Saturday, September 8, 2012

This Romney Believes...

Through all the rhetoric, and man is there a lot of that, I believe the Republican party really stands for things. They're things on the whole I don't stand for, but I don't hold it against them that we disagree. The truth is, they really do stand for established privilege. I don't think Eric Cantor could make a claim like the tweet he let fly on Labor Day if that weren't the case:
Today, we celebrate those who have taken a risk, worked hard, built a business and earned their own success.
Give the laborers one day? Nah. They didn't build that.

So that brings me back to Romney. The Atlantic Monthly had an interesting, recent article, "Slugfest," about the upcoming presidential debates. The article spent a little time talking about Romney's 1994 run to unseat Ted Kennedy, which proved ultimately unsuccessful. I found this bit about it particularly telling, Romney reflecting upon the whole experience:
Romney now looks back and says he knew he never had a chance and was running mainly because he felt a civic duty to stand up against 'a man who I thought by virtue of his policies of the liberal welfare state had created a permanent under class in America.' [emphasis mine] 
I don't know if you can exactly fault Romney for these views. In some ways I agree that we do need to fight against the idea that government in the solution to our problems, but of course that's never been Obama's argument. And I don't think that's by and large the prevailing view of the modern Democratic party.

If it's an argument about proportion, fine. If it's an argument about the difference between having safety nets in place and not at all, I take exception. And I think most people should, too. We live in a world of uncertainty. Nothing's perfect, granted, but it's good to feel as though there's a prevailing attitude that we're together in this, if only somewhat. Paul Ryan's fiscal vision seems hell bent on ridding us of that concept wholesale, which doesn't seem like a partisan statement to me. It's the closest thing to objective truth I think you can find in politics these days, or maybe ever all time. Of course Ryan wouldn't spin it as negatively, never has and never will, but he's said effectively the very same thing. And he's Romney's Vice President. And Romney by his own admission sees most government interventions as categorically bad (see above), unless of course he's instituting them (see Romneycare).

For as aloof and uncomfortable as Romney, the man, can be when dealing with people who are different from himself, I also think we see him at his most sincere. Take the following two clips. The first, more recent in his discussing gay marriage with a gay veteran.

And then this video (circa 2007) in which we see Romney talking to a man in a wheel chair about medical marijuana. Romney is completely unyielding in both encounters and completely uninterested in the differences, and the unique struggles, of other people, of different people. It shines right through.