Romney’s not running — but his mouth is.
Mitt Romney is at it again, condemning the man who bested him in the 2012 presidential election. How nice it must be to have the luxury of sitting on the sideline and booing the star player who relegated you to that spot. Actually, not so nice. More like sour grapes, also called poor sportsmanship. And political polarization. Certainly not patriotism – not the kind of criticism Romney is offering. It’s destructive, not constructive.
In November, he accused the president of “fundamental dishonesty” regarding the Affordable Care Act and tea party Republicans. Dishonesty is something Romney knows quite a lot about, given his continual flip-flopping on issues depending on the audience during his presidential candidacy.
Four months later, Romney blasted Obama’s handling of foreign crises in a Wall Street Journal piece, writing, “Over these past five years, there was a point when America had good choices and good options” on issues like Crimea and Syria and Egypt.” However, the president “failed to act at the propitious point; that moment having passed, we were left without acceptable options.”
“I was not a big fan of the president’s policies … either domestically or internationally,” Romney said Tuesday, Aug. 19. “The results of his mistakes and errors, in my opinion, have been more severe than even I would have predicted.”
The real economic picture
Yeah, Obama’s domestic mistakes have been so severe that the economy has been trending upward concomitantly with the unemployment rate heading downward. Six months after Obama’s economic policies began taking effect, the employment picture has brightened every month. Still, people such as Romney charge that it should have happened sooner, ignoring two critical points: (1) Obama inherited the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s, and turning an enormous ship like the U.S. economy around on a dime, especially when it has lost almost all its power, doesn’t happen under any policy; and (2) Obama was stonewalled in his efforts by a Republican Congress that immediately decided, publicly, that its top priority was his defeat, a phenomena which the majority of Americans quickly forgot – or never paid any attention to it in the first place.
Such motivations, which seem also to propel Romney, hardly define patriotism. Obama has repeatedly asked Congress to pass legislation funding the rebuilding of the nation’s infrastructure, not just because it’s in deplorable condition, but for the tens, maybe hundreds, of thousands of jobs it would create. That in turn would be a boon to the economy, creating an upward cycle. And the tax revenue generated would help pay off the huge debt.
Romney’s answer to jobs and the economy was to give bigger tax breaks to already unconscionably wealthy folks such as himself, which, economists opine and common sense supports, do almost nothing to improve the economy as such individuals sock away their gains rather than spend that money because they already have everything.
In foreign policy, Romney criticizes Obama’s handling of the crises in Iraq, Russia and Syria. Polls show the American public wants the country to avoid wars, and Obama has exercised caution in getting involved in the conflicts in these nations. Yet polls also show people are unhappy with his actions. There must be some days when Obama throws up his hands and wishes he never had taken on the impossible task of doing what’s best for an irrational citizenry. People complain about the monumental debt, yet oppose efforts to cut the size of the two largest parts of the budget. Hardly anyone wants Social Security benefits reduced, and most insist we must have a strong military defending our interests across the globe.
Most of the food we eat, from land and sea, is contaminated with substances harmful to health; the air we breathe is full of disease-causing chemicals; and global warming is producing climate extremes causing droughts, floods, and extremes of hot and cold, wreaking havoc everywhere. A big culprit in air pollution is coal burning, but Romney, ever the politician, said in support of Republican candidates in West Virginia, “I think I made it very clear in my presidential campaigns that I’m a friend of coal.” That’s a reversal of his position while he was governor of Massachusetts, where he called for cleaning up a coal-fired plant there because it “killed people.”
Politics as usual?
When Romney was running for president, his attacks on Obama were somewhat understandable, since that seems to be the game of politics. But he insists he’s not running again, so why does he keep up his tirades?
The best thing Americans can do is ignore this loser — and pay attention to what’s really going on.