Most of the “don’t have a dog in the fight” pundits seem to agree that Romney is going to be the GOP’s candidate to go up against President Obama in the general election. He just garnered Eric Cantor, Tom Colburn, and Barbara Bush’s endorsement and lots more are lining up to get on board the Romney well-financed and highly organized campaign train.
But, I gotta’ believe Romney’s train is in for a Casey Jones style wreck of old number 638. The problem is, Romney’s been up and down the political rails so much his path is littered with all the things he said he believed one day but disavowed later.
Besides all the gaffs he’s uttered during the primary campaign, which are not insurmountable, there are at least three issues that may not just go quietly into the lonesome night.
First, there this thing about the automobile “bailout.” His chances of explaining away his opposition to saving the American auto industry is simply real difficult to get around. He says he favored a structured bankruptcy without government intervention. Well what has saved GM and Chrysler was a structured bankruptcy, but one backed by the federal government. But, even the former chairman of GM, Bob Lutz, a solid conservative, squarely says only the federal government had the means to provide the capital for saving the industry. The car companies were broke, and at the end of 2008, so were the banks. Lutz says the government was also broke but, “at least it owned the printing presses.” It’s pretty clear that if the Bush and Obama Administrations didn’t save Detroit we’d be crating up and sending a lot of industrial machinery to China, India, or Korea now.
Second, how is Romney going to reconcile his how he earned his wealth with the working-class voters of America. While I’m not begrudging him his money or denying he is a hard worker and a risk taker, I am concerned with the tactics commonly employed by venture capitalists to earn their wealth. Romney’s company, Bain Capital, is an extremely successful and powerful company. But a significant amount of that wealth and power came at the cost of smaller companies and employees that took it on the chin so Romney and friends could work their way deeper into the one-percent club.
Finally, and this is the big finale, how can Romney and the GOP ever deal with the absolute facts that Romney’s signature is on the 2006 Massachusetts health care law and that he openly and often spoke highly of what the Massachusetts legislature had created and he signed into law? Furthermore, in 2009 the man wrote an op-ed piece for USAToday extolling the virtues of the Massachusetts plan and urging President Obama to adopt it as the nation’s model. He openly told the president that Republican’s were not the party of NO and would support health care reform. He then said, “This Republican is proud to be the first governor to insure all his state’s citizens.”
All this pride lasted only until the Obama Administration drafted the Affordable Care Act and modeled it after the Massachusetts plan, the GOP started screaming about killing grandmother, and Romney could no longer maintain his position and run for president too. There is no single issue the GOP has wrapped itself around more than repeal of Obama Care. But, not they have to deal with the reality that not only did Mitt proudly sign the model for Obama Care but he just as proudly encouraged, in black and white, Obama to follow his lead. On Monday, March 5, 2012, Mitt Romney stood in front of an Ohio woman who asked him if he would repeal Obama Care. His answer was, “Why wouldn’t I.” He went on, despite the written proof otherwise, to say he had always opposed the feds copying his plan.
Well Mitt, old number 638 has left the station and it’s laden with baggage cars filled with all the positions you stood firmly upon until it was no longer politically expedient to do so. This train is flip-flopping all over the track and if it winds up in the ditch with Casey Jones, I won’t be surprised.