So what the story of Romney and the auto bailout actually shows is something we already knew from health care: he’s a smart guy who is also a moral coward. His original proposal for the auto industry, like his health reform, bore considerable resemblance to what Obama actually did. But when the deed took place, Romney — rather than having the courage to say that the president was actually doing something reasonable — joined the rest of his party in whining and denouncing the plan.
And now he wants to claim credit for the very policy he trashed when it hung in the balance.
He also says
Cowen apparently wants me to make the best case for the opposing side in policy debates. Since when has that been the rule? I’m trying to move policy in what I believe to be the right direction — and I will make the best honest case I can for moving in that direction.
Look, economic policy matters. It matters for real people who suffer real consequences when we get it wrong. If I believe that the doctrine of expansionary austerity is all wrong, or that the Ryan plan for Medicare would have disastrous effects, or whatever, then my duty, as I see it, is to make my case as best I honestly can — not put on a decorous show of civilized discussion that pretends that there aren’t hired guns posing as analysts, and spares the feelings of people who are not in danger of losing their jobs or their health care.
This is not a game.
But, if this is not a game, and if consequences really matter, then why is it wrong or even cowardice for Mitt Romney to Say Anything to be elected.
Lets take this by its smoothest handle for those with Paul’s perspective on things. The conventional wisdom coming into the 2012 was that the economy was going to be in horrible shape and that it was highly likely that President Obama would lose based on “A Time for A Change” thinking.
That is, swing voters would conclude that the Obama administration has failed and vote for the alternative.
Mitt Romney says to himself, well look either I am the alternative or someone else is. I look around me and all of these other guys are freaking nuts. Much better if I am President than if they are. Unfortunately, to get there I have to do some unsavory things.
However, which is more important to me: avoiding sullying my hands with unsavoriness or preventing the country from being run by nuts.
Would it not be selfish to choose the former? Doesn’t Mitt Romney have a moral responsibility to Say Anything to become the Republican Nominee? If congeniality is not a shield against the moral responsibility of allowing millions of people to suffer then why is honesty?