Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Mitt Romney... union-loving Keynesian?


Mitt Romney is a rich privileged douchebag willing to do or say anything in his relentless effort to pander to the Republican Party's far-right base, but occasionally, just occasionally, he shows us a glimpse, intentionally or not, of whatever is left of the real Mitt beneath the robotic, soul-less facade.

Sure, that real Mitt is still a douchebag, most likely, with a plutocratic sense of entitlement, but it's still a Mitt that isn't quite as extreme as the one we're witnessing on the campaign trail.

Spending cuts

As he said in Michigan yesterday: "If you just cut, if all you're thinking about doing is cutting spending, why as you cut spending you’ll slow down the economy."

This is certainly a lot more than you hear from most cut-and-cut-more Republicans these days, but of course Romney's not suddenly espousing a Keynesian, demand-side approach to the economy. He wasn't arguing against spending cuts, after all, let alone for stimulus spending, he was just saying that spending cuts alone, in his view (and the near-universal Republican view), aren't enough.

"So you have to at the same time create pro-growth tax policies," he quickly added. Which is to say, you have to have tax cuts for the wealthy, a core plank of all things Republican.

Unions

As he also said in Michigan yesterday: "Now labor unions play an important role in our society. There are some like the carpenters' union that compete on a fair basis and train their members to have greater skills, and so they're an important part of America's economy."

Wait, what? Did Romney not get the anti-union message? Is he departing from the anti-union activism of the likes of John Kasich in Ohio and Scott Walker in Wisconsin? Uh, no.

Note that Romney only said "some" unions (and he mentioned only one) are "important." And while this, too, is more than you hear from most Republicans these days, he quickly shifted his point, as he always does, into an attack on President Obama, in this case for supposedly sucking up to union bosses, and then advocated so-called "right to work" (i.e., right to get screwed) legislation.

This is what anti-union Republicans do. They draw a distinction between unionized workers and union bosses -- though of course what is a union without people running it? It's a way of being anti-union without seeming to be anti-worker. No matter that unionized workers vote for their bosses and are overwhelmingly pro-union. And they advocate legislation that is decidedly pro-employer and that would result in lower wages and fewer benefits for workers, another way of being anti-union while seemingly wanting to give workers "rights."

Sorry, what was I saying about Romney?

Whatever was there before, whatever once was real, appears to have been crushed. It may be his shameless opportunism or he may now believe this right-wing extremism, but it hardly matters.

This is the only Mitt left.

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Watch the clips:


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