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Don't Be Fooled by a Moderate Mitt

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Those moderate voters who may be tempted to vote for Romney because our economy's performance has been dismal -- and who figure what do we have to lose? -- should seriously reconsider. Unlike his father, George, Mitt forgoes principle for pursuing policies that pander to the lunatic right fringe in order to get the vote. And his choice of Paul Ryan, the Ayn Rand acolyte, for vice president, is downright frightening.

Back when he was a gentleman and didn't submit to party politics John McCain used to label the religious right "agents of intolerance" for their anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic rantings. Romney is an agent of intolerance when it comes to gays.

As a recent Huffington Post blog reports, the Boston Globe revealed how, after gays and lesbians in Massachusetts won the right to marry in 2003, Governor Romney wouldn't allow the birth certificate forms for babies born to same-sex couples to be revised so that the box for "father" would be relabeled "second parent." He also told the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington: "The children of America have the right to have a father and a mother'' and being raised by same sex parents "may affect the development of children and thereby future society as a whole.''

Romney also backs the absurd notion that states govern better than the federal government -- an ironic rebuke to the No Child Left Behind initiative supported by Dubya that recognizes that children suffer when states offer inferior education.

When Romney was asked during a CNN debate at the height of the GOP primary whether FEMA should be shuttered so that states can be responsible for disaster response his response was "Absolutely. Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that's the right direction."

And when it comes to gridlock on Capitol Hill, the finger of blame points squarely at the GOP. While one of Romney's ads blames Obama for not reaching out to work with congressional Republicans, it's the Republicans Congress that has racked up the highest number of filibusters in American history. During Obama's first term there were 246 cloture motions filed to end Republican filibusters compared to 133 during Dubya's first term. Not even a handful of "sensible" Republicans had the guts to break ranks and vote with the Democrats.

Oh, and then there's the Romney ad blaming Obama for taking GM and Chrysler into bankruptcy despite the fact that bankruptcy was the plan that Romney prescribed in 2008 and 2009. The difference is that Obama supported a bridge loan from the government while Romney wanted it from the private sector despite the fact that there was no money available. General Motors CEO Dan Akerson confirmed that if Romney's plan had been followed GM "would have been in bankruptcy for years and I think you could have written off this company, this industry and this country."

Finally, Hurricane Sandy's devastatingly destructive effect is further proof that global warming is not a left wing conspiracy. Yet the audience at the Republican National Convention cheered Romney when he declared: "President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and to heal the planet. My promise... is to help you and your family."

But not help the families whose lives were wrecked and homes destroyed by Sandy? Romney needs to read Bloomberg Businessweek's latest cover story, "It's Global Warming, Stupid," which describes the German reinsurance company Munich Re's report observing that from 1980 through 2011 alone weather disasters caused a whopping $1.06 trillion in losses. This July was also the hottest month recorded in the U.S. since 1895, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Drought Monitor reported that two-thirds of the continental U.S. suffered drought conditions this summer.

Finally, the usually conservative Economist magazine depicts Romney as a dangerous flip-flopper compared to his conduct when he was governor of Massachusetts, "This newspaper would vote for... the Romney who ran Democratic Massachusetts in a bipartisan way (even pioneering the blueprint for Obamacare). The problem is that there are a lot of Romneys and they have committed themselves to a lot of dangerous things.

"Take foreign policy... Mr. Romney seems too ready to bomb Iran, too uncritically supportive of Israel and cruelly wrong in his belief in the Palestinians not wanting to see peace The bellicosity could start on the first day of his presidency, when he has vowed to list China as a currency manipulator -- a pointless provocation to its new leadership that could easily degenerate into a trade war."

As far as economic policy is concerned, "far from being the voice of fiscal prudence, Mr. Romney wants to start with huge tax cuts (which will disproportionately favor the wealthy), while dramatically increasing defense spending. Together those measures would add $7 trillion to the ten-year deficit." His plan to balance the books would include "savage cuts to programs that help America's poor (a bad idea, which will increase inequality still further).

"(For) all his shortcomings, Mr. Obama has dragged America's economy back from the brink of disaster, and has made a decent fist of foreign policy. So this newspaper would stick with the devil it knows, and re-elect him."