The Unbiased Eye

A scientist's commentary on events and culture

Archive for November 2012

10 Reasons to Defeat Romney

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Last fall, the presidential race took a strange turn into lunacy. It seemed like a Republican challenger would have a good shot at defeating the incumbent, but it also seemed that only clowns were interested. Michelle Bachmann? Herman Cain? Ron Paul? Politics couldn’t be such a big joke.

I thought Obama was doing very well considering the situation in 2008. Obama did not damage the economy. An unregulated Wall Street did. If not for the so-called safety net, this country would have probably been doomed. At the same time, if not for the moderate policies followed by the president, much to the dismay of many liberals, we would have been doomed.

At first, I thought Romney was too stiff to win, but he survived the GOP primary circus, likely by default. And now, if the media is right, he has a chance at the White House. At a casual glance he appeared to be a moderate, but as the campaign opened, it was impossible to tell what Romney is or what he might do. The more I read about him, the more he scares me.

A lot has been said about the partisan climate of politics in recent years. This is not a bad thing in and of itself, but there is a tendency for people to stop thinking and to be satisfied with labeling. Political discussion has a dopey flavor and everything stays on the surface. “Oh, he’s a liberal. Of course, he says that. What do you expect from a conservative? They are liars.”

So here is a countdown of the top 10 reasons I consider Romney to be a very dangerous choice:

  1. Romney is a businesman. There’s a mystique about business in this country and an antipathy toward government. In fact, big business and big government share the same kind of organizational structure, as both are big, slow-moving bureaucracies run by careerists. It’s like that at IBM and Apple; it was like that in the old Soviet Union. Enron was as corrupt as many a third-world dictatorship. Business has no magic, no special powers. Simply, business does not do it better.

    Besides, the few businessmen who’ve been in the White House didn’t do so well. See this article in the Washington Post.

  2. Romney is a job destroyer. His big score, Staples, made a lot of money for the founders and investors, but keep in mind that it was Staples and its knock-offs that put Dunder Miflin out of business. Every little town in the country had a stationery store or two, and they’re all out of business. The small-business owners have been replaced by the low-wage drones behind the counters at Mega Office Supply. Nothing was invented, nothing was created, but money was made. David Stockman, once Ronald Reagan’s budget director, has a lot to say about Romney’s business record in an article in Newsweek.
  3. Romney is very rich, and this has a tendency to warp a person’s personality. Let me give you an example of this kind of warped judgment. It turns out that when Romney finally released some personal financial information, it was clear he played around with his tax return to make it look like he was paying more in taxes than he owed, most likely to make himself more sympathetic to the middle class. He manipulated his tax liability by not claiming all his humongous gifts to the Mormon Church. The details are in this article in the Huffington Post. And don’t forget, after the election, he can easily amend his tax return and get that money back.
  4. Romney and his etch-a-sketch candidancy ought to make everyone worry, especially all those supporters who have a variety of particular radical agendas, because there is no way to guess who he’s going to doublecross. Even though he’s in a political campaign, where platitudes, generalizations and obfuscations are the norm, he’s shameless is saying one thing one day and quite another the next, and he’s shameless about making claims that he can do things that any moderately intelligent businessman ought to know are impossible. One that gets me is his promise of energy independence in less than a decade. This is bullshit. Look here at a Wikipedia article on oil reserves in the United States and scroll halfway down to the chart. We only have about 10 years of oil, period, and we already import 60% of what we need.
  5. Romney is leading an extremist right-wing party, and has taken tens of millions from wealthy businessmen with truly radical agendas. They hope to dismantle a century of regulations that have made the country a better place to live, risk the economy so they can have another billion or two, and pretty much create an oligarchy that preserves all opportunity for them and their heirs. Check out the compilation of contributions in Propublica.
  6. Romney chose Paul Ryan. If Palin frightened you, Ryan should be terrifying. Ryan is a muscle builder who hails from a moderately wealthy family in small town America, and devoted his life and politics to the phony philosophy of Ayn Rand. Since stomping onto the national stage, he’s sought to distance himself from Rand, a mediocre Hollywood script writer who fled Russia in the 20s and wrote two turgid novels that she bills as philosophy by virtue of the long nonsensical speeches by her heroes, always tall, handsome men who are ridiculously obstinant to a fault. The thing about the morality of greed is the very least of her problems. Rand, by the way, was a staunch atheist and advocate of women’s right, despite the fact her leading ladies happily suffer brutal sexual assaults by the heroes. You can hear the vice presidential candidate himself explain how Rand was his inspiration in his talk to the Atlas Society, an Ayn Rand fan club, a few years ago. There’s a link to the recording at the bottom of the page.
  7. Romney, a high ranking officials of the Mormon Church, is comfortable with Christian fundamentalists, and they are comfortable with him. First off, the Mormons have a history of fudging the separation of church and state. See this article in Vanity Fair. And more important is the ardent fundamentalist christian faction of the GOP. It’s not a stretch to think of them as an American Taliban. Look no further than the case of Richard Mourdock of Indiana, who sees pregnancy from rape as just another part of his god’s plan and believes that the fetus is sacrosanct, a candidate for the U.S. Senate fully backed by Romney and Ryan. Here’s AP story on Mourdock.
  8. Romney will demolish the rights of women. The right wing agenda is to end abortion rights, equal pay protection, and anti-bias laws. This article in Think Progress on abortion rights discusses his ever twisting position, and this one in the Christian Science Monitor covers five issues of particular concern to women.
  9. Romney will destroy social security and medicare and health care reform. They may skate around this, but this has long been a goal of the radical right, which is bankrolling Romney, whose choice of Paul Ryan should confirm this. These issues are political dynamite, and the level of obfuscation has been astronomical, but basically Romney and Ryan talk of vouchers and such. Medicare is the more vulnerable of the two programs, and here’s an overview of the Republican ideas. Perhaps even more frightening is the lack of discussion of social security. The dream of the radical right has long been to replace social security with individual investments, but saying that now would kill Romney’s chances. Here’s Bloomberg News’s analysis of what Romney does say on the issue. However, unspoken is the more radical solution discussed in a CNN/Money article on Ryan’s long-term efforts to change the program.
  10. Romney will drive interest rates up and threaten the economy, all for the rich to wage class war against the middle class, and the poor. He promises to cut taxes for the rich and make up the difference by eliminating unspecified loopholes. He is vague, but he did mention one: the mortgage deduction, which is a mainstay of middle-class prosperity, but true to his etch-a-sketch morality, he began to slip slide away from it within a week of floating the idea. Here’s an overall look at the Republican tax plans.

    The irony surrounding the Republican revolutionaries is that the people who are closest to economic trends — businesses — are extremely wary about the budget and tax cutting mania. The Washington Post took a look at how the intransigence of the right-wing in the House of Representatives is hurting economic growth in this article about the fiscal cliff.


Written by theunbiasedeye

November 4, 2012 at 11:23 am