George Romney Saw This Coming

From George Romney’s letter of December 21, 1964, to Barry Goldwater:

“We need only look at the experience of some ideologically oriented parties in Europe to realize that chaos can result.  Dogmatic ideological parties tend to splinter the political and social fabric of a nation, lead to governmental crises and deadlock, and stymie the compromises so often necessary to preserve freedom and achieve progress.   A broad based two party structure produces a degree of political stability and viability not otherwise attainable.”

Andrew Sullivan has the entire letter up at The Daily Beast.


Mitt Tops His Dad, Topples His Campaign

For his whole life in politics, Mitt has been terrified of making a mistake as bad as his father’s “brainwashing” comment from 1968.  Mitt hasn’t made a mistake as bad, he’s made one that’s worse.

I don’t see how Mitt survives his comments at a $50,000 a person fundraiser in Boca Raton in May, where he was unaware he was being recorded as he spoke to his fellow one percenters.  For once, he seems to speak with passion and conviction and from the heart:

“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what.  All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it.  That that’s an entitlement.  And the government should give it to them. … My job is not to worry about those people.  I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

Mitt should take personal responsibility for being such an appallingly awful candidate.  But I’m sure that for the rest of his life, he’ll blame the media or prejudice against Mormons or some other excuse that’s as phony as he is.

His epic disaster of a campaign will drag its fatally wounded self to the finish line over the next seven weeks, but it’s over.

Unless Obama announces at one of the debates that he really is a Kenyan Muslim Communist, Mitt is done.

Mitt Gives Away the Election Because His Eyes Give Him Away

As you’d expect, Politico‘s article yesterday about the steaming mess that is Mitt’s campaign has generated a ton of media reaction and finger-pointing.  Plus today Mitt’s campaign itself, led by senior adviser, Ed Gillespie, promised that the campaign will change its message and strategy, with more emphasis on specific policy, although not, God forbid, new policy.

Of course, every day spent talking about your campaign is one not spent talking about your opponent, so today is another lost day for Mitt, another day of ‘splaining, of which he’s already had far too many.

Mitt has run an abysmal campaign, and I don’t see that changing.   The people in charge aren’t going to change, and neither are the clashing personalities and flawed vision of those people.  They’ve failed Mitt so far and will fail him till November 6.

But to me, the bottom line isn’t that he won’t offer policy specifics or tax returns, that’s he’s a flip-flopper, that’s he’s an out-of-touch rich guy, that he’s not someone you want to have a beer with.

The bottom line is that he looks so damn frightened all the time, and that makes us uncomfortable, rightly so.  What some polls measure as likeability, I think is discomfort, our gut sense that he can’t handle the stress of the job.  If he can’t face Bret Baier or David Gregory without looking absolutely terrified, how will he deal with Putin or Ahmadinejad?

Mitt will lose because of his eyes and that anxious, fearful look we see on TV, the most consistent thing about him in both 2008 and 2012.  Mitt has a strong physical resemblance to his dad, but go back and look at clips of George Romney.  Look in his eyes.  No fear.

At the upcoming debates, Obama will look commander in chiefish, and Mitt will look like the guy in the hostage video.  You don’t have to be Marshall McLuhan to figure out how it’s going to go.

Romney for President — George Romney

I guess some apples do fall far from the tree – or maybe Mitt is just the exception that proves the rule.

But I do know that in trying to outdo his father, Mitt has ended up as half the man George Romney was.

From “Mitt’s Gray Area,” Paul Krugman, NYT:

“Once upon a time a rich man named Romney ran for president.  He could claim, with considerable justice, that his wealth was well-earned, that he had in fact done a lot to create good jobs for American workers.  Nonetheless, the public understandably wanted to know both how he had grown so rich and what he had done with his wealth; he obliged by releasing extensive information about his financial history.

“But that was 44 years ago.  And the contrast between George Romney and his son Mitt — a contrast both in their business careers and in their willingness to come clean about their financial affairs — dramatically illustrates how America has changed.

“Those returns [the 12 years George Romney released] also reveal that he paid a lot of taxes — 36 percent of his income in 1960….  This was in part because, as one report at the time put it, he ‘seldom took advantage of loopholes to escape his tax obligations.’  But it was also because taxes on the rich were much higher in the ’50s and ’60s than they are now.

“George Romney was open and forthcoming about what he did with his wealth, but Mitt Romney has largely kept his finances secret.

“Put it this way:  Has there ever before been a major presidential candidate who had a multimillion-dollar Swiss bank account, plus tens of millions invested in the Cayman Islands, famed as a tax haven?

“And then there’s his Individual Retirement Account.  I.R.A.’s are supposed to be a tax-advantaged vehicle for middle-class savers, with annual contributions limited to a few thousand dollars a year.  Yet somehow Mr. Romney ended up with an account worth between $20 million and $101 million.

“This refusal to come clean suggests that he and his advisers believe that voters would be less likely to support him if they knew the truth about his investments.”


Mitt Talks About His Dad Getting Government Help

On Fox News today, Mitt talked about his father’s birth in Mexico and then coming to the U. S. as a boy:

“They lived in Mexico and lived a very nice life there from what I understand and then when he was , I think five or six years old, there was a revolution in Mexico. They escaped. I believe they went to El Paso first, and were helped by the government to get on their feet.

So given this family history,  maybe Mitt should have a little more empathy for those who need government help at some point in their lives.

Mitt Lies About Inheritance

In tonight’s debate, Mitt said that he did not receive an inheritance from his parents.

But he told C-Span in 2006 that he did receive an inheritance when his father, George Romney, died, and he chose to donate it to Brigham Young University.  Just because you’re so rich that you give your inheritance away doesn’t mean you didn’t receive an inheritance.

He has also spoken of having to support himself when he was in graduate school at Harvard by selling stocks from his trust fund.