Political polygamy

Some guy with a silly name, who I guess I’m supposed to have heard of, just penned a piece over at the Daily Beast about why he’s shocking his friends and voting for Romney.

Either the piece is satire, or the famous guy is kinda goofy.

If it’s satire, I apologize in advance. Far too much satire is far too poorly written. But if it’s for real, wow.

The reason Buzz Bissinger (apparently his real name) is voting for Romney this time is the presidential debate the other night. Sure, Buzz is upset with Obama’s performance. But just as importantly, Buzz is elated that Mitt Romney finally, after years of repudiating every moderate view he ever had, is now back on the reservation as a certifiable moderate Republican.

Voting for a president is based on a combination of factual and emotional perception. The tipping point was last week’s debate in Denver. Romney finally did what he should have done all along instead of his balky cha cha with the old white men of the conservative Republican wing: he acted as the moderate he is, for the first time running as himself, not against himself, embracing his record as governor of Massachusetts.

Naive much?

I wrote about Mitt Romney’s death bed conversion to moderation a few days ago when Romney suddenly decided, after a month of defending it, that his 47% comments were just plain wrong. Uh huh. Here’s what I wrote in response:

I’ll tell you what happened.  Romney’s son Tagg is busy “reinventing” his dad for the 100th time, and one of the things he told poppy is that he has to come clean on the 47% remarks.

This man is incredibly disingenuous.  He will say anything to anyone to get elected President.  He used to claim that he was better on gay rights than Ted Kennedy.  Now he panders to the farthest of the gay-hating far-right, while his wife campaigns at conferences sponsored by officially-designated hate groups.  Ted Kennedy, he ain’t.

But then what is Mitt Romney?  What does he actually believe on anything?   He’s flip-flopped on gay rights.  He flip-flopped on health care reform again and again and again and again and again and again. He’s flipped on immigration a few times, on gay adoption, the auto bailout, on guns, on his own college, on SuperPACs, on Solyndra, on carbon pollution, on stem cells, on abortion, on contraception, on Iraq, on climate change, on taxes, on the recession a lot.

He flip-flopped on catfish.

He even flip-flopped on flip-flopping.

That’s why fellow Republican, fellow Mormon, John Huntsman called Romney ”a perfectly lubricated weathervane on the important issues of the day.”

At this point, after so many flip-flops, if you actually believe what Mitt Romney is now telling you his position really is, you’re a bit of an idiot.

Biff, Buzz, whatever, goes on to explain that Romney’s 47% comments were really awful.  And right.

Romney’s comments at a fundraiser were stupid, but 47 percent of Americans do not pay federal income taxes. Yes, a majority are poor and seniors. But millions do not pay such taxes with incomes of more than $50,000, and whether it’s as little as $10, every American should contribute both as a patriotic obligation and skin in the game. This is our country, not our country club.

Oh I don’t know. Sounds an awful lot like someone’s still got one foot in the country club.

Then Buzz weighs in on health care reform.  While Mitt Romney is going to hurt a lot of people, Barack’s Obama’s reforms might kinda sorta maybe not work some day because you know government is really really bad and will probably mess everything up anyway.

In my other life, as the afternoon talk show host for CBS WPHT-AM in Philadelphia, I have studied the issues assiduously, or as assiduously as I can given their complexities. I know that both candidates, while agreeing on health-care reform, have radically different ideas. I know that when Romney says people with preexisting conditions will be reinsured, he leaves out the gigantic footnote that first they had to have coverage through their jobs. But I also question the ability of Obamacare to control costs, given the administrative nightmare that exists when government is involved.  One of the Obamacare methods of cutting those costs, the computerization of hospital records, has resulted in massive fraud by cheating doctors.

Right.  Because being an afternoon talk show host makes you an expert on health care reform.  But putting that aside, Buzz, what about the fact that President Obama’s reforms have ALREADY insured people with pre-existing conditions who wouldn’t otherwise have insurance, not to mention the fact that 1/3 of the entire US workforce will lose protections if the pre-existing conditions provisions are repealed? What about the fact that Obama’s reforms have already gotten 6.6m kids on their parents plans, who otherwise would never have had insurance?

Not very assiduous after all, Buzz.

At the debate, Romney did not simply act like he wanted to be president. He wants to be president. He showed vigor, and enthusiasm, and excitement, a man who wants to lead. It may all be ephemeral, because most of politics is ephemeral, a cynical means to the end of getting elected. But he also revealed compassion that, during the entirety of this absurdly long march, had never been in evidence before. He recognized the needs of the poor. He recognized the need for regulation.

Are those the same poor you just said were enjoying life at the “country club” by not paying taxes they can’t earn enough to even pay?  I’m not sensing a lot of compassion.

And “it may all be ephemeral” – you think?

Look, President Obama is hardly perfect.  I’ve had some rather public gripes with the man in the past.  But let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that Mitt Romney is the real deal because, after ten years of reinventing himself as a far-right conservative, he’s decided that his son is right, and the only way he’s got any chance at winning is if he veers back to the left and re-embraces much of what he’s already repudiated.

At some point, when your husband leaves you for another woman, comes back and says he’s sorry, leaves you again, comes back again, and the proceeds to leave you for another fifty women, and you still believe him when he says “this time I’m coming back for good,” then maybe he’s not the only one with a problem.

Mitt Romney scares me.

Sometimes I wish President Obama had more backbone, but he’s not the liar Romney is.  While Obama compromises, Romney capitulates.  Even capitulate isn’t a strong enough word, when Romney was never with you in the first place.  While you may have to sometimes push the President to stand by his convictions, Romney will flip-flop 180 degrees, four different times in one day on the same issue, without blinking an eye.

The man flip-flopped on catfish.

Mitt Romney has lied so many times about who he really is, that no one has any idea what he is going to do as president.  If you really care about your issues, right or left, at least you know what you’re getting with Barack Obama.  With Mitt Romney, you will never know because there’s nothing there – except opportunism.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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