I lived in Massachusetts when Mitt was Governor. I got to watch him for years. I think I know how he thinks. It's said that a firebrand must eat fire, even if he must kindle it himself (as we see with Obama encouraging anti-semitic Occupy Wall Street protesters saying things not considered fit for polite society since World War II). Mitt isn't a firebrand, he's a policy wonk.
Well, how much Policy can a Policy Wonk wonk, if a Policy Wonk could wonk policy? Quite a lot, actually:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
December 7, 2005
ROMNEY ANNOUNCES STRICT NEW CLEAN AIR REGULATIONS TO TAKE EFFECT JANUARY 1He looks for "problems" that a well-run Government can "solve" by judicious application of policy wonkery. And who are the policy advisors he is pleased to help his team of expert wonkers winnow the policy wheat from the chaff?
Governor Mitt Romney today announced that Massachusetts will take another major step in meeting its commitment to protecting air quality when strict state limitations on carbon dioxide emissions from power plants take effect on January 1, 2006.
In the development of greenhouse gas policy, Romney Administration officials have elicited input from environmental and economic policy experts. These include John Holdren, professor of environmental policy at Harvard University and chair of the National Commission on Energy Policy ...
The man who President Obama chose to run his Office of Science and Technology Policy.
Oh, but that's just a one-off, a "black swan" - I mean, it'd never happen again. Right? Oh, wait:
It’s no secret that Mitt Romney’s universal-health-care program in Massachusetts was the model for President Obama’s federal law, but the relationship was even tighter than previously known. White House visitor logs show that three Romney aides paid Obama’s team at least a dozen visits, and had at least one meeting with the president himself to help plan the health-care legislation.The difference between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama is a matter of degree, not of kind. They are both aggressively expansionist in their view of Government's proper role. Obama admittedly goes further (some might say much further, but I'm not at all sure about that), but that just describes the length of the vector. Both point in the same direction.
And so again, let me say that this Republic will be better off with a Republican Congress and Barack Obama putting his Italian loafers on the Oval Office desk for another four years. The Republican Congress will aggressively resist Obama's every plan, being (rightly) suspicious of his every motive. That same Republican Congress will not rein in a Romney Administration, feeling the need to "go along to get along".
Romney is likely to be at least moderately successful (at least initially), and so we can expect the sum of wonkish legislation to be formidable indeed. Looking at Mitt's disastrous legacy in Massachusetts, we will be in a deep pit of fail indeed.
Romney doesn't get it, what we feel in our bones:
In the minds of likely voters, Washington, not Wall Street, is primarily to blame for the financial crisis and the subsequent recession.He thinks that you can eat yourself thin. Because a Wonk needs to wonk. And so this Republic must be running short of really smart policy.
Sure, Obama will have the opportunity to appoint judges, and Justices to the Supreme Court. That sucks. But it's unlikely to shift the makeup of the court, as it's the liberal Justices who will retire first. Would I rather have more Scalias and Thomases? Sure. But dig this:
Mitt won't appoint any.
He'll appoint another David Souter. We don't win this, however it plays out.
We may be screwed either way, but I for one refuse to go gentile into that Dark Night of Statism. A Stupid Party loss in what should be the easiest election of the last 50 years may shock them out of their complacency. Maybe not. But energized, divided government beats what Governor Vector will serve up.
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