Thursday, August 30, 2012

Mitt Romney, Stand-Up

After two days filled with lies - including almost every word from Paul Ryan's mouth last night -  that have been fact-checked to death by those concerned with the truth - and ignored by Mr. Romney and most of the GOP - tonight's the night Mitt Romney has to stop being more than just a cardboard cutout at the RNC.

Frankly, we don't expect anything much from Romney tonight. We're not sure his subroutines are programmed to truly excite people.

If you think we're hinting that Romney is robotic, we are - and he is. If you think Mitt Romney seems unusually stiff, uncomfortable, and plastic for someone running for president, we think you're right - he does.

That doesn't necessarily mean he might not make a decent political leader. After all, the press blasted Al Gore for a similarly wooden nature a dozen years ago. Yet there's little question in our minds, and the minds of most of those in the legitimate political media, that Gore would have made a better President than George W. Bush. Mitt Romney is not Al Gore, though.

In fact, anyone who has actually been paying attention - and who isn't lying to themselves - should have a pretty good idea of who Mitt Romney is. He's been campaigning for president for most of the last six years.

We've had an incredible number of chances to see who Mitt Romney is, and to see who he says he is. That the two don't automatically match up should tell you something already: the REAL Mitt just isn't there. That's been fairly obvious on multiple occasions as Mitt has been both for and against virtually every major topic of importance.

As the late Senator Ted Kennedy once said of Mitt, "Mitt Romney isn't pro-choice or anti-choice, he's multiple choice."

That lack of conviction has been evident for most of Romney's political career.

When Mitt governed, he did it with a center-left state legislature in Massachusetts - and he did what they wanted, just as he's done what everyone else has told him to do, all along. When his father told him he should go into business, he did. When his family said he should become a leader in his church, he did.

When the political winds have shifted over the years, no matter what Mr. Romney's personal beliefs have been, he's changed positions for everyone from interest groups and political consultants to - recently - the racist, ignorant faction of the GOP. Mitt has effectively become a political standup cutout for the Republican Party, something that potential voters are happy to pose next to for a picture - but in whom they have no real solid faith.

As Ezra Klein of The Washington Post noted this week, that Mitt got this far at all is a major achievement in itself.

For us, however, it's not enough.

It's always been obvious that more than anything, Mitt has wanted to win the race to be President. But being President isn't about winning.

It's about governing.

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