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On the basis of Mitt Romney's latest appeal to the far right, including a vow to "teach Iranians the meaning of American resolve", and also on Romney's pledge to start a trade war with China, I am now willing to state that I would just as soon see president Obama reelected as Mitt Romney be elected.
I do not say this lightly. It will likely cost me readership. So be it. Consequences be dammed, I speak my mind.
No Hope Elsewhere
Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich are at least as bad. With those statements, I just offended most of the country. So be it.
At least I took a stand. Most economic bloggers stay away from politics in fear of offending anyone.
Re-Fighting the Cold War
Please consider Romney's op-ed in the Washington Post How I would check Iran’s nuclear ambition, in which he promises to teach the Iranians “very painful lessons about the meaning of American resolve.”
Romney stated “My foreign policy will be the same as Ronald Reagan’s: namely, ‘peace through strength’.
"Just as Reagan sought to defend the United States from Soviet weapons with his Strategic Defense Initiative, I will press forward with ballistic missile defense systems to ensure that Iranian and North Korean missiles cannot threaten us or our allies," said Romney.
Nowhere did Romney say how he would pay for his vow to re-fight the cold-war that has already been won. Nor did Romney provide any sensible discussion on the merits of ballistic missile defense systems.
Romney cannot discuss the merits of new ballistic missile defense systems for the simple reason there are none. Plane hijackings and suitcase bombs smuggled in via diplomatic, unchecked luggage, are a far more credible threat than a missile attack from North Korea.
Worse yet, Romney proposes to a war-weary public to "go alone [in Iran] if we must".
Horrendous Fiscal Policy
Merrill Goozner writing for The Fiscal Times says Romney's Iran Policy Would Cripple the Economy.
Citing a decade of unfunded wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Goozner asks, "is this level of domestic austerity, which would likely throw the U.S. economy back into recession, what a war-weary public wants or needs?"
War Not What the U.S. Needs or Wants
To answer the question posed by the Goozner, war is absolutely what the U.S. does not need and the citizens of the U.S. do not want.
If you disagree, can I please see a show of hands on a proposal to raise taxes to fight a war in Iran? Alternatively, please tell me how you will pay for it.
If Romney had the honest decency to pledge to raise taxes to support his absurd ramp in military spending, we would probably see the greatest landslide in election history, in favor of Obama.
Smoot-Hawley Trade Policy Yet Again
Let's switch gears to vitally important trade issues.
Mitt Romney is off his rocker by announcing support for a presidential decree that would label China a currency manipulator. History, namely the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, clearly shows how seriously misguided Romney's proposal is.
So far, president Obama has resisted such foolish measures.
Misguided Appeal to the Far-Right
The more Romney appeals to the far-right, the more leeway Obama has to move slightly to the right to capture the middle and thus appear marginally better.
- If Romney wants war with Iran, all Obama needs to say is the "US prefers diplomacy but does not preclude anything"
- If Romney wants a trade war with China, all Obama needs to do is act on a few items like steel and tout the imaginary results.
- If Romney wants to trash Obamacare, all Obama needs to do is point out that hypocrite Romney is really trashing his own Romneycare plan.
This is certainly not an endorsement of President Obama because I will not vote for Obama under any circumstances. Rather, I take Romney at his word, and cannot stand a damn thing I hear.
Divided We Stand
In November, I will write in Ron Paul, because that is the only option that makes any sense. Many independents will feel the same.
That said, I expect Republicans to hold the House, and gain in the Senate regardless of who wins the 2012 presidential sweepstakes.
Sadly, a divided do-nothing electorate is the best outcome one can reasonably expect at the moment.
More Than Two Choices
There is little difference actually between Mitt Romney and president Obama. Many will end up flipping a coin. However, that is not a choice anyone has to make.
I can and will write in Ron Paul, just as I did four years ago.
Don't Blame Me
It's a sad state of affairs that a hopeless Democrat president might be reelected in spite of a faltering economy where real wages are declining and jobs extremely difficult to find.
Should that happen, don't blame me, the messenger. Rather, blame warmongers and the extreme-right "in-your-face" social moralists for hijacking policy far from what the war-weary, social-weary public wants and needs.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock
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