Quote of the day: Where even Mitt Romney has got soul edition

>> Monday, August 27, 2012

It’s not hard to imagine that the 21-year-old Mitt Romney, freshly returned from his Mormon mission tour abroad shortly after the 1968 election, noticed that his father, a dedicated public servant with a passion for social justice, lost the nation’s top job to a notoriously unprincipled paranoiac whose main qualification for the presidency was an unchecked willingness to do literally anything to reach it. The guy who didn’t believe in anything won.
- Alex Pareene, "George Romney: Braver than Mitt",
Salon, August 26th, 2012.


Pareene's full piece is worth the read: it's probably about as scathing a comparison of Mitt Romney and his old man as can be imagined.

I don't know enough about George Romney to say if he would have been the rare Republican I could have admired. But the comparison between Mitt Romney and Richard Nixon is a pregnant one: I don't know that Mitt Romney comes off as being as paranoid, neurotic and insecure as Richard Nixon was, but they certainly make a pair of unprincipled politicians who will at least say anything to get elected and make studiously vague promises of having comprehensive secret plans for seemingly intractable problems (Vietnam in the one case, the economy in the other) when anyone paying attention ought to see they clearly have nothing. (I dunno, maybe Mitt Romney, perhaps, is looking for a way to secretly and illegally expand unemployment into Laos and Cambodia.)

A caution sign, though, is to remember Richard Nixon was elected President twice. Being a weird, humorless, shifty, lying weasel lacking in basic social skills isn't a disqualification for the Presidency, as it turns out. And, as problematic as some of President Obama's policies and political approaches have been, I actually do have to respectfully suggest to the left that we not forget the lessons of '68: namely, that not only is being a creep not a disqualification to the Presidency, but that crossing the line from supportive criticism to fractious dissidence may only abet said creep. There were plenty of good reasons for the Democrats and the left to be fractured and at odds in 1968, but Richard Nixon wasn't the candidate for any of them.




Snarky Postscript: I have to confess, my freewheeling mind did stumble over a crucial difference between Mitt Romney and Richard Nixon: Nixon kept the dog.

Yeah, I couldn't just let that joke run off into the wilds of Ontario, but I didn't really want it in the body of the post. So.



2 comments:

Anonymous,  Saturday, October 6, 2012 at 12:06:00 AM EDT  

Haven't the Irony Police come to knock down your door yet? You live in the Crat dream world where the lies you use to hold the nest together have become YOUR "reality," so there can be no "real" Pubs or conservatives that aren't haters, despite the fact that the spew that was Air America couldn't find an audience willing to listen to their drivel, versus a 45 million dollar contract signed to El Rushbo.

Eric Sunday, October 7, 2012 at 11:12:00 AM EDT  

...'kaaaaaaay....

Y'know, I'm not sure what Air America has to do with anything, but since you mention it: I thought it sounded like a pretty dumb idea. I don't know if it sucked as much as its poor ratings would seem to suggest, since I never bothered listening to it.

I grok the appeal of something like Air America to a marketer: "If polls and election results keep veering close to the country being almost evenly divided, there must be a vast unserved market that wants a left-wing Rush Limbaugh and we could sell tons of ads to companies trying to reach them!" The problem with that thesis, though, is that "left-wing Rush Limbaugh" is mostly an oxymoron; while there are leftists who find demagogues appealing, and there are leftist demagogues, those folks have rarely, if ever, represented a large segment of a general populace, least of all in America, where most "liberals" and Democrats would be considered center-right when compared to counterparts in Europe and elsewhere.

I have a number of family members who are (or were) lifelong Republicans (the recent behavior of the teabag wing of the party may have driven them out, and I'm given to believe that even before that, many of them voted for Barack Obama); so far as I know, none of them listen to Rush Limbaugh and they find his theatrics fairly offensive. None of them are "haters".

The Irony Police came by yesterday, but I didn't let them in because they didn't have a search warrant or probable cause. Which was, you know, pretty ironic.

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