Fish, Barrel, Shotgun…

Shooting fish in a barrel.  Aside from getting very wet, it is the definition of something so foolproof as to be unsporting.  Which is why making sense of Mitt Romney is like shooting fish in a barrel.  I’m not saying Mitt makes sense, but I am saying that Mitt’s actions are both easily recognized and predictable.

Mitt Romney will say absolutely anything, regardless of any previous position he has verbalized, policy he has championed, or social group he hath shat upon.  He is simply the flippiest, floppiest, most vote grubbing, jellyfish of a candidate I have ever witnessed.

I was reading a piece about his environmental record as Governor of Massachusetts, which I can corroborate because I was working in Climate and Energy policy in Connecticut at that exact time.  If you don’t want to deal with the NYT’s latest annoying article limits, I’ll give you the skinny:

  • He was for “cap and trade” before he was against it
  • He was for green vehicles before he decided they were a bad choice
  • He was against heavily polluting energy until he was paid to realize how great it is!

The article uses the cutesy term “Potomac Fever” to describe his shift to positions that would get him in the door with the RNC.  But I would contest that he had “Charles Fever” before that, telling Massachusetts voters whatever they wanted to hear in order to secure their vote, then playing Lucy to their Charlie Brown when he got into office.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this was one of his tools in the world of Bain Capital.  In fact, I would say that:

“I think he just didn’t get comfortable [with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative] at the very end, but he didn’t want to stop a creative activity,” Mr. Kriss said. “It was like that at Bain Capital. He would let some partner pursue some deal, and at the end he would say, ‘I know you worked on this for six months, but we’re not going to do it.’ ” – Bain Capital Co-Founder Eric Kriss

…tells me a few things.  Aside from being manipulative and inconsistent, he may very well have used this same technique in his private equity dealings.  You could take Kriss at his word about “comfortable” but the way these things often work is that you commit to one deal as a show of good will/intent to bolster a bigger deal, and then pull the plug on the “bait” deal when you have what you want out of the Big Fish.  So IMO, that could very well be a description of another bait-switch scenario, just like showing some environmental regulation support to Massachusetts voters with an initial commitment to reducing greenhouse gas, but pulling the plug before it comes to fruition.  The Big Fish was securing an election, the bait was faux-support for RGGI, and he didn’t have to be in any hurry to pull the plug because it wasn’t his money at risk… just like Bain!

So when I hear Romney telling the press in Colorado that he could see keeping DACA (executive order in lieu of DREAM Act) in place while he gets a “comprehensive immigration reform package” passed, I hear it through that lens.  I even hear his 47% tirade through that lens.  As in: tell these $50,000/plate bastards that you see the poor sucking at their ample teat… don’t give them an opening to doubt that you consider their money untouchable.

Of course, it is completely probable that Romney has no fucking idea what he is talking about… On that, I would push the whole stack of chips to the center of the table.

Late Additions, but good reads:

Romney Manages to Silence RNC!

Bull meets China Shop

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One response to “Fish, Barrel, Shotgun…

  1. Pete, I find this finicky, infinitely variable, gumby thing to be a trait of the hyper-rich – at least in the ones that I have dealt with in my business. You never know if a commitment is really a commitment … you can never take them at their word because tomorrow is a new … Etch A Sketch. I’ve literally seen them lure people into life-altering projects and then suddenly .. poof. Absolutely unbelievable. It is a sociopathy.