Seamanship Quotation

“In political activity, then, men sail a boundless and bottomless sea; there is neither harbour for shelter nor floor for anchorage, neither starting-place nor appointed destination.”
— from Michael Oakeshott's
Political Education” (1951)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Mitt Romney’s attention span?

For months, Mitt Romney reminded Republican primary voters and party tacticians to not be distracted by Obama’s policy gimmicks: joblessness is the overwhelming issue, and on that overwhelming issue, single-minded Mitt Romney will win.

Yet, immediately after last Friday’s release of August’s disappointing unemployment report, he changed the subject, one subject after another: returning to God, then the fragile state of the American military, then health insurance coverage, and finally the next move of the US Federal Reserve.

He didn’t fully define any of them as bite-sized election issues. It’s not clear whether he was responding to new intelligence on target voters or giving us a glimpse into issues he’s having trouble sorting out in his own head. Maybe he just can’t help telling people what’s bothering him.

Romney conceded long ago that Obama appears to be a pretty normal father and probably is a nice guy. How do you then start getting disturbed about God’s place in a second Obama administration? A normal American male from Chicago just doesn’t have a secret agenda to kick God out of town. Nevertheless, in Virginia Beach on Saturday, Romney drew a new line in the sand: “I will not take God out of our platform. I will not take God off our coins, and I will not take God out of my heart.”

Sure doesn’t sound like one of his jokes about not being asked where he was born.

(Possibly, Romney is worried about remnants of Lincoln’s godless reputation as America’s first Republican president—remember, he also ran on a platform that forgot to mention God.)

Romney spoke only long enough on each of the other subjects necessary to keep changing the subject.

Apparently, it was a mistake for congressional Republicans to “go along” with White House proposed defense and domestic spending cuts that were offered as minimal necessary responses to threats by the same Republican Congress—slash spending now or we’ll force a default on the Federal Government’s debt payment obligations.

Americans with pre-existing medical conditions, Romney now assures, will be guaranteed health insurance coverage, somehow without Obama’s suffocating regulatory framework.

Romney also observed that the Federal Reserve couldn’t stimulate immediate improvements in the unemployment numbers later this week. In stating the obvious, he left the impression that he believes that the Fed needn’t do anything about anemic economic growth. The leader of the Party of Business Confidences now thinks there’s no point in doing anything that can’t be realized before November election?

It’s beginning to look like Mitt Romney has the attention span of an investment banker in a bubble market.

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