Favorite

Mitt Romney: big flipper 

click to enlarge Mitt Romney image

The professionals are consigning the Republican presidential nomination to Mitt Romney more than a month before the first Iowan casts a vote. Ross Douthat, the New York Times' resident Republican oracle, said there was no point in any further speculation. It's over.

When no one approaches 30 percent among even Republican voters in any poll and Romney's negatives run high, that seems a little rash, but Douthat is probably right. When opportunists like Tim Griffin jump on board a campaign that is hardly visible in Arkansas, it is a good sign. In Griffin's case, it merely means that Karl Rove, the modern Rasputin and Griffin's old mentor, has settled on Romney as the GOP's likely winner, but Douthat needs no more evidence than that.

Romney has been in the wilderness a long time, but the Republican Party is finally safe for a chameleon — and the biggest flip-flopper in history at that. He owes it, ironically, to the rise of extremism and the congressional Republican leadership's abdication to the bomb throwers who despise Romney. That is not a non sequitur, but more about it in a moment.

First, Romney the other day completed a hat trick on climate change, the last of the burning issues of the day on which he has taken both sides. As recently as five years ago, Al Gore was not a stronger advocate of drastic steps to lower carbon emissions than Mitt Romney, then the governor of Massachusetts. Romney joined demonstrators outside a coal-fired plant in 2003 to show his support for emissions caps. "I will not create jobs or hold jobs that kill people, and that plant, that plant kills people," he said.

He began to change in his 2008 presidential race and this year he reversed direction completely. As late as June, he was still saying that human activity was causing climate change and the country needed to reduce carbon emissions. But last week, at a forum put on, naturally, by one of the largest coal-mining companies, he had no idea whether warming was caused by human activity and he opposed spending money to reduce carbon emissions.

Everyone knows his flip-flop on health care. He instituted the first universal health care system by installing in Massachusetts the old Nixon-Ford health plan, based on mandatory insurance purchases. He said it could be a model for the country. Now he promises to try to repeal the national system that was modeled after his own.

His most astounding backflip was on abortion. When he ran for the Senate against Edward M. Kennedy in 1994, he declared: "I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country. ... I believe that Roe v. Wade has been the law for 20 years and we should sustain and support it." He said he would never waver on abortion. As governor of Massachusetts he supported state funding of abortions for poor women and approved of abortion pills, including RU-486. Pro-choice groups endorsed him. Now he favors amending the U.S. Constitution to outlaw all forms of abortion in all situations.

As a candidate for the Senate in 1994 and for governor in 2002 he championed the rights of gays and lesbians, including civil unions and the extension of marital benefits to gay couples. He promised to be a more effective champion of gay rights than Ted Kennedy.

He was for gun control before he was against it. As governor he favored a ban on assault weapons and the Brady Bill, which required a waiting period to buy handguns. Now he's solidly with the National Rifle Association.

As governor he raised $500 million in corporate taxes and fees to shore up the budget. Now he wants to cut corporate taxes and promises never to raise them.

He once was a little soft on immigrants, grieving about making it hard for the children of illegal aliens to go to college by denying them in-state tuition. Now he's tougher than all the others.

So in a season when the party seems to demand total purity the most transparent weathervane in history is going to be the nominee and perhaps the president. How does that happen?

To the leaders of the party, to the men who bankroll it and to a large extent the rank-and-file Republican voters, character is not the decisive factor but who can get elected. The extremists can't.

There are, in fact, certain advantages to having weak character. Old-line Republicans, who are still the majority in the party, and independents may not admire Romney — few could — but they don't fear him. As president they know he would govern by accommodation as he always did. No one believes that he would stick to any of the stands he has taken the past year.

People may have loathed and distrusted Richard Nixon, but they didn't fear him. He talked as conservative as they come but left a record as progressive as Jimmy Carter's, Bill Clinton's or Barack Obama's. As for the Tea Party, they can't bolt for a third party next summer. Romney, after all, is with them on everything.

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Speaking of Mitt Romney, Tim Griffin

Comments (9)

Showing 1-9 of 9

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-9 of 9

Add a comment

More by Ernest Dumas

  • Trusting

    It is a Fourth of July ritual to appraise where we are in meeting the Declaration of Independence's promise to institute a government that would, unlike King George, secure human rights equally for everyone who sets foot on American soil.
    • Jul 6, 2017
  • Obamascare

    Republicans at long last may be about to see their most fervent wishes and wildest predictions materialize — millions of people losing their medical and hospital coverage, unaffordable insurance, lost jobs, a Medicare financial crisis, mushrooming federal budget deficits and fiscal crises across state governments.
    • Jun 22, 2017
  • Ethics upended

    Every week, Donald Trump finds another way to upend conventional ethics in government and politics. Here's one that has been in the making since the campaign but is reaching maturity in the Russian investigation: He is turning the heroes of government scandals into the villains.
    • Jun 15, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • AEC dumps ALEC

    No matter which side of the battle over global warming you're on, that was blockbuster news last week. No, not the signing of the climate-change treaty that commits all of Earth's 195 nations to lowering their greenhouse-gas emissions and slowing the heating of the planet, but American Electric Power's announcement that it would no longer underwrite efforts to block renewable energy or federal smokestack controls in the United States.
    • Dec 17, 2015
  • No tax help for Trump

    The big conundrum is supposed to be why Donald Trump does so well among white working-class people, particularly men, who do not have a college education.
    • Aug 11, 2016
  • Dollars and degrees

    Governor Hutchinson says a high graduation rate (ours is about the lowest) and a larger quotient of college graduates in the population are critical to economic development. Every few months there is another, but old, key to unlocking growth.
    • Aug 25, 2016

Most Shared

  • So much for a school settlement in Pulaski County

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Cynthia Howell got the scoop on what appears to be coming upheaval in the Pulaski County School District along with the likely end of any chance of a speedy resolution of school desegregation issues in Pulaski County.
  • Riverfest calls it quits

    The board of directors of Riverfest, Arkansas's largest and longest running music festival, announced today that the festival will no longer be held. Riverfest celebrated its 40th anniversary in June. A press release blamed competition from other festivals and the rising cost of performers fees for the decision.
  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.

Latest in Ernest Dumas

  • The ACA can be fixed

    Majority Leader Mitch McConnell threatened his 51 disciples in the Senate and his party with the gravest injury imaginable.
    • Jul 13, 2017
  • Trusting

    It is a Fourth of July ritual to appraise where we are in meeting the Declaration of Independence's promise to institute a government that would, unlike King George, secure human rights equally for everyone who sets foot on American soil.
    • Jul 6, 2017
  • Obamascare

    Republicans at long last may be about to see their most fervent wishes and wildest predictions materialize — millions of people losing their medical and hospital coverage, unaffordable insurance, lost jobs, a Medicare financial crisis, mushrooming federal budget deficits and fiscal crises across state governments.
    • Jun 22, 2017
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

July

S M T W T F S
  1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31  

Most Viewed

  • Another Jesus

    If you follow the logic of Jason Rapert and his supporters, God is very pleased so many have donated money to rebuild a giant stone slab with some rules on it. A few minutes on Rapert's Facebook page (if he hasn't blocked you yet) also shows his supporters believe that Jesus wants us to lock up more people in prison, close our borders to those in need and let poor Americans fend for themselves for food and health care.
  • Pay attention

    If anyone thinks that a crisis with the Power Ultra Lounge shooting, then he hasn't been paying attention to Little Rock.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Pay attention

    • I have attended community meetings about the recent spike in violence in LR, and police…

    • on July 22, 2017
  • Re: Pay attention

    • Adawson's comments attribute the plight of black people in the United States to the War…

    • on July 22, 2017
  • Re: Pay attention

    • Heather Wilson, blacks have NOT been prevented from pursuing the skilled trades as a result…

    • on July 22, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation