Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Mitt Romney Forgets Which State He's Governing

For those of you waiting for me to complain about Republicans, wait no more. Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney -- he of the strong white teeth and perfect hair-do -- just vetoed a bill passed by the state legislature that would expand access to the so-called morning after pill. I actually voted for this guy, because, at the time, I was tired of having to vote for uninspiring Democrats (see Al Gore) and because Romney didn't seem all that bad. Massachusetts was facing a major fiscal crisis with the downturn in the economy, tax revenues were way down, and having a reasonably competent business man as governor seemed like a good idea. He also made a good case for being pro-environment, a promise that he has actually done reasonably well in fulfilling. And, while I had no illusions that I would be likely to agree with a Mormon Republican on social issues, I figured he would be limited in his ability to do any real damage, partly because Massachusetts isn't Utah, and partly because a governor just doesn't do that much to set policy on major social issues.

That has proved basically true, as his completely ineffectual opposition to gay marriage demonstrated. However, in the past year, Romney has basically stopped governing Massachusetts in favor of running for president of a political party that likes to use Massachusetts as the poster child for all that's evil in the world (see Rick Santorum). So he decides to veto a bill that was passed by an overwhelming majority of the state legislators. It would be nice if he actually tried to look after the interests of Massachusetts, rather the interests of South Carolina's Republican primary voters.

I'll be keeping an eye for out for Romney's activities as he continues to operate as Shadow Governor.

During my own days in Massachusetts, I found the willingness of Bay Staters to vote for Republican governors appalling. By the time 2002 came around, you'd think they'd have gotten the clue. Republican Governors never want to be governor.

1. William Weld resigned simply because he was nominated to be Ambassador to Mexico, a job he never got.

2. Celucci resigned to be Ambassador to Canada.

3. Swift saw the governor's office as her personal nanny-helicopter-chauffeur-agency and did nothing but sit around pregnant and eating ice cream and pickles. (nothing against pregnant governors. just something against lazy, entitled ones.)

4. Had Kerry won the Presidency you can bet Romney would have run for his seat. As it is, he's looking at the White House with dreamy eyes even though we all know he ain't got a chance in Hell.

With the economy in the crapper after a line of pro-business Republicans didn't it make sense to choose Shannon O'Brien, whose efforts at the Treasury were meaningful and, even better, worked?
Yeah, but (a) I'm only a recent Massachusetts resident, and (b) I like Bill Weld better than a lot of Democrats, and (c) in a state dominated by one party, it can be beneficial to have some counterbalance and (d) Shannon O'Brien? Zzzzzz. She didn't strike me as having much new and interesting to say, but hey I may have missed things.

I don't hate Romney, really, but he has been disappointing. He's shown a unpleasant tendency to grandstand on issues rather than seriously try to solve them, and, of course, his recent Massachusetts-bashing to curry favor with the popular kids in his party is inexcusable.

I was talking to a guy from Utah who said people liked him at first and then realized what a complete phoney he is. I agree he hasn't got the slightest chance of becoming the next president. Word on him is, he hates being touched. No way he could succeed in a Republican primary, he's way too aloof. Unless his main competition is Bill Frist, I guess.
Well, Romney's real problems are that he's a moderate (as much grandstanding as he does) and he's a Mormon. Mormons are still looked on askance by people outside of the Rocky Mountains, and most evangelical Christians don't even consider Mormons to be Christians. Yes it's sad that the Republican nomiination may well turn on Mitt Romney's feelings on trinitarian theology, but that's what the GOP got when they sold themselves to religious fanatics.

Of course, Romeny would be a strong general election candidate, which is why the Republicans' refusal to take him seriously is good for America.

PS: I only lived in Massachusetts briefly myself, during college times.
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