|As a candidate, Romney is a liar and a fraud. But a Romney presidency might not be as terrible as we liberals fear.|
|A Romney presidency would probably not be as bad as the two-headed presidency of Cheney-Bush.|
- according to every account, he loves his wife and kids and has been a faithful husband and a caring, involved father
- his wife has multiple sclerosis and has battled breast cancer
- once upon a time, his wife gave money to Planned Parenthood and said she favored stem cell research (she is currently silent on these subjects)
- he has lived in a foreign country and speaks a foreign language (France, French)
- he has a history of doing significant amounts of weekly volunteer service, even while he was becoming a rich businessman
- he is worth more than $200 million
- it is widely reported that, as a businessman, he believes in data, not gut instinct
- he is reasonably articulate and certifiably smart
- he’s a Mormon
- his father was a moderate Republican who challenged the Barry Goldwater conservatives in 1964
- he almost died in a car accident in France in 1968; one of his passengers did die (the accident was not his fault)
- he is, by all accounts, frugal to the point of stingy
- he is, by all accounts, a very hard worker
- the Tea Partiers and other far-right-wing Republicans do not like him
- he has a proven history of making organizations more efficient
- he passed some legislation with Democrats in Massachusetts
- he raised fees in Massachusetts to try to balance the state budget
- he once supported legislation in Massachusetts that lowered greenhouse gases, and he has expressed belief in human contributions to global warming
|All accounts say Romney is a loving, loyal, dedicated husband and father.|
- He’s upright and unhypocritical in his family life. I don’t care about a president’s sexual peccadillos (see Bill Clinton, Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy, FDR), and I don’t believe that just because someone is faithful to his wife he’ll be a good president (see Rick Santorum and Ron Paul). It wouldn’t matter to me if a president were divorced. But it’s a good start when a man is unfailingly faithful and publicly loving to his wife, especially when she’s been seriously ill (see, by contrast, John Edwards and Newt Gingrich). Romney’s grown sons also adore him and work hard for his campaign—they do more, apparently, than just smile at his speeches. I’m just old-fashioned enough to believe that a man who is a loved husband and father at least isn’t altogether morally corrupt and selfish and is likely capable of making sacrifices for others.
- His wife’s once-overt support for Planned Parenthood and stem cell research suggest that he might at least be open-minded about issues of sex education, science research, contraception, and (perhaps) abortion. He himself once attended a Planned Parenthood fundraiser (!).
- The fact that he’s lived in France (when he was a Mormon missionary), speaks the language, and actually professes to like the French gives him a big cosmopolitan head start on the jingoistic know-nothings of the far right (remember “liberty fries”?).
- During his rise in business, Romney gave many hours each week to Mormon church work, voluntarily. I respect a man’s volunteer work, for whatever decent cause, especially if it comes when he’s first making his way in the business world. It shows that money is not his only motivation in the world and that he can respect other motivations, as well.
|Romney (center) with Bain Capital colleagues, jokingly showing off their money in the firm's early days. Perhaps Romney's wealth will make him immune to money if he's ever in the White House.|
- He’s so rich that he might just be immune to money. He won’t use the White House to feather his own nest; it’s already well feathered. Other rich people won’t intimidate him. He knows that money can’t buy contentment. (Every rich person knows this. It’s the would-be rich that don’t.) He also understands that one must spend money to make money; that’s what investment companies like Bain Capital do. It’s also, he might understand, what stimulus plans like Obama’s do. Basically, what Romney did with the companies Bain Capital bought is exactly what Obama did with Chrysler and General Motors. Romney might (hypocritically) condemn those bailouts on the stump, but in his heart he might know they’re right.
- Romney’s well-documented belief in “data,” as opposed to, say, George W. Bush’s “gut feelings,” suggests that he might (might) be less likely to create policies for purely ideological reasons. He might actually pay attention to numbers from the Congressional Budget Office and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Romney will sound better than George W. Bush when giving speeches, and he probably won’t have to read from note cards like Ronald Reagan when answering questions. That’s not saying much for his speaking ability and brains, but it puts him ahead of a lot of past and potential Republican presidents.
- With a Mormon in the White House, the protestant evangelicals (Perry and his gang) and the Catholic superconservatives (Santorum, Gingrich) will be on the outside looking in; their power will continue to wane—a very good thing. As a Mormon, perhaps Romney will have some sympathy for other religious minorities like Jews, Muslims, and atheists.
|Romney is said to idolize his late father, George, a moderate Republican who fought against Goldwater conservatives in 1964. Perhaps, when all is said and done, he will emulate his father better than he has done so far.|
- As the son of a moderate Republican whom he, by all reports, idolized, Romney at least understands that there is no disgrace in being a moderate Republican. Once he is in office, he can be as moderate as he wants, and there will be nothing the Tea Partiers can do about it, short of suicidally running a third-party candidate in 2016. That the Tea Partiers have been fighting him all along in the primaries means he will owe them very little when the election comes around; he will owe moderate independents more. A moderate Romney who has fought the right-wing fringes may be willing to further marginalize the Tea Partiers—another good thing.
- Having had a near-death experience in that automobile crash many years ago should give Romney a sense of his own mortality and of the pain that can come with a long recovery from injury or illness. This should generate in him some empathy for those who are sick or injured. That someone died while he was driving, though the accident was not his fault, should generate a bit of humility, too.
- A frugal, smart, hard-working president who has a proven track record of making organizations more efficient wouldn’t, in and of itself, be a bad thing in the White House. (Note, however, his history of creating “efficiencies” at the cost of workers’ livelihoods, apparently with no second thoughts and little concern for the human beings involved.)
- He’s proved he can get some things done in compromise with an opposition party (though he did veto something like 800 Democratic bills while governor of Massachusetts).
|Like nearly all Republican candidates, Romney has signed the no-tax pledge demanded by tax-hater Grover Norquist (above). As governor, however, he was willing to increase revenues by raising fees in Massachusetts.|
- While he has signed the idiotic Grover Norquist No-Tax Pledge in order to get the nomination, the fact that he raised fees to make budgets work in Massachusetts suggests that he is not just a cut-spending-at-all-costs politician.
- The fact that he actually believes in global warming and the role that humans are playing in it makes him sound actually, well, sane, compared the Republican alternatives.
|The next president will almost surely get to replace moderate Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg—a scary thought if Romney is elected. Two other moderate justices may also leave in the next four years.|
- When Ruth Bader Ginsburg—and, possibly, Steven Breyer and Anthony Kennedy—leave the Supreme Court in the next couple of years, Romney’s appointments would hugely warp the court to the right; all balance on it will be gone for another 20 years.
- Any attempts to regulate the financial sector of the economy would fail.
- If he overturns Obama’s health-insurance plan, health-care costs would (according to the Congressional Budget Office) suffocate the economy by 2020.
- Unions would get even weaker; workers will be treated worse and worse.
- Ordinary worker wages would continue to stagnate, relative to inflation.
- Economic inequality would remain the same or grow worse.
- The poor and the unemployed would suffer more deeply than under a Democrat.
|It's a sad hope, but perhaps Romney would be a president like Nixon in that he would be more moderate in office than he was in campaigning for the nomination.|