Mitt’s father, George Romney, failed to win the GOP nomination in 1968 for two main reasons: he did not endorse Goldwater in 1964 and he said that he had been “brainwashed” about Vietnam. In 1964, Romney was a stronger supporter of civil rights than Goldwater was and that led to his refusal to endorse Goldwater. It was a standing joke in Washington during the LBJ presidency that LBJ was “brainwashing” everyone about Vietnam. The brainwashing comment was not meant seriously, but it haunted the Romney candidacy.
George Romney was a moderate-to-liberal member of the GOP, and he was somewhat to the left of where President Obama is now.The Democratic Party then contained a wide variety of political views, but the dominant view then was further to the left of George Romney. If he had been elected in 1968, I think that George would have been a good president, certainly much better than Richard Nixon.
Mitt Romney shares few, if any, of his father’s political strengths, and he lacks his father’s honesty and decency. Like many father/son rivalries of the past, Mitt wanted to equal or surpass his father’s achievements, but lacked his father’s abilities. We have just lived through eight years produced by the father/son rivalry between George H W Bush and George W Bush. George H W Bush was an average president; George W was a terrible president. With the results of their example still affecting millions around the world, we must avoid repeating it with the Romney father and son rivalry.
“A career politician finally smelling the White House is not much different from a bull moose in the rut. He will stop at nothing, trashing anything that gets in his way; and anything he can’t handle personally he will hire out–or, failing that, make a deal. It is a difficult syndrome for most people to understand, because few of us ever come close to the kind of Ultimate Power and Achievement that the White House represents to a career politician.
“The presidency is as far as he can go. There is no more. The currency of politics is power, and once you’ve been the Most Powerful Man in the World for four years, everything else is downhill–except four more years on the same trip.”
GOP voters are having a hard time making up their minds this year. Their indecision is reflected in rapidly changing polls and daily, if not hourly, changes in who is considered a leading contender. In the long run, I doubt that it will matter who they choose as their nominee, Barack will be re-elected, see my post Charmed life. Ronald Reagan’s name is mentioned often as a model, but he was too pragmatic for today’s ideologues. The GOP is really seeking someone like Barry Goldwater, but what they will give us is another Herbert Hoover.
What truly worries me is the effort by some in the Neocon branch of the GOP to launch another preemptive war, this time against Iran. In my judgment, they want hostilities with Iran before the election for the sole reason to blame President Obama for the results and advance the chances of their nominee to defeat him. If there is any good coming from the war, they will claim credit and blame Obama for the bad, and bad there will be.
Any hostilities in the Persian Gulf will cause gas prices to spike and likely will cause shortages leading to rationing. This will tip the world’s economies back into recession or worse. Anything to regain power and the White House.