Like the oft-gifted holiday food item, that few people admit to actually liking, Romney is the candidate whom few actually like, but whom everyone assumes everyone else will vote for.
I haven’t yet decided which candidate I will support in the Republican primaries. Johnson, with whom I agree on most issues, is somewhat weak on foreign policy and, in his remarks on the President’s decision to send troops into Uganda, did not consistently apply the “military threat” principle he had applied in discussions of Iran and Libya. Cain, whom I like on many issues, seems to be working quickly to get up to speed on some issues, and may be modifying his positions on others, particularly social issues. So it’s too soon to tell.
Of course it is important to keep in mind the context here: I do not expect that I will be able to vote for my ideal candidate in the 2012 elections. I am merely looking for a candidate whom I can like or respect to some extent, who will stop the bleeding both in terms of our economy and our foreign policy, who won’t try to impose his religious views, and who won’t further damage the reputation of capitalism and the free market. Is that too much to ask?
In a previous blog post, I explained why I don’t think Ron Paul satisfies my criteria with respect to religion and foreign policy. And Yaron Brook, when interviewed on my podcast, explained why he thinks Paul might damage the reputation of capitalism and the free market: he does not consistently apply the principle of individual rights.
In the first hour of Sunday’s podcast, I took a closer look at the presumptive favorite in this race: Mitt Romney. In the days leading up to the show, I came up with various puns: “Mutt Romney”, because he’s a “mixed breed” candidate who isn’t quite liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican. “Mint Romney”, because, just as a breath mint can only mask bad breath temporarily, neither Romney’s slick demeanor nor his coiffed hair can cover the stench of his stale, socialist-leaning policies. “Mitt Rob Me” because that’s what he plans to do — to all of us. Etc.
But my favorite label for him is one that I came up with during the podcast: that Mitt Romney is the fruitcake of 2012 Presidential Candidates. Like the oft-gifted holiday food item, that few people admit to actually liking, Romney is the candidate whom few actually like, but whom everyone assumes everyone else will vote for. My question is: why is everyone assuming this? If I don’t like him, and I know I would not be happy voting for him, then why should I assume that everyone else will enjoy voting for him? As I explained in my podcast, our dislike of Romney is not for arbitrary or superficial reasons. If you go to his site and actually read his 59(!)-point plan (I read the 5-page executive summary, which is really all you need), you will see that his proposals are at best timid ($20 billion in cuts — please!) and, at worst, measures that will further entrench the welfare state. A little tinkering and protectionism here, a little shuffling of money from federal government to state government there, all packaged in such a way as to be passed off as a “sever[e] break…from our current course,” “fundamental change,” “deeply conservative,” “highly ambitious,” and, of course, based “on the principles of free enterprise, hard work, and innovation.”
So, why is it that one of the current leaders in this race is a candidate whom very few like, a candidate whom we have ample reason to dislike? Why do we assume that he is “electable” — which means, if it means anything, that we are assuming that other people will like and vote for him? Thoughts?
[Thanks to Bosch Fawstin for the perfect graphic!]
15 responses to “Mitt Romney: The Fruitcake of 2012 Presidential Candidates”
I have concluded that Johnson simply has no chance of getting elected and will likely leave the race after New Hampshire. I certainly hope I’m wrong somehow but I doubt it. That’s a shame because I was willing to forgive him his naive foreign policy for all his other excellent positions and potentials. Given that I consider Johnson out, it seems the only realistic alternative to Romney is Cain and the seemingly quickly fading Perry. I think I prefer Cain though I really do wonder how he will now respond to the approaching conservative attacks with respect to his seeming pro-choice stand.
“…I really do wonder how he will now respond to the approaching conservative attacks with respect to his seeming pro-choice stand.”
So do I. Cross fingers (yes, I’m afraid that’s all we can do).
Cain should “man up” on choice. If he’s the nominee, what are the family values crew going to do? Vote for Obama? I think not. I mean, I suppose I might not rub it (choice) in their noses, but just refuse to sign any pledges and keep repeating that “it’s the economy, stupid” and that has to be fixed first.
Johnson has some very good ideas but, unfortunately, the personality of a turnip. This won’t work in the Age of Television and sound bites.
Perry IS quickly fading. He started as my favorite, with the strongest stands against Social Security and the Myth of Global Warming. He has since degenerated into a petty attack dog, trying to harass Romney and now Cain.
Indeed, Mitt Romney does seem to be between sides. Even though Ron Paul is my least favorite canidate (his Mutual Assured Respect for one), I do believe Mitt Romney is second in line.
Personally, My man is Herman Cain.
“Cross fingers (yes, I’m afraid that’s all we can do).” Yes, but are you crossing fingers that he will admit that he is in fact pro-choice? I wonder if he does that if that will sink his campaign. I think there is no doubt that he will lose some support. As absurd as it sounds I almost prefer he stay ambiguous on this topic so he will continue having a chance of beating Romney.
Ugh! I don’t know what to hope for, then. You really think that a pro-choice candidate can’t be nominated yet? He seemed pretty clear on CNN last night. Even if he went back to giving ambiguous answers, do you think the religious right would trust him? The thing I most want is for him explicitly to separate his personal moral beliefs from his political positions, and for him to get nominated having done so. If that’s not possible, I guess I hope for him to dance around the issue, and for the religious right to pretend he’s fine with them, and for him to actually be pro-choice after all is said and done. The things we have to hope for these days!
You should try fruitcake this year. Warm a slice with butter. Yummy.
Ron Paul has no chance because, as Rush says, he’s not a Republican, he’s a libertarian. I like Cain for his forceful way of speaking, but I don’t believe he is very educated ( although more educated than Obama). I’m favoring Bachmann at this point because of her experience in the tax litigation arena (defending clients against the Feds ) . This might be an advantage when fighting for tax reform.
“You should try fruitcake this year. Warm a slice with butter. Yummy.”
LOL, maybe I will…but at the moment it doesn’t sound appetizing at all, I’m afraid.
Actually, Bachmann was an IRS prosecutor who harassed innocent people. Look her up.
Thanks for the info.
I’m worried about M.Bachmann’s comment : “He got us into a war in Libya and now we’re sending people into Africa.” Does she know Libya is in Africa ? Maybe she just couldn’t think of Uganda at the time…or was it Kenya ?
If I could install one of them, it would be Cain. My fear, if he’s the nominee, is that the Democrats will take advantage of his lack of campaign experience. Romney, with a much less desirable platform, is battle-tested in that regard and, IMHO, gives the GOP the smallest risk of losing. The downside, as you have already pointed out, is that he is about as “crony” as you can get.
One question is whether the “ethics of emergencies” (or the political analogue) applies. If Obama is re-elected and Democrats retain control of the Senate, one scenario (I’m not saying it’s the only one) is that the World slides into a new Dark Ages. If that is a significant risk, might it not be best to put the GOP back in power, even though we know it’s only a stopgap? Then, use the Tea Party movement to turn up the heat on the RINOs, and in favor of restoring government to its Constitutional limits.
Ultimately, of course, we aren’t getting anywhere without a philosophical revolution. The question is, will there be time to effect one before a series of “emergencies” causes the government to lock down free speech?
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“And Yaron Brook, when interviewed on my podcast, explained why he thinks Paul might damage the reputation of capitalism and the free market: he does not consistently apply the principle of individual rights.”
… in contrast to the other Republican candidates.