Mitt Romney is nothing more than a political hypocrite and his true colors are showing for all to see.
When questioned repeatedly by reporters and his fellow GOP contenders about his health care plan in Massachusetts, Romney offers up a couple of explanations. First, he’ll point out that his plan is different than Obama’s. When pressed about the similarities between the two plans, Romney will pull out his trusty States Rights card and say that the States can do mandated healthcare, but the Federal Government can’t because of the Constitution.
He’s actually quite right on that point. Other conservative candidates like to employ the notion that if something is un-Constitutional on the Federal level, it must also be un-Constitutional on the State level. That, however, is not how the framers envisioned things. They wanted different systems in different States with the Constitution only requiring that States have a “republican form of government” (Article IV, Section 4). Some states even had State religions (Massachusetts being one of them). This, of course is an argument for another article. The point is, when Romney says that Massachusetts can have a mandated health plan, he’s right, but he’s inconsistent on this position.
Rick Perry came on the scene and upset the apple cart. He talked frankly about Social Security. In his book, he called in a Ponzi scheme (which, by definition, it is), and then he floated the crazy idea of letting the States decide their own Social Security implementation. Several candidates and the media jumped all over these points. Romney took the opportunity to sound like a Democrat, especially when he’s speaking to retirees in Florida, and quickly changed his tune about States Rights. Romney, while talking about “fixing” Social Security, encouraged maintaining the status quo by keeping it as a Federally mandated and administrated program.
What happened, Mitt? Why are the States allowed to administrate mandatory health care, but not Social Security? Conversely, why is the Federal Government allowed to administrate mandatory Social Security, but not health care? I would love to hear his answers.
The truth is, Romney has no answers on this. He is a snake oil salesman with a history of changing his tune when he is cornered. Romneycare happened because he allowed himself to be dragged leftward by a Democratic Party controlled legislature. Instead of standing on conservative principals, he decided to try to co-opt the Massachusetts healthcare debate and rebrand it as his own. He now wants to take credit for the good while distancing himself from the consequences of his action. That is something that true conservatives find reprehensible.
It gets worse. Romney flip-flopped on abortion when it suited him to do so. He used to be pro-choice way back in 2002, and now he’s, conveniently pro-life. On gun rights, today he proclaims his NRA membership status, but he supported the Brady Bill and the Federal Assault Weapons ban in 1994. He currently supports making the Bush tax cuts permanent, but he has previously had no problems with tax increases. In fact, in 2003, he openly opposed Bush’s 726 billion dollar tax cut plan. He supported cap and trade before he was forced to say he didn’t. But wait. There’s more, a lot more.
What’s the icing on the cake? Ask any conservative how he or she feels about our nation’s 40th President, Ronald Wilson Reagan, and you’ll get a whole list of glowing remarks and accolades. Romney very publicly says the same sorts of things today, but when he was trying to take Ted Kennedy’s senate seat, he said, “I was an independent during the time of Reagan-Bush. I’m not trying to return to Reagan-Bush.” When talking to a liberal Massachusetts audience, he apologizes for conservative values, but when talking to Republican primary voters, he tries to be the pinnacle of conservative candidates.
I see a very disturbing pattern here. Romney, like so many politicians before him, is trying to be all things to all people. When he’s talking to conservatives, he sounds like a conservative. When he’s talking to independents, he sounds like a RINO. Will the real Mitt Romney please stand up, grow a spine, and be heard?