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The Cowardice of Mitt Romney – Green Dragon
Aug 102012

Well, it’s apparently been decided. AP is reporting that Mitt Romney has selected Paul Ryan as his Vice Presidential running mate.

Now attention will turn to gaming out what this means and how it shapes the fall campaign. I’ll certainly be doing a lot of that. But for now, I think it’s important to note what this means about the character of Willard Mitt Romney, which is:

He’s a coward.

Romney is so terrified of his party’s base of angry mouthbreathers that he is willing to appease them even at the expense of embracing someone who is poison for his chances at election. He rolled because he didn’t have the spine to stand up to his party’s howling mob, even though polling data shows that their agenda is viewed as radical and wrong by most of the nation’s voters.

After betting everything on making the 2012 Presidential election a referendum on Barack Obama and his policies, with less than 90 days to go Romney is dumping that approach to instead run on “We have a better way”. And that better way involves stuff the public hates: voucherizing Medicare, cutting, privatizing and eventually phasing out Social Security, dismantling regulation of…well, pretty much everything, and chopping taxes, particularly on the wealthy.

Romney has decided to center his campaign around topics which make his business practices and his tax history front and center in the debate. Yet just yesterday, he cried uncle on those very topics, pleading for the Obama campaign not to talk about them any longer.

He knows he’s being torn limb from limb by attacks on the results of his profiteering at Bain Capital and demands that he release his tax returns. He has specifically begged for the dismembering to stop (a first, in my experience of Presidential campaigns). But today, because he is so frightened of Limbaugh and Cantor and Kyl and DeMint and their ilk, he has elected deliberately to make those very topics the main course of the fall campaign: his and Ryan’s radical vision of a banana republic America, as revealed by their deeds and policies, versus the build-from-the-middle-class-out, land-of-opportunity, far more moderate and positive vision of the seated President.

That’s a debate that puts the question of whether or not Mitt has paid his share like the rest of us squarely on the table. And the Obama campaign will be able to exploit that most American of prejudices: the idea that things ought to be fair.

That is the debate Romney has deliberately selected because he didn’t have the guts to face down his party’s radical base. It is a poster child for why he is grossly unfit to be President of the United States.

By choosing Ryan, Romney shows himself the opposite of a leader. Today’s announcement is less an indictment of the appalling policies on which Romney will run than of his very character.

At publication, the Dragon was DISGUSTED

  5 Responses to “The Cowardice of Mitt Romney”

  1. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a candidate sacrifice himself before. Rather than stand up to the crazies in his party, Romney has thrown himself under the bus.

  2. You know, I’d like to propose a conspiracy theory. Paul Ryan could never be president of the United States, because there aren’t enough evangelicals to vote him into power. But as VP, their hope is, they can arrange to have Mitt Romney impeached for high crimes, misdemeanors, and “character flaws.”

    So the goal is to have Romney elected, disgraced and impeached, and then have Ryan as the savior of the party.

    Ok, far-fetched, I know. But it might make sense to these people.

    • Andrew, Ryan isn’t an evangelical–he’s an Ayn Rand libertarian and putative Catholic. And ultimately, the only person who gets to choose the running mate is the nominee. This is on Mitt, and no one else. There was certainly plenty of pressure on him to pick Ryan, but that’s part of my point: he caved, rather than going with his own best interests…throwing himself under the bus.

      I think most of the arch-conservatives who revere Ryan think Romney is going to lose, anyway. This is about their taking over the Republican Party for the future. And that is a beautiful, beautiful thing, IMO. This is going to have terrible effects on their downballot candidates.


  3. Actually, I think Mitt got this one right. First, he balances the ticket by having someone with strong, well-defined positions (vs. his own vague waffling). Second, Ryan draws all the heat on policy issues, where Mitt can’t take it.

    Mitt loses just on likeability, so having someone even uglier to stand beside him is his best hope of looking better.

    I’ll be pleasantly surprised if the substance of Ryan’s policy positions gets more than 5 minutes of attention from the MSM. Chances are most voters won’t have much chance to think about that, amid all the noise.

    If all this actually works, and the money machine driving US politics takes Obama out, I’ll be looking for another country to live in. But it’s not a stupid or self-destructive decision by Mitt, AFAICT.

  4. The MSM has already weighed in HEAVILY on Ryan’s positions. The NYT called the Ryan budget the most radical and extreme budget in modern times. Believe me, the priorities in that budget–and the fact that Ryan was the LEADER of the effort to privatize Social Security–are going to be front and center in this campaign. It will be the heart and soul of Obama’s campaign messaging…which, unlike for Romney, doesn’t require a big shift for them, because they’ve been talking about this race being between two different visions for the country’s future for two months.

    Can you imagine running on wanting to privatize SS–in the years before the stock market collapsed, and while simultaneously opposing any new regulation of the financial industry–in FLORIDA? Big fun.

    There is no upside to this for Mitt except that his base will finally shut up and get in line. The fact that he still needs to make that happen in AUGUST means he is toast. Watch the betting lines on this: I guarantee that odds for Romney just got a lot worse.

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