Reality vs Fantasy Land in Presidential endorsements

29 Oct 2012 09:58 am
Posted by: Donna

Several newspapers across the country, including our own Arizona Republic, have weighed in on the contest between President Obama and former MA Governor Mitt Romney. What is striking about them to me is how detailed and evidence-based the endorsements of Obama are in their criticism of Romney compared to how empty and wishful the ones for Romney are. I linked to the idiotic AZ Republic one a few days ago. But here’s the equally inane Des Moines Register endorsement, which has the right wing and Beltway establishment swooning:

Romney could be assured that Democrats would work to defeat him as hard as Republicans worked against Obama is if he were to adopt the reactionary agenda of the most extreme elements of the Republican Party. Romney had to tack to the right during the primary season. Since then, he has recalibrated his campaign to focus on his concern for the middle class, and that is believable if the real Mitt Romney is the one on display as governor of Massachusetts who passed a health care reform plan that became the model for the one passed by Congress.

Romney should not squander an opportunity to build consensus in Washington by wasting time on issues that animate many in his party. We cannot rewind the clock on progress for minorities, women, gays and lesbians. We must make it easier for immigrants to come here to live and work legally and stop making criminals of those who are living here lawfully, paying taxes and raising families. The federal government must continue to insist on clean air and water and encourage clean and renewable energy.

Barack Obama rocketed to the presidency from relative obscurity with a theme of hope and change. A different reality has marked his presidency. His record on the economy the past four years does not suggest he would lead in the direction the nation must go in the next four years.

Voters should give Mitt Romney a chance to correct the nation’s fiscal course and to implode the partisan gridlock that has shackled Washington and the rest of America — with the understanding that he would face the same assessment in four years if he does not succeed.

Wow, how dumb are they? Romney had to tack to the right during the primary season. Well, shucky darn, I’m sooo glad he was just faking us out on those hard right positions! Good to know that you editors over at the DMR are so confident that Mitt Romney was lying to us up until October, 2012. This is someone you should really trust with civil rights and environmental policies!

For contrast, here’s a snippet of the New York Times endorsement of President Obama

Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, has gotten this far with a guile that allows him to say whatever he thinks an audience wants to hear. But he has tied himself to the ultraconservative forces that control the Republican Party and embraced their policies, including reckless budget cuts and 30-year-old, discredited trickle-down ideas. Voters may still be confused about Mr. Romney’s true identity, but they know the Republican Party, and a Romney administration would reflect its agenda. Mr. Romney’s choice of Representative Paul Ryan as his running mate says volumes about that.

We have criticized individual policy choices that Mr. Obama has made over the last four years, and have been impatient with his unwillingness to throw himself into the political fight. But he has shaken off the hesitancy that cost him the first debate, and he approaches the election clearly ready for the partisan battles that would follow his victory.

We are confident he would challenge the Republicans in the “fiscal cliff” battle even if it meant calling their bluff, letting the Bush tax cuts expire and forcing them to confront the budget sequester they created. Electing Mr. Romney would eliminate any hope of deficit reduction that included increased revenues

I will point out (of course) that I’m not a big fan of the NYT’s deficit wankery but this is an endorsement based on the reality of Obama’s accomplishments and Romney’s real shortcomings, not delusional fantasizing.

The Washington Post endorsement of Obama also wastes a lot of time with obligatory Beltway mewling over the deficit but also dismantles the Romney charade handily:

The sad answer is there is no way to know what Mr. Romney really believes. His unguarded expression of contempt for 47 percent of the population seems as sincere as anything else we’ve heard, but that’s only conjecture. At times he has advocated a muscular, John McCain-style foreign policy, but in the final presidential debate he positioned himself as a dove. Before he passionately supported a fetus’s right to life, he supported a woman’s right to abortion. His swings have been dramatic on gay rights, gun rights, health care, climate change and immigration. His ugly embrace of “self-deportation” during the Republican primary campaign, and his demolition of a primary opponent, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, for having left open a door of opportunity for illegal-immigrant children, bespeaks a willingness to say just about anything to win. Every politician changes his mind sometimes; you’d worry if not. But rarely has a politician gotten so far with only one evident immutable belief: his conviction in his own fitness for higher office.

Here’s the Toledo Blade:

In challenging the President’s first-term record, Mr. Romney has displayed a chronic eagerness to say anything he thinks will win him the support of the audience he is addressing at the moment. That raises the question of what he truly believes: He has changed positions so often on so many basic issues — health care, women’s rights, government regulation — that it seems his only fixed principle is his own advancement…

…Mr. Romney’s vast wealth, gained largely in the private-equity industry, need not be an impediment to leadership. But he too often seems to have little understanding of the lives, problems, and aspirations of Americans who do not inhabit his economic and social strata (see “47 percent”).

Here’s the New Jersey Star Ledger taking down Romney:

But his policies consistently favor the wealthy over the middle class, and the budget plan drafted by his running mate, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, relies on spending cuts that overwhelmingly land on low-income families. His plan to starve Planned Parenthood is extremist nonsense that will leave many women without basic cancer screening.

He has flipped positions on abortion and gun control, on health care and taxes, on gay rights and climate change. The list goes on and on, and reflects a serious character flaw. Yes, Abraham Lincoln compromised on slavery and Reagan compromised on taxes. Good politicians stay flexible to manage their coalitions. But Romney’s flip-flops are chronic and self-serving. He is consistent only in the way he floats with the political winds. That is not leadership; it is pandering. And it means he can’t be trusted.

A final concern: Romney is an unsteady player in global affairs, striking a belligerent tone in almost every theater and relying on many of the neocon advisers behind the disastrous policies of George W. Bush. That is unnerving, especially when combined with his inexperience and his promised military buildup.

By far, the best endorsement of President Obama and most scathing takedown of Romney comes from, amazingly, the Salt Lake City Tribune

More troubling, Romney has repeatedly refused to share specifics of his radical plan to simultaneously reduce the debt, get rid of Obamacare (or, as he now says, only part of it), make a voucher program of Medicare, slash taxes and spending, and thereby create millions of new jobs. To claim, as Romney does, that he would offset his tax and spending cuts (except for billions more for the military) by doing away with tax deductions and exemptions is utterly meaningless without identifying which and how many would get the ax. Absent those specifics, his promise of a balanced budget simply does not pencil out.

If this portrait of a Romney willing to say anything to get elected seems harsh, we need only revisit his branding of 47 percent of Americans as freeloaders who pay no taxes, yet feel victimized and entitled to government assistance. His job, he told a group of wealthy donors, “is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”…

…And what of the president Romney would replace? For four years, President Barack Obama has attempted, with varying degrees of success, to pull the nation out of its worst financial meltdown since the Great Depression, a deepening crisis he inherited the day he took office.

In the first months of his presidency, Obama acted decisively to stimulate the economy. His leadership was essential to passage of the badly needed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Though Republicans criticize the stimulus for failing to create jobs, it clearly helped stop the hemorrhaging of public sector jobs. The Utah Legislature used hundreds of millions in stimulus funds to plug holes in the state’s budget.

Those are stimulus funds that Republicans fought tooth and nail against. If Romney is elected President and the GOP keeps the House the deficit will be forgotten in a nanosecond but expecting anything to help ordinary Americans is simply fantasy land.

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1 Comment(s)

  1. Comment by mike slater on October 30, 2012 2:27 pm

    Romney is the first Republican since Richard Nixon to be endorsed by the Des Moines Register. Maybe they see something.

    The New York Times, Washington Post, Toledo Blade and the New Jersey Star Ledger is not surprising since they’re all leftists papers. What is surprising was the Salt Lake City Tribune.

    Donna, Those in this country that are illegals are not living here lawfully.

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