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Trusting A Chameleon?

The Other Side of the Tracks: A Socially Speaking commentary

October 9, 2012

By Perry Redd

I’m not sure when the right time is to scrutinize the person will be my face to the rest of the world, but now might be it.  With less than four weeks to go until we elect our next president, I’m witnessing a “re-set” in the policy positions of candidate Mitt Romney.

Changing your policy positions isn’t always a bad thing.  There are times when the “situation on the ground” changes and you must adapt.  But In the case of Mitt Romney, he is saying with utter frequency that he was “always for it.”

When you know that someone wasn’t always “for it,” then you can safely assume that they are lying.  Although President Obama turned in what many have deemed a sub-par performance at the first 2012 presidential debate, it was only sub-par because he didn’t out-and-out say Romney was lying!  People I converse with at the barber shop, in the grocery store or at my grandkids school all agree that Romney was lying.  The president know too!

On the campaign trail at an outdoor field in Cleveland, the President nailed it: “My opponent, he’s doing a lot of — a little tap dance at the debate the other night, trying to wiggle out of stuff he’s been saying for a year,” Obama said, battling driving rain, as 9,000 supporters looked on.  I know he ain’t stupid, but the question is,  how much of the voting public is?

Speaking of last week’s debate, Mitt Romney’s decided to change his tax policies on the fly. Remember, he campaigned hard on a tax proposal that called for $5 trillion in tax cuts, he said flatly that he was not offering a $5 trillion tax cut. He said he wanted to cut 20% of the deficit.

“I don’t have a tax cut of the scale that you’re talking about,” Romney said, even though that is exactly the tax cut he has proposed.  You want me to get specific, don’t you? Okay…he said that his tax plan would cut all individual income tax rates by 20%, eliminate the AMT, eliminate the estate tax, and eliminate taxes on investment income for low- and middle-income taxpayers. He would also extend all of the Bush-era tax cuts that are scheduled to expire at the end of 2012.  Those tax cuts would reduce federal revenues by $480 billion in 2015 over and above the cost of extending the Bush tax cuts. Allow for some growth in income, and that total comes to over $5 trillion over ten years!  Obama said it was math—arithmetic!

Now, let me hit another issue…regarding the Palestine-Israel conflict he wants to re-commit America to a two-state solution.  Recall the infamous 47% video from May of this year, where he said that Palestine wasn’t interested in peace, so, as president, he wouldn’t concern himself with them.

Now, on to gun control: In August 2006, just before declaring his candidacy for the 2008 Presidential nomination, Romney joined the National Rifle Association (NRA), an organization firmly opposed to any laws that would curtail gun ownership. At the time, he  claimed to be a lifelong hunter,” but an Associated Press article reported his “hunting experience is limited to two trips”— at ages 15 and 59.

The article also resulted in his admission to not owning a gun (though his son did). Nevermind that as Governor, he signed into law a ban on some assault weapons; and nevermind that he also said, “I do not support any new legislation of an assault weapon ban nature, including that against semiautomatic weapons.” Confused yet?

It’s important that we elect people with at least some integrity who hold steadfast to their principles (although I realize that “at least some” is a subjective phrase). Romney’s “neverminds” represent moderate views of governance, not the “severe conservative” views he’s now claiming—views indicative of compromise.

Look, I bring these individual instances to your attention because, again, it’s important that we elect people with at least some integrity.  Using a forked-tongue is not indicative of integrity. During the primaries, Mitt Romney said he would repeal and replace Obamacare—along with 7 of the eight other Republican candidates during the primaries, catering to the far Right-wing of the party—but now, he says “there are parts of Obamacare I like…and would keep.”

We’ve got to challenge Romney’s statements. His health plan, as described by his campaign aides, protects only people with preexisting conditions who have continuously had health insurance — a right already protected by federal law in most cases. Isn’t that part of “Obamacare?”

Romney repeatedly attacked regulations as recently as last month, but was quick to insist in the first debate: “Regulation is essential. … You have to have regulations so that you can have an economy work.”  What?  Not Mr. “corporations are people!” We know how oppositional Republicans are to regulation—any kind of regulation!

Independents, third parties and Democrats must challenge Romney’s statements because we—everyday people— hear his forked-tongue and know that it not only indicates lack of integrity, it suggests someone reluctance to compromise.  In this two-party race to represent our country, the Democratic Party will speak for the majority of Americans.  Consistency, steadfastness and transparency is what we need. The constantly changing colors of a chameleon never look good on a president.

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