Mitt Romney and the Fallacy of Political “Authenticity” — Crooked Timber

13 Feb

People are what they do, and part of what presidential candidates must do is project a fully integrated depth of being before multiple audiences. Romney’s political problem—his poor job performance as a professional politician—is that he has an almost poignant difficulty in managing to do that. His inability to merely fake the “realness” that people hunger for reminds me of what was once said about former Texas Governor, and Democrat turned Republican John Connally: he is the only man in the world whose real hair makes people think he’s wearing a toupee.

What is relevant is that if the Democrats somehow retain the Senate and even return to a House majority and the country elects Romney, President Romney will talk a lot about “working together with the Democratic party.” And he’ll probably cut some deals pretty similar to those that he made when he was the Republican governor of a Democratic state. He will support a lot of terrible public policy, but he won’t swerve entirely into Jim DeMint country. But if Romney increasingly worries that he could lose the nomination to a rage generating fifth tier candidate like Rick Santorum, he’s going to lambast the poor-coddling, religion hating “Democrat party” over and over again. And if he survives Santorum, and he and a Republican Congress sweep to victory in November, he will use his majorities to roll thru an ultra-right program of tax cuts for the rich, and reductions in government transfer payments for everybody else, and he will appear to be deeply alarmed about gay marriage and the federal funding that goes to Planned Parenthood.

via Mitt Romney and the Fallacy of Political “Authenticity” — Crooked Timber.

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