As you can see from the image in the upper right-hand corner, Bella the Hell-Hound (this blog's mascot) has a new cause. If anyone asks why I'm strongly against Romney (even though I can't really bring myself to be for
Obama), the answer is simple. I decided to take advice from my dog. When has that
policy ever misguided anyone?
What's that you say? Oh. David Berkowitz. Yeah, well, things did turn out rather awkward in that case. So name another
Time to talk seriously. Yes, Obama has governed, will govern, as a Republican. I will always despise him for that. But Romney will govern as a Tea Party
Republican, even if he doesn't want to. And that, my friends, will be much worse.Jonathan Alter
puts it well:
Romney has flip-flopped so much that he now has little room to back away from what he said during the primaries. The “lamestream media” would crucify him for it; so would conservative base voters. Their “meh” on Mitt would quickly morph into a sense of betrayal. (The same logic explains why Romney, whatever his background, can’t possibly govern as a moderate.)
He has so lashed himself to Ryan, an Ayn Rand libertarian, that there’s talk of Ryan going on the ticket. The Ryan-Romney plan -- from slashing federally funded scientific research to forcing seniors from nursing homes because of draconian Medicaid cuts -- will be wildly unpopular if Obama and his team find the resonant language to exploit it.
Even if one argues that fudging the Ryan plan was impractical (after all, Republicans in Congress overwhelmingly approved it), on two other critical issues -- women’s health and immigration -- Romney clearly went further than was necessary to claim the nomination.
It's tempting to say that Romney Etch-a-Sketched himself into a corner. But the sketching was done by the Tea Partiers. They took control of their party and of the national dialogue -- and thus, they now control Mitt Romney.
Instead of complaining, perhaps we should thank
the baggers, because they have shown us the way to make things happen. What they did to the GOP is what True Blue liberals ought to do vis-a-vis the Democrats. Those who want a return to the FDR legacy can
retake the party. All that is necessary is for disaffected and disappointed liberals to get over their inane pretense that they can effect change while remaining above party affiliation and unsoiled by the machinery of politics.
Alas, too many liberals prefer to whine about Obama's betrayal and the lingering wounds of 2008. Yes, the betrayal was very real and those wounds still smart. But what are the alternatives? The infantile fantasy of a third party is foolish and dangerous.
To a large extent, that fantasy is encouraged by transparently disguised GOP comment spammers on prog sites. I've been onto them for many years -- well before 2008. They are forever telling us to punish the Dems, up and down the ticket, in each state and city, for some real or imaginary grievance. And they are forever arguing that the parties are equivalent in sin, even though that clearly is not the case.
Third parties don't work. American history offers no clearer lesson.
The Occupy movement failed, as I predicted it would, because it grew paranoid about working with Democrats. (That paranoia was, of course, stoked by GOP ratfuckers.) Another problem, of course, was the protesters' initial lack of a coherent program coupled with their insane insistence on "consensus democracy" -- a tactic which never, ever
works for very long.
The teabaggers, by contrast, succeeded. True, they alienated the majority of the citizenry. That
doesn't matter. What matters is that they forced a fairly moderate Republican like Romney to transform himself into an Ayn Randroid. He will run as a Randroid and he will govern as one, should he win. The baggers have given him no choice.
What the baggers did is precisely what liberals secretly fear to do: They exercised power
. I have always advised liberals to study what the Tea Partiers did, and to do likewise -- from the left.
Anyone who tells you to pursue another course of action is either a Republican plant or a typical liberal whiner motivated by a neurotic love of victimization and a fear of accomplishment.