Category Archives: Romney

Worst of 2012?

Well this little girl speak for most of us I think.

What was the worst of this campaign?  Let me list a few of my least favorites:

1. Not knowing who Mitt really was – If Mitt wins maybe we’ll find out, but the campaign combined with his record in public office left you scratching your head till it bled.  He created Romney care, but disavowed it being used anywhere else.  I think maybe this might have worked if he could have suggested that at least some states might have taken this approach.  He was against global warming as a governor before he was against believing in it as a primary candidate.  He was pro-choice, and then became pro-life later.  The whole comparison of Romney to Schrodinger’s cat summed it all up in a hilarious way.

I’m not anywhere nearly convinced that Romney will certainly be a bad President even by my standards (I want pragmatic, libertarianism, and fiscal conservatism, with a heart at home, and ramped down intervention overseas – always driven by pragmatism).  He might be there in the end, but the risk of any number of different outcome seems huge.  Especially on foreign policy, I fear he’ll engage in the same careless intervention we came to expect from George W. Bush.

3. Bain, foreign accounts, outsourcing, and other issues raised against Romney that had nothing to with what he proposed to do-I like a campaign focused mostly on policy, and what should be done.  The fact that Romney was so difficult to get a handle on maybe caused this at least in part.  The campaign had to focus a lot on Romney the person. 

The effort to make Romney out to be a plutocrat that no would feel comfortable acting in their interest was important.  Issues like Bain and the rest did that.

Still, it seems to me that most off these issues meant nothing more than that Romney was a wealthy businessman.  The Bain years and the wealth that came with them are not I think unusual for a modern capitalist.  Are we disqualifying business people from the Presidency.  The government can’t be run  like a business, but I don’t think that means that businessmen are per se unqualified.

3. Obama seemed more anxious to campaign to keep his job than keep his job by making it clear he is DOING his job- Obama has often appeared to be more interested in campaigning than being the President.  Some of this was more appearance than reality, especially as wired in as the President is now, but I can’t help but feel that being on The View and other talk shows is something you do as a candidate, not as the President.  He started cross-country bus trip before 2012.  Maybe some of the talk show thing is a thing with the young will be more comfortable, and I suspect we’ll see it again, maybe if Ryan ever become President.

4. Romney lack of credibility on foreign policy – With the possible exception of Obama’s handling of Benghazi, Obama generally dominated the foreign policy arena – Why did this happen???  Mostly I think because of the dominance of domestic issues, so Romney generally didn’t focus on being coherent on foreign policy.  If anything I think he used it as an issue to keep his right wing base happy.  In short the dynamics of this campaign and other before have allowed foreign policy to be neglected by one or both candidates.

This is unfortunate because the arena that President can have the most influence in is foreign policy, yet in 2012, the past, and likely in the future:  foreign policy is a bastard step child.  This may be why young Americans keep going to die in place many of us have never heard of before.

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Was Mitt Romney Sexist in the last Debate?

I think women still being expected to carry more of the weight at home is the norm.  Romney stated he attempted to accomodate his employees in that regard.  He stated that he used his ‘binder full of women’ to find women to fill high level state jobs – he practiced affirmative action.  He recognized the lack of a network to bring in women.

In discussion with other bloggers I’ve read this reaction:  “anybody who accepts those roles, and that norm, is sexist”.  I think I agree here also, if by accept one means: I acknowledge and SUPPORT the way things are.

But I’m not sure accepting something is tantamount to supporting it, that is thinking it’s a good thing.  Accepting can be more resignation to its existence. If I support orphanages, that doesn’t mean I support making children homeless, but I’m resigned to the fact that it and happens, and accept means to provide for orphans.

But I think the reaction to what Mr. Romney said in the debate on bring women into and accommodating them there is a non-sequitor. If a liberal Democrat made the same remark, I don’t think it would have been received the same way. To take Romney’s remarks on flexible schedules and in effect affirmative action as proof he’s a sexist, I think you had to assume that before watching the debate.  Perhaps Mr. Romney does thing women’s place in the home to a large degree, but you can’t really infer that from his remarks in the debate alone.

Respectful of the Responsible or just blaming victims?

Mr. Romney created quite a stir with his remarks on the ‘47 percent’.  His remarks were from last spring and focused on the 47 percent or so who don’t pay income tax – further suggesting they didn’t and wouldn’t take responsibility for their lives – would vote for Mr. Obama, no matter what, and by implication are on the dole.  Finally this snap shot somehow suggests that President Obama has created this lay-about class in the last four years.

So many fallacies.

First, or course the 47 percent do pay many taxes, especially social security tax, and state and local. 

The notion that someone doesn’t pay income tax because they are irresponsible seems absurd.  Their have always been a number of folks with no US income tax liability in a particular year.  The share has risen because:  among other reason Republicans and Democrats added to the earned income tax credit that pushes folks off the rolls; and perhaps the biggest reason is the recession has reduced taxable income for many, due to lost job capital losses and so on.

A lot of things can affect ones success and ability to be a tax payer that are beyond their control.  The Daily dish had some poignant stories of the setbacks a family or person experience

You can say that condemning those less successful that yourself is pretty arrogant.  The whole question is:  what accounts for success?  Are you responsible for all the good things in your life?  It seems plain to me and other that the answer is no.  If your responsible its at least in part because you were trained to be by your family and community as a youth.  You did choose that and you didn’t build it either.  We all owe a lot to others and not necessarily the government.  You don’t have to wax poetic about roads to know accomplishment is a combination of your effort build on a foundation that came from many others, and God.

The reluctance to acknowledge the effect of things not our own efforts in our success is more than arrogance.  I think a lot of it is fear too.

It is comforting to think that your world is safe from being undone by forces beyond your control.  It means you won’t end up on the street because you are responsible unlike the bums who panhandle you.  If that isn’t true forces beyond your control can put you in a very bad place.

Contempt for the lower class, the ‘47 percent’ and respect for the successful for the responsibility is comforting because it means you won’t become one of them.  It makes you feel good about yourself.

In the end though the ‘47 percent’ are a myth, a comforting lie.  Romney would do well to disown these remarks.  They aren’t just inelegant; they are wrong.

What Did Romney Do at Bain?

It seems like the bottom line is that a lot of jobs disappeared after Romney’s bain takeovers. Things is its hard to know for sure if this wouldn’t usually have happened anyway. The takeovers focus on underperforming companies. If Romney saved a few and made a bundle that great. But judging he did that, or “looted” companies is more an article of faith on what would have happened with no Bain capital is the point.

Megan McArdle

via What Did Romney Do at Bain?.