FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Life Under Romney

by SAUL LANDAU

We survived eight years under George W. Bush, albeit seriously wounded by his two wars and a destroyed economy that resulted from his martial efforts. This year we watched Mitt Romney buy and maneuver his way into the 2012 Republican presidential candidacy. At the Republican convention, Yahoo News fired Washington bureau chief John Chalian, when he got caught on audio pointing out the discrepancy between Republicans at their convention and Hurricane Isaac devastating southern Louisiana.

“They’re happy to be partying while blacks are drowning,” he said, into an open microphone.

When Romney governed Massachusetts he authored a health-care plan almost identical to what he now snidely calls Obamacare. “I will preserve and protect a woman’s right to choose,” Romney told 60 Minutes in 2002. During that gubernatorial campaign, he said, “I’m someone who is moderate, my views are progressive.”

Mitt chose an old fashioned wife who called him “a good and decent man,” and she explained he had to endure failure as a Mormon missionary in France to convert others. Mitt adored his Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, privileged upbringing, and enjoyed a close but not always harmonious complicated relationship with his father. He boasted of building an elevator for his cars in his new fourth home so they wont have to climb stairs after a long ride. That showed his “character.”

But Romney’s business acumen did not suffice to help him defeat Ted Kennedy for Senate, nor did his role leading the 2002 Winter Olympics bring him the presidency in 2008.

He fought for universal health care in Massachusetts, which he now can’t remember, but claims it was much different from Obama’s plan. The experts disagree.

And as recently as 2008, on Meet The Press, he said, “We should keep weapons of unusual lethality from being on the street.”

His 2008 loss in the Republican presidential primary showed him he had to turn his moderate rhetoric into rightwing speechifying for his 2012 run. So he reinvented himself.

Sometimes, to curry favor with Tea Partiers, he simply lies. “I was a severely conservative Republican Governor,” he said in this year’s primary debate. (Feb. 10, 2012) The new Romney called himself, “firmly pro-life,” and followed up with a change in his position on gun control as well.

“I don’t happen to believe that America needs new gun laws,” he said this year. He will say anything to win. Winning is his only principle.

In Israel, Romney kissed Israeli ass, contrasting them favorably against Palestinians.

“Culture makes all the difference. And as I come here and I look out over this city and consider the accomplishments of the people of this nation, I recognize the power of at least culture and a few other things. One, I recognize the hand of providence in selecting this place.” (July 29, 2012)

He has shown a lack of interest in truth or fact. In 2008, Romney wrote a New York Times op-ed titled “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” in which he said if GM, Ford and Chrysler got a government bailout “you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye.” He later declared: ”I’ll take a lot of credit for the fact that this industry’s come back.” (May 7, 2012)

His biggest prevarication came with his explanation of why he’s running for President. “I’m in this race because I care about Americans. I’m not concerned about the very poor – we have a safety net there” – which, he should add, his economic policies would undo. (Feb. 2, 2012) At times, Romney indulges in levels of verbal abstraction that English teachers would find difficult in a parsing contest.  “I believe in an America where millions of Americans believe in an America that’s the America millions of Americans believe in. That’s the America I love.” (Jan. 21, 2012)

Romney’s fortune allows him to treat several hundred thousand dollars as chump change. “I get speakers’ fees from time to time, but not very much.” In 2010 he earned about $370,000 in speaker’s fees over the course of the year, according to his personal financial disclosure. (Jan. 17, 2012)

The biggest and most dangerous distortion, however, comes with his casting of corporations as “people… Of course they are. Everything corporations earn ultimately goes to people. Where do you think it goes?” (Aug. 11, 2011)

At Bain, he amassed some $250 million by piling debt onto U.S. companies, and then leeching huge fees from those companies, as payment for his advice: either fire workers or move their jobs to Asia.

He chose Paul Ryan as his Vice, a self-righteous liar with whom he plans to destroy Medicare under the banner of saving it. (See Paul Krugman’s “The Medicare Killers, NY Times August 31.)

He backed the two foolish wars of George W. Bush, for which the U.S. borrowed money and increased the deficit. Now, Romney blames Obama for the economy-in-free-fall he inherited from Bush, and the recession reaching across the world. Only memory will destroy Republican chances in November, so keep your recollections clear and at hand.  
Obama did not cause the current mess. Nor did his stimulus “make things worse,” as Paul Ryan repeated at the RNC. Indeed, Ryan supported every catastrophic Bush initiative, only to become reborn in ideological innocence in time for the election.  But some people, as Chris Matthews said, “knew him before he was a virgin.”

God help the public if it doesn’t see through these corporate hustlers.

Saul Landau’s WILL THE REAL TERRORIST PLEASE STAND UP screen in Portland Oregon’s Clinton Theater Sept. 13.

SAUL LANDAU’s A BUSH AND BOTOX WORLD was published by CounterPunch / AK Press.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

December 05, 2016
Bill Martin
Stalingrad at Standing Rock?
Mark A. Lause
Recounting a Presidential Election: the Backstory
Mel Goodman
Mad Dog Mattis and Trump’s “Seven Days in May”
Matthew Hannah
Standing Rock and the Ideology of Oppressors: Conversations with a Morton County Commissioner
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
#NoDAPL Scores Major Victory: No Final Permit For Pipeline
Fran Shor
The End of the Indispensable Nation
Michael Yates
Vietnam: the War That Won’t Go Away
Michael Uhl
Notes on a Trip to Cuba
Robert Hunziker
Huge Antarctica Glacier in Serious Trouble
John Steppling
Screen Life
David Macaray
Trump vs. America’s Labor Unions
Yoav Litvin
Break Free and Lead, or Resign: a Letter to Bernie Sanders
Norman Pollack
Taiwan: A Pustule on International Politics
Kevin Martin
Nuclear Weapons Modernization: a New Nuclear Arms Race? Who Voted for it? Who Will Benefit from It?
David Mattson
3% is not Enough: Towards Restoring Grizzly Bears
Howard Lisnoff
The Person Who Deciphered the Order to Shoot at Kent State
Nick Pemberton
Make America Late Again
Weekend Edition
December 02, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
The Coming War on China
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: The CIA’s Plots to Kill Castro
Paul Street
The Iron Heel at Home: Force Matters
Pam Martens - Russ Martens
Timberg’s Tale: Washington Post Reporter Spreads Blacklist of Independent Journalist Sites
Andrew Levine
Must We Now Rethink the Hillary Question? Absolutely, Not
Joshua Frank
CounterPunch as Russian Propagandists: the Washington Post’s Shallow Smear
David Rosen
The Return of HUAC?
Rob Urie
Race and Class in Trump’s America
Patrick Cockburn
Why Everything You’ve Read About Syria and Iraq Could be Wrong
Caroline Hurley
Anatomy of a Nationalist
Ayesha Khan
A Muslim Woman’s Reflections on Trump’s Misogyny
Michael Hudson – Steve Keen
Rebel Economists on the Historical Path to a Global Recovery
Russell Mokhiber
Sanders Single Payer and Death by Democrat
Roger Harris
The Triumph of Trump and the Specter of Fascism
Steve Horn
Donald Trump’s Swamp: Meet Ten Potential Energy and Climate Cabinet Picks and the Pickers
Louis Proyect
Deepening Contradictions: Identity Politics and Steelworkers
Ralph Nader
Trump and His Betraying Makeover
Stephen Kimber
The Media’s Abysmal Coverage of Castro’s Death
Dan Bacher
WSPA: The West’s Most Powerful Corporate Lobbying Group
Nile Bowie
Will Trump backpedal on the Trans-Pacific Partnership?
Ron Ridenour
Fidel’s Death Brings Forth Great and Sad Memories
Missy Comley Beattie
By Invitation Only
Fred Gardner
Sword of Damocles: Pot Partisans Fear Trump’s DOJ
Renee Parsons
Obama and Propornot
Dean Baker
Cash and Carrier: Trump and Pence Put on a Show
Jack Rasmus
Taming Trump: From Faux Left to Faux Right Populism
Ron Jacobs
Selling Racism—A Lesson From Pretoria
Julian Vigo
The Hijos of Buenos Aires:  When Identity is Political
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail