Thursday, March 01, 2012

Here comes Bishop Romney

In Mitt Romney, Community Organizer, I noted that Romney, in his capacities as the Mormon equivalent of parish priest and a bishop, actually engaged quite deeply in the lives of his fellow Mormons. I suggested  that he really has to invoke this experience to counter the perception that he's lived his life in a superrich bubble. Yesterday in Ohio, Sara Murray reports, Romney cracked that Mormon kimono a little:
On Wednesday afternoon, though, there were glimpses of a candidate who could connect with voters as he disclosed a more personal side, one that’s rarely seen during his campaign events.

He spoke about counseling the unemployed through his work with the Mormon Church. He said his religion is an “unusual religion in a number of respects,” because of the rotating minister program Mr. Romney participated in as a volunteer for roughly a decade.
I expect to hear more in this vein.

A second note about the submerged Mitt: in a much-cited column, E.J. Dionne highlights the extremism of Romney's current tax and spending plans and exhorts the media not let Romney use Santorum's extremism on social issues as a foil to cast himself as a moderate.  It's quite true: take Romney at his word, and he would radically cut taxes for the wealthy while increasing defense spending, necessitating the shredding of the safety net he says he'll "fix."

But to press his point, Dionne forecloses without discussion on Matt Miller's claim that "everyone knows Romney is basically a pragmatic centrist." It's true that no one should be sanguine that he will govern as such, given the commitments he's made. But it's also true that in his only experience in office, Romney raised substantial new revenue, sought state-level stimulus spending, and expanded the social safety net in a unique, game-changing way.  Furthermore, while he has failed to specify the tax expenditures he would close out to make his tax plans revenue neutral, making them revenue neutral is as much a campaign promise as cutting rates.

Romney has proved uncommonly willing to reverse past positions and commitments.  With a Republican House and Senate, he would have no excuse or motive to do so.  But if he presides over a divided government, we may yet see a partial resurrection of moderate Mitt.


  1. So bascially Romeny is a spneless place holder as President leaning whichever way the congress - right wing Republican or left wing Democrat - pushes him -- tell me again why anyone would vote for that??

    1. I agree. He is not conservative enough for conservatives and not liberal enough for liberals...hell, I don't even think HE even knows who he is!


  2. "Mitt Romney makes plastic look real" I'll never forget reading that one - sums it up perfectly dontcha think?