Make no mistake, the excitement of the “hope and change” election is long gone. Specifically, I am disappointed by our increased use of drones, the very existence of a “kill list”, the lack of action on Guantanamo (which I will reiterate is about policies and rights, not the physical location of the prison), the lack of transparency, the continuation of the Patriot Act. etc. I’m disappointed in how Libya has been handled. I’m disappointed about the performance of the economy (not that this is necessarily Obama’s fault, the stimulus was too small, but I don’t believe Congress would have passed a bigger one, and they sure as hell won’t pass a new one). I am even disappointed by Obama’s big accomplishment, the Affordable Care Act, because of the lack of some sort of public option and the fact that too much of the focus was on getting people insured and not enough focus was on just trying to reduce health care costs.
But mostly, I am disappointed that Washington did not change. The thing is, Washington is broke. There has always been too much interest in leveraging problems into power instead of trying to solve them. But at least in my mind in the past, there was a least some occasions where politics were set aside to deal with larger matters for the greater good. Now I believe there is no issue so big that it trumps politics in Washington. It’s a problem is so systematic and runs so deep that no one man is going to be able to fix it, not Obama, not anyone else. It’s pretty discouraging.
All that said, I simply just can’t vote for Mitt Romney. Just off the top of my head:
- Tax cuts for everyone, weeee!!!!!! – And this is no small tax cut. 20% across the board for individual earners. Plus cuts to the corporate tax rate and the elimination of the alternative minimum tax. He then says he will pay for them with the elimination of deductions, but somehow will amazingly avoid doing that for the middle class (though don’t worry your little heads about those details!). Romney must have some magicmaticians on his staff, because the math really doesn’t work. That said, he doesn’t have any intention of paying for the tax cuts. Republicans only “care” about budget deficits and fiscal responsibility when the other party is in charge. Otherwise, it’s pretty much tax cuts.
- Emergency rooms are an awesome health care plan! – Yes, once you have a life or death emergency, the E.R. can’t just boot you out and let you die in the street. That makes us SO advanced as a nation. Please. Because clearly the best time to start treatment is to wait until it becomes an emergency. Romney actually had the audacity to compare our E.R. law to universal healthcare. The Affordable Care Act is FAR from perfect, but anyone who thinks that just not kicking people out of the emergency room makes for a great health care system does not have the capability of leading toward a better solution. (Of course, the old 2007 Mitt Romney would take issue with 2012 Mitt Romney on this, which is a problem in itself…)
- Bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran – Frankly we take military action way too often as a nation regardless of who is in charge. But Romney has gone out of his way to make me believe war with Iran would be almost a certainty if he is in charge. (With Obama, I think it is just really likely, unfortunately.)
- Tea Party influence – Romney’s VP choice, Paul Ryan, is a tea party guy. And I am just afraid that’s a sign that they will have too much influence if Romney gets in there.
- Lies and damn lies – Both sides lie too much. But Mitt has gone overboard. In Ohio, he has started running ads claiming that Chrysler took bailout money from the government just to cut American jobs and add Chinese jobs for Jeep production. And the Italians were involved somehow. Oh, and that it is Obama’s fault. But here’s the problem. There’s not a shred of truth in the ad. Factcheck.org says it’s a lie. Politifact gives it the “pants on fire” rating. The Washington Post gave it four Pinocchios. So naturally when faced with this much criticism, the Romney campaign sheepishly pulled the ad in a bit of shame. Nah, just kidding! They actually just started running the ad even more!
- Is there a real Mitt Romney? – I think there is only one thing that defines Mitt Romney. He really, really, really wants to be President. It’s been his life for over 8 years. I actually don’t know if even he knows what he would really do if I got the job. He just wants to have that job. Otherwise, he can be and say whatever you want him too. I think it’s all just business strategy to him. The man who ran Massachusetts really wasn’t that bad. But then again, he was doing and saying the things you have to do and say to be put in charge of Massachusetts by voters. Now he has changed everything to try to be put in charge of this nation. Every politician is malleable to an extent with their political positions. But Mitt is simply ridiculous. Telling an audience what you think that particular audience wants to hear (backed by market research I’m sure) is NOT leadership.
Anyway, at least this will be over after Tuesday (please let this thing be over after Tuesday and not be another Bush/Gore!).