News & Analysis
Transformational President Romney – Not!
Why Romney could be a transformational president ... One thing my presidential election model can't tell you is what sort of Congress the next president is likely to end up with. But we can speculate. If Obama wins the election, the odds are that he's facing a Republican House, and perhaps even a Republican Senate. But it's not a sure thing. – Washington Post
Dominant Social Theme: This man, this elegant, gray-haired mind with the mind of a steel trap (and the convictions of a gnat), surely has the gravitas to be one of the greatest presidents of all time. If only he gets the chance ...
One would have to be almost willfully ignorant to make such a statement, given Romney's character, background and record.
As Massachusetts's governor, his rhetoric was "rightist" but his proudest achievement was creating a health care mandate similar to the authoritarian Obamacare that is now under review by the US Supreme Court.
It is hard to think of any grounds under which forcing people to pay for health care is free-market oriented, but Romney continues to insist he is proud of his legislation and that it has been misunderstood.
The writer of this article is nonetheless willing to make the statement that Romney could be "transformational." The writer is Ezra Klein. We looked him up in Wikipedia:
Ezra Klein (born May 9, 1984) is a liberal American blogger and columnist for The Washington Post, a columnist for Bloomberg, and a contributor to MSNBC. He was formerly an associate editor of The American Prospect political magazine and a political blogger at the same publication.
Klein is only in his late 20s so perhaps he can be forgiven for making such a statement but it still shows a seeming lack of historical understanding about what is going on today.
Klein evidently and obviously works within a power elite media nexus. The power elite that for some reason wants to run the world has created what is now called democracy but is really for the most part seemingly a way to control people's aspirations and political beliefs.
The right-left paradigm is prevalent all over the world. It depends, in both its incarnations, on the state itself to implement various measures of "economic justice" and "protection."
Both of these manifestations are actually authoritarian. The obverse would be non-statist. The paradigm in this case would be one of free markets and a decidedly less interventionist state.
In no country is the left-right mantra more aggressively preached than in the US. In political terms, libertarian-conservative Congressman Ron Paul is its standard bearer.
Ron Paul would be a truly transformational president within the established context because he believes in free-market thinking and is staunchly anti-interventionist. Romney is neither of these things. Here's some more from the article:
Speaker John Boehner said he thinks Republicans have a 1- in-3 chance of losing the House. InTrade puts it a smidge closer to 1-in-4. But that's assuming the full range of possible election outcomes. If the premise is that Obama is winning, Democrats have a slightly better chance of taking back the House, as that's a scenario in which the election is definitely breaking their way ...
If Romney wins the election, it's almost a sure bet that Republicans win control of both the House and the Senate. And that matters. Right now, the GOP's agenda is the Ryan budget, and that's entirely fiscal: It's a premium support plan for Medicare, and tax cuts, and deep cuts to Medicaid, food stamps and other domestic programs. All that can be passed through budget reconciliation — which is to say, all that can be made immune to the filibuster.
If Romney wins and the Republicans take control, they could accomplish quite a lot on party-line votes, even if their majorities are slim, and Democrats are opposed. Indeed, Romney could end up being a fairly transformational president for conservatives so long as he's paired with a Republican Congress.
The last statement is most problematic for us. The idea is that Romney might be transformational because he could be a conservative with a conservative majority. But we saw that with US President George W. Bush as well.
Bush was well placed to roll back Leviathan and instead, eight years of Bush brought to America a virtual police state, an out-of-control deficit, several uncontrollable wars and vastly expanded loss-making regulation.
It is this legacy of first Bill Clinton and then George Bush that has, in our view, created an increasingly polarized and confused electorate. The proximate cause is the Internet itself and what we call the Internet Reformation.
This has exposed the political process to many and caused millions, in our view, to question the efficacy of modern democracy. Klein obviously hasn't gone through this process but a growing minority of the electorate has indeed experienced it.
It is the reason that the congressional approval rating hovers in the lower teens and that people cannot even get worked up over presidential elections anymore.
President Barack Obama is just the punctuation mark at the end of the sentence. He may well be re-elected because Romney is such a disposable candidate. But his administration is widely seen as rejecting the very principles that he espoused to begin with.
The idea that Romney, a mainstream candidate if there ever was one, could be "transformational" simply doesn't make sense. He is simply one more in a line of electable candidates that are evidently and obviously beholden to a higher and more powerful elite.
People perceive this – and for such reasons, people increasingly do not believe in modern politics.
Conclusion: Why Klein does is a mystery to us.