I have a confession to make: I’m cheering for Mitt Romney. There’s not a chance I’d vote for him – my time-out for the entire Republican party doesn’t expire until 2014 – but I have a vague sort of respect for the guy, and I kinda want to see him do well. I also don’t want a Republican anywhere near the White House just now – even the good ones are in bed with really, really unacceptable people and ideas – it’s just, well, I appreciate his “mistakes” so much.
For example, the etch-a-sketch comment. No, you should never, ever say that in public. When you are running for office, you look the people you’re courting in the eye and you tell them that you’re their guy, now and forever, no way are you going to change or flirt with other people/ideas/forces of logic. That’s how the game is played, and anybody with the least bit of political savvy knows it. They also know that it’s garbage, that you always run on a more extreme platform during primaries than you do during generals because they’re primaries, and that’s also how the game is played. The crime here isn’t that the plan is to refocus and shift come the fall, it’s that somebody from the campaign said so in public. Eric Fehrnstrom should probably never be allowed on national television while representing a candidate ever, ever again. But you know what? He was doing exactly what everybody claims they want politicians to do: he was being honest.
The angry foamy part of me has to respect that even while the calculating manipulative part wants to shriek at the sheer incompetence of it. Mitt Romney causes me deep inner turmoil.
People have been loving to hate on Romney’s “flip-flopping” and tendency to wander off from approved paths to actually get things done. Okay, fine, we know that people who brashly claim to know what they’re doing inspire more confidence than the appropriately tentative, that people prefer leaders who brazenly ‘stay the course’ rather than pausing to think. Except, I don’t. I’m okay with somebody who’s willing to change their mind, even if it’s just because it turns out nobody likes their good idea. I’m rather fond of the idea of a leader who is willing to say, “So, in order to do X, I think we should do Y and you think we should do Z, but since X is the goal, let’s scramble letters until we get it, k?” It’s really bad politics, but it’s good leadership.
Really, I’d rather see people ragging on Romney for his underwear choices than for being a Republican who does things Democrats like, or for being willing to be the leader his constituents want, or for running a campaign where, once in a while, a staffer accidentally blurts out the truth. Picking on his underwear is just as silly, but at least then you aren’t discouraging the kind of politics I’d like to see.
In conclusion, I give you a funny video. (h/t Noah)