The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Probably the best reason to support Romney

Much of the reason I've been supporting Mitt Romney for the Presidency is a negative one — that the alternative is Barack Obama, who is one of the worst presidents this country has seen. Only Jimmy Carter, of those presidents whose terms of office have been within my lifetime, has been worse, I believe. But the best reason to support Romney is a positive one. He can unite people of both parties to forge a consensus.

George W. Bush said he was “a uniter, not a divider,” but as Governor of Texas, the Democrats he had worked with were conservative enough that he was unprepared to find, when he came to Washington, that the Democrats there were of such a different stripe that he was not able to find common ground with them. President Obama used different words, but in his 2004 keynote at the Democratic convention, when he said “I say to them tonight, there is not a liberal America and a conservative America — there is the United States of America,” he seemed to offer to many the promise of uniting us. However, as President he has not governed in a way consistent with this rhetoric. He has pushed through a healthcare bill with no support from a single Republican Senator, and only one Republican vote in the House of Representatives. He has made “recess appointments” when the Senate has just broken for a weekend, so he would not get them rejected in the Senate. He has done exactly the opposite of what a unifying, consensus-building President would be expected to do.

By contrast, we have the record of Mitt Romney as Governor of Massachusetts — a state which, unlike George W. Bush's Texas, has Democrats who are as liberal as any in the country, and yet where, facing an 87% Democratic legislature, he managed to get substantial parts of his program enacted. The Des Moines Register, which has endorsed Democrats in most recent elections (in fact, has endorsed only one Republican from 1964 to 2008) and endorsed Obama in 2008, endorsed Mitt Romney, saying: “Romney succeeded as governor in Massachusetts where he faced Democratic majorities in the legislature. If elected, he would have an opportunity to renew the effort.” As Emily Miller of The Washington Times points out,

President Obama has burned bridges by ramming through legislation like the stimulus and Obamacare without bothering to consult Republicans. That’s not how Mr. Romney would operate. “I know there are good Democrats who love America just like we do,” he told supporters in Celina, Ohio, Sunday. “I want to reach across the aisle to them, work together, put the interests of the people ahead of the politicians.”

He noted that as a GOP governor of a deep blue state, he worked with a legislature that was 87 percent Democrat. He still managed to decrease spending and cut taxes 19 times. “We were able to balance our budget. The $3 billion budget gap in our first year became a $2 billion rainy day fund,” Mr. Romney explained to cheering crowds. “We did that together, Republicans and Democrats. And we’ve got to do that in Washington.”

The Obama campaign is trying its best to deny this bipartisan record. “The American people can’t trust a word Mitt Romney says, especially when he claims he’d work across the aisle as president,” said campaign spokesman Danny Kanner. “As governor, he refused to work with Democrats in the legislature.”

Not so, according to the Bay State’s former Democratic House majority leader. “The governor did work with the legislature,” James Vallee told The Washington Times in an interview Monday. “There were issues of difference, but I had a very productive relationship with the Romney administration. They reached out to legislatures and did an effective job working with us.”

Mr. Vallee, who left the legislature in June and is now a lawyer at Nixon, Peabody, believes Mr. Romney would be most effective with a bipartisan cabinet and team. “If he says he’s going to reach across the aisle, I think he will,” he said.

That's the best reason to support Mitt Romney for the Presidency this year.

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