Here we are with only 193 days before the election night and Mitt Romney appears to have the Republican nomination wrapped up. This hellishly long vetting process, with endless, needless debates and primaries run amok, has been an inglorious examination of a variety of political failures.
From Newt Gingrich's impossible pomposity and Rick Santorum's often unnerving tendency to sound as tolerant as your average Iranian mullah, to Rick Perry's bout with unexpected amnesia in mid-sentence.
With all that maneuvering, jostling and elbowing, what has emerged out of the muck is a candidate who will, quite literally say anything to get elected. Although this tendency has long been a handicap of Romney, the history of modern American politics has perhaps not seen anything quite like this character.
Whether the candidate of yore was liked or not, a voter could feel reasonably certain what his core values were. (There were exceptions, of course. Nixon for example.)
With Romney, it has been a question of wind direction.
In a 1994 Senate debate with Ted Kennedy, Mitt Romney revealed a startling chapter from his past: A close relative had died many years earlier in a botched illegal abortion, shaping Romney’s stance in favor of safe and legal access to abortion for all women.During the debate he declared,
'Since that time, my mother and my family have been committed to the belief that we can believe as we want, but we will not force our beliefs on others on that matter, and you will not see my wavering on that.' "He told the audience then,
'I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country. I have since the time that my mom took that position when she ran in 1970 as a US Senate candidate. I believe that since Roe v. Wade has been the law for 20 years we should sustain and support it.' "
As a liberal, I'd have been impressed.
The video of the debate is available on YouTube and in the clip, Romney looks exceedingly genuine. The register of his voice changes as though he is sharing his deepest personal conviction.
He uses a perhaps less persuasive tone today when he calls for overturning Roe vs. Wade. To Diane Sawyer he said:
“I would love the Supreme Court to say, ‘Let’s send this back to the states... Rather than having a federal mandate through Roe v. Wade, let the states again consider this issue state by state. But I’m pro-life, that’s my view. I believe there is a sanctity of human life.”
This reversal is not an isolated case. In order to secure the nomination, Romney has attempted erase his all of his previously-held, heart-felt convictions about such topics as gun control, abortion, immigration and equality for gay and lesbian Americans. Apparently he has been willing to throw out every liberal opinion he once espoused.
Conservative voters have every reason to be dubious about what kind of president this man might make. God only knows what he will saying after November. Here's an excerpt from a video which gives you just a taste of the kind of thing I am referring to.
Though it is not a complete list, Business Insider has a collection of Romney's most noticeable reversals.
Here's another clip which shows a continuation of the pattern with lies about the president's record.
The mainstream media may delicately call it "flip-flopping" but let's face it, the real word for this type of behavior is, of course, lying. Romney, it appears, is simply a man who cannot tell the truth about anything. He seems unable to tell the truth about his fundamental values as a leader. Romney's entire conservative platform seems to be more or less an expedient invention.
Besides winning in November, what is actually important to his man? What does he really believe in?
As president, what will be his opinions about gun control or pro-choice, gay marriage? Once elected will he suddenly shift back to the moderate he was as governor of Massachusetts? Still worse, will President Romney continue to try to please everybody and just say anything, swinging back and forth, reversing last week's pronouncements with something completely different?
As that politically-crafty Pontius Pilate once observed, "What is truth?" In Romney's case, it's safe to say that only God knows. As far as the Republican voters are concerned, voting for Romney will have to be a leap of faith. In any case, it looks like they're stuck with Mitt for the next 193 days.