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Charlie Vignola: Romney’s greatest foe is himself

Democratic Voices

Posted: July 3, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: July 3, 2012 1:55 a.m.
 

How’s that broccoli tasting, my Republican friends? Awfully bitter, I’ll bet.

That’s a reference, of course, to Justice Antonin Scalia’s absurd analogy during oral arguments about Obamacare that the individual mandate to buy health insurance was no more constitutional than mandating that people eat broccoli. It was a dumb line of reasoning.

Let’s recap: A health care plan that was designed by a conservative think tank as a free-market solution based on personal responsibility, first implemented on a statewide level by a conservative governor to cover the majority of its citizens, was upheld as constitutional in a conservative-dominated Supreme Court by the conservative chief justice himself ... so naturally, conservatives are shocked and apoplectic at this development. This wasn’t what was supposed to happen.

Every conservative talking head was convinced that this was going to be another 5-4 partisan conservative decision like Bush vs. Gore or Citizen United. According to Senator Jim DeMint, R-South Carolina, this was destined to be President Barack Obama’s “Waterloo.”

But we shouldn’t be too surprised that conservative prognosticators have once again proven to be dreadfully wrong in predicting the future. They have a long, storied history of such reverse Nostradamus moments.

Remember Ronald Reagan’s warning back in 1961 that Medicare would lead to a socialist dictatorship in America? How about Newt Gingrich and his cohorts decrying that President Bill Clinton’s tax increases would lead to economic doom in the 1990s?

Perhaps you recall Dick Cheney and the Neocons’ assurances that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, that the Iraq War would be quick and cost less than $100 billion?

Or President George W. Bush’s guarantees that multiple tax cuts for the rich would lead to a tsunami of new jobs? Or conservatives insisting that getting rid of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” would weaken the morale and readiness of the U.S. military?

Please keep all of that in mind when you consider the GOP’s current “Chicken Little” arguments that providing health care to the majority of Americans is a communist scheme that will destroy freedom, bankrupt America and lead to mass euthanasia from government death panels.

Only Republicans would have the gall to paint a good faith health care plan that their own party originally devised as a sinister plot akin to “Soylent Green.”

The irony is that the one who’s arguing the loudest against Obamacare is the very man responsible for rolling out the plan in the first place, the guy who actually proved it was a viable system and was still extolling its virtues as a potential model for the whole country just a few short years ago.

Yes, I’m talking about none other than that paragon of virtue and consistency, former Massachusetts governor and aspirational role model Mitt Romney.

Now, let’s be brutally frank: Nobody’s really in love with Mitt — except I assume Mrs. Romney — but he’s the only choice you’ve got if you don’t want to re-elect Obama, so Republicans are trying hard to convince themselves that he’s really not all that bad.

So what if he embodies the very same weaknesses that disqualified John Kerry for the office, a country club politician who defines “the elite” and is comically out of touch with the plight of average Americans?

The biggest differences are that John Kerry actually volunteered to serve his country and risked his life in Vietnam, and when it comes to the art of flip-flopping, Romney is Mozart while Kerry is Salieri.

In fact, Romney’s single biggest flip-flop is on his very own health care plan. The guy who’s running for the job of facing down the world’s worst dictators is so lacking in backbone that he’s had to run away from his signature accomplishment as governor because he’s too timid to stand by his decision, lest his far right constituents be reminded why they hated him in the first place.

The fact that Obama fully defends his choice to back this politically controversial law while Romney pretends it never happened speaks volumes about each man’s convictions.

So just be to clear, if you’re a Republican you’re backing a guy who says he’s now determined to kill the very health care plan he basically pioneered, and you’re convinced that he’ll follow through on this even though his waffling on every subject has literally become a punchline for both sides of the aisle.

Here’s the sobering truth, folks: If you’re considering voting for Mitt Romney knowing everything you now know about the guy, you must share his dubious brand of integrity.

Charlie Vignola is a former College Republican turned liberal Democrat. He lives in Fair Oaks Ranch, works in the motion picture industry.

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