Man With No Beliefs To Lead Party With No Principles

I argued yesterday that the John Bircher worldview that Pres. Eisenhower could laugh off– of evil communist government conspiracies destroying freedom and wealth– has now come to define the entirety of the Republican party.

Today’s Paul Krugman column makes a similar point about Mitt Romney, which ties into things about Mitt we’ve talked about before:

on Fox News on Sunday… Mitt Romney bought fully into the claim that gas prices are high thanks to an Obama administration plot.

This claim isn’t just nuts; it’s a sort of craziness triple play — a lie wrapped in an absurdity swaddled in paranoia.

First, the lie: No, President Obama did not say, as many Republicans now claim, that he wanted higher gasoline prices. … The claim … is a lie, pure and simple. And it’s a lie wrapped in an absurdity, because the president … doesn’t control gasoline prices, or even have much influence over those prices. … [See, e.g., these charts showing that all world gas prices move in tandem, and that US oil production doesn’t affect prices because we don’t have enough to move the supply curve]

Finally, there’s the paranoia, the belief that liberals in general, and Obama administration officials in particular, are trying to make driving unaffordable as part of a nefarious plot against the American way of life. And, no, I’m not exaggerating. This is what you hear even from thoroughly mainstream conservatives. …

And it’s not just gas prices…, the conspiracy theories are proliferating so fast it’s hard to keep up. Thus, large numbers of Republicans — …important political figures… — firmly believe that global warming is a gigantic hoax … involving thousands of scientists… Meanwhile, others are attributing the recent improvement in economic news to a dastardly plot to withhold stimulus funds, releasing them just before the 2012 election. And let’s not even get into health reform. …

Whatever Mr. Romney may personally believe, the fact is that by endorsing the right’s paranoid fantasies, he is helping to further a dangerous trend in America’s political life. And he should be held accountable for his actions.

It seems to me that Romney has gone great lengths to demonstrate that he really doesn’t care one iota about policy– i.e., the stuff that politicians work on that affects Americans’ lives. He simply wants to be president.

He took a cool, rational look at what it would take to run for president as a Republican. He found that it meant lying repeatedly about everything. Because he doesn’t have moral beliefs or policy preferences, he’s gone ahead and lied about everything, constantly, throughout the campaign– “apology tour”, “entitlement society”, put free enterprise on trial”“Fannie and Freddie caused the financial crisis”,“regulatory uncertainty”“throw Israel under the bus”deliberately harming Americalying about foreign policy, “class warfare“, “very little of” federal spending goes anywhere but to bureaucrats, etc.

That’s because he wants to impress GOP leaders and the GOP base.

If folks in the Tea/Republican Party were upset about deficit spending and expanding government power, they would have been out there protesting the Bush-era policies that created our debt, the executive’s asserted power to indefinitely detain citizens taken into custody on American soil without trial or charge, and to wiretap American citizens without a warrant, No Child Left Behind, the Bush administration’s position in Raich v. Gonzales, our misleadingly sold and incompetently prosecuted invasion and occupation of a foreign country, and deficit-spending-financed Medicare Part D (as opposed to the deficit-reducing ACA).

But they weren’t. Because they don’t care about policy. They care about being on a side, and having their side win.

That’s why Republican congressmen who want to display the Ten Commandments in courthouses and in Congress have no idea what the Ten Commandments are. It’s not about political philosophy, it’s about identity, being part of a tribe, and rubbing it in non-members’ faces.

So, Romney says that the president apologizes for America and is deliberately scheming against our interests. He’s nothing if not an empiricist!

An unknowable question: would a President Romney view his interests as maintaining his base and therefore continuing to campaign entirely on resentment, or would he revert to the stimulus-favoring, health-mandate implementing, problem-solving approach he once had to governance?

Because there’s no way of knowing, voting for Romney is a reckless gamble.

This entry was posted in 2012, News and Current Events, Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Man With No Beliefs To Lead Party With No Principles

  1. Bellerook says:

    There are many of us who understand that Obama has only expanded upon the egregious policies of his predecessor. Our affiliation is not to a party, but to our belief that the federal government has become despotic through an excess of power, economically insane, and utterly ignorant or willfully dismissive of the Constitution of the United States.
    We are the minority in the silliness of the beauty pageant that is an election, wherein people with no desire to do the work of researching the candidate, studying the issues, and making a knowledgeable choice, can determine the outcome.
    We are the people who support Ron Paul, the only candidate with a knowledge and understanding of economics as applied to government. The only candidate with a record of honest, consistent, and Constitutional voting in Congress (against all odds). The only politician who seems to have the basic sense to know America is bankrupt and on the verge of economic collapse and that only extreme cuts in government spending can save us.
    There is a very interesting and informative video online of a John Stossel show entitled “The Money Hole”. The two portions I found enlightening were the story of Prichard, Alabama, and the story of Puerto Rico.
    The city officials of the Alabama town were told in 2003 that the town would be bankrupt by 2009 if something wasn’t done. Nothing was done, and the town went bankrupt in 2009. City retirees lost their retirement checks altogether. Businesses are closing and the town is dying.
    In Puerto Rico, on the other hand, a man was elected who knew how to face reality. He made drastic cuts (starting with his own pay) and was despised for some time. But in only two years the country is rebounding, with hundreds of new construction permits issued and industries like Walmart and Costco moving in. Government jobs, paid for by the taxpayer are now private sector jobs growing the economy.
    This is the future we need in America. There is no future at all without a stable economy. There is only the Greek tragedy on a massive scale. No economist on the face of the earth will tell us there is not a crisis and collapse imminent. They have all been telling us there is an inevitable crash coming. They all admit that only Ron Paul understands the situation.
    No other candidate for President cares so little for popularity, monetary gain, or a presence in the power structure than Ron Paul. His whole focus is to restore our prosperity and freedom of choice. Yes, seriously. He would rather retire (at 76 years of age, wouldn’t you?) but knows what will happen here if he doesn’t at least try to stop it. The others mouthe his message, but mean nothing. The words were never theirs.
    Our present course is unsustainable and has been pursued for so long by so many administrations that the changes must be radical and immediate to bring us back from the edge. No one wants to believe economic collapse can happen in America. It can. It will.

    • dedc79 says:

      We’re happy to discuss the merits of a Ron Paul presidency, but in the future please make some attempt to link your comment in some substantive way to the subject of the post. It appears instead that you’ve copied and pasted in a generalized rant. This is not so much commenting as it is “trolling.”

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