Romney, With Quite Literally Nothing Left To Lose, Is Still Romney

economics, healthcare, politics, writing

“Yeah, I mean, you know…if you take these people making $20,000, $30,000 a year and offer them free healthcare, because, you know, most of them don’t have it…and if they do, it’s not good or affordable….and you give them free healthcare, like healthcare is some kind of right, well, of course they’re going to vote for you.

What? No…no I don’t have a better plan for getting these people covered.  I’m just saying, you know, it’s worth $10 grand, maybe more.  That’s the market.  That’s just the market.  They can go to the ER if they have to.

No. No, I haven’t heard that it costs society more to have uninsured people use the ER like a free clinic than it doesn’t to just cover them.  It’s the market!  People gotta get paid.

Brown people? Of course the free healthcare bit was huge for them. Huge. I mean, come on.  And don’t even get me started on the student loan stuff.  No, I don’t pay federal income tax as such.

This is basically what he just said.  Bobby Jindal is not amused.

Gov. Jindal, Gov. Romney was never able to explain that well-meaning conservatives are conservative because they believe conservatism raises all boats, and this inability has everything to do with the fact that Romney is without core political convictions. Jindal says Romney’s campaign narrative was too long on biography.  There’s a reason for that.

9 thoughts on “Romney, With Quite Literally Nothing Left To Lose, Is Still Romney

  1. The dominant narrative is that Mitt Romney is a singularly core-less person, and there is plenty of evidence to support that. But I think something more distressing explains this. At one point, Mitt Romney believed that providing healthcare to people was a good idea — that’s why he championed the Massachusetts blueprint for the ACA. And then he started thinking about running for president as a Republican, and people told him (probably correctly) that he simply could not believe that and win. And over time he became more ensconced in the national conservative machine, surrounded by people who do not believe this and who have incredible vitriol for people who believe this. And so his belief changed, perhaps not because of any conscious choice, but because the human mind in general is very good at believing whatever it is helpful to believe.

    I think the same thing happened with John McCain four years ago. The McCain who was senator from Arizona for decades was one I would have been glad to vote for, had I lived in that state. But the McCain who ran for president abandoned all of his reasonableness, because reasonableness does not sell to the Republican base, party bosses, or de facto party bosses in the punditocracy. Four years from now, I would not be surprised to see presidential nominee Chris Christie pounding his fist about closing down FEMA. And if he does, John Stewart will juxtapose it with his speeches from the last two weeks and everyone will call him a flip-flopper. But by that point he will probably sincerely believe it, because his subconscious knows that someone who says that any part of the federal government is useful, and *especially* that the federal government should try to help people in need, could not possibly win.

    Rachel avoids politics as much as possible and has not voted in any election since I have known her, so I was surprised that after this election she said to me something like “maybe the Republicans would have won if they hadn’t nominated such an idiot”. So I pressed her on why she thought Romney was an idiot and she responded with a discussion of his disdain for the poor, 47% remarks, etc. I tried to explain that this was not something that Romney alone believed, and I am not sure that it is something that Romney believed at all ten years ago, but that believing it is an absolute necessity in order for someone to win the Republican nomination.

    I am hoping the “Obama won because he gave gifts of healthcare and education to poor people” and “we can’t generate enough angry white men” comments are moving toward reflection of how Republicans could themselves support policies that would make people want to vote for them, but it looks much more like the conclusion being drawn is that Romney lost because he was too moderate.


  2. Great points. But I’ve also seen people start to say “we (the GOP) need to support a pathway to citizenship.” “Maybe Bush was right about that before he was wrong.” So, perhaps, they will start believing things it’s expedient to believe, but doing so in the right direction.

    Maybe Romney’s not coreless. And then the question, which Van Halen insists we ask: is it better to be rotten to the core or to have no core at all?”

    My own narrative belief is that at his core, Romney believes in power…even as he believes the government is (and should be) powerless to do anything beside protect the borders and execute wars (and people).


  3. I don’t know if your readers play chess, but sometimes when you’re losing you have to set-up a swindle or complicate the position to force a blunder.

    A dirty win is still a win.


    1. Yes. And, as one friend on facebook said, it could simply be that Romney is doing this to set the stage for people like Jindal to redefine the party. Very possible. Oddly enough, it’s also very Straussian.


      1. I would say Machiavellian, but I suppose that’s encompassed in Straussian thought.

        You cannot go against nature. Because when you do go against nature, It’s part of nature too.
        ~ Love & Rockets


  4. Romney is the first Modern-Loser. Criticism is no longer the province of publishable pundits; we’re a nation of phone-toting photo-shopping Redditers vying for karma.


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