Trust Me, I’m a Businessman

Romney and his cohorts seem increasingly desperate in their bid for the White House. They seem incapable of remaining on message at all in the waning days of the campaign. Not that Romney ever really had a message other than, vote for me, I’m not him, the other guy, the black guy. Pinning Romney to anything is as easy, as one TV commentator said, as nailing jello to the wall. After all these months of non-stop campaigning, I still have no idea what Romney stands for.

After almost a year trying to convince primary voters that he is severely conservative, whatever that means, in the first debate against President Obama, he triumphantly proclaimed himself the arch-moderate. Romney has vacillated violently from one extreme to the center, appealing to all comers, regardless of where they stand.

What is so startling about this man is the lengths to which he goes to paint himself as the right man for the job, while displaying contempt for all around him. He released two years of tax forms and steadfastly refused to release any more, desite the fact that most candidates before him released their taxes quite easily. To any thinking person, this immediately raises a red flag. What is this man hiding? This country cannot last another four years with a secretive, arrogant President, that treats the people with contempt. The release of his tax returns should be part of the application for the job of President. The people have a right to know who they are dealing with. He ought to be able to explain what he does with his money. If he does not want to do this, don’t run for President.

He has spent almost a month refusing to talk to the press about anything, other than a two-minute piece on CNN. The people have a right to know who is running for President and what it is he stands for. President Obama has been quite willing to come out on all the comedy shows, the talk shows and even radio shows and talk about his vision for the country. He made himself vulnerable to criticism by doing so, but he did it anyway, and he came across as relaxed, in control of his message, and ultimately presidential.

Romney has begun to attack the President on issues over which the President has no control, such as the price of gas, which is set not by presidents or their policies, but by the international commodities market, something of which Romney should be well aware. His latest attack accusing the President of selling Jeep to Italians and outsourcing their jobs to China was not just incorrect, it was an outright fabrication.

The Italian CEO of Chrysler had to come out several times to refute the claim, but Romney is not interested in the truth. Romney continues to play ads that make this claim. He made similar accusations towards GM, and was similarly rebuffed, also by the CEO. The newspapers in Ohio and Michigan have also come out refuting the claims, but none of this affects Romney’s determination to barrel ahead with his counterfeit claim.

Romney wanted to force the auto industry into bankruptcy and rely on private financing to bring it out of bankruptcy. In 2008, there was no private financing available. Corporations and people with the financial means were not interested in bailing out the auto industry. It was only when President Obama stepped in and allowed the industry to go through a controlled bankruptcy with the guarantee of government funds that the auto industry recovered. If it had not been for Obama, the industry would have collapsed, along with the banks, the economy and everything else. Romney now wants us to believe that he was in favor of saving the auto industry, but that is not what he said at the time.

The message that Romney perpetuates now is an appeal to trust. He claims that he won’t cut Medicare, but we know that he aims to create a voucher program, which is the same as cutting the program. During the primaries he spoke about cutting FEMA, and now he is a fan of the agency. He often makes the claim that he cares about people, and yet he wants to attack the Federal budget with a hatchet. How many people will lose their jobs during his tenure? You cannot cut government services without cutting jobs, and when you cut jobs, the economy suffers. He claims to care about everyone, but will extend tax cuts to the extremely wealthy, while taking deductions away from working people.

A new argument is now being made about electing Romney and not President Obama. This claim goes something like this: if you don’t choose Romney, Republicans will shut down the government and the economy by refusing to cooperate with the President. This claim goes on to state that if you elect Romney, he will work across the aisle with Democrats. His history belies this claim. In Massachusetts, he claims that he worked with Democrats to get things done. The record tells a different story. During his four years in office, he vetoed 884 pieces of legislation, more than double what his predecessor vetoed in eight years.

Romney refused tor work with Democrats at all, and could barely recognize legislators when he met them. He had the elevatoto his office in the capitol reserved for his personal use only, no doubt to avoid meeting aggressive legislators. The Democratically controlled legislature had to override his veto to get laws to pass. Romney was obstructionist in office and had no intention of working with Democrats.

His pitch to the American voter is, elect me and I will work with Democrats to get legislation passed. His track record just does not allow us to believe him. The other pitch that he makes is that he has plans to fix the economy; he cannot tell you what they are, but trust him, when he gets in, they will work to improve the economy. His plans are always short on details, any details. His campaign is one of the most ephemeral I have ever met, a nebulous mass of opacity masquerading as political theater.

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