We have two mormons running and our second consecutive mormon running for President. I’d like to say we can take away the Mormon Card as the reason to attack these candidates. But I am reminded of a line from the movie The Devil’s advocate “Vanity, is definately my favorite sin.” and I feel uncomfortable calling out the sins of others, but there is no other word to discuss this character defect they have and how it would impact their ability to be leader of the free world.
Mitt Romney has every reason to be vain in this world. He is an attractive man, a he has a beautiful and fulfilling family, he has the wealth of Croesus. A lesser man would fill themselves with the opiate of self love for any of these things. But Mitt Romney denies all of those sources of that self love. And instead embraces self love in what other people seek to use to bring him low. As a Mormon I imagine maybe their is this sense of discrimination, as a Religious man he maybe had the sense of being the outsider. To Mitt Romney he takes these barbs of others and wears them as a badge of honor. But one should always be skeptical of honor, because from honor vanity often comes. This is why the ancient roman’s had a man on the chariot with the great hero saying the words “fame is fleeting.”
Words used in Republican circles to describe Mitt Romney in no particular order are “Unprincipled flip flopping weasel.” So to Mitt Romney I see the political benefit in holding your ground. In saying “See, I stand for something.” So he went to hold ground to defend Romneycare and the experiment in the Bay State. I could labor on the point that this undermines our ability to attack Obamacare. But there is a far more insidious problem. It undermines his ability to address reality.
With the type of Irony only god can present, he called it a success the same day the Wall Street Journal Focused on its failures.:
Massachusetts took off on this entitlement trajectory after Mr. Romney signed the bill in 2006 and stepped down to run for President two years later. Let’s go to the data, all of which are state-reported, in search of evidence of Mr. Romney’s “success.”
The only good news we can find is that the uninsured rate has dropped to 2% today from 6% in 2006. Yet four out of five of the newly insured receive low- or no-cost coverage from the government. The subsidies will cost at least $830 million in 2011 and are growing, conservatively measured, at 5.1% a year. Total state health-care spending as a share of the budget has grown from about 16% in the 1980s to 30% in 2006 to 40% today. The national state average is about 25%.
The safety-net fund that was supposed to be unwound, well, wasn’t. Uncompensated hospital care rose 5% from 2008 to 2009, and 15% from 2009 to 2010, hitting $475 million (though the state only paid out $405 million). “Avoidable” use of emergency rooms—that is, for routine care like a sore throat—increased 9% between 2004 and 2008. Meanwhile, unsubsidized insurance premiums for individuals and small businesses have climbed to among the highest in the nation.
The Romney camp blames all this on a failure of execution, not of design. But by this cause-and-effect standard, Mr. Romney could push someone out of an airplane and blame the ground for killing him. Once government takes on the direct or implicit liability of paying for health care for everyone, the only way to afford it is through raw political control of all medical decisions.
Mr. Romney’s refusal to appreciate this, then and now, reveals a troubling failure of political understanding and principle. The raucous national debate over health care isn’t about this or that technocratic detail, but about basic differences over the role of government. In the current debate over Medicare, Paul Ryan wants to reduce costs by encouraging private competition while Mr. Obama wants the cost-cutting done by a body of unelected experts like the one emerging in Massachusetts
In reality, his ostensible liberal allies like the late Ted Kennedy saw an opening to advance their own priorities, and in Mr. Romney they took advantage of a politician who still doesn’t seem to understand how government works. It’s no accident that RomneyCare’s most vociferous defenders now are in the White House and left-wing media and think tanks. They know what happened, even if he doesn’t.
For a potential President whose core argument is that he knows how to revive free market economic growth, this amounts to a fatal flaw. Presidents lead by offering a vision for the country rooted in certain principles, not by promising a technocracy that runs on “data.” Mr. Romney’s highest principle seems to be faith in his own expertise
Would you trade one technocratic solution to free the markets, from a technocratic solution that enslaved the markets. Because of his political and intellectual vanity this is the reality that Mitt Romney is presenting to his potential voters: Do you want the same means as Obama, but to achieve a different end? Because he refuses to admit that Romneycare was a failure this is the reality he presents to his voters. Because he refuses to admit this is a failure we see the same type of expertise that men like him putting faith in their own intellect invested in sub prime mortgages and fueling a million arms for a million homes that a million people could not afford. Because he cannot admit he was wrong, Mitt Romney says why you should never cast your vote for him.
But beyond that I must paraphrase the words of the last Presidential Candidate from his state “Who will have the last Presidential Campaign to die for a mistake.” or far worse “who will be the last country to die because their leaders will not admit to making a mistake.” Presidential Elections are for Winners, and so to is Governance of a country. If you would rather lose then admit something is wrong, as Mitt Romney presents his case, then we don’t need you to be our President.
His Co-religionist also has the same sin, but unlike Mitt Romney Former Ambassador Huntsman is willing to do right even if it is for the wrong reasons.
“It hasn’t worked,” the potential GOP presidential candidate told Time Magazine in his first extended interview since leaving his post as U.S. ambassador to China. “And our economy’s in a different place than five years ago.”
Until the economy recovers, Huntsman added, “this isn’t the moment” to implement it.
Ambassador Huntsman ignores the fact that he didn’t advocate for this idea 5 years ago, he advocated for it 3 years ago. In the White House, very shortly before President Obama named him his Ambassador to China. But Governor Huntsman will at least get it right “It doesn’t work” or he may even get it right on another level “My primary voters will never support me if I support this issue.” Something that is Beyond his co-religionist.
This nation can survive the weakness of its leaders, but when those leaders are blind to their weakness it may bring this nation low.