Saturday, December 1, 2012

Romney makes America glad he lost

Romney made America glad it didn't vote for him by his bizarre claim that Obama bought the election.

There was no mea culpa from Romney about his campaign or his characterization of ordinary Americans as morally deficient leeches. On the contrary, he justified his view of the public as unworthy by saying Obama handed out "gifts" to various constituencies to win them over.

This particular argument not only showed Romney is unwilling to take responsibility for his own defeat, but it also revealed that his statement to donors last spring that 47% of the public were spongers was no "gaffe" but a real reflection of his thinking.

The comments also confirmed that throughout the campaign, Romney saw the campaign as a competition of bribes. Thus when Romney promised to spend $2 trillion more on the military, to reach energy independence in five years, to make corporate tax cuts, to make individual tax cuts, to protect Medicare Advantage from reimbursement cuts, to create 12 million jobs, and to align our foreign policy more completely with Israel and Poland, he may well have been fishing for votes rather than actually planning to do these things.

 There is no evidence any other Republican has adopted any of his campaign themes.

Obama still invited him to the White House as he had promised, and Obama told us all we should be glad that a rich man like Romney would try to give back through public service, which ignores the point that Romney would have given himself tax cuts and invested public money in areas Bain Capital has businesses; and that Romney might see the presidency as a way to force all those spongers off the dole with higher taxes and reduced spending.  Obama is determined not to see Romney for the evil that he really represents.

Romney certainly lost credibility by his poor handling of defeat, however. It is difficult to see how he can "come back" from this, but it would be foolish to count him out entirely because the Republican talent pool is so thin and anybody with money can run campaigns (see Harold Stassen).

Why is it important or interesting that Romney despises the public that rejected him?  Ordinary Americans have never had a president who hated them and wished them to suffer before.  Calvin Coolidge was a misanthrope, but he had no mission to inflict pain on the country.  Romney did have that mission.

Before Romney made his comments, some did not really understand that.  Here, for example, was a typical "plague on both your houses" rationale that created a false equivalence between the Romney and Obama campaigns in lying.

In getting to their conclusion, the authors misrepresent Romney's quote. Romney was not only discussing election strategy.  The actual quote was...

Romney was speaking about his electoral strategy, but the emphasis was not on his strategy but on defining people who don't pay income tax or who receive government assisted health care, food, or housing as bad people.   He further hints that he sees the election as a bribery contest by saying he could never convince these people "to take personal responsibility for their lives" and that "they will vote for the president no matter what."  In other words, he cannot persuade them of his beliefs because they are greedy, but he could promise them things, and he did.

Presumably, the authors of that ill advised effort to "step back" and indict both camps now realize their error, and that Obama was not bending the truth when he said Romney didn't care about the 47%.  Hopefully, they now see that it was a mistake to draw any equivalence between the two sides in this election, and they now understand better than they did that Romney is an angry ideologue who despises the people he intended to govern.  It should have been obvious from his daily lying during the campaign that he had contempt for the public, but so ingrained is the notion that "all politicians are the same," that too many people voted for someone who was evil. I think if the election were held today, Romney's vote would be nowhere near the 47% he won on November 6.