Is Mitt Romney Morally Comprimised?

Mitt Romney’s political and social positions litter the path to his Republican presidential nomination like so many rusted-out junkers abandoned in the desert. In all fairness, though, bible-thumping, faith-based political action committees and Tea Party conservatives on a high moral-fiber diet always knew that, but went with the clearly duplicitous Mr. Romney, anyway.

High moral fiber diets are notoriously difficult to stick with, and Mitt Romney’s nomination reveals that Republicans and their associated evangelical Christian backed PACs have lost a lot more principles than weight endorsing him.

We like our candidates, whether Republican or Democrat, to have the inflexible, moral backbone of a Billy Graham in a back brace, the unquenchable resolve of John Wayne playing his most determined cowpoke, the steadfast courage in the face of adversity of an Indiana Jones; we want our leaders wise as Gandhi, compassionate as (does not apply to Tea Partiers or Mitt Romney) Mother Teresa, and when aroused, dangerous as the proverbial crouching tiger of lip-synced films.

So it must be thoroughly frustrating for Republicans to admit that they nominated a rubber chicken as their presidential candidate. Rubber chickens have no backbone, but they do have a rubber spine, flexible enough to allow Romney to assume more positions on any given issue than are found in the Kama Sutra. And not unlike a bishop on a chessboard, Romney’s positions on any issue are always oblique, zigzagging first one way, then another, depending on the strength of the opposition he encountered at his previous position. We’re all familiar with:

  • Obamacare: Romney created Romneycare for Massachussettes, on which Obamacare is patterned, then changed his mind to pander to hard-core conservatives.
  •  Gay rights: For it, then against it.
  •  Abortion: Romney was unequivocally for it when running for governor of Massachusetts, and is now against it.
  •  Women’s rights: Was for, now against.

Why belabor the point other than to say that if Mitt Romney drizzled maple syrup on all the positions he’s supported out of political expedience, he’d have enough waffles for a Rotarian breakfast.

Now, it’s not that Romney doesn’t know the truth; and it’s not that he has lost all capacity to recognize the truth. Clearly, though, by now the electorate must become suspicious of the motives and abilities of one who so carelessly misplaces the truth.

Romney essentially describes the 47 percent Americans not paying income taxes as supporters of President Obama, worthless, free-loading, lazy, parasites sucking America dry. So that I am not accused of taking liberties with my interpretation of Romney’s May fundraiser comments, his exact words were:

“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president [Obama] no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it…. My job is not to worry about “those” people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.

Perhaps it never occurred to him, but Romney is also describing among the 47 percent: senior citizens on social security, soldiers fighting in Afghanistan, good people who have lost their jobs, and wealthy people able to zero out their taxes.

Fear of the future demands absolute stability in the present for those, like Romney, who feel threatened by forces and movements beyond their control.  It is perfectly consistent for Romney and other conservative Republicans to not only believe, but demand that the world stand still and cease being the moving target that it clearly is. What else can account for a room full of wealthy donors paying $50,000 a plate, and not one of them has enough between his ears or between his legs to leave the room or take issue with Romney’s statement.

These fearful people lack the imagination to envision what is possible for Americans to accomplish if cooperating and working together to solve problems and build lives. Tea Partiers and other fearful conservatives fool themselves into believing that the stability they seek lies in Romney or the world at large.

As for Romney, one may apply the sobriquet, “moral cretin,” with impunity or fear of blow-back. Romney has defined himself in this manner by the position he takes on 47% of Americans being worthless parasites. A point in Mitt Romney’s favor: finally, he has voiced a position he is willing to fight for. Unfortunately, one cannot respect him for his resolve.

Bart Nedelman


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