Romney should get specific. Now that he has lost the election and doesn’t plan to run for President again, I think it would only be sporting of the chap to come clean about some of the questions he refused to answer during his campaign. There are a few whoppers that I would love to see cleared up:
What tax deductions was he planning to eliminate? [obviously I mean deductions eliminated for the middle class, since there was nothing but great news if you rake in seven-plus figures] The smart money was on scramming the mortgage interest deduction and make some kind of half-measure buy-off gesture to make it appear palatable. It may have actually passed with enough palms greased along the way. The reality is that millionaires could give a flying F@$& about mortgage interest, so it is a direct hit on the middle class. What was his idea of balance? We were never let in on the secret. Now would be a great time.
What was his alternative to FEMA? While he and his campaign bitched that Obama got a tailwind from Superstorm Sandy, what really happened is that it put a searchlight on His Romness and his advocacy of eliminating FEMA. To a lesser degree it raised questions about Paul Ryan’s House Budget and its effect on disaster aid funding. With Romney suddenly and curiously silent when asked directly about his previous public statement to that effect… I wondered… What better time to put some detail on your plan than when millions of US Citizens are gripping the rails waiting for some disaster relief? Oh? Was it Halliburton, maybe? Uh, sorry, wrong answer. Thanks for playing. Dick Cheney will hand deliver the home edition of our game to one of your trophy homes. C.O.D. [extra credit: when he asks you to go duck hunting, say you have a family matter to attend to]
While he was remarkably specific about cutting the corporate tax rate, including actual numbers (rolling it back to 25%), and that tax rates on “job creators” should be cut, and so on… what programs of any real consequence was he planning on cutting? Talking shit about cutting funding for PBS was just the worst kind of “red-meat to the lions” bullshit. Kinda like telling a cancer patient “free haircut”. As well, who the fuck heard that bluster and switched their vote to the Romney column? Some kind of PBS-hating swing voter? Nice job, campaign nerds. Body-punching big bird is pure political comedy GOLD!
Since the Military and Other Stuff We Are Too Weak Minded to Know Too Much About budget is the lion’s share of the federal ledger, how in the name of Charles Montgomery Burns was he going to cut the Federal budget to 20% of GDP while increasing military spending? The list of financial experts, politicians, wonks, non-partisan think tanks, and livestock who have figured out that Romney’s plan wouldn’t work is impressive. It would be nice to hear from the candidate himself about what cards he was holding close to the Armani vest.
That is just a first cut, off the top of my head kinda list. Truth is that we will never know. The American people are left to speculate. Radical restructuring of things like the tax code, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid [and those other things that the defenders of the rich over at Faux News call “entitlements” as long as millionaires don’t benefit from them] are a sure way to ruin one’s chances in any election (just ask a Libertarian), but once in office…. well, who knows? George W Bush created the largest new branch of Government since the IRS, and put two or three full blown wars on his imaginary credit card (while cutting taxes), privatized huge portions of the US military, and ran the US economy into a ditch*, took more damn vacations than Brad Pitt, and the GOP still pretends that none of it happened and we were on a rocket-ride to prosperity until Obama’s inauguration. Since then W has spent the past five years in an undisclosed location, out of sight out of mind, as they say…. The Republican Party seems to think everyone just plain fergot. Well, not inviting your sitting two term president to the 2008 Republican national Convention was surely a kick in the nads for the most famous fake Texan since Clayton Moore. Making it two in a row was positively catty. Dear W, they REALLY aren’t that into you. Note to GOP: Most People Remember Who Left That Pile Of Steaming Dogshit on the White House Foyer.
One last thought: while parsing the Republican post-mortems that clog each day’s news feed, keep in mind one very real possibility: Republicans have now spent a full decade acting as if their shit didn’t stink one bit. Just like W’s multiple wars of corporate aggression, a decade of running on tax cuts for the rich, balanced with cuts in services for everyone else, is bound to get people’s attention eventually. It stinks. Loudly. It is possible that in 2012 just enough American’s identified the source of the smell, and it could be a really tough 2014 for the GOP if they don’t take a deep whiff themselves.
*I still can’t figure out how you pump that kind of money into the hardware and personnel required to wage multiple wars and can’t find a way to benefit the national economy… unless the money was getting misspent or off-shored in a huge way. Nahhhh