A new video is making the rounds, showing statements former Governor Mitt Romney made during his campaign for the presidency, about what would occur if President Obama was re-elected. This, some of his more ardent followers are implying, shows almost psychic powers on Mr. Romney’s part.
It is not unusual for the party and/or candidate who lost an election to use the multitudinous statements made during the campaign, to say ‘I told you so’. However, there is little value in doing so, because all the losing candidate can say is what is currently wrong, but not what he/she would have done about it, because he/she would be working with the same Congress.
It is interesting to look at some of Mr. Romney’s ‘predictions’ a little more deeply.
- The Affordable Care Act would mean that some people would lose coverage they currently had that they liked. Yes, this is true; now that ‘Obamacare’ is being implemented, some people are having their coverage cancelled. Mr. Obama has taken responsibility, and proposed a means of fixing this problem. It remains to be seen if the Republican – controlled House of Representatives, determined to deprive millions of people of health care, will allow the resolution to the problem to become law.
- Foreign policy, specifically Russia, Syria and Iran, and Mr. Romney’s claim that the U.S. should take the leading role on the world stage. One has a short memory indeed if one has forgotten the disastrous U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq, and the ongoing U.S. war in Afghanistan. By all objective measures, the people of Iraq and Afghanistan were better off before the U.S. invasion. In Iraq, they generally had electricity twenty-four hours a day, now a thing of the past. Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds lived for generations in relative peaceful co-existence; that is now as rare as electricity. Hundreds of thousands of people have been driven from their homes in both Afghanistan and Iraq, and are now languishing in refugee camps.
Additionally, President Obama seemed close to waging another war, this time against Syria, and was only stopped due to diplomatic efforts made by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The U.S., as a world power, should work cooperatively with other world powers to find peaceful solutions to the world’s problems.
In this current video, Mr. Romney talks about how Russia supplied Syria with chemical weapons it has used against its own people. The U.S. has supplied Israel with chemical weapons it has used against the Palestinians. The U.S. has no moral superiority over Russia when it comes to chemical weapons.
Also in the video is mentioned Russia’s granting asylum to Edward Snowden, who revealed the widespread wiretapping of the personal emails of U.S. citizens. The U.S. positions itself as a haven for those from other countries, including Russia, who flee due to fears for their personal safety. Russia has done no more than the U.S. would have done, were the situations reversed.
- Working with Congress. Yes, as Mr. Romney said, Mr. Obama is having difficulty working with Congress, especially the House of Representatives, the leader of which said, two years into his first term, that the goal of the House was to deprive him of a second term. This is the same legislative body that has voted over forty times to repeal the Affordable Care act, despite the sure knowledge that it would never be voted on in the Democratic-controlled Senate. One could understand one, or even two symbolic votes, followed, perhaps, by bills to improve the legislation.
- The debt ceiling. Raising the debt ceiling is not a new concept. Thus far it has been raised on three occasions under President Obama. Under President Bush it was raised seven times; under President Clinton, four times; under President George W. Bush, four times; under President Reagan, seventeen times. Mr. Romney can hardly been seen as a psychic for predicting that it would be raised again under President Obama.
- Government shutdown: It was ironic that the government shutdown, the sole purpose of which was to hold the government hostage, demanding the repeal of the Affordable Care act as ransom, began on the day that major parts of ‘Obamacare’ went into effect. The shutdown was the brainchild and baby of Republican Senator Ted Cruz. He and his fellow Republicans are fixated on ending affordable care for millions of Americans. Mr. Romney’s prediction that the government would be shut down was long seen by many political commentators, since the GOP had long said it wouldn’t fund the government unless funding for the Affordable Care Act was rescinded.
It might be worthwhile to consider what a Romney presidency would have looked like in the context of the points raised above.
- Mr. Romney said he would cancel the Affordable Care Act on his first day in office. One wonders how any president can cancel a law without the consent of Congress. And he would certainly have had a fight with the Democratic Senate.
- Regarding international efforts, U.S. soldiers would certainly be dying in Syria now, along with Afghanistan, and possibly again in Iraq and in Iran. The reputation of the U.S., damaged so badly under President Bush, and revived to some degree under President Obama, would again be greatly damaged, as the U.S. would again be seen as the world’s major source of terror.
- Following the bitter campaign, one wonders how Mr. Romney would mend fences with the Democratic Senate he would need to work with to get anything accomplished.
- The debt ceiling may not have been raised. In return, many of the ‘47%’ that Mr. Romney dismissed during the campaign – retirees, families of active-duty soldiers, the working poor and others who don’t pay income taxes – would lose what little assistance they have in the form of food stamps and other subsidies. The model Mr. Romney followed as a business man – buying and raiding smaller companies, closing their doors and depriving their now-jobless former employees of their pensions – would be replicated on a national level, as corporations and their owners would be further enriched, as the rate of poverty skyrocketed.
- The government shutdown would still have occurred, as the Senate, rather than the House of Representatives, would have refused to fund the government unless the Affordable Care Act was funded.
Partisanship in the U.S. has reached such proportions that nothing is accomplished. The infrastructure in the country is in great need of upgrade, the school system has fallen far behind that of other nations, and no jobs bill has been introduced. A Romney presidency would have changed none of that. The only substantial change would have been an increase in poverty, a further shrinking of the middle class, and more wars to further decimate the economy as they cause untold suffering throughout the world.