Partisanship, Who Needs It?

Partisanship, Who Needs It?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Case for Mitt Romney

I could compare and contrast Mitt Romney with former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, former Senator Rick Santorum, and Representative Ron Paul. There are many good arguments that could be made in his favor with a direct comparison with any or all of his GOP nomination competitors. Sure Romney isn't perfect, but such a comparison would, in my view make a clear case. But....I will not be doing that. This is a more centrist blog and that wont be necessary. I will use comparison, and I will use contrast, and I will make the case why Mitt Romney is the superior choice,....but in the general election.

On another thread in The Rise of the Center I listed the criteria that I look for in a Presidential candidate in the comments section, I listed my 4 criteria and will use those criteria for my comparison here.

1. Obeys the US Constitution

A perfect contrast can be drawn here between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. Mitt Romney in getting healthcare reform through in Massachusetts signed into law a mandate for coverage in his own State that was widely in support of such. There is no violation as the 10th Amendment gives States that right. Romney has time and time again dismissed any notion of forcing an unconstitutional federal mandate.

Barack Obama signed a widely unpopular bill with an unconstitutional mandate for the entire nation that ignore the protection of the 10th Amendment. This individual mandate was the very thing he criticized rival Hilliary Clinton for on the campaign trail in 2007 and 2008 during the Democratic Primary. Just look at the video record

2. Actually be able to lead.

Mitt Romney got major things done in Massachusetts as a Republican governor in a Democratic State with two houses controlled by a democratic legislature. He lowered taxes, turned a $3 billion deficit into a $2billion rainy day fund by the time he left office. He slashed spending and balanced the state budget all four years he was governor. When he took over the state was 50th in rate of change in unemployment shedding jobs all over the place, when he left Massachusetts was in the top ten in the nation He did all this with a state legislature that was 85% democratic by cutting taxes and cutting spending. Now that is leadership, working with others, convincing them to follow you despite ideological differences, putting the right people in the right jobs and executing.

On the Other hand there is President Obama.....sure he inherited a bad situation, but so did Romney, granted Obama's situation was in someways worse, but in some ways it was much better. He went into office on a huge euphoric wave with his own party in control of both branches of government with a filibuster proof majority. He had tons of political capital as he was replacing the unpopular George W. Bush and riding the wave of Hope and Change and as the first black president which helped to shield him from much media and other criticism when he assumed office. But what happened? His signature healthcare reform could not get passed by normal channels even with his majority as moderate democrats rebelled and sided with Republicans who were in opposition. Not until a constitutionally shady gimick of reconciliation was brought in and twisted like a pretzel would he get it passed and even then only with questionable ethics using earmarks and favors to sway the democratic votes he needed, the "Cornhusker Kickback" to Sen Nelson for his vote, the "Louisianna Purchase" of Sen Landrieu's vote, etc.

But did Obama at least get the economy going in the right direction? I think most of us know the answer to that. Record deficits for three years that top any before he took office, Massive unemployment not just in the official rate but even more so in the real unemployment rate that doiesn't change when people give up and stop looking for work, no rainy day fund but instead a government that begs to raise its debt ceiling every couple of months because it continues to increase its spending. Department heads involved in scandal from the Interior and the Gulf spill, to the Feds less than 1% loans to big banks, to Justice's fast and furious, to Energy's loan to Solyandra and 23 other businesses that have failed or are in desperate straits.

I could go on and talk about the Olympics, about a President actually wagging his finger at the Supreme Court at a SOTU address, but I'll go to the next point after I do give one bit of credit to the President on the leadership issue, he did give his 'okie-dokie' when the Seals had Bin Laden in their sights, but serious does anyone reading this right now have one ounce of doubt they would have made that same call? does anyone even doubt they would make that no brainer for even a millisecond? I don't.

3. Putting the country first.

This is the one area where I won't have much to say. Both Romney and Obama try to put the country first, they just have different views of what policies achieve that, and both are bound by their own biases. Both also have sought to advance their careers and agenda without thinking about the consequences from time to time and been divisive. Its a fairly close call here, but I give the advantage to Romney who was able to work with a legislature that was 85% democratic and get his agenda carried out to a large degree, that took not only leadership but some compromise on his end on some things Obama has not proven himself able to put forth that same level of working across the aisle, not entirely his fault, but I can't say I' ever saw Governor Romney using the same type of verbal assaults and condescending finger wagging from his executive position.

4. Efficiency

Mitt Romney went into a state with severe economic problems and turned them around almost from the start and built on that until he left office.

President Obama went into his job with a similar situation and put hundreds of billions into projects with little effect, then for a year turned his head away from the economy and instead to a largely unpopular healthcare reform bill which got passed with shady tactics that he couldn't get done even with a filibuster proof majority and ignored the unemployment situation for a year. When he did he set up a commission on the deficit then promptly ignored the advice they gave him.

I ask you, which was more efficient, I think it is clear.

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