Mitt Romney's Only Political Principle... (Updated)
...is to be president. He has no other convictions than that, which is why he's ready to reverse any position, any time, if it will get more of the Republican base behind him, as we saw most clearly in the primaries when he said he would readily sign a bill outlawing all abortion across the country. No matter what the reason--even in cases of rape and incest.
Maddow called his a "vague" stance. That's far too charitable. No, it's quite clear. He will hand the base whatever they want, if they make him president. Romney has no convictions, just tactics(which are barely thought out anyway). This is why on his trip to Israel he did something truly frightening: after insulting the Palestinians as an "inferior" culture(and saying the same of Ecuador and Mexico) he told them that he would greenlight an Israeli attack on Iran, something that could actually start a world war. Whatever you think of Obama, and I've been clear I'm not entirely cool with him for either his habit of giving in to the GOP or his drone strikes, those of you who see no difference: there's a big one right there.
He's exhibiting the ignorance of a man who just doesn't care and will say anything, and knows nothing about the region he could set afire with comments like this.
What is worse: actually believing this, or being willing to do it because you have absolutely no scruples?
To answer that, let me bring out something I know as a former Southerner. Let me tell you a little story about Gov. George Wallace. A far worse example but relevant.
Wallace was not actually a racist himself, at least by 'Bama standards. In fact, when he was a judge, he forced white lawyers to refer to black attorneys and defendants as "sir" and "mister"(sometimes they'd call them by their first names or "boy" out of disrespect). And in his first race for governor, he ran a positive campaign, and got his ass handed to him because his opponent used racist paranoia to get his voters to the polls.
He famously then said, "I will not be 'out-ni**ered again" and, though he never overtly stated racism in his speeches--couching it in "state's rights" code, but Alabamans knew damn well what was meant--he used it, and used a speechwriter who was from the KKK(later outed as the author of "the Education of Little Tree"), and lo and behold, he won. But he did not believe in it himself, he just wanted to be governor.
Which is worse than if it was his conviction. At least then you'd expect that. But he cynically used hatred for his own benefit--and increased it, giving not-so-tacit permission to whites in Alabama and the rest of the South to run wild with it. And caused a lot of pain and horror that was already there, but he affirmed it and made it worse, making it seem an issue of Southern identity itself.
He repented for this in his old age and was forgiven(and, if I recall, became governor again, with black support). So he realized what he had done, at the end. But it doesn't excuse what he did at all. The damage was done and took decades to fix.
The harm his ambition caused destroyed lives, and his example emboldened racists and right-wingers all across the country.
For something he himself didn't even really believe.
So that's an example of the danger of hypocrites.
This is why Romney is dangerous. He has no core, no principles. It's not even clear why he wants to be president, except just to be president. Like a certain Dubya we endured 8 years of, whose damage we're still picking out of our skin. A little prince who wanted to be president for the title, and left the true power to the very committed and much smarter, and vile, Dick Cheney. Otherwise he didn't care about actually doing the work of being president, and was the enabler for very dark interests indeed.
And see the results.
There is a difference. And Romney as president would be one final wound to America we could not endure, even given the massive imperfection of Obama.
"Eternity with Beelzebub, and all his hellish instruments of death, will be a picnic compared to five minutes with me and this pencil." - E. Blackadder, 1791 Questionable
words & pictures from John Linton Roberson SUPPORT MY SINFUL WORK AT PATREON!