Romney does the full wingnut

Fiscally irresponsible AND socially intolerant.

The “grown-up” Republican candidate favors not only having the country welsch on its obligations, but also passing a constitutional amendment that would have the effect of un-marrying the same-sex couples married under New York law. Of course, that amendment will never pass, but in the meantime Romney has pledged to support the Defense of Marriage Act, which denies those married couples all the benefits extended to opposite-sex couples under Federal law, and to appoint only judges who promise to uphold its constitutionality

This will cost him precisely zero support among glibertarians and fair-weather federalists. But it provides more support for the idea that no one can win the Presidential nomination of today’s Republican party with a set of positions that would allow him to win the Presidency.

Tell me again that Obama – who has refused to defend the constitutionality of DOMA before the Supreme Court, and appointed two Justices sure to vote to strike it down – is no different from a Republican? I didn’t hear you the first time.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

16 thoughts on “Romney does the full wingnut”

  1. Maybe it’s because most folks here aren’t saying that (but undoubtedly some are). Why are you so committed to holding up scraps that support your argument at the expense of ignoring those that don’t? With all due respect, it’s quite hackish.

  2. You can spell it “welsh” or “welch” — with an “s” or a “c,” but not with both.

  3. No, Tim, most folks here aren’t saying that. Actually, no one here is saying that. But the reality-based community does not encompass the universe, or even the entire progressive movement.

  4. Obama may be distinctly better than a Republican, but that doesn’t mean that his complete lack of leadership and his complete lack of care about policy aren’t driving the country over a cliff right now.

    “Better than a Republican” is not anything close to sufficient, especially not under current circumstances. Ratifying Obamaism makes it much less likely that we get a reality based Democrat into the Presidency in 2016 or 2020. If all we cared about was 2013 to 2016 then failing to criticize Obama for being a complete fuck up would make sense, but some of us hope to live longer than that and would be willing to risk a slight increase in the chance that Obama loses in 2012 if it helps avoid total disaster in 2016 and beyond.

  5. The president inaugurated in 2013 will be in charge of implementing (or repealing) health care reform. He or she will also almost certainly appoint Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s replacement on the Supreme Court. Both of these will be pivotal decisions that shape and define American democracy and society for the rest of our lives.

  6. R Johnston:
    That strategy worked so exceedingly well when it got GWB elected in 2000. I can see why we would want to do it again.

  7. Whence this poignant faith that American voters would never elect as President anyone who endorses the positions required required to secure the Republican nomination? Wouldn’t it be better — to paraphrase Noah Cross — to face the fact that at the right time and the right place they’re capable of anything?

  8. Obama is clearly different from any Republican candidate: he tortures fewer people than Bush did or than any Republican candidate likely would. (Now that would be an apt campaign slogan.) But Obama does torture. He tortured Bradley Manning, he operates secret prisons to which the Red Cross is not allowed access, and he engages in rendition to other nations that torture. My problem is that I cannot vote for someone who tortures. I say “cannot” because it is a visceral thing. I know that it would be reasonable to vote for Obama for the sake of gay couples, the Supreme Court, and for other reasons, and even for the sake of future victims of torture, of which there will probably be fewer with Obama as President. But I feel physically unable to bring myself to vote for a torturer. I wonder whether many others have this problem. (Actually, this is not a big problem for me, because I have the luxury of living in a state where, because of the Electoral College system, my vote won’t matter, so the election of a Republican will not be on my conscience.)

  9. I get it, Obama’s better than a Republican! What’s your point? I’m with Tim. These posts are getting extraordinarily hackish.

  10. K: yes.

    I see why folks don’t like this “Obama is better than a Republican” argument, but you’d better get used to it. You will be hearing it *a lot.*

    Please remember: things can *always* get worse. “Worse” seems to have reserves of energy and strategy like nothing else. Let’s not give “worse” the Presidency. That tiny sliver of difference between this president and another one — which comes down control of the Supreme Court and somewhat less military carnage — is actually quite quite significant if we remember to look at the big picture. Henry, I totally get what you’re saying and emotionally I’m right there too, but don’t do it. Don’t stay home. That might make you *feel* better but it will hurt the world.

    Now, that’s not to say we don’t need a nice lefty challenger to cause some trouble for a while. We totally do. Who knows someone who can get this done?

  11. NCG, I concede that staying home would make me feel better, but it would also have a rational point: to tell Obama and future Democratic politicians that to be slightly less evil than the Republicans is not good enough. To vote for Obama is to tell him, theoretically, that he can torture as many people as he likes, so long as it’s one less than a Republican President would torture. At the same time, I recognize that a Supreme Court justice appointed by a Republican would give the radical right-wing justices a 5-to-4 win in every case, even when Anthony Kennedy doesn’t join them. And I notice that you expressed the possibility of staying home yourself in a comment to the post above this one. It’s a tough decision.

  12. Henry, NCG: As a poster above asked, did 2000 teach you absolutely nothing? Were you paying attention to the results? Another term in office for the Republican Party as it currently exists could produce devastation so bad that the next Democratic administration, no matter how progressive your tactics have taught it to be, will be able to fix.

    Under normal conditions, I can see that there might be some merit to your prescriptions. We’d have to debate it in a real world situation and hash it out. But these are not normal conditions, with a normal opposition party that one can disagree with, but at least hand power of to without fear of them destroying everything in sight. Staying home to send the Democrats a message under the actual conditions of 2012 would be catastrophic, and you will deserve every bit of the moral censure that will be aimed at you if succeed in your effort to keep Obama from being re-elected.

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