Log in

No account? Create an account

Tue, Apr. 20th, 2010, 03:03 pm
An Open Letter to Mitt Romney

Dear Mr. Romney,

In 2006, as governor of Massachusetts, you worked with a Democratic legislature and signed a law that gave your state close to universal access to health insurance.

In it was an individual mandate, requiring everyone to buy health insurance to expand the pool reduce health insurance costs in the state, and subsidies for those who could not afford health insurance. The bill in Massachusetts forced insurers to accept all willing customers. It was not a perfect bill, and is not enough to solve all problems with healthcare, but it was a commendable step.

In 2008 you explained why healthcare in Massachusetts was in line with conservative principles. You explained that the individual mandate asked people to care for themselves, and that the bill would save costs and improve the efficiency of the health care system. Conservative organizations like the Heritage Foundation supported you and argued in favor of your bill.

Fast-forward to 2010. President Obama has signed a bill with crucial elements that are virtually identical to what you, a Republican, supported in Massachusetts four years ago. Its keystones are the individual mandate to expand the pool and subsidies for those who cannot afford health insurance, and the guarantee that anyone seeking health insurance coverage can get a plan.

The Republican Party has cast its lot against the White House, distancing itself in every way possible from President Obama and Democrats, in order to deny them any sense of accomplishment. When the President proposes policies that are Republican in origin, the Republican Party quickly disavows them to claim that Barack Obama is an angry leftist. This has done damage to your presidential ambitious, as countless pundits and policymakers on the Right announce that your plan - which they once hailed - is an epic failure and an example of a Leftist vision.

It is unlikely that the Republican party will ever come around on you; it won't happen unless they come around on Barack Obama, which is a long shot, and that fact makes your current course of action even more perplexing.

Why have you, now, attacked "Obamacare" and favored its repeal? You have gone back on virtually everything you stood for in Massachusetts, and have gone back on your view that the individual mandate and universal healthcare are compatible with conservative principles - now you prefer to claim that your own policies via Barack Obama are leftist and dangerous.

Now you have not only your policies to explain to the Right, but you have a bizzare change in positions to account for. It is difficult for anyone to determine where you stand on anything; the only thing that is clear is that you will unequivocally oppose anything that a political rival supports, even if it is good policy that you favor. That doesn't make you a leader, Mr. Romney, nor is it smart: it makes you cynical, bitter and opportunistic. Transparently so. And it makes you one of a pack of Republicans who did the same thing when they united their caucus against a moderate, even conservative, healthcare reform bill.

Truth be told, you have a chance to stand as one of the few Republicans who could publically approve of Obamacare. This will not endear you to the far-Right, who you are lost on anyway. It will, however, endear you to the center and make you palatable on the Left. It would help Presient Obama greatly - which is why you will not do it, since the President of the United States is your chosen enemy - but it would also greatly benefit America, and likely benefit your political future. It will help heal deep wounds in this country and I daresay even make you a leader.

You may never win a Republican primary. But you may take other jobs in either Republican or Democratic administrations, as a moderate, if you would simply tell the truth.

The Right has abandoned you, Mr. Romney. Conservative organizations are fleeing from you in an attempt to discredit Obama, and they will continue to do so regardless of what you do. They are not your allies.

There is only one hope for you to have any credibility and a political future: stand against your party. Tell them they are wrong on their efforts to repeal the Health Insurance Reform Law, and should support President Obama's plan, which is centrist and indeed is far to the right of many other possible plans that could have been popular this year and could yet appear in America's future. Tell them that Obama's plan involves the least government intrusion possible to solve dire present problems, and with it is a significant reduction on government financial obligations. Tell Republicans that the plan will reduce the deficit, and is in line of what you approved (and many Conservative policy organizations supported, in theory) in Massachusetts.

Tell them that though you may remain a Republican, you will gladly ally with your president on this specific proposal, and explain why Health Insurance Reform is a good step for America.

Nobody is beleiving this bizarre tightrope act you are currently doing, arguing that your own proposals are great when you propose them, and terrible when a Democrat proposes them. The Right doesn't beleive it, Republican primary voters don't believe it, moderate voters don't believe it and the Left doesn't believe it. Its time to experiment with telling the truth.

It may be impossible now for you to be elected President someday, given the chaos on the Right. It is certainly becoming more impossible with each and every day that you continue to tow the party line with political doublespeak on healthcare reform. But it is not too late for you to claim some dignity and respect; stand against your party, and with your own beleifs, and stand with the people in America who will benefit from President Obama's very moderate health care plan.

Thank you,
Matt Pizzuti

Wed, Apr. 21st, 2010 06:38 pm (UTC)

"Conservative organizations are fleeing from you in an attempt to discredit Obama"

...And at the same time independents are flocking to him.

Romney has a HUGE lead in New Hampshire, Michigan, Florida and California among other GOP prospective candidates. By the time Romney wins Florida, the Primaries will be over.

Matt, Mitt Romney, like it or not, will be the GOP nominee in 2012 and will defeat Obama.

Wed, Apr. 21st, 2010 07:03 pm (UTC)

Haha right. Because wishy-washy privileged-among-privileged political opportunists are all the rage in these sorry economic times.

1) Independents don't vote in primaries
2) The Evangelical Right would never stand for Mitt Romney
3) President Obama still commands higher nationwide approval ratings than congress, the Democratic party, the Republican party, or any other known individual political figure.

But, you're right Big Banking CEO for America, 2012! Because in 2010 Americans totally love Wall Street.

Wed, Apr. 21st, 2010 08:14 pm (UTC)

Facts are stubborn things Matt. Overall, Romney leads among Conservatives 34 to 28 (Palin and Huckabee) in the latest PPP report.

1. Like hell they don't. Independents voting in the GOP primary are what gave McCain his wins in NH and FL.
2. The Evangelical Right won't matter in the 2012 GOP primary. Like I said, it will be over by Florida before the Southern religious types even get a chance to vote.
3. Obama's approval rating hovers around 50%. Give it another 2 years and I doubt it will be that high. Saying that he's doing just fine because he's polling higher than Congress is like saying that vomit smells better than horse shit at this point.

If you wanna delude yourself and continue drinking your Kool-Aid, knock yourself out. Romney has the backing of the majority of the GOP establishment, has raised the most money, and will continue to raise the most money. He has the widest political appeal of all candidates, has the largest resume, and already has one presidential run under his belt.

Mark my words, Romney is going to be the President of the United States in 2012.

Thu, Apr. 22nd, 2010 03:05 am (UTC)

That might be pretty tough, considering that Obama's term doesn't end until January 2013. I'll mark these words, though.

At this point in his first term, Bill Clinton's approval rating was 40%. It rebounded. Ronald Reagan's approval rating was 38%. It rebounded. Richard Nixon's approval rating was 45%. It rebounded and he went on to win a second term. Having mid to low approval ratings 2 years in is the norm and not the exception.

Americans like balance and divided government. Regardless of the demographic shifts in the country that benefit President Obama and Democrats, President Obama also has an overwhelmingly Democratic congress, and a bad economy. I'd venture to say that every seat the GOP picks up this midterm is a little boost for the President, and if they actually gain control of the House (which, granted, only has a 45% chance of happening) Obama's re-election is a shoe-in.

Believe it or not, many of the Obama voters who "disapprove" of him now are on the Left. Not a huge number - perhaps 1 in 10, or even 1 in 20. But I don't know anybody who voted Obama in 2008 who plans on returning to the GOP in 2012.

A lot can happen between now and 2012, but I seriously question the credibility and political savy of anyone who says Mitt Romney or any other Republican has a lock on the next election.

Thu, Apr. 22nd, 2010 03:07 am (UTC)

I will, however, grant you that Mitt Romney would definitely win Utah.