The Case Against Mitt Romney

In separate pieces, two Cato scholars — Michael Tanner and Jeffrey Taylor — lay out enough evidence to make you wonder why anyone considers Mitt Romney an economic conservative.

First, Tanner suggests that people actually look at his record as Governor:

For some reason, Romney has been able to claim the Reagan mantle despite his support for:

  • A health care plan virtually indistinguishable for the one proposed by Hillary Clinton;
  • Support for No Child Left Behind, calls for increased federal education spending, and a proposal to have the federal government give a laptop computer to every schoolchild in America;
  • Calls for increased farm price supports;
  • Support for the Medicare prescription drug benefit; and
  • An undistinguished record on taxes and spending as Massachusetts governor, earning a C on Cato’s governor’s report card, and including support for $500 million in increased fees and corporate taxes.

Then, Taylor asks a question that nobody asked last night:

What does it say about the Republican Party when the leading fusionist conservative in the field – Mitt Romney, darling of National Review and erstwhile heir to Ronald Reagan – runs and wins a campaign arguing that the federal government is responsible for all of the ills facing the U.S. auto industry, that the taxpayer should pony up the corporate welfare checks going to Detroit and increase them by a factor of five, that the federal government can and should move heaven and earth to save “every job” at risk in this economy, and that economic recovery is best achieved by a sit-down involving auto industry CEOs, labor bosses, and government agents armed with Harvard MBAs to produce a well-coordinated strategic economic plan? That is, what explains the emergence of economic fascism (in a non-pejorative sense) in the Grand Old Party at the expense of free market capitalism?

I would say that it means that Newt Gingrich was right when he said earlier this week that the era of Reagan is over.

  • Symgharyl

    via newsletter, dailykos made the suggestion that democrats go and vote on the republican primary for Mitt Romney instead of their own primaries since two of their preferred candidates were not on the ballot.

    The reasoning was that Romney would be the least suitable opponent for democratic nominations should he win the republican nomination, making it more likely for a democratic win. I can’t say that is what happened but there is the possibility. Aside from that, Romney outspent people in the TV ads.

    In my neck of the woods here in MI, I didn’t see anyone else’s signage except for Huckabee until the day before the primary. Ron Paul is well supported in my city. At least he did better than The Mayor and The Actor.

  • Doug Mataconis

    The Kos vote does not seem to have been a factor.

    Democratic turnout was relatively low and Romney’s support came from Republicans and independents.

  • Mark

    Believe it or not, Romney actually beat McCain in the exit polls amongst self-described liberals. McCain won big among the moderates.

    Anyways, I thought Taylor’s comment about “economic fascism” pretty much hit it on the head. Corporate welfare/corporatism was the foundation of fascism and has nothing to do with a free market economy.

  • uhm

    Rush is deeply upset that conservativism is being redefined away from Reagan. I wonder where he has been? It’s been dead for years.

    Go Romney beat McCain and Huckabee! Show’em what you got RAH RAH RAH, RAH RAH RAH! Obama beat Satan Rah Rah Rah, Rah Rah Rah!

  • Wendy

    Mitt Romney did not stake Michigan’s recovery on the Federal Government. What a sham you are perpitrating. Mitt Romney will protect the free market economy because he has in the past. Mitt was Govenor of the bluest State in the Nation and got things done to put that State back on track after it had been worked over by the Democrats for so many years. It often takes as long to fill a hole as it did to dig it. Massachuetts had dug pretty deep, and Mitt repaired a lot in his four year term.

  • Steve

    How Can any conservative vote for Romney?

    He was listed as one of the top ten Republicans in Name Only by Human Events Magazine.

    What will he be after the primary?

    And would he be another George Bush if he gets elected?