Sunday, January 06, 2008
Why Mitt Romney sucks (updated with video)
I know that some Mitt Romney supporters think that their guy is getting a bum rap on the flip-flop charge. They all do it, yet somehow only Mitt gets called to task for it. That's probably what they think.
But it's not like that. It's pretty clear that Romney puts his finger up in the air to figure out his position on issues. And on no issue is this more transparent than on illegal immigration.
Back when the debate was brewing on illegal immigration, Romney made it pretty clear that he was open to McCain's position on the issue. In fact, he said it was one of three positions he was considering, and suggested that the McCain option had many good merits. That's why he was considering it, of course.
Lo and behold, once the backlash was felt from the grassroots over the McCain proposal — or any other that mounted to amnesty for illegal immigrants — Mitt Romney had a change of heart.
It's not that he changes or shifts. It's that he adopts what has obviously become the consensus among most Republicans, regardless of what he's said on the topic previously.
So, all of a sudden, he's against amnesty, and for deporting every single illegal out of the country. He also rejects all three proposals he once thought had merit. Not only that, but he starts attacking McCain for the very proposal he once had a lot of time for.
That's the maddening aspect of Romney's political method of operation. He doesn't just change his mind. He does it clumsily and without a second's hesitation. What was once full of merit is now something he attacks. He takes no responsibility for his previous positions. And he attacks people for having the same positions he once did.
So, it's not just about flip-flopping. It's about an inability to know where you stand, know where you should stand, and take at least some responsibility for taking that stand once the decision is made.
It's why Romney more than deserves the flip-flopping label. He'll do and say whatever the last focus group, opinion poll, or talk radio caller tells him to do. That's not leadership. It's opportunism. And I think most voters, especially conservative Republicans, see right through it.
Update (7:06 pm): Here is a perfect example of what I'm talking about. On so many issues, you simply cannot get a straight answer out of Romney. And illegal immigration is just one of them.
I'm not exactly sure why a politician falls into this sort of habit. But Romney does it time and again. Ask him a simple question, and you'll get three or four interpretations of his own answer — from him.
Is it amnesty? Technically no, but....yada yada.
I don't think Romney intends to be dishonest. But he and those around him must get together and somehow convince themselves that what they're saying makes sense. And that's the scary part. They twist themselves into a pretzel to change their position, and along with it the justification for that change of position.
As far as I can see, somewhere in there is a failure of political leadership. I don't think there's any doubt about that, at least for me.
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