By Lynn Paris
The Emperor’s New Clothes
I’m sad to say that my prediction of a couple of months ago has come true. The vast majority of the issues raised during the Republican primaries against Mitt Romney have simply disappeared. It’s as if the Republicans have collective amnesia. Obviously, progressives still remember who Romney used to be and who he’s become, but everyone else, all those conservatives, tea-partiers and even many independents, have blotted it out.
This is the guy who invented Obamacare when it was called Romneycare, folks! There are dozens of clips of him espousing mandates and trying to persuade voters that everyone needs to pay for health insurance (no more free riders!) in order for everyone to receive health care. He touted mandates as a sound, simple Republican concept. I guess changing its name to Obamacare makes it so evil that it must be repealed on his first day in office.
This is the guy who was pro-choice (and actively sought the endorsement of pro-choice groups when running for governor in 2002) saying then: “I respect and will protect a woman's right to choose. This choice is a deeply personal one. Women should be free to choose based on their own beliefs, not mine or the government’s.” This was before he decided to run for President in 2012 and morph into an extreme conservative who is suddenly and adamantly pro-life.
Of course, Romney was also in favor of stem cell research, and ten years ago was quoted stating “I will work and fight for stem cell research,” before he saw the light (ie; his now super-conservative base) and was against it. He also supported a ban on assault weapons (and made sure it was passed in Massachusetts) before he refused to support any gun control legislation. He would not have bailed out the auto industry or gone after Bin Laden . . . until he found some convoluted way to actually try to take some credit for both decisions.
Heck, this is the guy who has changed his position on virtually every issue imaginable in order to curry favor with the fringes (those in control of) the Republican Party. He used to be a sensible, intelligent, moderate Republican. The truth is that he was either lying then or he’s lying now, but no one on the right wants to talk about THAT any more. After all, anyone . . . even a hypocritical, two-faced robber baron, is better than Obama. Right, Republicans?
And maybe that’s true, because with Obama in office it’s likely that Republicans will continue to successfully sabotage any legitimate efforts to grow the economy until they drive this country off a cliff. Here’s what they’ve managed to accomplish so far:
They killed the jobs bill proposed by Obama that would have injected $447 billion into the economy. Using the filibuster, Republicans made sure this bill would never happen. Why? Because economists hailed it as a defense against double-dip recession and predicted it would add about two million jobs to the economy. Good for the economy, good for the country, good for the unemployed . . . bad for Republicans.
Before that, back when the White House settled for an $800 billion stimulus, it was Republicans who threatened to filibuster if the Democrats dared to try for more. But reports have clearly shown that Obama’s economic advisors knew the country needed a much larger stimulus . . . more like $1.5 trillion in order to get the economy going again. Republicans used their highly effective fear-mongering to be sure that never happened. Why? Because it had a good chance of working and then they wouldn’t have been able to blame Obama for his “failed stimulus.”
Of course, we all --sorry, not all; Republicans have amnesia -- remember the debt ceiling crisis, when Republicans brought us to the brink by threatening to default on this country’s outstanding debts. The result was our first-ever credit downgrade, and Republican-forced gridlock was one of the reasons most often cited for that insult.
But the Republicans got what they wanted – another round of spending cuts. They held the country hostage and struck a deal to avoid default that included cutting $30.5 billion in discretionary spending in 2012. The Economic Policy Institute estimated that deal cost us 323,000 additional jobs. Oh, and there’s another $1.2 trillion coming in cuts over the next ten years as part of that deal. Did I mention that all cuts are from programs like food stamps, education, law enforcement and other programs that either provide jobs for or otherwise help middle and low-income citizens? High priority to everyone but Republicans, whose only priorities seem to be to cut regulations, cut spending, protect the wealthy and get rid of Obama.
Which is why, in the end, they will all support Romney, a guy even they know isn’t who he’s pretending to be. They will all say that we need change; we need to vote for the Emperor in his bright shiny new clothes. After all, he's the one who can fix all those problems they all love to blame on Obama.
And when the little boy finally points out that the Emperor isn’t wearing any clothes, it will be too late.
Lynn Paris' Archives