Washington Watch: Mitt is a Marxist
Multi-millionaire who believes corporations are people, too, who is running for capitalist-in-chief, is a genuine Marxist. Groucho, not Karl.
Romney greets supporters in New Hampshire Photo: REUTERS
Is Mitt Romney a Marxist? The multi-millionaire who believes corporations are
people, too, and who is running for capitalist-in-chief, is a genuine Marxist.
Groucho, not Karl.
His campaign theme should be, in Groucho’s words, “I
have my principles, and if you don’t like them, I have others,” an idea that has
guided his political pilgrimage from Massachusetts to the national
Back in ancient history he ran for the Senate in the very blue
state of Massachusetts in 1994 and vowed he’d be a stronger supporter of gay
rights than the incumbent, Ted Kennedy. In 2002 he was elected governor, and
enacted the nation’s most progressive healthcare reform law. But with 20/400
hindsight and short-term memory loss, the 65-year-old presidential candidate now
claims he was actually “severely conservative” back in those days.
pro-choice back then as well. In a debate with Kennedy he said, “we should
sustain and support” Roe v. Wade “and the right of a woman to make that choice.”
He promised to “preserve and protect a woman’s right to choose.”
for long. As his focus shifted to the national stage he made another 180 and
declared, “I am firmly pro-life.”
Former Sen. Arlen Specter has said,
“Mitt Romney has changed positions more often than a pornographic movie
Gay rights and same-sex marriage presented another Romney
When Barack Obama finally “evolved” into supporting same-sex
marriage (although he did nothing to legislate that view), Romney quickly
declared his opposition and, as a believer in state’s rights on this and other
issues, insisted that was a decision to be left to the individual states, not
the federal government.
Then, contradicting himself, he called for an
amendment to the federal constitution prohibiting all states from permitting the
When he ran for governor he promised to defend and expand the
rights of gays and lesbians despite his personal opposition to samesex marriage
and civil unions, but when the first test arrived, he flunked. Massachusetts’
Supreme Judicial Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage in 2003, and Romney
immediately set about trying to block the ruling and impose his own views, in
part by trying to invoke a 19thcentury state law against interracial marriage.
When right-wing homophobes in his party demanded a gay foreign
policy spokesman, Richard Grenell, get the boot because of his sexual
preference, Romney did nothing to keep him onboard. Grenell took one for the
team, saying he resigned of his own free will and not mentioning a gutless
candidate who wouldn’t stand up to the bigots.
Mitt the Marxist insisted
he does not hire people “based on... their sexual preference,” but he had a
different principle when dumping them to pander to extremists like the American
Romney’s views on climate change are a lot like the
weather – continually changing. He went from saying human activity contributed
to the problem to claiming he was clueless – possibly the one honest statement
he has made in the past two years.
“My view is that we don’t know what’s
causing climate change on this planet,” he told contributors at a closed-door
fundraiser last year. That’s not what he wrote only a year earlier in his book
No Apology: “I believe that climate change is occurring.... I also believe that
human activity is a contributing factor.”
That led The New York Times to
observe, “On climate change as on other issues, he has transformed himself, bit
by reactionary bit.... Today he is a proclaimed skeptic on global warming, a
champion of oil and other fossil fuels, a critic of federal efforts to develop
cleaner energy sources and a sworn enemy of the Environmental Protection
When he ran for the Senate against Kennedy, a prominent advocate
of national health insurance, Romney said he was “willing to vote” for
legislation which included a federal health insurance mandate. Later, as
governor, he enacted a plan with that and many other features making up the
Obama plan Romney now rejects.
“Some of the best features of [Obama’s]
healthcare plan are like ours,” he said in an interview with the Emory
University student newspaper, including “an individual responsibility for
getting insurance [a.k.a. the individual mandate].”
In 2002 Romney
refused to sign an anti-tax pledge because he considered it “government by
gimmickry,” but by 2007 did another U-turn and took Grover Norquist’s
When it comes to cutting taxes, Romney
believes in starting at home. In 2005 he proposed, passed and signed a law
cutting $78 million in capital gains tax cuts for 278 wealthy individuals,
including Mitt Romney.
The self-avowed job creator actually exported
Massachusetts jobs overseas while governor. At Bain Capital he helped outsource
American jobs to China, which he now accuses of “cheating” and “stealing
He opposed the auto industry bailout – until it proved
successful. Then he tried to take credit for it.
A Buffalo News editorial
noted that the presumptive GOP nominee has shifted positions so much since his
Massachusetts days, notably on health care reform, that “Romney appears to have
developed selective amnesia as he panders to the conservative right. He wants
Americans to forget his own record.”
The Etch a Sketch has become the
symbol of the Romney campaign, if not the man himself.
isn’t the first totally opportunistic politician, he may be the most prolific
and consistent. But while he may be perpetually changing positions on nearly
everything else, there is one consistency: his devotion to corporate America and
his fellow multi-millionaires.
Romney’s changing views are neither
revolutionary nor evolutionary but the cynical calculations of an ambitions man
who deep down is very shallow and willing to do or say whatever it takes to
garner another few million dollars or few million votes.