I’ve been trying for the longest time to figure Mitt Romney out. The man is a flippant enigma. To quote myself from 2008 when Romney ran for the nomination but lost to John McCain, I said “Mitt Romney has more policy positions in his middle finger than you have in your whole body.” Maybe that’s unfair, but it’s hard to believe that he doesn’t delight in the mental chaos induced by his maddeningly contradictory utterances.
I’ve been analyzing him all year long, desperately trying to come up with an explanation for his, well, entire campaign, and finally, I believe I understand his messaging on the economy if nothing else. Romney seemed at first to have no coherent economic plan, just boilerplate fiscal fallacies and wishful thinking. Pretty standard stuff for a presidential election. What I eventually realized as I parsed more and more of his rhetoric from on the campaign trail, at fundraisers, at the debates, et al. was that he actually has no economic plan at all!
To put it another way, Romney’s pitch to voters can be summarized as follows:
President Obama has done nothing to fix the economy, therefore elect me . . . because I will also do nothing to fix it.
Mischaracterization? Not really. Romney’s most coherent assertion has been that the best thing the government can do for the economy is get out of the way of the private sector and let the recovery happen on its own. Ergo, your choice this election season is between someone who’s accomplished nothing and someone who plans to accomplish nothing. Contrast a la Romney.
Comedy or tragedy? You be the judge . . .
Copyright 2012 by Michael S. Marsters.
All rights reserved.