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My “major beef” with Mitt Romney

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:08 pm - November 4, 2011.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election,Real Reform

At least since the 2008 Republican candidates’ debate in New Hampshire, I have been impressed with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s ability to talk about the economy.  I have been particularly impressed with his critiques of Obama’s economic policies starting with the very introduction of the “stimulus” at the outset of the Democrat’s administration.

But, like many conservatives, I have concerns.  Is Romney really one of us?  Would he, if elected, stand true to conservative principles and make major cuts in domestic spending and initiate bold reforms?  Is it up to the task of cleaning the accumulated muck in the Augean Stables of our nation’s capital, repealing not just legislation passed by the current administration, but also, as his rival Jon Huntsman has promised, bad laws passed in a previous Republican administration?

In this current crisis, we don’t just need a competent administrator in the White House (though that alone would be a welcome change), we also need a bold leader, able to propose major changes and stand firm for such reform when savaged (as any principled Republican invariably will be) by the political and media opposition (which tend to march in lock-step).

Now, perhaps following the lead of one of Washington’s few grownups, Paul Ryan, Romney has, in an op-ed in USA Today, spelled out some bold actions he would take if elected, including reforms to entitlements.  Commenting on those proposals (in a post which is well worth your time), Philip Klein outlines his “major beef with Romney” which nearly perfectly parallels my own:

My major beef with Romney, aside from the health care plan he enacted in Massachusetts, has been that his record of changing his positions on so many issues makes me skeptical he’d have the political courage to tackle controversial issues as president. That overall skepticism still remains. But it’s positive that he’s at least taken a minimum half step forward during a GOP primary.

Should Romney win the White House in 2012, he will all but certainly be facing a Republican Congress — in contrast to the overwhelmingly Democratic legislature he faced when governor of the Bay State.  He’ll effectively have Paul Ryan setting the legislature’s fiscal policy.

Is this enough to overcome my concerns about Romney?

Well, I’ll just say this–of the Republicans who have announced their bids for the White House in the current electoral cycle, I have yet to put my money on a single one.  And remain undecided as the California primary approaches.

Maybe I’ll pull the lever for Gary Johnson.  Or write in Jeb.

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22 Comments

  1. Nicely expressed. I don’t see Romney as a terrible alternative, he just hasn’t put forth anything that makes me think he’s up to the challenge of our current set of circumstances.

    I think one thing that really irks people on the right about Romney is that, like the Honey Badger, he just doesn’t seem to care about the criticism he’s getting from the right. He hasn’t done anything to address the concerns people have about him beyond robotic repetition of his talking points. It might help if he met his critics head on, instead of treating them like they don’t matter. It gives people the impression that his attitude is, “F-U, Tea Party. I’m gonna be the nominee, and you’re gonna vote for me.”

    Comment by V the K — November 4, 2011 @ 2:02 pm - November 4, 2011

  2. V, you’re anticipating a post I have planned — about the need for him to sit down and meet with his conservative critics, including Rush.

    Perhaps, his biggest “movement” supporter, Hugh Hewitt, could facilitate such get-togethers

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — November 4, 2011 @ 2:09 pm - November 4, 2011

  3. Now, here is Rick Perry’s Agenda:

    1) Order HHS to stop implementation of Obamacare until we can repeal it.
    2) Open up domestic energy exploration and production.
    3) Immediate moratorium on federal regs, audit to see which ones kill jobs, and eliminate them
    4) National Guard on the border.
    5) Cut, Balance, Grow … along with a bold restructuring of the tax code.

    In short, look at what Obama is doing, and then do the exact opposite.

    Perry may suck at debates, but at least he understands how well and truly f–ked we are if we don’t fix things.

    Comment by V the K — November 4, 2011 @ 2:20 pm - November 4, 2011

  4. Romney supported TARP. Romney prototyped Obamacare. He is a Big Government guy at heart. He is not the solution to our problems, he is part of the problems. Whatever words Romney may mouth to get elected, he is not someone who can change things.

    A President Romney would have to be dragged, as the saying goes, “kicking and screaming into the future.” Is it worth it for patriotic, fiscal-conservative Americans to take that kind off risk?

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — November 4, 2011 @ 2:30 pm - November 4, 2011

  5. Is it worth it for patriotic, fiscal-conservative Americans to take that kind off risk?

    Yes, if the alternative is the SCOAMF. No, if the alternative is an electable conservative with better ideas.

    Comment by V the K — November 4, 2011 @ 2:38 pm - November 4, 2011

  6. Romney supports big government; he refuses to disavow RomneyCare; he supported TARP are just the big concerns. He’s been a Democrat. He’s currently a Republican. In other words, I don’t think Romney has the leadership ability to be bold to repeal ObamaCare or any of the Obama agenda. He’ll play it safe at our expense. Ironically, he will doom himself.

    I just don’t see Romney winning the nomination at this point, despite the MSM rooting for him. Not a single vote has been cast.

    Comment by Sebastian Shaw — November 4, 2011 @ 3:08 pm - November 4, 2011

  7. Beefs? Plenty:
    Believes in AGW
    Believes in Gun Control
    Believes in appointing very liberal judges
    As stated, he still defends the abhorrent Healthcare plan that is 0bamacare as it was based primarily on Romneycare. Despite proof to the contrary he claims it works well. Waits to see docs in MA are on par with Canada and NHS docs in the UK.

    Comment by JP — November 4, 2011 @ 8:14 pm - November 4, 2011

  8. Romney = progressive/left libertarian
    Cain = right libertarian/federalist

    Comment by rjligier — November 5, 2011 @ 3:55 am - November 5, 2011

  9. Should Romney win the White in 2012, he will all but certainly be facing a Republican Congress

    This is not as certain as you make it out to be. The current situation of low Presidential and Congressional approval ratings could lead to the odd scenario of the Republicans taking the Presidency but the Democrats holding the Senate and retaking the House. In fact, it may even the most likely scenario given the current numbers. Worth bearing in mind if you’re unsure about Romney.

    Beefs? Plenty:
    Believes in AGW
    Believes in Gun Control

    Worse than that, he flip-flopped on it. I’m also pretty sure he did the same with AGW (no source for that though) and on abortion too. As for healthcare, well good luck deciphering his stance on that.

    I don’t envy Republican primary voters in this cycle. The list of candidates is, in the words of the inimitable Jeremy Clarkson, like looking through the menu at a Scottish restaurant: Not much in it, and nothing you want.

    If you think I’m enjoying this, I am. A lot. No matter who wins the next election, everyone else in this thread will have multiple reasons to hate them. As for me, I stopped caring about two months ago. Makes very little difference to me either way, so I intend to antagonize all of you as much as possible and have some fun.

    Comment by Serenity — November 5, 2011 @ 6:40 am - November 5, 2011

  10. That’s OK, Serenity…we stopped caring about you yonks ago.

    Comment by Mary — November 5, 2011 @ 10:13 am - November 5, 2011

  11. Indeed :-)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — November 5, 2011 @ 1:27 pm - November 5, 2011

  12. I intend to antagonize all of you as much as possible and have some fun.

    That’s your idea of “fun?” Picking squabbles with people in comment forums? That would be most people’s idea of “pathetic loser.”

    Comment by V the K — November 5, 2011 @ 5:13 pm - November 5, 2011

  13. Hey Dan…

    I intend to antagonize all of you as much as possible and have some fun.

    The defense rests.

    Comment by Eric Olsen — November 5, 2011 @ 7:00 pm - November 5, 2011

  14. That’s your idea of “fun?”

    I also find video encoding and antenna design fun. Each to their own I say.

    Picking squabbles with people in comment forums?

    What are you doing right now?

    That would be most people’s idea of “pathetic loser.”

    See Eric’s post.

    Comment by Serenity — November 6, 2011 @ 6:02 pm - November 6, 2011

  15. See Eric’s post.

    This, coming from perhaps the least talented video engineer to come down the pike in the last ten years.

    Maybe if Serenity spent more time honing his/her craft and less time trying to keep the ghost of Dogma alive (not to mention (illegally?) distributing copyrighted material he/she doesn’t own, I might be inclined to be offended.

    As it stands, I find it difficult to take offense from the inherently offensive.

    Comment by Eric Olsen — November 6, 2011 @ 7:59 pm - November 6, 2011

  16. Just a question, Serenity (or is it “lillymon?”)..

    Do you own the rights to “Wedding Peach,” or is this torrent an example of copyright infringement?

    Just curious, cause unless it’s in the public domain, I really don’t think one should be distributing it as a torrent, right?

    Comment by Eric Olsen — November 6, 2011 @ 8:05 pm - November 6, 2011

  17. @Eric: Isn’t this more than a little off-topic? Also any dispute about that torrent is between me and Section23 Films, if you feel so strongly maybe you should contact them about the issue?

    Comment by Serenity — November 7, 2011 @ 9:26 am - November 7, 2011

  18. @Eric: Isn’t this more than a little off-topic?

    Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Breathtaking.

    Also any dispute about that torrent is between me and Section23 Films, if you feel so strongly maybe you should contact them about the issue?

    Considering they’re selling their product for $40 and you’re encoding pirating it, perhaps someone really should, hmm?

    That’s the problem with moral relativists – they’re more concerned with where you crap, as opposed to the steaming pile of excrement they tend to reside in.

    Comment by Eric Olsen — November 7, 2011 @ 12:19 pm - November 7, 2011

  19. Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Breathtaking.

    Pardon me, but I misspoke…

    Make that, “Thus Spoke Amy Wrigley (aka Serenity), of Leek, Staffordshire, UK, copyright infringement trailblazer.

    Comment by Eric Olsen — November 7, 2011 @ 12:34 pm - November 7, 2011

  20. Eric, thank you.

    Notice what is happening here: one of the strongest proponents of more government regulations, more laws, and more taxes on this website is systematically breaking, ignoring, and dodging all three.

    You could not provide a better illustration of how the mindset of people like Serenity works. They do not ever intend to follow themselves any of the laws they demand others do; they instead want to use those laws to cripple others while they cash in.

    As we’ve seen, this is typical of Barack Obama supporters, i.e. Jon Corzine, Charles Rangel, Timothy Geithner, Hilda Solis, Kathleen Sebelius, John Kerry, Warren Buffett, Elizabeth Warren, and the like; they are leveraging their status as liberals to systematically avoid having to follow the laws and rules that they demand of others, and to pay nothing towards society while they loudly scream that others aren’t paying their “fair share”.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — November 7, 2011 @ 1:42 pm - November 7, 2011

  21. Notice what is happening here: one of the strongest proponents of more government regulations, more laws, and more taxes on this website is systematically breaking, ignoring, and dodging all three.

    Oh, but of course she is, ND30. Amy is serving a “higher truth,” hence, her ability to ignore that nifty little FBI/Interpol warning at the beginning of all copyrighted work.

    What I find amazing is Amy’s obsession with the Democrat Party here in America while her native land, the UK, is systematically flushing itself down the toilet.

    One wonders why lib Brits like Amy spend so much time kvetching about American politics “whilst” I can’t name a single American who, in my 13 years of blogging, has done the same.

    One also wonders why Amy hasn’t ever been bothered to be straightforward about her citizenship. Hell, go back through her many comments and one can quite logically assume that she was a “concerned” American Democrat.

    Intellectually dishonest, vapid and annoying, but “concerned” all the same.

    Comment by Eric Olsen — November 7, 2011 @ 2:06 pm - November 7, 2011

  22. Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Breathtaking.

    Friedrich Nietzsche? That was… random.

    Considering they’re selling their product for $40 and you’re encoding pirating it, perhaps someone really should, hmm?

    I’m still not feeling threatened Mr Olsen.

    That’s the problem with moral relativists – they’re more concerned with where you crap, as opposed to the steaming pile of excrement they tend to reside in.

    Is this really the best you’re capable of? Using excrement in your analogies?

    Pardon me, but I misspoke…

    Make that, “Thus Spoke Amy Wrigley (aka Serenity), of Leek, Staffordshire, UK, copyright infringement trailblazer.

    So now you descend to removing the illusion of anonymity I never even attempted to erect by publishing personal information hidden so carefully on my public-facing Twitter account.

    Doesn’t make you any less of a scumbag for attempting a low-blow like that, but it does make you an idiot for thinking it would work.

    One wonders why lib Brits like Amy spend so much time kvetching about American politics “whilst” I can’t name a single American who, in my 13 years of blogging, has done the same.

    Yes, why would I ever have an interest in the politics of what you would surely agree is the most powerful nation on Earth, a huge cultural influence within the Anglosphere, and an important long-term ally of the United Kingdom.

    One also wonders why Amy hasn’t ever been bothered to be straightforward about her citizenship.

    You too now? You really do have no self-respect.

    Comment by Serenity — November 8, 2011 @ 4:14 am - November 8, 2011

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