When we take a moment to reflect on the past year in American Politics, it’s mostly been a time of focus on the GOP. After all, Democrats have had our 2012 Presidential candidate since the 2008 election. There’s not much of a need for controversy in that party. But relative quiet on one side of the political aisle does not mean we’ve been short of drama… the GOP has gotten VERY good at it all on it’s own. The drama of the Presidential Primaries was particularly intense. But you have to ask… After so many candidates, did the GOP really have to select Mitt Romney? How did this happen?
Sure most of the field was “weak”, and Mr. Romney was well organized and well funded. The few candidates that showed real promise at the start, like Jon Huntsman or Tim Pawlenty, were not able to get much traction out of the gate. Promising future prospects like Chris Christie decided to sit out the 2012 cycle (perhaps not wanting to be thrown to the wolf pack). But as the Republican Party continues to cleanse itself of moderates in favor of the Far-Right, why would they tolerate a “moderate” flip-flopper like Romney to be the leader of their party? The answer is simple: KARMA.
The GOP used to be a party that emphasized small government and fiscal responsibility. But today’s party doesn’t really have a central philosophy. Instead they are caught in a complex web of lies. How can you be for small government when you continue to overfund the Department of Defense… the world’s largest employer? How can you be for fiscal restraint, when you voted to fight two wars without raising even a penny of revenue to fund them? How can you be for further tax cuts for the wealthy, when their taxes are already at historic lows? This is the web that modern Republicans have woven for themselves. As opinion columnist Michael Tomasky of the Daily Beast writes, the GOP now has to lie in order to win a major election. If Republicans told the truth about their real intentions for government, they would be rejected by all for their hypocrisy.
That’s where the karma comes in. Mitt Romney is the closest thing to a sole embodiment of the GOP’s hypocritical history. Romney’s business experience (and his wealth) is basically built from the destruction of thousands of American workers. He became rich because other companies took the advice of Bain Capital, laid off much of their work force, then paid Bain in consulting fees. There’s a big contradiction there considering he’s running for President on his ability to “create American jobs”.
Mr. Romney of course has a public record as well… four years as Governor of Massachusetts. And during that time, his single greatest legislative achievement was the passage of mandatory health care for all Massachusetts residents. Make no mistake, this was Governor Romney’s signature achievement in the Bay State. Listen to him defend his universal health care plan with Fox News’ Neil Cavuto. I Had to transcribe my favorite part here…
Cavuto: “Let me step back from this Governor, if you don’t mind. When people are polled on this issue of universal healthcare coverage, a Fox Poll that we did… 2 out of 3 folks say ‘don’t want it, don’t see the need for it.’ What do you say about that?
Romney: “Well what they don’t recognize is they’ve already got it, and that’s the big surprise. Everybody in this country does get free health care. If people get sick… they go to the hospital and they get treated. And everybody else pays the cost of those individuals if they don’t have health insurance… So we have universal health care. For people that can afford to pay, it’s time for them to step up to the plate.”
The eloquence and conviction with which Mr. Romney defends his plan (to the Fox News audience, no less) is simply shocking. No wonder a symbol for health care is painted into Governor Romney’s official Massachusetts portrait.
Then there’s his time with the Salt Lake City Olympics. No one doubts that the games were a success, but Romney continues to forget HOW he funded those games… from over $1 Billion dollars in GOVERNMENT contracts. Yet today, he decries many public projects as “wasteful spending”. So it wasn’t a waste when he oversaw the funds?
Of course many Republicans are caught in this trap… the ones that publicly bashed the Obama Stimulus as wasteful, but then request portions of the funds for their district. Mr. Romney’s newly minted running mate Paul Ryan was caught red-handed lying about stimulus funds, saying that he never requested any of the money for his district, and even going so far to say “I’m not one who votes for something and then writes to the government to ask them to send us money,”. Actually, he did, so if it’s a test of character, Mr. Ryan would fail almost as quickly as Mr. Romney.
So as karma would have it, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have turned out to be quite the fitting match for their party’s national leadership. Romney is the embodiment of hypocrisy and convolution, While Ryan is the party’s ideology gone wrong. Karma is definitely at play in this year’s Republican Party.