Thursday, October 4, 2012

Meet the New Mitt- Same as the Old Mitt?

Mitt Romney in 2007 in Washington, DC at the V...
First of all I have to say if you're gonna pick winners and losers in a debate- last night Mitt Romney won the debate against Barack Obama.  Romney was sharp, prepared, to the point and aggressive.  He did an effective job of setting expectations low and he exceeded those expectations.  President Obama looked disinterested, unprepared and maybe even dismissive of Governor Romney.

Many of us were wondering when Romney would shake up the Etch-A-Sketch and move back to Romney 1.0, the moderate progressive who ran for governor of Massachusetts.  Last night, we got our answer.  Now, to be fair to the President, I watch all of his speeches and I watched the DNC.  So, there was nothing new to be heard last night.  He did a decent job of getting all his talking points in.  What he seemed to be unprepared for were the attacks from Governor Romney on his record and for Romney's new plans.  So, there's really not much to talk about when it comes to Obama's performance.

I heard a lot of "me too" last night, from both sides- but mostly from Moderate Mitt Romney.  I think he took the President completely off-guard. If it was a strategy to save Moderate Mitt Romney for the debates, it may have been a brilliant one.  Time will tell.  Conservative Mitt Romney probably feels the base is locked down. The new Mitt Romney, I'm going to call him Mitt Romney 3.0, should appeal to independents.  Mitt Romney 1.0 was the Moderate Progressive that ran for the governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney 2.0 was the strong conservative of the Republican primaries and the Presidential campaign up until last night.  Mitt Romney 3.0 - Moderate Mitt Romney isn't so different from the radical socialist Kenyan Muslim Obama.  Moderate Romney isn't going to lower anybody's taxes. Moderate Mitt Romney doesn't want to "starve the beast",  he wants to make sure we keep fueling that sucker.  Moderate Mitt Romney thinks regulation (not greed) is good.  Moderate Mitt Romney isn't going to just repeal Dodd-Frank.  In fact in the example he gave of a problem with Dodd-Frank, the regulation isn't strong enough. We need more regulation in Dodd-Frank.  He's not going to just repeal Obamacare, he's going to replace it with something that will provide the same protections.  But at the state level- which confuses me.  How does he, the head of the federal government ensure me that when he takes away my protections under Obamacare that Ohio is going to replace them?  Oh well, that's just a minor detail.  I'll take his word for it. Moderate Mitt Romney- when it comes to two key pieces of legislation under Obama, Dodd-Frank and Obamacare pretty much says "I'm going to do what you did, but do it better."

Moderate Mitt Romney is going to continue to tax the wealthy so that they continue to pay the (exorbitant by some standards) same share of income tax as they pay today.  Never mind that slashing everyone's rate by 20% doesn't leave you with enough loopholes to close on the wealthy to maintain that number.  And, as a taxpayer making say $100,000 a year and paying $20,000 in federal taxes (just making up a number).  Do I care if I pay that $20,000 on line 55 of my 1040 or on line 80?  What difference does it make to me if you lower my rate and take away my deductions so my net tax is the same?

For those tuning in for the first time, Moderate Mitt might have a lot of appeal with his common-sense middle-of-the-road approach.  But, for those who have watched Mitt Romney over the last 18 months, maybe no so fast.  Even if you just start putting together Moderate Mitt's words from last night, you might end up scratching your head.  He's running for President of the United States- the head of the federal government- but he wants to leave things as critical as education and healthcare completely up the states.  He's against both tax increases (not even taking one dollar in increase for ten dollars in spending cuts).  And, he's also against any tax cut that adds a dime to the deficit.  He's going to massively restructure the income tax code, an easy feat to be sure, and make sure it's all revenue neutral.

Moderate Mitt Romney won the debate.  But, Moderate Mitt Romney leaves me with questions.  How will his Republican handlers like Moderate Mitt Romney?  I know Conservatives were positively giddy last night as Moderate Mitt Romney "crushed" Barack Obama.  Were they too giddy to realize he crushed Obama with a huge leap to the center?  It'll be interesting to watch and see if and when they realize that the strong conservative they chose in the primary vanished last night.  If we elect Moderate Mitt Romney, will we actually get Moderate Mitt Romney?  Romney 1.0, Romney 2.0 or Romney 3.0 (which is a lot like 1.0)- which is it?
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kc bob said...

"Moderate Mitt Romney leaves me with questions."

So you are thinking of voting for Mittens! I knew it!

Brian said...

Bob, I always TRY to be open minded. Every single election cycle. My commitment is to vote for the person I think will do the most good for the most people.

kc bob said...

I think that most try to be open minded but, like me, have an ideological bent towards a certain kind of candidate.

Brian said...

Bob, I think only a small percentage of the electorate even tries to be open minded. I think most are locked into one party or the other.

kc bob said...

You may be right. I have traditionally voted R but have voted D at times. I imagine that you have traditionally voted D and maybe R a few times?

Brian said...

I've voted (R) very few times frankly, Bob. I am a liberal and the Democratic candidate most often reflects my views. On local elections for candidates I haven't had time to familiarize myself with, I do vote (D) by default. I just voted a couple of hours ago. In my county many (most) of the local elections are (R)s running unopposed. This time, including John Boehner. Democrats don't even try to run.

As I said, I TRY to be open minded. I like the idea of being an independent.
I didn't register as a Democrat until 2008. But, the "new" Republican Party hasn't given me a real choice to vote (R) in a very long time. They're moving farther and farther right. Since Ohio is a closed primary state, I cant' vote in the Republican primary. And, as you're probably aware, moderate Republicans are getting beat by Tea Party extremists in the primaries.