The Mitt Romney we get during the election is not the Mitt Romney we will get if we elect him. The Republicans will let him sound somewhat moderate while he is running for President but once he is elected his squishy nature and the lack of any strong beliefs of his own will feed right into the need the GOP has for a President who is simply a figurehead.
He will look like he is leading the zombie army and sticking to the Republican agenda but the real leaders of the zombie army will be setting the platform. This is the one which gets rid of Obamacare and replaces it (I assume with vouchers), which makes the Bush tax cuts permanent, which changes the tax codes (in unspecified ways), which either gets rid of the safety net (their original message) or reworks the safety net (again in unspecified ways) and makes abortion and birth control illegal. We have heard ad infinitum what the Republicans want. Some of us want these things, some of us don’t. The GOP keeps raising the specter of Greece, but they want to try out some of that European austerity on us. The GOP is more likely to turn us into Greece than Obama and the missing Democrats are. (Where are the Democrats?)
Mitt Romney may look moderate, but he will not get to act like a moderate. He is a figurehead. He will follow the Republican party line as specified by the extreme Conservative base. There will be no independent thinking here. The Republican Party has no room for individual thinking right now. They have joined arms and they have our government surrounded and they do not plan to break ranks until America becomes a GOP state. Even if they were right about what the economy needs and what America needs (which they really aren’t) we cannot afford to allow these inflexible, lockstep policy-dictators to take on the governing of America until they calm down and act like the fallible humans they really are once again. The high-handed refusal of the Republican Party to compromise on any detail of their agenda is unacceptable. They do not have a main line to the truth. They cannot be absolutely sure their way is the only way to the future and just being incredibly obnoxious does not make it so. Let them cool their jets on the sidelines until they muster out of the zombie army and show a willingness to meet somewhere in the large middle area of politics that has not really disappeared, although we certainly haven’t heard from it much lately.
President Obama addressed every issue that needs our attention in his State of the Union Address. His solutions always sound too moderate to me and that would seem to make them excellent compromises between the Conservative and the Liberal positions. He talked about tempting corporations to come back to America with incentives and tax breaks and taking away tax breaks from companies that go abroad. I don’t think corporations can afford to come back to America in many cases and I bet that he will get no Republican support on this but it sure wouldn’t hurt to try it.
He also talked about making some complex regulations go away and stimulating business in this way. He talked about his ideas for streamlining the business processes for small businesses. This stuff is right out of the Republican playbook and should not be difficult to do. But you can bet it will be. The hostility is still here, it was palpable to me and was the entire basis of the Republican rebuttal to the State of the Union address given by Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels who, in spite of delivering the party line attack on Obama and everything Obama-ish, showed no emotion and earned a place in my Zombie army.
Obama spoke about using every source of energy available to secure freedom from foreign oil. He spoke about renewed offshore drilling. The Republicans imply that he caused the hiatus in offshore drilling, but of course they did not mention the BP oil spill, which made all of us want to take a step back from more offshore drilling while the industry contemplated new safety procedures to prevent a reoccurrence. I knew Republicans would attack Obama for slowing approval for the Keystone Pipeline, but no one ever mentioned the need to assess the route of the pipeline through Nebraska over an important Midwestern fresh water reservoir. The Republicans will continue to paint Obama as an enemy of oil and natural gas companies, even though America needs the protection of someone who is willing to provide strong oversight of these industries which have the potential to do so much harm to the American environment. Obama did assume that we would extract oil and natural gas from shale which I shudder to think about and would not recommend to anyone. However, this is an example of an area where Republicans and Democrats, if they could cooperate, could accomplish something many Americans favor. But I bet it will not happen.
Mitch Daniels spoke of Obama as a divider and he did so in the sense that Obama keeps harping on raising taxes on the rich. He was speaking of the fake specter of Class Warfare, as raised by the Republican Party. Class warfare already pre-existed the Obama administration and has caused the real and great divide between wealthy Americans and the rest of us. I do think people deserve what they earn through their own hard work. I also believe, however, that the deck has been stacked in favor of the rich in America for quite some time, so that the rich found it quite easy to get richer and the laws insured that the gains of the rich would be made at the expense of the rest of us. It is time for reparations to be made. Give some back. You can’t spend it all in your lifetime and some of it should not really be yours. Don’t you feel any guilt? I do not hate rich people, I hate unfairness and our regulations have unfairly favored the wealthy for a long time.
The Republicans keep throwing us this economic divide in order to cover up the real divide which falls on their doorstep. They are dividing America through their rabid campaign to unseat President Obama and make him a one term President. It is all they care about, it is all they talk about, and their every effort is focused on this end. Perhaps it is very easy to accomplish what you want if you pick just one inconsequential goal and spend billions to reach it. This is called “scapegoating”. There is nothing brave or heroic or even productive about this and I say shame on the Republican Party who could be helping America recover from our current financial setbacks and buoying the American economy against the downward pull of the economy in Europe. It is sad to watch a beleaguered President try to put a brave face on things and he did a great job of facing down a political party that is acting more and more like a bunch of “mean girls”.