Friday, 25 November 2011

Mitt Romney: Tom Dewey All Over Again

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Jack KennyThey arrive now with monotonous regularity. Another day, another announcement by a New Hampshire politician of his or her endorsement of Mitt Romney for President. Former Governor John Sununu. Former Governor and U.S. Senator Judd Gregg. Senator Kelly Ayotte. Umpteen members of the New Hampshire House and Senate. Romney's the one. A businessman. A leader. The one who will create what all America wants — jobs, jobs, jobs! Overseas, seas, seas. Yet the Romney record suggests he'll be creating the jobs overseas, seas, seas, and that's what we'll be hearing from the Obama camp from here to reelection.

Oh, how those beltway bandits love to promise jobs, jobs, jobs. That was the promise of the first President Bush. When we went to war with Iraq to liberate Kuwait, it was, said Secretary of State James Baker, for “o-i-l” and “jobs, jobs, jobs.”  A year later, GOP challenger Pat Buchanan would ridicule the promise of new jobs, noting that Bush never told us they would be in Shanghai, Tokyo, and other ports of call. Manufacturing jobs. Good pay. Jobs that are gone and aren't coming back any time soon.

By their fruits, you shall know them. Our largest employer used to be General Motors. Now it's Wal-Mart. The siren song of free trade has carried off the best of American jobs and creativity. Our institutions of higher education are increasingly educating foreign students who go back home and create companies that beat American businesses with American training and know-how. Our government borrows and spends to create jobs, adding to deficits and tax burdens that kill jobs. We rescue businesses “too big to fail” with the money of people too small to count. And Mitt Romney is okay with that. Twenty-four years ago, it was Dukakis and the “Massachusetts miracle” that would be the template of our nation's success. Now it's Mitt and the Massachusetts mirage.

You want a government healthcare program? Mitt's got RomneyCare. You're against government healthcare? Mitt will repeal ObamaCare. You were all for the war with Iraq? Mitt was, too. You're against the war with Iraq? Mitt will move it to Iran. You're for “gay rights”? Mitt's the guy who promised to do more for “gay rights” than Ted Kennedy. You're against same-sex marriage? Mitt proposed a constitutional amendment to ban it in Massachusetts. You're for same-sex marriage? Mitt's administration said, don't wait for the Legislature to act, just order the town and city clerks to start issuing marriage licenses to “Party A” and “Party B” to satisfy the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts and never mind that the law says otherwise. You're against judicial activism? So is Mitt, when he's not bowing and genuflecting to it.

You're against the next government bailout of those companies too big to fail? So is Mitt, even though he was for the last one. You want a balanced budget, but are opposed to defense cuts? Mitt's with you. We'll cut taxes and grow our way out of these deficits.

You want to preserve every department, bureau, and agency of the executive branch, while continuing to complain of “big government”? Again, Mitt's your man. Mitt wants to eliminate waste and duplication. Why have 13 federal programs to prevent teenage pregnancy? Why not just one or two? Mitt asks. Why not none, since it is not a federal responsibility and there is no constitutional warrant for it? Mitt hasn't a clue.

You don't like No Child Left Behind, but want education “reform” at the federal level? Mitt thinks that's cool. He's not one of the barn-burners who would eliminate the federal Department of Education, just because his party's platform promised for 20 years to do just that. You want a candidate who won't read the platform and doesn't know a principle from a pothole? You want another Bob Dole? Mitt's your man.

Dole also had the endorsements from the political bigwigs in New Hampshire. Dole also stood for next to nothing. But this did not stop Dole from becoming the Republican nominee for President, only to lose against a less-than-honorable incumbent — Bill Clinton. Assuming the presumptive GOP standard-bearer for 2012 becomes the actual standard-bearer, Romney will very likely do the same against Obama.

But Romney brings back memories of another Republican who ran for President, not because he stood for anything, but because he looked good, sounded good, and people thought he could defeat the incumbent. Romney could very well come out of the Republican convention with a big lead like that candidate did. If so, he would almost certainly try to sit on that lead and run out the clock like that candidate did. Much of America would go to bed on Election Day thinking the Republicans have won back the White House, as was the case back then. They would then awaken to discover otherwise. Romney is a taller Tom Dewey. He has Dewey written all over him.

And Mitt Romney will defeat Barack Obama when Tom Dewey comes back from the dead and finally defeats Harry Truman. And not before.

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