Posts tagged Mitt Romney
Posts tagged Mitt Romney
There are fundamental policy differences between the candidates and only one of them deserves your vote. This post isn’t going to get into the snark or fluff that too often dominates election coverage. You’ll find no section on strapping a dog to a roof, or silly gaffes, or which candidate is more fun to have a beer with. This is, for the most part, straight up policy, compiled to present to why Barack Obama not only deserves your vote but needs it to keep moving our country forward.
Joe Isuzu helps you see the Inner Mitt.
Mitt Romney lied? I am shocked!
As Hurricane Sandy bears down on the East Coast, it might do well to think about what things might be like should something like this happen under a Romney presidency:
KING: What else, Governor Romney? You’ve been a chief executive of a state. I was just in Joplin, Missouri. I’ve been in Mississippi and Louisiana and Tennessee and other communities dealing with whether it’s the tornadoes, the flooding, and worse. FEMA is about to run out of money, and there are some people who say do it on a case-by-case basis and some people who say, you know, maybe we’re learning a lesson here that the states should take on more of this role. How do you deal with something like that?
ROMNEY: Absolutely. Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that’s the right direction. And if you can go even further and send it back to the private sector, that’s even better.
Instead of thinking in the federal budget, what we should cut—we should ask ourselves the opposite question. What should we keep? We should take all of what we’re doing at the federal level and say, what are the things we’re doing that we don’t have to do? And those things we’ve got to stop doing, because we’re borrowing $1.6 trillion more this year than we’re taking in. We cannot…
KING: Including disaster relief, though?
ROMNEY: We cannot—we cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids. It is simply immoral, in my view, for us to continue to rack up larger and larger debts and pass them on to our kids, knowing full well that we’ll all be dead and gone before it’s paid off. It makes no sense at all. [emphasis added]
Basically, what he’s saying is that in a natural disaster, you’re on your own. Because the federal government will happily tax you even further into poverty on his watch, but when a hurricane destroys your home and everything you own… well, life just sucks for you, now doesn’t it?
The Romney campaign released a shockingly Orwellian commercial over the weekend, which perpetuates something Romney himself has been saying for months now. Honestly, there’s a book-length analysis to be written here, but I’ll keep it as brief as possible given the depth and breadth of what the Republicans have been able to accomplish on this front.
The new ad blames President Obama for not reaching out and working with congressional Republicans to get things done. Yes, really. It also ballyhoos Mitt Romney’s claim that he was able to work with a Massachusetts legislature that was 85 percent Democratic.
I don’t know whether to be brutally outraged about this or to congratulate the Republicans on an outstanding execution of political obstruction and subsequent projection. For now, let’s go with brutally outraged.
It’s important to review exactly what’s led us to this point. From the very beginning, congressional Republicans fell into lockstep with Rush Limbaugh and the collective wish for the Obama presidency to fail. Limbaugh set the table several days before the inauguration by telling his audience:So I’m thinking of replying to the guy, “Okay, I’ll send you a response, but I don’t need 400 words, I need four: I hope he fails.” (interruption) What are you laughing at? See, here’s the point. Everybody thinks it’s outrageous to say. Look, even my staff, “Oh, you can’t do that.” Why not? Why is it any different, what’s new, what is unfair about my saying I hope liberalism fails? Liberalism is our problem. Liberalism is what’s gotten us dangerously close to the precipice here. Why do I want more of it? I don’t care what the Drive-By story is. I would be honored if the Drive-By Media headlined me all day long: “Limbaugh: I Hope Obama Fails.” Somebody’s gotta say it.
The prevailing worry here was that America faced a worsening crisis, with a failing economy and a financial meltdown, and if liberal policies succeeded in resolving the crisis, liberalism would become further entrenched as the best means of stewarding the economy. Subsequently, if the president’s center-left policies succeeded, he’d be re-elected and the Republicans would have to wait until 2016 for another stab at the White House.
The only way to prevent this eventuality was to stonewall the president’s legislative agenda. All of it. Such an objective is nearly unprecedented. Usually an opposition party is driven to occasionally work with the majority party on the off-chance the majority party’s legislation succeeds. This way, the opposition party can claim partial credit for the achievement. Not this time. Instead, the Republicans banked on their mighty bumper-sticker marketeering machine whereby, irrespective of Democratic successes, the Republicans would simply tell voters that those successes were actually failures and that it was President Obama who stubbornly refused to reach across the aisle. Up is down, white is black. Opposite Day politics. With the execution of this “everything has failed” strategy, they were freed up to vote against everything that came down the pike.
And so the Republicans proceeded to rack up the highest number of filibusters in American history. During the president’s first two years in office, the 111th Congress, there were 137 cloture motions filed to end Republican filibusters. During the president’s second two years, the 112th Congress, there were 109 motions filed to end Republican filibusters and we still have a few more months to go. 246 total cloture motions. Compare this to George W. Bush’s first term when there were a total of 133 cloture motions filed. Not even a handful of “sensible” Republicans had the guts to break ranks and vote with the Democrats. Meanwhile, on the House side, the Republican majority has voted in near-lockstep against almost everything.
What bills have the Republicans filibustered? To name a few:
H.R. 12 - Paycheck Fairness Act
H.R. 448 — Elder Abuse Victims Act
H.R. 466 - Wounded Veteran Job Security Act
H.R. 515 - Radioactive Import Deterrence Act
H.R. 549 — National Bombing Prevention Act
H.R. 577 - Vision Care for Kids Act
H.R. 626 - Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act
H.R. 1029 - Alien Smuggling and Terrorism Prevention Act
H.R. 1168 — Veterans Retraining Act
H.R. 1171 - Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program Reauthorization
H.R. 1293 — Disabled Veterans Home Improvement and Structural Alteration Grant Increase Act
H.R. 1429 — Stop AIDS in Prison Act
H.R.5281 — DREAM Act
S.3985 — Emergency Senior Citizens Relief Act
S.3816 — Creating American Jobs and Ending Offshoring Act
S.3369 — A bill to provide for additional disclosure requirements for corporations, labor organizations, Super PACs and other entities
S.2237 — Small Business Jobs and Tax Relief Act
S.2343 — Stop the Student Loan Interest Rate Hike Act
S.1660 — American Jobs Act of 2011
S.3457 — Veterans Jobs Corps Act
Here’s an astonishing one. The Republicans filibustered the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act — basically, healthcare for 9/11 heroes. Every Republican senator voted to filibuster this bill. I suppose the Republicans are only interested in 9/11 heroes when they’re used as political props.
On the House side, every single Republican, including Paul Ryan, voted against the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act, which forces Congress to pay for new legislation through either budget cuts or revenue increases.
You’d think that by helping to pass these bills, Republicans could boast a solid record on fiscal responsibility, job creation, veterans affairs, anti-terrorism, senior citizens and, hell, 9/11 workers. Instead, they blocked all of it. Jobs for military veterans, tax cuts for small businesses — you name it. Why? So President Obama and the Democrats could be accused of failure.
And it’s working.
Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell famously told the National Journal, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” Not economic growth, jobs, healthcare or military strength. A failed Obama presidency was the primary — and I would argue the only goal of the last two Republican congresses.
The Romney campaign is busily playing the endgame on this strategy by projecting Republican obstructionism onto the president and accusing him of refusing to work with Congress, even though the president and the Democrats have dished out heaping piles of legislation that Republicans could reasonably get behind. Not only that, but the president has gone out of his way to incorporate Republican ideas into his major agenda items. The individual mandate is a Republican idea devised and supported by people like Newt Gingrich, Bob Dole and Chuck Grassley. The Affordable Care Act is more or less modeled after Mitt Romney’s healthcare law in Massachusetts. Many marquee aspects of the ACA (“Obamacare”) were jettisoned in an effort to gain Republican votes, including the public option. Cap-and-trade is a Republican idea. The president even sided with Republicans on extending the Bush tax cuts — a move that angered many liberals, along with the signing of the NDAA.
But if you take Romney’s word for it, the president is a lazy, do-nothing chief executive who’s been stonewalling the Republicans. Not the other way around. I’m not sure how he doesn’t pull a muscle or dislocate a shoulder by twisting himself into a pretzel like this, but it’s an amazing feat of through-the-looking-glass deception. The reason Romney was able to get anything done in Massachusetts was because the Democrats in the state legislature weren’t anywhere near as obstructionist as today’s congressional Republicans. And, if he’s elected, the only way Romney will be able to pursue his agenda is if the Democrats are less motivated to obstruct and filibuster than the Republicans.
– Obama is foreign. Obama doesn’t understand the “American system” because “he spent his early years in Hawaii smoking something, spent the next set of years in Indonesia, another set of years in Indonesia, and, frankly, when he came to the U.S. he worked as a community organizer, which is a socialized structure.” [Fox News, 7/17/2012]
– Obama doesn’t know how to be an American. During a conference call, Sununu claimed, “The men and women all over America who have worked hard to build these businesses, their businesses, from the ground up is how our economy became the envy of the world. It is the American way. And I wish this president would learn how to be an American.” [Conference call, 7/17/2012]
– Obama is a lazy idiot. Sununu described Obama’s debate performance as “babbling,” “lazy,” and “disengaged,” and dismissed the possibility that he could do better in the future. “When you’re not that bright you can’t get better prepared.” [Fox News, 10/4/2012]
– Obama has no class, just wants to be cool. “That moment of using the B.S. word was kind of a self-defining moment for the president,” he told Sean Hannity. “No class, wants to be cool. Sacrifices the dignity of the presidency for appearing cool to a magazine that works for some of his base.” [Fox News, 10/25/2012]
Know a man by the company he keeps.
How are we to believe that Mitt Romney doesn’t share these odious views when he doesn’t repudiate his many political associates who have them?
Because nothing says “patriotism” like shipping jobs overseas and forcing American workers to train their replacements… except for taking down the American flag while the training is occurring. You’re a real American hero, Mittens.
For those of you who want to defend Mitt by bringing up the “blind trust”, let us not forget that Mitt himself declared blind trusts to be a ruse.
I am stunned. Thrilled, though. Here’s an excerpt of what they had to say:
[…]it was Romney’s singular role in rescuing Utah’s organization of the 2002 Olympics from a cesspool of scandal, and his oversight of the most successful Winter Games on record, that make him the Beehive State’s favorite adopted son. After all, Romney managed to save the state from ignominy, turning the extravaganza into a showcase for the matchless landscapes, volunteerism and efficiency that told the world what is best and most beautiful about Utah and its people.
In short, this is the Mitt Romney we knew, or thought we knew, as one of us.
Sadly, it is not the only Romney, as his campaign for the White House has made abundantly clear, first in his servile courtship of the tea party in order to win the nomination, and now as the party’s shape-shifting nominee. From his embrace of the party’s radical right wing, to subsequent portrayals of himself as a moderate champion of the middle class, Romney has raised the most frequently asked question of the campaign: “Who is this guy, really, and what in the world does he truly believe?”
The evidence suggests no clear answer, or at least one that would survive Romney’s next speech or sound bite. Politicians routinely tailor their words to suit an audience. Romney, though, is shameless, lavishing vastly diverse audiences with words, any words, they would trade their votes to hear.
What actually happened was that in 2002 — prior to the election, not even knowing yet whether it would be a Republican or Democratic administration — a bipartisan group of women in Massachusetts formed MassGAP to address the problem of few women in senior leadership positions in state government. There were more than 40 organizations involved with the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus (also bipartisan) as the lead sponsor.
First of all, according to MassGAP and MWPC, Romney did appoint 14 women out of his first 33 senior-level appointments, which is a reasonably impressive 42 percent. However, as I have reported before, those were almost all to head departments and agencies that he didn’t care about — and in some cases, that he quite specifically wanted to not really do anything. None of the senior positions Romney cared about — budget, business development, etc. — went to women.
Secondly, a UMass-Boston study found that the percentage of senior-level appointed positions held by women actually declined throughout the Romney administration, from 30.0% prior to his taking office, to 29.7% in July 2004, to 27.6% near the end of his term in November 2006. (It then began rapidly rising when Deval Patrick took office.)
Third, note that in Romney’s story as he tells it, this man who had led and consulted for businesses for 25 years didn’t know any qualified women, or know where to find any qualified women. So what does that say?
Are Romney’s tax dodges legal? It’s impossible to say for sure, given how little he has disclosed. But tax experts note that there are plenty of red flags, including an investigation by New York prosecutors into tax abuses at Bain Capital that began on Romney’s watch. “He aggressively exploits every loophole he can find,” says Victor Fleischer, a professor of tax law at the University of Colorado. “He’s pushing the limits of tax law beyond what many think is reasonable.” Indeed, a look at Romney’s finances reveals just how skilled he is at hiding his wealth – and paying a fraction of his fair share in taxes.