Panderer in Chief

What would a Mitt Romney presidency look like?


Editor's Note: This column is reprinted with permission of the Washington Examiner. Click here to read it at that site.

Memo to the Rick Perry campaign: If your guy can't win an exchange with Mitt Flippin' Romney over who's stuck to principle more consistently, his debating skills need serious work.

That's what happened at Sept. 22's Republican debate in Orlando. After deflating Perry with a "nice try," Romney brazenly proclaimed, "One reason to elect me is that I know what I stand for, I've written it down. Words have meaning."

"I've written it down"—I love that. I'm put in mind of the great New Yorker cartoon, featuring a Washington bigwig behind an enormous desk, the Capitol looming through his office window. "I keep my core beliefs written on the palm of my hand for easy reference," he tells his visitor.

With New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie out and Perry floundering, it's looking ever more likely that the alternative to President Obama will be a candidate who needs a cheat sheet to remember his core beliefs.

Taking to heart the Stoic principle that we shouldn't lament what we can't control, I'm going to try to convince you—and myself—that things could be worse.

In their 2007 editorial endorsing Romney, National Review argued—hilariously—that the former Massachusetts governor was a "full-spectrum conservative."

But if there's any case to be made for Romney, it's that he's a full-spectrum panderer. Paradoxically, Romney's faults—his incessant flip-flopping and desperate quest for approval—might make him a less-dangerous-than-average president.

True, from a limited-government perspective, Romney's stated platform is pretty awful. You can judge a candidate's budget-cutting bona fides by the specificity of his proposed cuts.

Romney's only gotten specific on what he'll spend. He wants 100,000 new troops and a minimum of 4 percent of GDP lavished on our already outsized military.

On the campaign trail, Romney has savaged Obama's proposed Medicare cuts—the sign "keep your hands off our Medicare" is "absolutely right," he insists—and he has attacked Perry for questioning the constitutionality of Social Security.

The good news, I suppose, is that there is no better reason to take Romney at his word here than there is anywhere else.

Romney's strategically timed ideological conversions are well-known. On the road to the presidency, he's had convenient epiphanies about stem-cells, gay rights, and immigration, and gone from being a staunch gun-controller to, in 2007, buying a lifetime NRA membership and awkwardly bragging about blasting rabbits with a single-shot .22 rifle (do those come with laser sights?).

But, having suffered through two ideologically charged presidencies in a row, to many Americans the poll-tested pandering of the Clinton era doesn't look so bad by comparison.

Our 42nd president wanted national health care, but the country wanted welfare reform and prosperous normalcy—and the country got what it wanted.

Before this year, no one would have mistaken House Speaker John Boehner for a Tea Partier. Yet the political facts on the ground have forced him into a more confrontational posture than he'd otherwise favor.

Given how far the Republican Party and the electorate as a whole have shifted toward distrust of big government and crony capitalism, a pliable president, desperate for approval, might be restrained from doing too much harm, and even forced to do some good.

If Romney becomes president, the governor who pioneered the individual mandate will be pressured to push its repeal.

As David Brooks recently argued, "The strongest case for Romney is that he's nobody's idea of a savior." He's right: no one could possibly build a cult of personality around a candidate who's so transparently insincere.

These aren't inspiring reasons for a Romney candidacy, but, over the last decade, Americans may have gotten their fill of presidential inspiration.

Gene Healy is a vice president at the Cato Institute and author of The Cult of the Presidency: America's Dangerous Devotion to Executive Power (Cato 2008). He is a columnist at the Washington Examiner, where a version of this article originally appeared. Click here to read it at that site.

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  1. Does Mitt Romney have what it takes to win the White House.

    Didn’t you want a question mark at the end? And, no he does not have what it takes to win the White House.

  2. “no one could possibly build a cult of personality around a candidate who’s so transparently insincere.”

    Wouldn’t he need to *have* a personality before you can build a cult around it?

    1. Bill Clinton did it, but his cult was mostly composed of Democrat’s who revel in self-deception.

      1. Libertarians who revel in self-deception, like the ones who are:

        ? Against the state, consistently.
        ? But for the state when I can get more stuff from its use of violence.

        1. I think you’ve got libertarians mixed up with “Get your government hands off my Medicare” Republicans.

          1. No, I don’t have anything mixed up.

            Libertarians are for the agricultural city-State (civilization) as much as any Republicans, Progressives, or Communists.

            1. Oh man. That evil civilization.
              How have you managed to live this long, White Trash? Does it hurt to be so oblivious?

              1. You’re ok with “the evil State.”

                But it is merely an inseparable part of a whole cultural system, the agricultural city-State (civilization.)

                Thus, you hold a contradiction.

                “To arrive at a contradiction is to confess an error in one’s thinking; to maintain a contradiction is to abdicate one’s mind and to evict oneself from the realm of reality.” ~John Galt

                I have yet to meet a libertarian with the intellectual integrity to address this issue. All they do is spew hatred at my exposing their contradiction.

            2. I wish the library would stop letting homeless schizos use the computers.

              1. White Trash, nobody with a brain wants zero government. Just minimum government. There is no contradiction. We need government to protect private property, not seize and redistribute it. Also: Agreed sarcasmic.

                1. nobody with a brain wants zero government

                  I’ve heard different, many times! E.g.:

                  Is it any wonder I’m a zero-government man?
                  ~Michael S. Rozeff
                  anti-state anti-war pro-market

                  WE NEED GOVERNMENT to protect private property

                  I see.

                  Then we agree there is no privation property without the aggression of the state (government.)

                  There is no privation property in the agricultural city-State without the soldier and settlers killing and driving off the first families living in a Non-State sociopolitical typology.

                  EnTitlement of the Land is the primary big-government program for the privileged.

                  “Agriculture creates government.” ~Richard Manning, Against the Grain, p. 73

                2. Yes, we need people with a monopoly of violence to steal our private property at the point of a gun, to protect us from people who will steal our property at the point of a gun.

                  Fortunately, only people with brains understand the logic in the above statement and that there is no contradiction in it.
                  They also know exactly where the so-called necessity of government starts and exactly where it stops. And it always stops exactly at the limit of what their personal ideology is willing to tolerate.
                  So small government guys think small government is okay but not big government, and big government guys think big government is okay but not total government. Violence by the state is so great, but only if it serves the interests of whomever pimps it and no more than that.

              2. homeless schizos

                I’m neither homeless nor schizo, but Civilization does cause Schizophrenia, and is regarded as a Disease of Civilization.

                Schizophrenia and Civilization
                by E. Fuller Torrey, M.D.
                University of Michigan Library, Scholarly Publishing Office

                What good is something that causes so many diseases, including making many people go crazy, anyway?

                1. What’s your address?

                  I’d like to come over and see if you’ll use force to stop me from taking your shit.

                  Everybody pay attention to WI’s reply; it’s the words of a man without the courage of his convictions.

                  1. If you plan to take my stuff, then you are the man without the courage of his convictions.

                    Libertarians. Leninists. What’s the difference? (Hint, it’s miniscule.)

                    1. Never claimed any.

                      Address please.

                    2. Never claimed any.

                      Address please.

      2. Does the Orkin Man handle White Indian infestations or is there some vermin not even he will touch?

        1. Humans are vermin to be exterminated?

          MJ. Pol Pot. What’s the difference?

          1. Pol Pot was a slope, but I don’t think MJ is.

        2. Your common “White Indian” is a particularly bothersome species of troll. Obviously not something that would pass the gom jabbar.


    1. +500 waves of the hands


  4. no one could possibly build a cult of personality around a candidate who’s so transparently insincere

    It is possible to set-up a stable orbit around a black hole, right?

    1. Yeah, but a black hole has mass. Mitt Romney’s ideas are more of a vacuum for appeasement.

      1. But my point is that they both suck.


    2. no one could possibly build a cult of personality around a candidate who’s so transparently insincere

      It is as if 2008 never happened for some people.

    3. The Bo?tes void is a more apt comparison.

  5. I love how there’s no mention of Herman Cain in this article even when he’s on top of the polls. I know everyone at Reason supports Ron Paul, but still, Cain is the man to beat.

    1. I think most at reason support gary johnson, actually.

    2. Something already forgotten from the Hank Williams Jr. exchange on FNN last week was his endorsement of Herman Cain. Just sayin’

      1. Wait, I thought he was racist. Wasn’t that what you got from all the news coverage?

        1. Apparently he’s not really black or smart either. I think “Bad apple” was thrown in there.

          1. On the fun note, the Leftists don’t care what words mean and express themselves in that manner. Same goes with their “concepts” and “ideas”. Their entire existence is based on destroying commerce, destroying individual choice and promoting statism. Cornell West never fails to disappoint. Is the drug use analogy toward Cain supposed to be a compliment or a slam?

    3. I know everyone at Reason supports Ron Paul

      Not everyone:


    4. Cain is going to wither in the spotlight even faster than Perry did. The man is a gaffe machine.

      Basically, sociocons are looking for anybody but Romney and slowly finding out that all the other alternatives are even worse.

      1. No he is not. The more the media hates on him the more people will like him.

        1. Disagree. Cain is a moron. I know that he pleases your ridiculous neo-con sensibilities, but the rest of us see him as a worse version of Perry. Fuck Cain!

          1. Cain is a former rocket scientist with a masters in computer science and a successful CEO. Real fucking moron.

            And sorry but the irony of someone using the term NeoCon as an all purpose epitaph calling someone a moron is just priceless.

            1. Cain is a drug war addict and a stooge of the Federal Reserve.

        2. Just like Perry, Palin, etc.

          If you actually allow yourself to be recorded on tape saying “if you lost your job it’s your fault” during the worst economic times since the Depression, you’re not fit to run for president. Sorry.

          1. If you socialize the healthcare of one the largest states in the country, drive up insurance rates, and costs and cause general misery and then later won’t admit it was a mistake, you are really unfit for office.

            If you take 2 billion dollars from the federal tit and then claim success saving the Olympics, you are unfit for office.

            Tulpa, Romney cannot win the Presidency. You don’t understand how much rank and file Republicans like me hate his guts. At least 15 to 20 percent of the Republican base will never vote for him. I never will. He can’t win.

            1. Still waiting for the link confirming that $2B actually went into the 2002 olympics. The link you gave was from 2001, projecting that $1.3B would go into it. Fails on both counts.

              The link I found from after the games said $343M was spent.

  6. I wouldn’t vote for him with your ballot.

  7. I’ve never met a politician who wasn’t transparently insincere.

    1. transparently insincere

      Including libertarians?

      1. I’ve never met a libertarian politician so I can’t say.

        1. Oh. Right.

        2. C’mon sarcasmic, you’re not playing his game right. Find a statement from somebody claiming to be a libertarian, then ascribe that view to everyone claiming to be libertarians.

          Brand the whole bunch hypocrites in two easy steps!

  8. I he would be a more dangerous than average President. He would be buffaloed by the media and Democrats in the Senate into being a second Obama term. The difference being that now the Democrats could blame all of the problems on Republicans and “free markets” and win in 2016 with a mandate to go all out socialist disaster.

    The country would be better off with Obama winning than Romney. If Obama wins, his second term will be a bigger disaster than his first. An apparent Obama win would make for a Republican landslide in the Congress since people would not want him to lack adult supervision like he did during his first two years. Since his approval ratings are horrible, they only way he will win is by tearing down his opponent. So he will have no mandate and face a hostile Congress. Since Obama has shown no political skill or ability to out maneuver Congress, he would get nothing done. Yet, his presense in office would continue to cause the Democrats to get blamed for the country’s problems. Meanwhile, he the Dems would see their minorities get smaller in 2014. And would be set up to possibly be out of the White House and have less than 40 votes in the Senate in 2016.

    1. See, this is the line of thinking that got me to believe that McCain would have been just as bad as Obama.

      I was wrong, and it is wrong. NOTHING is worse than Obama. All these cunning strategic plans ignore that while you’re lying in wait for 2016, irreparable damage is being done to our nation by this incompetent/corrupt administration. And do you want Scalia’s and Kennedy’s replacement to be chosen by Obama?

      1. He is doing amazing damage. But I remain unconvinced that Romney would do any better. In fact, it would be worse since anything he does will be blamed on his “free market radicalism” and used as an excuse to demand all out socialism.

        1. Would you rather have Obama or Romney replace Scalia and Kennedy?

          1. Good question. Don’t forget that Suiter was put in there by Bush I. There is no guarantee that a turn coat Republican like Romney would do any better.

            1. Or we could stop with this Red Team/Blue Team bullshit and say that Romney would be a 4th Bush term. After all, Obama is basically a 3rd Bush term. If you look at policies, this is undeniable. If you look at the little letters by their name, I guess you have your case.

              1. Obama was a third Bush term in terms of the war on terror and nothing else. Bush would have never done Obamacare or done anything close to the stimulus or Dodd Frank.

                1. Bush would have never done Obamacare or done anything close to the stimulus or Dodd Frank.


                  It’s like Medicare Part D, TARP, and Sarbanes-Oxley never happened.

                  1. Sure they happened. But adding an additional benefit to medicare is not Romneycare, I mean Obamacare. And SarBOX was child’s play compared to Frank Dodd. And TARP was no the stimulus.

                    Try again.

                    1. You’re right! TARP cost more than the stimulus.

            2. Oh, and on the SCOTUS subject: I’d rather have a wild card than a guaranteed left wing activist judge.

              1. I would guarantee you Romney would put a liberal in conservative clothes up there. Nothing in his past indicates he would nominate a conservative.

                1. Never forget the two fake birth certificates. I would vote for Romney over Obama even though I’d probably throw up in my mouth a little bit while voting.

    2. He would be buffaloed by the media and Democrats in the Senate into being a second Obama term.

      So, Bush’s fourth term?

      An apparent Obama win would make for a Republican landslide in the Congress since people would not want him to lack adult supervision like he did during his first two years.

      Almost every president loses huge in Congress during his second term.

      The difference being that now the Democrats could…win in 2016 with a mandate to go all out socialist disaster.

      The party that is funded by Wall Street, hires Wall Street people for its economic advisers, and bails out Wall Street? Those socialists? *guffaw* Don’t let reality interfere with your boogeymen.

    3. Obama’s second term is just Bush’s fourth. You loved Bush! You should love either Obama or Romney. Both will carry on his legacy.

      Presidents almost always lose big in their second midterm election.

      The Democrats are evil but not socialists. They are funded by Wall Street, hire Wall Street men as economic advisers, and bail Wall Street out when they stub their toe. The Democrats are just another flavor of crony capitalist.

  9. poll-tested pandering

    If somebody said corporations do that for marketing and making the most money, would a libertarian get his panties in a twist?

    1. No, only because the corporation isn’t using that information to restrict freedom.


      1. See, you got your panties in a twist, Fonz.

    2. Changing your personal beliefs and morals vs. providing a service. Apples, oranges.

      1. How is it that government doesn’t provide a service like roads that don’t change my personal beliefs or morals, but a direct artificial derivative of government, corporations, are pure as the driven white snow?

        1. Nice try at a straw man, but government forces you to do business with them. Corporations don’t. Apples and oranges. Quit being an idiot.

          1. Incorrect.

            “Our system of private property in land forces landless men to work for others; to work in factories, stores, and offices, whether they like it or not. wherever access to land is free, men work only to provide what they actually need or desire. Wherever the white man has come in contact with savage cultures this fact becomes apparent. There is for savages in their native state no such sharp distinction between ‘work’ and ‘not working’ as clocks and factory whistles have accustomed the white man to accept. They cannot be made to work regularly at repetitive tasks in which they have no direct interest except by some sort of duress. Disestablishment from land, like slavery, is a form of duress. The white man, where slavery cannot be practiced, has found that he must first disestablish the savages from their land before he can force them to work steadily for him. Once they are disestablished, they are in effect starved into working for him and into working as he directs.”

            excerpt from:
            by RALPH BORSODI
            NEW YORK
            1 9 2 9

            1. See, you set up the straw man YET AGAIN. MAN you’re fucking dumb.
              You cannot compare changing my core beliefs with providing a service to my fellow man, because the two are incomparable. Also: You’re too stupid to understand why private property is the best thing to happen to civilization, ever, period. I cannot engage you in that discussion because you are a moron. Get that through your head. And go read a book.

              1. Don’t feed the Indian.

                1. Indeed. I keep on being tempted to reply, but he really is the worst troll ever. Especially since he started changing handles all the time.

                  1. Reason has given me the incentive to change my name. Because its posters have zero respect for intellectual property and steal my name if I use it consistently.

                    You asked for it. You got it.

                    1. Isn’t intellectual property an invention of the agricultural city-state? So why do you support it? Also, what makes you think you have any IP claim for a username? No U.S. Court would ever rule that you do. And the Copyright Act would say you don’t.

                    2. intellectual property

                      I don’t support it, but you’d think people who do would actually behave in a way that is consistent with their professed ethics.

              2. “Straw man” gets spewed around here like Tourette’s Syndrome for no reason.

                It’s not a straw man. Dr. Borsodi’s judgement is based on well-established empirical data from anthropology, archeology, and ethnography.

                1. And now you submit the appeal to authority fallacy. Good job failing at logic.

                  1. No, the book I quoted just strings words together well. I did make an appeal to empirical data that supports his conclusion.

                    Got a problem with empirical data from anthropology and archeology?

                2. Who spewed the Tourette’s Syndrome?

            2. “Our system of private property in land forces landless men to work for others; to work in factories, stores, and offices, whether they like it or not.
              No, no it does NOT force anyone to do anything of the kind. Life is full of choices. People who own stores and factories today worked in them under someone else at some point. Just stop. There is no cosmic right to property any more than there is a right to eternal sunshine, nutritious food, or reliable transportation. Land is a commodity and is worth whatever someone else is willing to pay for it.

              1. it does NOT force anyone

                Yes, it does. By the State aggression. The State enTitles the privileged with the monopoly control of resources of the earth, and if you’re not an owner of resources, then you must do what the owners desire, buy resources from the government-enforced rentier class, or starve to death.

                Humans have been controlling all human food and putting it under lock and key for only a very short time, a mere few hundred years in North America, and the system always fails. The current empire of civilization will fail too.

                Land is a commodity

                Is all life a commodity? Human life too?

                1. You are so full of shit. I made my living as a musician. People paid me to do it. No one FORCED me to do it. No one FORCED people to pay me.

                  You. Are. Fucking. Stupid.

                  Oh, and the stories I could tell!

                  1. Civilization runs on violence, libertarians told me so. Government aggression is required to invade and occupy privation property.

                    Try not paying your rent or privation property taxes some time, see how long you can live without force.

    3. No. People prefer that companies adopt their practices to the needs of consumers, because they get to continually evaluate new offerings and reject them if need be.

      However, since they only get to pick politicians every once in a while, they’d prefer that those politicians actually have specific viewpoints and platforms and stick to them. At any rate, if a politician is just reading polls, it tends to undermine the justification for having an elected class of leaders in the first place; we could just have a direct democracy and save ourselves the $400k and the concerns about getting sold out.

      1. People prefer that governments adopt their practices to the needs of citizens. See how easy that is, and you provided most of the answer. LOL

    4. would a libertarian get his panties in a twist?

      not this one

  10. I think he’ll end up being the next president. Cain has no political experience; in my book that is not a negative but I think most voters want as POTUS someone with at least some time in office in some capacity. Perry has too much baggage and too many rough edges. So that leaves Romney. Unless the economy improves significantly, and it won’t, Obama will lose.

    1. I think this year, not being a politician is an asset for Cain.

  11. Concerns about “flip flop” bother me.
    Aren’t we putting ideas out there in order to get people to flip flop – ie. drop their previous wrong ideas in favor of our right ones? So a flip-flopper is fine with me if a) he acknowledges he was wrong about something (and why) and b) he doesn’t
    flop back again to his old view when he is talking with some other audience.
    Not knowing much about Romney, has he gone from one view to another and then back again?

    1. I agree. I don’t think there is anything wrong with admitting you were wrong and changing your position. The problem is that Romney won’t admit he was wrong about Romney care, a mistake that should be a career ending fuck up.

      1. Yes, he could control the damage from Romneycare by saying something like “states are laboratories for this stuff, we tried this approach, it was unsuccessful so let’s not repeat it at the federal level.” That would not strike most voters as unreasonable.

        1. If he did that, I could probably hold my nose and vote for him. But the fact that he is unwilling to admit he was wrong when he so obviously was tells me he is an egomaniac who doesn’t belong anywhere near power.

          1. Considering congress represents their district, and the President represents the entire party (ideally, anyway), you have to expect a candidate to change his view somewhat as he campaigns. If he sees more pro-life along his quest, that’s what his party wants and that’s what he is obligated to push.

          2. Anyone who has the juice to run for president and have a shot at winning has to be an egomaniac. People like you and me couldn’t handle it, because we have other things in life to care about.

            1. But WE NEED GOVERNMENT

            2. I would love to ask Romney “by what authority did you force Mass. citizens to buy health insurance? What legal event placed them under the state gov’t’s jurisdiction?

    2. It seems pretty clear that he adopts whatever position is most convenient for him at the time. He doesn’t appear to have convictions beyond “Mitt Romney should be elected.”

      1. You should love him then Tony. You still love Obama even though he flipped on nearly every position he took during the election.

        1. Not really, and not nearly as completely as Romney.

          I can’t love Romney because I live by a single guiding principle: never vote for a Republican. It doesn’t really matter who the candidate is–the interests that own them are all the same.

          1. I can’t love Romney because I live by a single guiding principle: never vote for a Republican.

            HAHAHAHAHAHAHA oh wow. You live a pathetic life.

            I wish I were 100% certain that you were just someone else trolling, because if someone this stupid exists I want to commit suicide.

            1. Are you suggesting there are times when one should vote for a Republican?

              1. I would say to vote Republican when they are the lesser evil. The problem is that Republicans share the core value of conservatism, yet never adopt any of them, and simply run to lower taxes. It’s tried, tested, and proven that Republicans simply live to defy Democrats and pander to big business. Look at the recent fiasco with the budget ceiling. They refused to raise it and refused to raise taxes to pay for it until our credit rating took a hit. Screw that.

                1. I’ve never voted GOP. Inept and social meddlers, the lot of ’em.

                  Romney was the chosen pick of the Republicans soon after McCain got waxed.

                  It’s been a done deal for a long time….

                2. Moronic post. Non-sequitor between pandering to corporate interests and the debt ceiling. You’ll find few here who support raising taxes to further promote federal largesse.

              2. Are you suggesting there are times when one should vote for a Republican?

                When the only alternative is a Democrat, yes.

                1. LOL

                2. When the only alternative is a Democrat, yes.

                  Well said.

              3. “Are you suggesting there are times when one should vote for a Republican?” One could say the same for the Democrats.

        2. B. Hussein Obama flipped on almost every position after the election too. He stuck by his crony capitalism and socialism promises like glue.

          1. The amazing part is that Bush gets credit for Hussein’s death, but Obama still sucks after Bin Laden’s death. He passed healthcare and killed Bin Laden. That’s two promises kept, regardless of how much you may hate Obamacare.

            1. He passed healthcare and killed Bin Laden.

              Passing health care is becoming a greater liability by the day as more is learned about this assault on freedom. And, he did NOT kill bin Laden; he happened to be in office when Osama was tracked down. Please. This is the same man who talked about closing Gitmo and holding civilian trials for 9/11 participants but ordered a hit on an American citizen.

            2. He gota health care bill passed that was written by and for insurance companies.

              Even my bleeding heart commie friends hate it like poison.

              1. Yes, but they hate it for the wrong reason. They want a government-enforced single-payer system.

      2. “It seems pretty clear that he adopts whatever position is most convenient for him at the time.”

        He’s a politician. That’s what politicians do.

        1. adopts whatever position is most convenient for him at the time

          He’s a libertarian. That’s what libertarians do.

          1. Yeah, because libertarians are so inconsistent in their beliefs!

            You’re new here, aren’t you?

            1. libertarians are so inconsistent in their beliefs


            2. The whole point of being a libertarian is you can be consistent since you will never actually have to govern anything.

        2. “He’s a politician. That’s what politicians do.”

          That’s true. It still is not behavior one should encourage, especially when it is this obvious.

  12. Once in office you really think he’ll pander to the American people and not the banks and anyone else with the political funds to get corporate welfare

  13. Now that Perry is done, the Romney-bashing resumes. It’s almost as if Reason favored Obama.

    1. The only possible solution to the mess we’re in, other than total meltdown, is to elect someone who believes in limiting the state and rolling back decades of encroachment on personal freedom. Romney ain’t that someone.

    2. In fairness to Reason, Romney deserves it. What is there to like about the guy other than he is not Obama?

      1. He’s a competent administrator and has extensive success in the private sector.

        And “not being Obama” is a pretty fucking huge advantage. Trust me, I’d prefer if someone both sincere, pro-liberty, and electable were running, but that ain’t the case.

        1. Oh bullshit. His dad was a CEO. He is nothing but an idiot son. He had as much success as GW Bush in the private sector.

          And he wasn’t a competent administrator as Governor of Mass. He was a totally unremarkable governor sans his one big achievement which was Romneycare and a complete disaster.

          1. Romney’s dad was a governor in MI and his own track record in business is not unimpressive. Besides, Perry was Gore’s front man in TX way back when. I’d say THAT is a mightier flip flop than abortion.

            1. Romney’s dad was also CEO of American Motors. And I don’t like Perry any better than I like Romney. They are both reptilian.

              1. Supposedly Romney did a good job managing the 2002 Olympics.

                1. He got a two billion dollar handout to make it work.

                  1. I don’t know the details, nor do I care. That’s why I used the word “supposedly”.

                  2. “He got a two billion dollar handout to make it work.”

                    This. It was a very corrupt process.

                  3. He got a two billion dollar handout to make it work.

                    Link? There’s nothing about that on the Wikipedia page nor in the primary sources.

                    1. Here you go Tulpa


                      The federal government will pay nearly half of the $2.7 billion it is expected to cost to host the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, according to the report.

                      The $1.3 billion in federal spending is more than double the amount of federal funds ?$609 million? that supported the 1996 summer Olympics in Atlanta. The Atlanta games cost the city a total of $2 billion, the report said.

                    2. Link describing what happened, not what was supposed to happen “in the future”? And $1.3 billion isn’t two billion.

                    3. That was written September before and based upon a government audit. What do you think they didn’t spend any money before September?

                    4. The federal government will pay nearly half of the $2.7 billion it is expected to cost

                      Highlights for children and the English-impaired.

                    5. To all haters of capitalism, remember the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics. Peter Ueberroth ran that show, and instead of spending billions of taxpayer money, he sold advertising/naming rights and turned a profit.

          2. Now you’re reduced to spewing falsehoods. MA did pretty well while Romney was governor — and you have to realize it’s not a hotbed of laissez faire thinking. It’s a lot easier for a governor of Texas to oversee a pro-business economy than a governor of Massachusetts.

            And Romney had quite a bit of success in the private sector, both with rescuing the SLC olympics and starting and then coming back to resucitate his capital management firm Bain & Co.

            1. He only rescued the Olympics by getting a two billion dollar handout from the feds. He didn’t do shit other than lobby Congress to bail them out.

              And he didn’t do anything as governor of Mass. What did he do bedsides Romneycare and let the Big Dig go over budget?

              1. Keep in mind this article is fairly hostile overall

                Mr. Romney, who had made his nearly $350 million fortune at Bain Capital, a Boston private equity firm, also soon showed he could pull in money for the Games.

                Mark Lewis, who led a fund-raising venture between the United States Olympic Committee and the Salt Lake Committee, remembered a trip to New York to woo corporate sponsors.

                “We had 10 meetings, breakfast to dinner, but then suddenly we had an extra hour because of a cancellation,” Mr. Lewis said. “We were on some block in Midtown, and I remember Mitt saying, ‘What can we do for an hour?’ ”

                Kicking back with a beer, or even a latte, was not an option ? Mr. Romney, a Mormon, does not drink alcohol or coffee. So Mr. Lewis said he scratched his head and thought of a friend whose advertising agency represented Gateway Computers. Landing a last-minute appointment, they raced over. Four weeks later, Gateway was in the Olympics for the first time as a $20 million sponsor.


                Previous Olympic Games had a set number of sponsorship categories, for example, and when Mr. Romney and his team began work, they were told the list was full. So they invented new categories, said Fraser Bullock, who had worked with Mr. Romney at Bain and followed him to Utah to be chief operating officer for the Games. Mr. Bullock is not related to Kenneth Bullock.

                That is how the Olympics got its first cake-mix sponsor (General Mills), first official Olympic meat (certified Angus beef) and first official job-search Web site (Monster.com).

                “There was $500 million in sponsorship when we arrived, and by the time we were done there was $860 million, so over $300 million came from these additional categories,” Mr. Bullock said.

                Mr. Romney also signed up Utah sponsors, collecting about $100 million from local companies that had never given to the Olympics, Mr. Bullock said.

                Marriott International, the hotel chain with deep Utah and Mormon roots, signed on as a sponsor, as did Nu Skin, a skin-care company. Those ties later proved valuable to Mr. Romney; executives at both companies have contributed to his 2008 campaign. So have businessmen who benefited from Olympic projects, like Earl Holding, a former member of the Olympic Committee board and owner of a ski resort where some events were held.

                They do mention about $343M of federal support for infrastructure projects in SLC and Utah in general. But that’s par for the course in Olympic games.

                1. So what he can sell sponsorships. Get that man a used car dealership not the Presidency.

                  1. Wow John. First you say he never accomplished anything in the private sector and then, when shown that he has accomplished a lot, you pretend private sector accomplishments don’t matter.

              2. Romney had nothing to do with the Big Dig going over budget. He was elected in 2002. The Big Dig was a fiasco way, way, way before that. As for Romneycare, I don’t like it, but it would have been worse had it been Veto-proof-democratcare.

                1. Yeah, that was my next topic. John is really reaching here. Not sure what’s motivating his distaste for Romney, particularly given the alternatives.

              3. The growing list of Olympic expenditures exasperated Mr. McCain. In a speech on the Senate floor in October 1999, he said, “I do not know if we will ever stop this practice of earmarking and pork barreling, but I will never stop resisting it.”

                Mr. Romney has responded to criticism about the federal share of the Games by saying that taxpayer support for the 2002 Olympics was less than in previous Games ? only 18 percent of the budget, compared with 50 percent for the Games at Lake Placid in 1980.

                And part of the reason the federal share was not higher, people involved with the Games said, was that Mr. Romney was so successful in working the private sector.

                1. I turned a profit at the 1984 LA Summer Games. A fucking profit. No tax money, just capitalism at work. Always be closing.

          3. In fact, the reason RomneyCare looked like a good idea to a lot of people was because the state had a massive surplus to subsidize it with when Romney was governor.

            1. I can forgive him for Romneycare if he would just admit he fucked up. So maybe it did look good at the time. It doesn’t now. Why can’t he just admit that?

              1. He’s probably afraid that if he admits to a mistake, it will be thrown back in his face over and over again (and he’s right).

                But that’s not Romney alone, that’s every politician. I agree with you that he’d be better off admitting the plan didn’t work, but I’m not going to withhold my support over it when all the alternatives are terrible.

              2. Because one of the first rules of politics is never admitting to error.

                1. I was once a Democrate and a Union member. I have since denounced both.

      2. What more do you need?

    3. It’s almost as if Reason favored Obama.

      How so?

      1. Didn’t the Cosmotarian writers of record go heavy for Obama in print leading up to the last presidential election?

        1. A few did; Cavanaugh wrote an article explaining why he was voting for Obama, which I’m sure he’d repudiate if given the chance at this point. Weigel and Bailey also voted for BO, but everyone else among the frequent contributors at that time either didn’t vote or voted for Barr.

          1. “Weigel”

            Everyone, SHIT!

        2. I will give Reason props for having their contributors disclose how they were voting, though. More journalistic endeavors should do so.

        3. What the fuck is a ‘cosmotarian’, suki?

          1. They go to cocktail parties and use shampoo.

            1. I thought it was anyone who wasn’t a creepy fucker that parades around as a half retarded Asian woman.

    4. It’s almost as if Reason posts interesting bits of news and commentary about candidates.

      1. Problem is, they come in clusters. A few weeks ago there was a day when like 9/10 posts for the day were attacks on Rick Perry.

  14. “Paradoxically, Romney’s faults?his incessant flip-flopping and desperate quest for approval?might make him a less-dangerous-than-average president.”

    Someone who does more good than harm just to look good in front of people is someone we really…not only USA but many other countrys as well.
    I haven’t heard of people like this in a long long time, someone that juts wants to make the people happy and not..himself.

    just my opinion.

  15. What would a Mitt Romney presidency be like, two words, “George Bush”.

    1. No, it would be worse. Bush actually believed in things and had balls to carry things through. Romney doesn’t have that. He would be a complete fucking disaster. And a disaster that the media and Dems would pin on everyone who ever supported small government.

      1. Having balls to carry things through isn’t a good thing if the things you’re carrying through are destructive.

        1. You mean like Romneycare?

          1. Yes, though he didn’t have to do much carrying there. I’m not listing Romneycare as a point in Romney’s favor, just correcting the fallacious belief that it’s a dealbreaker.

            1. How can it not be a dealbreaker? Especially since he refuses to admit that it was anything but wonderful?

              1. Because it’s irrelevant to what he’d do as president?

                And if you’re looking for someone who’s never supported an unlibertarian policy…you’re going to be looking a long time. And don’t say “Ron Paul” or I’ll shove a marijuana lollipop up your nose.

                1. It is totally relevant. I am sorry but I don’t believe him when he says he would repeal obamacare. He can’t. He actually believes in that shit. No way will he repeal Obamacare. And no way will he do anything to reduce the size of government. Now, granted he won’t wage war against business the way Obama does. But he will do nothing about the size of government and do nothing to stop the ongoing disaster except put a Republican stamp on it.

                  1. I thought he didn’t believe in anything and was an egomaniac?

                    If he blocks an Obamacare repeal he’s going to be a dead duck in the White House. The GOP base will desert him.

                    1. It will be a little late then won’t it? The GOP base will never vote for him. I am not kidding. I know a lot of Republicans and there is no amount of underestimating the absolute hatred they have for the guy. If he gets the nomination they will stay home or vote third party.

                    2. Romney is leading in the polls among GOP voters. So your acquaintances really need to spread the Mitt hate if they want to stop the disease.

                    3. No he is not.


                      Cain has exploded. As people like Bachmann and Santorum fall out their support will go to Cain not Romney. Where is Romeny going to get additional support from? Huntsman voters? All five of them.

                    4. The WSJ says Cain and Romney are tied in VA. Romney has peaked.

                    5. LOL. That’s one state, and note that Romney was behind Perry a few weeks ago. Cain is going to flame out just like Perry.

                    6. Great. Let’s get some more Kagans and Sotomayers on the Supreme Court!

      2. Our nation stands alone right now in the world in terms of power, and that’s why we’ve got to be humble…


    Thanks, reason libertarian reason folks for straightening me out.

    Expect it good and hard, you buncha confused agricultural city-STATISTS.

    1. STFU you nitwit. Nobody cares what you have to say. Stop shitting on every thread.

      1. Can’t defend your core convictions, John?

        Maybe it is you who should STFU.

        1. Sure I can. I just only bother defending them against people who are worthy of the effort. And you don’t make the cut. Stop turning every thread into an excuse to talk about your inane and incoherent bullshit.

          1. Sure I can.

            Obviously, not.

            inane and incoherent bullshit

            Psychologically projecting again?

            1. Shut the Fuck Up Indian. No one cares.

              1. Obviously, you do, with strong emotional involvement.

        2. “Maybe it is you who should STFU.”

          Mabe you should address my 2:38 PM comment, which totally debunks your claims:


          1. I answered it. You debunked nothing. Thanks for playing. Try again.

  17. Mitt Romney is the new Al Gore. He just runs to say he did then whine when he doesn’t get the nomination. Then again, I never thought they’d give it to a second Bush after the oil war, and I was wrong. I can say that if he gets the nomination, Obama is a two-term president.

    1. He is such an egotistical ass, it wouldn’t shock me if he went third party after not getting the nomination.

      1. Like he did in 2008.

        Oh, wait.

        1. They nominated a moderate like McCain.

          1. Yeah, Romney and McCain were best buddies. Were you paying attention in 2008?

            Romney knows he has no shot if he’s not the GOP nominee. An egomaniac doesn’t play a game he knows he’s going to lose.

  18. “What would a Mitt Romney presidency look like?”

    Hear the giant sucking sound coming out of Massachusetts right now?

    It would be about the same just all 50 States at once.

    We are still taking it up the backside from that pandering fool. The ones since him are just making it suck harder!

    1. Mitt Romney hasn’t been governor of Massachusetts for 5 years.

      1. It’s Bush’s fault. ~Obama
        It’s Romney’s faul. ~coma44

      2. He started us down the road with Mass Health…..IT is the de-facto standard that the Obama Care bill was built on.

        As for Mass Health It has been a failure in more than one way….unless you were already on welfare and now “almost” have health care instead of nothing but the ER. The lines are long and the care is minimal at best. Doctors are leaving the state one after another because they are sick of being told that “they” make too much, but the state has not offered to pay the insurance for the doctors have they? So who makes out here?

        Only the INSURANCE companies.

        He also is a RINO through and through. He is the RINO version of Obama.

        IF he makes it into the White House It will only be more of the same we have had for the last 11 years.

        1. Right, if it hadn’t been for RomneyCare, the Dems would have never tried to push through a universal health care plan.

          John, this is the kind of thing I’m talking about. It’s not a strawman.

          1. That is not what he said. He said “.IT is the de-facto standard that the Obama Care bill was built on.”

            Romenycare was the prototype for Obamacare. That is true. Maybe the dems would have come up with it on their own. They probably would have. But that doesn’t excuse Romney.

            1. There wasn’t anything innovative about RomneyCare. The idea of an insurance mandate is decades old, and indeed it was floated as an alternative to HillaryCare back in 1993.

              1. So what. He still signed it. Sorry but his political career has to die for doing that.

  19. “What would a Mitt Romney presidency look like?”

    On the economy, I suspect he’d suck marginally less than Mr. Obama. On personal freedom, I’d say they’re pretty equal in their suckitude – only a different set of rules.

    1. On the economy, I suspect he’d suck marginally less than Mr. Obama. On personal freedom, I’d say they’re pretty equal in their suckitude – only a different set of rules.



    The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race
    by Jared Diamond, UCLA School of Medicine

    (2) Health and the Rise of Civilization
    by Mark Nathan Cohen
    Yale University Press

    Agriculture: Demon Engine of Civilization
    by John Zerzan

    The Original Affluent Society
    by Marshall Sahlins
    University of Chicago
    also see http://Www.webpages.uidaho.edu/~rfrey/220original.html

    “War is a staple of civilization. Its mass, rationalized, chronic presence has increased as civilization has spread and deepened.”
    On the Origins of War
    by John Zerzan

    The Final Empire: The Collapse of Civilization and the Seed of the Future
    by William H. K?tke

    Hunter Gatherers And The Golden Age Of Man

    Thesis #6: Humans are still Pleistocene animals.
    Thesis #7: Humans are best adapted to band life.
    The Thirty Theses

    Chapter 2: Envisioning a Hamlet Economy.
    What is Rhizome?

    This Ugly Civilization
    Dr. Ralph Borsodi

  21. As he was instructed to, Chris Christie just backed Romney for the nomination.

    1. As instructed? What would make you think Christie would have backed anyone else?

    2. Did he make that “beep beep” sound while he was backing as required by law for his weight category?

      1. Ha-haw! I was gonna make a weight joke in my post too.

  22. “We need government.”



    1. Agree. But a very limited government.

      1. A little government aggression is like being a little bit of a rapist. So how’s that working for ya?

        1. That’s not why or how governments are formed. Governments are formed to protect several property; without which we’d have absolutely zero prosperity.

          Every human action is taken with the goal to remove some perceived uneasiness. We’ve learned over the past 5000 years that by dividing labor we can accomplish more, faster, and hence remove more uneasiness in our daily lives. Further, we’ve learned in the past 200 years that capitalism is the best system yet for increasing the division of labor, and hence further removing any uneasiness in our lives.

          So, in short, yes, I want government to protect property so that I can both contribute more to our society and gain more from living in our society. I do not want that system to go away and live as a depraved savage. I know that will make my life harder work for me, with negative returns on that work.

        2. “All sexual intercourse is rape.”



          1. No means yes!

            1. WAR IS PEACE
              FREEDOM IS SLAVERY

    2. this poll would be devastating on an anarchists blog

  23. John, how long into primary season will it be before Romney is the greatest presidential candidate ever?

    1. STFU Tony. You are only slightly better than White Indian. And that is only because you sometimes manage to stay on topic.

    2. All he has to be is better than Obama. And he is. As is Cain or Perry.

  24. I’m afraid he will be painted by the media as some laissez-faire conservative, and when his policies of big government also fail, people will attribute that to capitalism, further hurting our movement.

    1. Then vote for Obama.

  25. What’s stupid is holding these two libertarian beliefs simultaneously:

    1. The State makes life worse.
    2. Life got better under the city-State.

    Got contradiction?

    1. what is so sad about your life that you write things like this?

      1. By oversimplifying things and erecting strawmen, he thinks he can come up with simple solutions to life’s problems. In that approach he is not alone, but is utter lack of self-understanding is more sad than hilarious.

        1. Fire can cook my food. It can also burn down my house and kill me. See the difference?

  26. I oppose Obama and everything he stands for, but I would vote for Leon Trotsky before I voted for Romney. Romney represents everything that has been the damnation of the Republican Party, and in fact, the Republic, for the last 50 years: the brainless sense of chivalry that requires yielding nine-tenths of the argument to the Liberals before the debate even starts; allowing the other side to frame the debate and define its terms and its language; and invariably falling for the deliberately predatory offer of camaraderie AFTER he’s surrendered to the Democrats. J Wellington Wimpy’s offer that he will ” gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today” is played out ad infinitum with spending cuts and tax increases. And as a certified Country-Clublican, he upholds the central doctrine of his cast: he never, ever, learns.

    The author of the model for Obamacare is going to defeat Obama? Voter, please!

  27. Unfortunately, the people Romney will be pandering to are Progressive Democrats. That means, if he is elected, the U.S. will become a permanent social democracy, ala Sweden in the 1960s.

    There is now a golden moment to do some serious pushback on the welfare state, but Romney is not the guy to lead that. Rick Perry, for all his considerable flaws, believes in his gut in the political system designed by the Founders. Romney, to the extent he believes in anything beyond getting elected, believes in the modern welfare state.

    The choice is that clear.

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