Brendan Nyhan attacks the claims that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is a phony. Nyhan:
Mitt Romney, the leading Republican presidential contender in the Intrade futures market, is starting to be covered in a similar way. A Los Angeles Times profile on Saturday emphasized the supposed change in his attire in the headline and lede:
A whole new Romney for 2012 presidential run
The early Republican favorite is wearing Gap skinny jeans and going tieless on network TV. But despite his makeover, he still has a hard time connecting with voters.
Another story noted that he went to a state fair in jeans and then changed into a suit for a more formal meeting, which seems…sensible. Clearly, Romney is ‘inauthentic.’ Or something.
Here’s the problem with this kind of reporting: it obscures just how horrible Romney is. This is a man who:
•tried to eliminate all state funding for Meals on Wheels (a mostly volunteer organization that brings food to low income elderly shut-ins)
•eliminated funding for a suicide teen hotline that was targeted at gay children
•cut assistance for the mentally disabled
•cut funding for HIV treatment and prevention
•cut assistance for the homeless
•cut emergency aid for the elderly
•cut support for immunization
•cut funding for residential special education
•cut funding for state universities
•cut funding for the preservation and upkeep of state parks and beaches
•cut funding for economic grants to municipalities (jobs!)
•cut funding for the Massachusetts Technology Development Corporation
•cut funding for domestic violence prevention programs
•cut funding for sexual assault prevention programs, including the Sex Abuse Intervention network, and support for local police programs
•he is an extremist when it comes to opposing reproductive rights
This, believe it or not, isn’t the full list. And he did this to establish his bona fides with the theopolitical right and to claim he cut taxes. He didn’t need to make those tax cuts to balance the budget. But we all know ‘sexual assault’ and ‘elderly hunger’ are just liberal myths. Or something.
And let’s leave aside adopting the conservative Heritage Foundation’s healthcare plan when Massachusetts was trying to pass healthcare reform, thereby eliminating any hope of cost controls (Got fiscal responsibility?). Or that job creation and wage growth sucked under his administration.
Romney isn’t a ‘flip-flopper.’ He is genuinely and authentically a dreadful person who will destroy the lives of the vulnerable and needy for political gain.