what he says doesn’t mean a thing and we can trust that he’s a far better CEO than he is a politician. I used to work for a guy who used to tell a story of a client who was caught cheating on his wife….the guy’s response when confronted with the evidence was to respond “Who are you going to believe? Me or your lying eyes?”

I have a slightly different read on the Mittster. I believe he is a well-educated elitist who is trying to be a populist. He is a tax and spend moderate, but cannot admit that to anyone in the present political climate. He is a gun control advocate, pro-choice, fiscal conservative who supports universal health care, and who would have lost in the primaries if he had the balls to tell the Tea Party who he really is. I do not use the word “elitist” as a derogatory term, by the way…no my friends I am fairly comfortable with an elitist serving our nation as President. Hell, I’d prefer that the President was the best person we could find and I don’t much care that he or she knew that they were special and better than the vast majority of Americans. We somehow got on this rather self destructive kick of wanting some regular dipshit to be President. I do not give a rat’s ass if my President has ever tasted a Schlitz beer, or done a keg stand as long as he or she can calmly and intelligently make decisions that will serve to benefit the republic. I wouldn’t trust George W. Bush to manage my 401K and never quite got the attraction that ole Dubya was that regular guy who you could sit and have a beer with…assuming for the moment that the idiot wasn’t a recovering drunk in the first place.

So I see Mitt Romney as being a lot closer ideologically to Bill Clinton than he is to Paul Ryan. Mitt Romney is an elitist billionaire who could probably have made a decent case for the job had he found a way to win the Republican primaries without selling his soul to the fringe elements of the Republican Party. As we enter the home stretch, Mitt Romney will likely lose this election because he cannot tell us what he really stands for and he can’t do that because he had to lie to get the keys to the Republican Party.

As David Brooks of the New York Times has said, “Personally, I think he’s a kind, decent man who says stupid things because he is pretending to be something he is not — some sort of cartoonish government-hater. But it scarcely matters. He’s running a depressingly inept presidential campaign.”

You can see the wear on Romney as he has had to reverse positions, and defend policies that cannot be defended by someone who knows better. For those of you old enough to remember the 1970’s horror film “The Exorcist” there is a scene where the words “HELP ME” spontaneously appear on the possessed kid’s stomach. Mitt is kind of like that kid, he is being possessed and his mouth just isn’t willing to cooperate…he is not saying “I will eliminate Planned Parenthood”, nah he’s saying help me.

The pressure to win is what drives the man. He cannot abide losing and the irony is that he likely sealed his own fate when he made the decision to get in line with the fringe elements of his party. Romney is not a believer the way that people like Rick Perry, Michelle Bachman and Rick Santorum were….Mitt Romney is a Wall Street shark playing a Tea Party guy and the strain is really starting to takes its toll. Romney KNOWS he can do a good job…he just cannot tell us why. When pressed last week about his tax reforms Romney made a fool of himself by hemming a hawing through an interview…he had no “specifics available at the moment” because the specifics for fixing the tax code will mean elimination of tax deductions and credits. Offering to eliminate the mortgage interest deduction is a tax increase to most Americans and that dog just won’t hunt. So Romney is betting the house on the fact that he can win by being pro tax cut, pro defense spending and pro abortion without ever explaining how any of those positions can be reconciled with the current deficits. The strategy is so clearly defined that Romney’s convention became a Tea Party/Evangelical infomercial. Why would any candidate allow his party to insert a “No Abortion-NO EXCEPTIONS plank into the party platform? There is almost a Greek tragedy quality to the guy. He’s clearly an intellectual who didn’t just succeed in business…he was a “Master of the Universe” who is now compelled to cow tow to idiots and racists.

There was, of course, no way to win the nomination and then to disassociate from the aforementioned nitwits….or was there? It seems to me that Romney had one way and probably only one way out. Romney should have chosen New Jersey Governor Chris Christy as his running mate. Christy is a popular Republican governor in a largely Democratic heavily unionized state who is Pro Choice. Christy would have been a clear message to the independents who will decide this year’s election that Romney will have the will and the ability to think for himself, that he will be his own man. But alas poor Mitt…you overplayed your hand and likely screwed yourself right out of the one job you want more than anything else.

There seems to be a growing sense of inevitability to Romney’s political ruination. He cannot hope to do well in the debates because he is only parroting the party line of a party that has been captured by idiots. Save yourself Mitt…flip and flop like only you can and tell the American people that you are not with the “birthers” or the lone wolf abortion doctor assassins or the Medicare recipients who are against “Government health insurance” or the “Intelligent Design” morons.

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9 Responses to Who Are You Going To Believe? Me, Or Your Lying Eyes?

  1. Scott says:

    Chris Christie (might want to edit your article) is good on the east coast, but would not attract a lot of swing state votes, the one that Romney needs. The media is too busy trying to make the “non-sugar coated” statements that come from Gov. Romney sound like a Biden gaffe. What I want is the government to stop spending money like a drunken sailor in a foreign liberty port. I already know that President Obama can’t reduce the entitlements so I will vote for the next guy. If he can’t get anything accomplished in 4 years, I will put someone new in there. Too bad all the current administration can say is “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain” when they have to talk about their record.

  2. Mike Wilcox says:

    My point is that Christie will win the independents in the key swing states…Ohio, NC, Fla….the ONLY states that matter in presidential politics are the states where the republicans need to win over moderate dems and independents….like it or not republicans are captive already and would not vote for Obama….sometimes I think that republicans forget that they are the minority party and they then play only to the right….McCain and Bush I both learned that you need that 10% that a guy like Christie could potentially deliver. Romney is pretty desperate now and I suspect we’ll see a shift to the middle…why just yesterday he mentioned that he was the “Grandfather” of Obamacare….it’s the only play he has left.

  3. Scott says:

    Point taken Mike. Again, the real problem is spending. Whoever has the guts to actually tell us that gets my vote. Right now, Paul Ryan is the only adult in the the room, the rest are spoiled college kids living on their parent’s credit cards.

  4. Mike says:

    Spending cuts are critical…..but here’s where I have a problem with the typical political rhetoric….if we are going to cut spending (and we should) we need to cut across the board which must include defense spending and farm subsidies. There never seems to be much discussion about those two line items.

    While Paul Ryan has consistentl espoused spending cuts…his record suggests that he took TARP money and that he has put through his own pet projects….

    I say we leave medicare alone for 6 years, that is it must be hands off…no borrowing from it, no more cooking the books….cut defense spending, dramtically reduce farm and fishing subsidies and all entitlement programs by 8-10% and then raise some money with a 3% tax increase on all income above $80K…..then just watch.

  5. Scott says:

    Mike, you had me until the last paragraph. You want across the board cuts, but then we keep medicare the same. That’s what got us here in the first place. Everyone has a special place in their heart for their own project. Please don’t take me as some heartless SOB, but cuts are cuts and they must be made to everyone and everything. Charging more on my Amex won’t make me richer, i’ve tried that trick.

  6. Mike says:

    No I said leave Medicare alone for 6 years, allow that system not to be raided for any purpose and then calmly and intelligently resolve how to address future insolvency. In my estimation Medicare must be reformed but not to the degree that the current situation seems to demand. I believe a voucher system is an overly simplistic means of avoiding the real problem….vouchers can only work if the amount of the vouchers reflect real life needs…pulling a number out of a hat the way that Ryan has is as illogical as the current hodge podge. Of course we have to revise the program in order to make it more financial independent…but I do not think it can be altogether scrapped.

  7. Bill says:

    Scott would do well to read Dennis O’ Donnell’s post on Rich Dude Capitolism.

  8. Scott says:

    @Bill – I read all the articles on here. While I respect Dr. O’Donnell’s reflection on theory, the world needs more Do’ers in office and people with practical experience. Here is a little clip to enjoy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlVDGmjz7eM.
    For what it’s worth, my 3rd daughter recently turned 16 and thus learned all the knowledge needed to gain a license. She learned while studying, reading and watching others. However, she had no real-world experience behind the wheel of a car. In an academic environment, this would be an acceptable risk as she has mastered the theory and concepts needed to perform and thus teach. From a parental aspect, I wouldn’t toss her the keys and say “Good Luck” and let her back out of the driveway. So there is still a need for practice, understanding and experience. The same goes for my plumber and A/C guy and even my doctor. However, we tend to overlook some of these requirements when we elect people. Good looks and a smooth line can only get so far in life.
    While I respect President Obama, I think his policies are harmful to everyone. He inherited a mess from an overspending GOP up until 2006 and then the DNC managed to top that from 2006-2010. We are something like 1200 days without a budget? So while I don’t expect Romney to be the end-all, be-all answer, I would anticipate that he would have a better grasp of how to “get the car out of the ditch” and back on the road. While President Obama didn’t veer off the road, he certainly mashed the gas pedal to get keep us in there. The scary part is that I see a culvert coming up and we need to slow down so we can get back on the road to recovery, not try to jump the car over to the next ditch.

  9. Dennis O'Donnell says:

    To suggest that theory and experience are two choices is to create a false dichotomy. They are interactive and interdependent. Theory gives us a hypothesis, a question to answer. Experience gives us information relevant to the question and comes from an experiment. Take the example of the daughter getting her license. Having never driven does not prevent her from having a theory about the car. There is a reason why when she gets in the car she does not turn the radio on and slam down the accelerator to make the car move. She doesn’t want to go nowhere loudly. She wants to drive the car and her theory of driving is based on all the experience she has had driving anything from her bicycle to her big wheel and observed driving by her family, and even understanding gleaned from that 40 mile an hour fender bender she experienced with Uncle Brainless. Actually driving, which can only occur if the car is turned on, will allow her to get the experience to modify her theory of driving and we all hope she reasons well enough to base her revised theory on her family and not Uncle Brainless. This is a process of successive approximation toward knowledge where theory is revised by experience and experience is deemed useful or not if it addresses the question the theory asks to be answered. Neither experience nor theory has any meaning without the other.
    In the discussion I see here we can see that this process of knowledge acquisition can go well or badly. The case of Pres. Obama it seems he had a theory that no Congress, even one made up of some off-the-wall right-wingers, Randy Anners, Duped no taxers, T toddlers, would ever damage the US economy purposefully in order to advance their theory of economic policy. In their ferocious attempt to destroy his presidency he has been proven wrong. He seems to be revising his approach thus his theory is informed by his experience and he definitely will take them on knowing what they’re capable of doing.
    If Romney is elected his theory devoid of experience will use this constituency to lower taxes and gut government in an, “austerity” approach that has failed to work worldwide in advanced economies to improve growth or generate jobs. What will happen is a destruction of the tax base and the diminishment of our research base, deterioration of our infrastructure, separation of our labor force from training and knowledge, increasing risk undermining the value of the debt people hold as assets and an increase in the discouragement of the 47% and those remaining 50% who see an uncertain future reducing demand for the goods and services on which the remaining 3% believe they will get rich.
    This experience will be a repeat of the Great Depression, a horrible experience which once changed our theory of economic management. The Romney contingent denies that experience and has misunderstood its meaning and thus will repeat history by not learning from it if elected. He is Uncle Brainless racing off to more than a fender bender.

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