Yeah…it gets complicated. Here, watch for yourself:
Steven Benen noted yesterday in the Maddow Blog that
Obama for America spokesperson Frank Benenati said this morning, “Let’s get this straight — the very person who argued for the US auto industry to go bankrupt, something that would have caused more than a million jobs lost and utter economic devastation in the Midwest, is now trying to attack the President on how it was handled? This ad in Ohio is a new low for the Romney campaign.”
I’m beginning to wonder where the Romney campaign would be if it suddenly abandoned its quest for new lows with the latest coming so fast on the heals of the last. I mean, Benen also made a valid point in April when he made this observation:
The Detroit Free Press’ Tom Walsh recently noticed [in February] that Mitt Romney has taken so many contradictory positions on the Obama administration’s auto-industry rescue, the Republican “must be on the verge of exhaustion from all the verbal contortions and mental gymnastics he puts himself through.”
Wash’s question at the time was this: “Can’t Romney remember what he believes?” I’ll try to answer that in a minute.
First, let’s try to break that down a bit without getting whiplash. Do you remember when Mitt said this on January 14, 2008 and that in November of the same year?:
And then after Mitt said this and that, which contradicted this, and then tried to take credit for the bailout? This one is from The Hill, on April 28 of this year:
One of Mitt Romney’s top advisers said Saturday that President Obama’s decision to bailout Chrysler and General Motors was actually Romney’s idea.
“[Romney’s] position on the bailout was exactly what President Obama followed. I know it infuriates them to hear that,” Eric Fehrnstrom, senior adviser to the Romney campaign, said. “The only economic success that President Obama has had is because he followed Mitt Romney’s advice.”
Alright, alright…take a deep breath. Let’s try this again, slow and easy…
So here we have Romney saying in January 14, 2008 that he wasn’t willing to let Detroit go bankrupt and a few months later, on November 18, 2008 in a New York Times op-ed “Let Detroit go bankrupt,” and in 2009, Mitt called Obama’s rescue plan “tragic” and “a very sad circumstance for this country.”
On April 29 of that year (2009), he wrote in The National Review that,
The right course for GM is an out-of-court restructuring or bankruptcy. Either would keep the company in business and rid it of burdensome costs, work rules and obligations. The government could backstop the post-restructuring debt, helping the company get on its feet. GM must not fail: If its costs are brought in line with its competition, it can ultimately thrive and grow jobs. What is proposed is even worse than bankruptcy-it would make GM the living dead.
And then three years later (April 2012) we have Mitt claim credit for the auto industry bailout, saying Obama was only following his advice…
And now (August 2012) we have Romney attacking Obama because not every auto dealer survived the experience even though if Obama hadn’t gone ahead with his plan which Romney first condemned and then took credit for, as Benen points out, no dealer would have survived.
So if Mitt is actually responsible, if he is taking credit for Obama following his advice, then shouldn’t Mitt turn his new attack ad on himself, since it’s he and not Obama who is really to blame for some auto dealers not surviving? I mean, he only did what brilliant Mitt told him to do, right?
It is not easy figuring out what Mitt’s thought processes might be. Some day, if we’re very unlucky, volumes might be written on the subject. Benen opines for now that “It’s almost as if he assumes voters are such hopeless fools, Americans will believe literally anything” which, based on a multitude of other Mitt flip-flops is entirely possible. No single human being can possibly hold so many contradictory positions, often in the same year or within the span of a few days or even hours.
Yet Mitt seemingly does, blithely ignoring the demonstrated fact that he is contradicting something else he recently said. This is the guy who in 2007 said, “If you’re looking for someone who’s never changed any positions on any policy, then I’m not your guy” and on November 3, 2011 contradicted himself by saying “I think you’ll find that I’ve been as consistent as human beings can be.”‘
Walsh is probably right when he says,
[Romney] must be exhausted from trying to twist the facts into a narrative that sounds like he’s (a) happy for Detroit autoworkers who still have jobs and are sharing in profits, but (b) also virulently anti-Obama and anti-labor-union, so as to curry favor with the GOP primary voting base.
Mitt is consistently inconsistent and that is the only constancy in Mitt Romney, so far as one can be discerned. To Mr. Walsh I would say that Mitt does remember what he believes. The trouble is what Mitt believes is that the ends justify the means and that therefore facts are secondary to Mitt’s objective: Mitt will say literally anything to get himself elected, as this most recent attack ad demonstrates.
And maybe he does think we are all idiots and will believe anything he says and willingly forget other things he has says.
But think about this: Mitt is basically telling us that nothing he says has any real value. That he wants us to believe that he believes it at that instant but that in a day or two, or a week or a month or a year he may say something that completely overwrites what he is saying now, something that is even more true that what he wanted us to believe was true then.
The only possible conclusion to draw is that Mitt is lying at least half the time and in cases where he changes his mind more than once on a subject, that he is lying multiple times. And there is no way of telling which position – if any – reflect Mitt’s real feelings on the subject.
He isn’t changing his mind – he can’t use that defense since he is on record as telling us that he is “as consistent as human beings can be.” He is simply saying what he feels is the most useful thing to say at any particular place and time.
In other words, what Mitt is telling us that his word is shit. His word has the value and consistency of excrement. What Mitt is trying to do isn’t possible in this day and age of instant communications and electronically stored records. He can’t have both “X” and “not X” because even illiterates can hear Romney lie.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.
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