For almost four years we have listened to the extreme ideas of the modern Republican Party: things like what deadbeats we are if we rely on our own government for any of our support, even Social Security; things like signing a pledge to never raise taxes; things like repealing the Affordable Care Act and Roe v. Wade; and things like planning every move to make sure that our President would not get a second term. They have called Obama Hitler, a Socialist, a liar, and have implied that he was a non citizen, a Muslim, and a possible terrorist. Then they chose Mitt Romney as their candidate. Mitt Romney has been around for quite a while and he has never embraced an ideology that was this radical in the past. This led me to believe that he had been chosen as a figurehead and would have to dance to the tune of the right wing of the Republican Party.
Until that stunning debate last week he continued to espouse the radical ideas of the new right, although sometimes in such garbled form that it became clear that the ideas did not originate with him and that he had not internalized them. He made the kinds of mistakes people make when they memorize a script and then try to ad lib. His remarks about the 47% were terribly insulting to almost half of America, but it seemed that he was not really clear about what he was saying because he explained it in at least two different ways after he said it. At the debate we were all astonished when a much more moderate Mitt Romney showed up. I believe that President Obama was so surprised and perhaps disgusted that he decided that to engage would be senseless.
Who is the real Mitt Romney? My guess is that there is no real Mitt Romney or that he really has no idea what he will do. If he does not get really specific about what tax cuts he will make and what loopholes he will close how can we explore the math? We will have no way to know the effects of his tax plan. Have the Republicans asked him to be deliberately vague? Does he think we won’t notice? No one in the GOP is giving the American people much credit for any intelligence or gumption. I remember Mitt Romney used to say that he isn’t worried about the poor because they are taken care of by government programs. Does anyone else remember this? Does CNN have this on tape? Today he said that he isn’t worried about the wealthy because they can take care of themselves. What are we, the voters, supposed to think? If the wealthy are the 1% and the poor are the 47% then that leaves only 52% to be the 100% of the middle class that Mitt Romney is suddenly passionate to help. I never heard him offer to be so nice to the middle class until, let me see, just last week.
Then there is that other issue that Romney is a “pro-lifer” who wants to defund Planned Parenthood on day one. Yet he assures us that there are no anti-abortion laws currently on the agenda (as far as he knows) that he will need to consider. This is no reassurance whatsoever. We can assume that if there is such a law to consider at any point in his tenure he will sign it. One of my sister’s likens Mitt Romney to a “snake oil salesmen” and I can see that. I see him more like those blobs that float around in a lava lamp. They are fascinating to watch as they shift their blobby shapes, but they are constantly changing and cannot be counted on for anything beyond temporary, mindless entertainment. How can anyone vote for a lava lamp? I know we want a strong President, and I know Mitt Romney seemed that way in the debate, but I don’t think he really will be a strong President. He changes his views too easily. He may sound more moderate now, but I still believe that all Republicans have to dance to the tune of the new right or be very quiet.