Pig in a Poke
by Charles Goyette: 'Mitt
the Mighty Job Creator'
a win in the Texas Republican primary election Tuesday, Mitt Romney
has clinched a spot in the November championship round. Or, so his
corner tells us. Although there are some valid questions about the
real delegate count, with Ron Paul having effectively conceded,
it may be academic. But confidence in Romney's victory can be seen
in the repugnant spectacle of many of his recent opponents now gathering
around to tell us how wonderful a leader Romney will be.
short memories the electorate must have. Has Gingrich's dubbing
Romney "Obama light" been forgotten so soon? At the beginning of
the year, Gingrich insisted that Romney was a "liar," and a "fundamentally
dishonest" tool of Wall Street. Is January so distant that it his
warning has disappeared down a memory hole? Now Gingrich reports
that Romney is "a lot like Eisenhower," and "a solid conservative."
(He cannot, by the way, be both.)
quick Google search for "Santorum criticizes Romney" spits out 2.7
million hits. But now, "Governor Romney is the candidate who will
stand up for the conservative principles that we hold dear," says
seems never to be asked, if his opponents were so wrong when they
told us he was a candidate most foul only weeks ago, why we should
rely on their fawning enthusiasm for Romney today?
does no good to tell me "that's just politics." It's all intellectually
fraudulent and morally loathsome. I once had a leader of one of
country's most well-known and strict religious institutions on the
air proudly explain, as though he had just discovered what every
high school follower of politics knows, that his favorite candidate
would run to the right in the primary, only to run to the center
in the general election. "But isn't it dishonest to represent yourself
as one thing to one constituency and something else to another?"
I asked this man of the cloth. "Shouldn't we be looking for integrity
how it's done," he explained indignantly. "That's just politics."
so it is. They are all just Etch-A-Sketch men. Give them a good
shake after the nomination.
should know that Romney's nomination means that in both the Republican
and Democrat candidates we have Keynesian, spend-our-way-to- prosperity
presidents. Even Paul Krugman believes Romney "is actually more
of a Keynesian than he would ever let on." We will have the choice
between Obama deficits and Romney deficits, just as we will have
the choice between Romney-care and Obama-care.
there is any hope to save America from certain debt destruction,
it has to start with the $1.2 trillion a year in national security
state spending. It is an opportunity that will be missed under President
often as John Kerry told us he served in Vietnam, Gingrich reminds
us he was a history professor. ("I am the most seriously professorial
politician since Woodrow Wilson," he once modestly announced.) But
it would be a mistake to rely on Professor Gingrich's new slavering
description of Romney as "a lot like Eisenhower."
months into his presidency, Eisenhower had ended the Korean War,
just as he promised to do during the campaign. He even made an effort
to moderate the Cold War and the nuclear arms race. Although he
provided some support to the French early on, he avoided the substantial
morass of Vietnam unlike his successors in office. He quickly
rolled back the 1956 Suez crisis. And he refused to a launch a nuclear
attack on China as urged by his senior advisors.
was certainly not an ideal president. He approved the CIA's United
Fruit Company coup in Honduras and authorized another CIA coup to
install the Shah in Iran, an act that continues to have blowback
today. Eisenhower is no more deserving of a peace prize than Barack
Obama, but the man who warned us about the undue influence of the
military industrial complex was no Mitt Romney either.
has revealed himself to be the complete captive of the military
industrial complex. Despite our present economic straits, Romney
is eager to "apply the full spectrum of hard and soft power to influence
events," and to that end intends to add 100,000 more people in uniform.
While the U.S. spends almost as much as the rest of the world combined
on warfare, Romney, who claims "this is America's moment," proposes
to spend more.
foreign policy posture is a continuum with that of George W. Bush.
And while Romney avoids speaking Bush's name, referring to him with
the verbally clumsy term "predecessor" five times in one speech,
Romney may actually exceed Bush in his unmitigated bellicosity.
has surrounded himself with the most unhinged of the Bush neocon
advisors, those who marched this country into the decade-long morass
of Mideast warfare. Romney's repeated call for a new "American century"
is especially chilling since his war cabinet includes eight signatories
of the Project for the New American Century, the manifesto calling
for the invasion of Iraq long before 9/11/2001.
joined John McCain for some saber-rattling on Memorial Day and urged
the arming of Syrians. Pushing for "more assertive steps" in Syria,
it may not be long before he joins McCain in urging U.S. bombing
of Syria as well. He proposes to increase military training and
assistance with Central Asian states. And Romney will, he tells
us, "station multiple carriers and warships at Iran's door," apparently
without regard for what our own intelligence community reports about
Iran's nuclear viability.
ceaselessly rearranges his taxonomy of threats, bouncing quickly
from one to another. He has identified Russia as "without question
our number-one geopolitical foe"; jihadists are this century's nightmare;
North Korea is a clear and growing threat to the United States;
the Iranian leadership is the biggest immediate threat; China threatens
Romney's "American century."
this is what Republicans offer the nation: the warfare part of Washington's
warfare/welfare state. Oh, but there will be plenty of welfare to
go along with it (mostly for the crony classes), just as Obama has
included plenty of warfare even as he tilted to the welfare state.
are perfectly capable of buying a pig in a poke. They have done
so over and over again. Even before announcing his run for the presidency,
Bush was quite explicit with a biographer about the joyous prospects
of invading a country like Iraq to pump up his approval numbers
and build political capital. But he told the electorate just weeks
before the vote that he wanted a more humble foreign policy, one
without nation building.
nomination secure, Romney may try to moderate his chest-thumping
during the general election campaign, too.
there's a war pig in that bag.
© 2012 Charles Goyette
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