Now that it is clear that Mitt Romney is the de-facto GOP nominee for the 2012 Presidential Race, the question now becomes, will America oust an incumbent President that has a clearly defined agenda and replace him with one that commits to nothing.
When running for political office a candidate runs on two things, their past record and what they promise they will do if elected. The better the record and the more specific the promises, the better chance they have to sway voters. But Mitt Romney is an anomaly. While running for the highest and most powerful office on the face of the planet, he has chosen to run from his record as former Governor of Massachusetts and be vague and non-specific about what he will promise to do as President of the United States. Fix the economy… how? Create jobs… how? Repeal and replace Obamacare… with what? In short, if Mitt Romney is a better choice for President, why won’t he specifically say what he will do to improve the economy or immigration. What exactly will he do to put America back to work?
Whether one agrees with President Obama’s stances on immigration, health care, taxes on the wealthy or the demise of the Bush Tax Cuts, there is no question that he has a vision and throughout his first term has endeavored to bring that vision to fruition. He has been derided as no other first term president, as a socialist, anti-American, heckled by sitting Congressmen during a joint session of Congress and burned in effigy. Yet, he perseveres. On the other hand, Mitt Rommey’s own campaign manager has dubbed him the “Etch-a-Sketch” candidate, one who will pivot to any given direction when ever it suits the occasion.
Mr. Romney shows himself to be non-committal to even his own past health care law, which he pushed through as Governor of Massachusetts and of which “Obamacare” was so much modeled after. While the architect of both laws, MIT professor Jonathan Gruber, calls them the same “F-ing” bill, Mr. Romney, states when and if elected he would repeal and replace Obamacare on day one in office. Yet, he will not commit to what he will replace it with. He will not commit to what he will do about immigration and though he and the GOP are running on his stated financial acumen as the candidate most suited to heal the current economic downturn, he will not commit to what he will do to heal our ailing economy. In fact, when asked for more specifics of his proposed economic solutions during the height of the GOP Primary race, he responded that he did not want to be specific because he would lose votes if he divulged the particulars. This of course reminds one of the kid who says guess which pocket the marble is in, only to find out in the end there is indeed, no marble at all.
The GOP has made it their business to be a broken cog in President Obama’s efforts to pass legislation, pass administrative appointees and obstruct the seating of judges, with the politics of “NO”. The GOP’s take on Mr. Obama’s term in office has been to reject any and every move he makes whether they feel it benefits the country or not. During the formulating days of the Affordable Care Bill, the GOP feigned bi-partisan politics as a stall tactic until congressional elections were held, in hopes they would win enough seats in order to force the bill to committee and let it die a slow and silent death, as other health care provisions had done in the past.
A neophyte President Obama, reached across the aisle with a lingering campaign desire for hope, change and living up to that which he campaigned on, to foster a bi-partisan Washington. This was after eight years of a George W. Bush presidency that included an unpopular war, soaring gas prices, failing banks and the most visceral partisanship since the impeachment hearings of former President Bill Clinton. He would find out that the GOP was to have none of it.
Obama’s gesture of peace lasted too long and was one sided. The GOP used the olive branch from the White House to practically strangle the teeth out of the health care bill with zero intentions to play ball. The Affordable Care Act could have been much more comprehensive and implemented with a shorter time frame of taking full effect. However, significant planks were weakened while acquiescing to the GOP as they disingenuously negotiated as if they were attempting to reach a common goal. One goal that the GOP succeeded in was spreading the bill’s implementation out over the course of four years. This was a last ditch measure to create a scenario that if they could not stop the bill they could possibly deny Obama a second term, allowing a new GOP President to return everything back to the status quo of 30 million uninsured Americans. A fact that House Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, reiterated when he stated “It’s not about the 30 million uninsured.” It was however, about repudiating Obama and bending to the powerful, well financed Health Care Lobby.
Once the damage was done to the original bill, the GOP completely backed away from what they successfully hobbled and were adamant it should be scrapped in its entirety. The GOP’s stall tactic was in full bloom. The President and Democrats realized that it was the bill on hand or nothing. The GOP then stepped aside, gave it zero votes and allowed the Democrats to completely own the bill. The veil of bi-partisan politics was completely lifted and each party went to their respective corners. The gloves were off, the bill became coined “Obamacare”, the Tea Party was embraced by the GOP and every aspect of Obama’s Presidency was labeled as illegitimate, from his birth certificate, to his desire to maintain a safety net for the increasing number of unemployed. He was deemed a socialist.
The political vortex created by disinformation on Obamacare, Birthers, Socialism, Race, and the conservative kitchen sink, is that which Mitt Romney clings to as a smoke screen to campaign on the platform of nothing. Just as the GOP operated on the politics of “NO”, Romney is hoping to be elected on the perceived negatives of Obama and not the positives nor policies of Mitt.
This of course can change, if down the very short road to election night in November, Mitt Romney steps forward and states what he will actually do if elected; don’t expect it nor count on it. The die is set and Mitt feels safe wrapped in his vagueness. He appears to be content with the goal of wanting to be President for the sake of being President. It is truly the campaign of nothing. It is also a campaign that poses a critical dilemma for Americans who just four short years ago, voted for hope and change: Are we so disillusioned, that we are now willing to vote for the promise of nothing.