Wednesday, October 31, 2012

My Vote: Why I will vote against Mitt Romney

I don't trust him.

It is as simple as those four words: I don't trust him.  The reason I don't trust him isn't something ethereal or fleeting.  It isn't a gut feeling or hunch.  It isn't because he looks dishonest or because he seems smarmy.  I don't trust him because I have seen him objectively be dishonest.

Now of course, everyone says politicians are dishonest, they change their position as it suits them.  That's true.  President Obama has shifted his stance before as well.  But there are certain things, certain principles, that go to the core of who were are.  And, ultimately with Governor Romney, I can only come to two possible conclusions:  One, is that he has no core principles; or two, he won't let anyone know them.  Either way, I can't vote for him.

Abortion.  Maybe the most personal and difficult social issue there is.  There are strong, intelligent and defensible positions on both sides of this issue.  But the problem is that it is really hard to be on both sides of this issue.  The Governor has been.  In 1994, running for Senator in liberal Massachusetts, he was unequivocally pro-choice as a candidate and argued for defending Roe v. Wade.  Yet, as a candidate for the Republican nomination, he was just the opposite: pro-life and advocating overturning Roe v. Wade.  And now he has come back toward the middle as the general election approaches. 

So it was with the auto industry rescue plan.  "Let Detroit go Bankrupt" was his plan. And while a version of bankruptcy is ultimately what happened, the plan proffered by the Governor was one that wasn't feasible.  Bankruptcy as advocated by him was impossible, because at the time no bank was willing/able to fund it in a way to keep the car companies together.  It would have certainly meant their liquidation.  He called the bailout tragic, but then when it was successful, he tried to take credit for it.  Now, he's plastered false ads all over Ohio claiming that he is the candidate that backs the auto industry and that the President is helping Chrysler ship jobs oversees.  The ad is so patently misleading, that Chrysler and GM responded directly, calling his ads lies.  Every major fact checker has panned the ads as misleading. He bet against American industry and lost, no hedging will change that.

He talks glowingly of women, but won't commit to equal pay for equal work legislation.  He talks of his support for Latinos, but he calls for them to self-deport and calls the racial-profiling immigration laws of Arizona a model for the nation. 

Then there is the 47% video.  Every candidate has gaffes.  Every candidate says things that get taken out of context.  The media scrutiny on every word said, every expression made and every watch-check is relentless.  But this was no gaffe.  This was a calculated, extensive and deliberate statement on his views on America and Americans. He said:

"There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what . . . who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it.  Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax . . . [my job] is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."

FDR once said, It is an unfortunate human failing that a full pocketbook often groans more loudly than an empty stomach.”  No serious candidate for the office of President has more exemplified that failing than Mitt Romney.   

One could hope that the Governor would be the centrist he seems to be today,  But I think that this column is closer to the reality of a Romney presidency.

Cutting taxes for the richest among us to pay for cuts to essential services for the poor, the sick and the elderly is morally wrong.  It won't create jobs, it didn't in the '00s and it won't now.  What it will do is force a greater burden upon our most desperate citizens.  The ultra-conservatives love to harken back to the founding fathers as well as religion, so I find it appropriate to close with a thought from one that the Governor should pay a little more attention too.

Experience demands that man is the only animal which devours his own kind, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor. - Thomas Jefferson

We shouldn't be a nation that demonizes our poor, simply because they are poor, and lionizes the rich simply because they are rich.  Poor and lazy are no more synonyms than rich and industrious.  We are all Americans, and the Mitt Romneys of the world will never accept that.  I won't accept that we should let his green devour them. And so, I can never vote for him.  


  1. Randy,

    Bear with me as I have to post this in parts. While I have certainly appreciated your well-thought and crafted personal opinions as to why you are voting for President Obama, the greatest power a voter has is one of choice: the choice of who to vote for in the coming election. Constantly building your side without crediting the opponent for his/her ideas is not an intellectual discourse, it is yet another campaign add. I am not your neo-conservative voter, I do agree with some policies of Obama (the elimination of foreclosure action against tenants who timely pay rent but landlords do not pay mortgage payments, the mandatory stabilization of interests rates associated with government loans, the systematic reduction of troops abroad in Afghanistan, etc.), however there I take issues with some of more “fundamental” policies.
    Throughout this response, I hope to highlight why this nation cannot properly sustain itself for another four years under Obama’s economic/social policies. Full disclosure: I too voted early and not along party affiliation, however my vote for President went to Mitt Romney. Throughout your various posts, you mention a plethora of topics to support your choice in Obama. I will try to cover as many as I can. If I left something out that you would like me to discuss, please don’t hesitate to let me know (although the eleventh hour is now upon us).


    As I understand your most recent blog post, you are concerned that Mitt Romney, for lack of a better term, “flip-flops” on this social issue. We must understand that politics is all about audience. During the primaries, a candidate is expected to appeal to the base as much as possible. After receiving the nomination, the candidate must then start the arduous task of appealing to the independents or moderates. Obama decidedly has the advantage in this category because, as an incumbent, he no longer has to appeal to his core audience; he can strictly focus on the independents. Romney was not that fortunate and thus he made ‘off-the-cuff’ remarks to appeal to his audience (thus the 47% comment).
    The issue of abortion lies with the Courts and Congress. There is a fundamental disagreement between political parties as to which law prevails. As you well know from Constitutional Law, Roe v. Wade is not the standard for abortion, rather it is Planned Parenthood v. Casey. As the abortion law currently stands, the ability for a woman to have an abortion depends on what trimester she is in and how powerful the state’s interest is in preventing the abortion. Since this decision, abortions, particularly in conservative states, have been more difficult, but not impossible, to obtain. The fact remains that the Courts will likely have the final say on this social issue. Even if Roe v. Wade is overturned, some group will like challenge the constitutionality of such reversal. The issue will be tied in the courts for approximately 2-4 years and then the decision will rest in the hands of nine unelected officials who (until recently) tend to vote along party lines (See Roberts and the Health Care Decision). Bottom line: to speak for or against a candidate for appealing to their voters on an issue that, in the end, is out of their hands, is not a valid reason to vote for or against a candidate.

  2. Auto Rescue Plan

    In my opinion, this has been the Democrats most played point throughout this election. I was not there when this article was written, but Mitt Romney denies that he came up with the title to the article. Out of an abundance of caution and to keep things interesting, let’s say he did come up with the title. The crux of this article proposes an almost restructuring of the American Automobile industry. Much like a Chapter 11 reorganization plan for any business, the automobile industry must reaffirm some debts to be paid, in full, over an extended period of time. Mitt Romney was pushing for comprehensive reform in the industry and to date, much has gone unfulfilled. He supported new labor agreements to make American-made vehicles more competitive with BMW, Honda, Nissan and Toyota. Let’s be honest, foreign cars are comparatively cheaper than American cars. In essence, Mitt was pushing for a lowering of benefits (both pay and retirement associated) to the typical auto worker. This statement will likely have others up in arms, but it maintains the core principles of the free market economy. Whether you like to admit it, supply and demand drive the markets. If benefits are reduced and more cars are sold at a cheaper price to compete with foreign vehicles, then more workers can be hired to build more cars to support the increased demand for American made vehicles.
    He also supported a restructuring of corporate management. Out with the old and in with the new. Much like the 2010 popularity swell of the tea party movement, when things aren’t working, drastic changes are needed. The fact remains the same that Detroit was in a downward spiral, due in much part to increases in obtaining supplies and union agreements mandating specific levels of pay/benefits. To sustain a successful business, profits must outweigh costs. Democrats typically support unions but the most rational approach is to not support something that will slowly cause the well to run dry. When the hand that feeds you runs out of food, there will be plenty of hungry dogs nipping.


    Arguably Obama’s strongest support base in the current election, issues involving women are quickly becoming the crux and bane of Obama’s and Romney’s campaigns, respectively. Last I saw, the women support for Obama was 8% greater than that for Romney. With that said, much of this can be explained from Romney’s views on abortion (see above). Social policies are rarely cheap. To ensure equal pay for women, women must perform equally compared to men. Sounds simple enough, but this is more complex than it appears at first glance. There exists a systemic discrimination for the quality of work women provide. Is this any particular candidates fault? No. Some business owners prefer to do business with one gender as to another. Try having an American woman meeting any Asian company leader without getting the evil eye the entire time. Is this a problem? Absolutely. Is it something that can be fixed within any president’s 4 year term? No.
    Don’t get me wrong, Romney and his ‘binders full of women’ comment definitely got him into a deep hole (one which he has yet to emerge from). One must step back from the microscopic picture and realize that women have not improved that much under the past four years. In 2011, White House staff salaries showed a difference of $11,000.00 between men and women. For a President who preaches pay equality, why is it that those closest to him still suffer that same pay disparity? Despite signing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act relatively early in his term, apparently the effects have yet to be realized.

  3. Taxes

    This area presents THE fundamental disagreement between Democrats and Republicans. To quickly summarize, Republicans believe in large tax cuts to the wealthy which in turn will ‘trickle down’ to everyone else in the form of more paying jobs where individuals can actually work for a living. Democrats believe in giving everyone (except those at the top) a modest tax cut increasing disposable income from $100-$600/person. This is an area that will never result in compromise. I am not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination. Sure, I would rather a few extra bucks in my pocket than in a company that I don’t work for, but I am looking at the overall picture. The question I ask myself is: who can do more with the money? When framed in that light, the choice is clear. Those who have taken the risks, started and now operate successful businesses can do more good with a tax break than can individual people. Larger returns amount to increased operating capital which, in turn, leads to additional jobs.
    Don’t get me wrong, there is something sickening about a CEO making multi-millions of dollars per year for attending board meetings, but the fact remains that some (if not most) ends up being invested back into the company. With more capital comes more jobs, with more jobs comes increased expansion, increased expansion results in more jobs. For an election centered on the economy, this is one way to improve the stagnant growth where job creation barely keeps pace with the increase in the work-force.


    While this used to be a hot button issue, it has taken the back seat to other issues. Still equally important, the healthcare law, or as the republican base refers to it, “ObamaCare”, is the epitome of pork-barrel spending. This legislation is a first for many things, mainly requiring business owners to purchase a product and then penalizing, or ‘taxing’, those same employers for failing to provide the service. The difficulty with this bill is that no one truly understands what the impacts will be. I admit that I have not read all 1990 pages of the legislation, but what I have read thus far is troubling. Taxing tanning providers, granting absolute power to the hands of a few appointed panel-members? Not to mention how this bill violates the fundamental principles of the free market capitalism. By setting a government price on providing healthcare, it takes competition away from the market. Lack of competition leads to complacency and results in increased premiums because of this artificial floor (or ceiling, depending on your viewpoint) put in place by the Government. The problem that most Americans have with its passage is that no one can explain the practical impacts. It was rushed through, with minimal bi-partisan support, on an obscure day after Democrats had worked through the weekend on finalizing the Bill. Republicans did not have a chance to review it, thus the division in party lines and even Democratic leaders said that they did not read the entirety of the Bill. I am all for healthcare supplementation or assistance, but a bill of this magnitude needs to be mutually agreed upon after having ample time for review.

  4. Energy

    In fairness, this is a very broad category and my reviews on Obama are mixed in this area. Let’s start with green energy: wind, solar, hydro, etc. I could speak about the stimulus giving money to green companies for research purposes and then falling flat. However, I want to delve into numbers. To date and after brief research, there have been at least twelve (12) green energy companies which have received Department of Energy loan guarantees that are now bankrupt. A host more have lost much of what stimulus money was given. Most recently, ECOtality (which received 126.2 million) has lost over 45 million dollars and the company stated, “[w]e may not achieve or sustain profitability on a quarterly or annual basis in the future.” It’s not that we don’t need to find alternative sources of energy; we just need to be more prudent as to who gets taxpayer money for their projects. An in-depth examination into the financial records of the company and a cross promise that outlines how the money will be spent should have been necessary prior to dolling out millions of dollars to companies that ultimately failed.
    On the other end, we have the exhaustible fuel of oil and gas. As a finite resource, much can be said about exhausting one’s supply and, in turn, hoarding your own. I think this is what Obama is currently doing. However, gas prices have increased since Obama came into office. Much of that can be blamed on supply and demand and unfair trade practices, but the fact remains that an abundant source of oil rests within North America. The Keystone Pipeline Project has been summarily rejected by Obama. This project alone will create thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of jobs, result in increased exports to other areas of the world which, in turn, nets more money which can be applied to reducing the deficit that has greatly increased under Obama’s tenure. Accountability is something that has been missing from this (and prior) administrations and is a widespread problem. It is time to stop blaming predecessors and take responsibility for policies that negatively impacted America’s positions in the global community.

    Iran Sanctions

    Ah sanctions, the bark without the bite. To start this topic, we must fundamentally agree that Israel is our main ally in the region. We have constantly supported Israel in the past and I anticipate that we will continue to do so in the future. After all, they are surrounded by countries who deny their right to that territory. In retrospect, we essentially placed the Israeli’s in the middle of an enemy base. Does Israel have good reason to be fearful for their safety and security? Absolutely. Iran has openly professed that it wants to wipe Israel off the map. That would make even the most battle hardened veteran nervous considering Iran is within mere months of enriching enough uranium to the point of building a crude nuclear bomb which will easily decimate a highly populated area. Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly tried to have meetings with Obama, especially in recent months, and was given the reassurance that the two would meet after the election. Being the POTUS means that you have to deal with difficult issues as they arise, not after you finish political campaigning. While sanctions are damaging Iran’s economy, they are obviously not severe enough to deter the country from continuing to pursue this technology. I am sure the world would be at ease if Iran would allow the inspectors to go into the various sites, however Iran has denied the inspectors that ability. The next step for the UN is to send in peacekeeping troops. Honestly, I don’t think that will be effective either. Until we are able to verify Iran’s nuclear capabilities, we must assume that it is on its way to developing nuclear weapons and do all that we can to stop the country from acquiring said weapons. Yes, I know what happens when we assume, but I would rather look like an ass than have an entire country decimated when we know we could have prevented it.

  5. Benghazi

    This is the thorn in Obama’s side at the moment. You must agree that it was poorly handled. Information is slowly, but surely, being released which indicates that the administration knew of the impending attack prior to it occurring. After telling a recon group twice to stand down when they requested permission to go help the embassy, the group disobeyed direct orders and went anyway. Thankfully they did because they ended up safely evacuating more than a dozen people. I don’t think this would have been such an issue if all the information was released to begin with and the administration admitted some responsibility for failing to recognize the signs. Hillary took the blame well after it was appropriate to do so and the administration thought that was the end of it. How naïve they were. Frankly, I think Republicans are riding this horse as much as they can much like the Democrats are touting the Bin Laden kill.

    Support for Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan

    As you can see, this is quite a lengthy post. Candidly, my fingers are hurting. In the interest of minimizing further pain, I will briefly comment on the strategy of R/R. The goal of a challenger is to paint the incumbent in such a light that no one wants to walk into that room. There are issues that I have with R/R, but they do not outweigh the record of Obama. Both candidates seem to have a lack of clear direction as to what they will do if elected. My vote centers on the rationale that Obama had 4 years to improve what he inherited. The results that we are left with are: $5.1 trillion increase to the deficit, 7.9% unemployment (0.1% higher than when he took office), a comprehensive health care bill that was not favored by the majority of Americans, military presence still in Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay still open, and a lack of comprehensive immigration reform, among others. I was always told to not make promises you can’t keep. Romney is running on the very simple premise that due to his business background, he can get Americans working again. He doesn’t fluff it up (although I do wish he would disclose HOW he plans on achieving this goal). Regardless of what happens tomorrow, I know that you and I will handle it with class. The sad truth is that there are people on both sides of the political isle that vote according to race and I am proud to say that I am not one. Remember, remember the 5th of November.