Saturday, 7 July 2012

Tomasky on Romney

Over on the Daily Beast today, Michael Tomasky’s written an interesting (and frustration-inducing) article about the presidential election. The bits that are of real interest to me are when Tomasky’s describing Romney’s hypocrisy-laden-confused-mess-of-proposals:

Romney is Bush on steroids. His tax plan is far more extreme. He wants to give millionaires an average… tax cut of $250,000. The same plan would add $3 trillion to the deficit over a decade. Haven’t we tried this before, and didn’t it help lead – along with massive deregulation, which Romney also promises to pursue – to the biggest meltdown in 80 years?

The radical tax plan and its affect on the deficit hasn’t stopped Romney from backing “cut, cap, and balance,” a congressional GOP plan that calls for a Balanced Budget Amendment! Imagine that chutzpah… Cut, cap, and balance is so extreme, so ludicrous, that 35 GOP senators – a pretty hardened assemblage, you’ll agree – haven’t signed it. It’s out there in Tea Party land.

Want more hypocrisy? … Cut, cap, and balance requires gargantuan and immediate cuts to the federal budget. But remember what Romney told Time magazine in May?: “if you take a trillion dollars, for instance, out of the first year of the federal budget, that would shrink GDP over 5 percent. That is by definition throwing us into recession or depression. So I’m not going to do that, of course.”

Then there’s the Ryan budget and assaults on Medicare. The fact that Romney has no actual jobs plan beyond letting the free market work its magic...

The continued support for Romney still boggles my mind, and despite the gaffe-filled “awful week” Romney’s had, it really troubles me that Obama isn’t wiping the floor with him. So the Wall Street Journal told him off for cavorting like John Kerry – big woop, that as a “news” story will disappear in a couple of days, maximum.

When discussing the Romney “strategy”, Tomasky doesn’t pull any punches:

Complete and willful vacuity. Vacuity as a matter of principle. Almost virginal vacuity, as if intercourse with facts were somehow deflowering, leading to a lapsarian state of loss of ignorance. Nothing adds up at all. No attempt is made for things to add up. Except, of course, for those core items that Romney and the congressional Republicans will agree on: cut taxes for the rich, deregulate as much as possible, and re-wreck the economy.

This is the sort of thing I’ve been saying for years about so many loud-mouthed Republicans (and just a few Democrats). This “vacuity” is the greatest threat to America. The idea that “anyone” can do it has been a disaster for the modern United States. [I know of plenty of serious-minded and conscientious Republicans, some personally, which is why I keep using qualifiers.]

Tomasky continues, noting a recent study from a Democratic SuperPac that found people “simply refused to believe” Romney could possibly support both the Ryan Budget Plan (“and thus championed ‘ending Medicare as we know it’”) and advocating tax cuts for wealthy Americans at the same time. It’s a bizarre, more-than-perverse instance of “a politician benefiting from the fact that his plans and commitments are so radical that voters simply can’t believe he’d pursue them”!

Tomasky finishes:

… the GOP’s Pottersville – no General Motors, no Chrysler, no health care for 32 million, no public investment at all, no regulation of banks, and all the rest – is an ugly place where we don’t want to live.

Part of me, that part that sometimes will believe in conspiracies and the worst in people, wonders if there’s some kind of Faustian bargain between business leaders and certain, crazy members of the Republican Party – promise to cut corporate and our personal taxes, and we’ll slow job-growth to screw Obama’s re-election chances. The chances of this being reality are, of course, slim. That would be a massive conspiracy and the paperwork would have come out by now.

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