No one expected the Mitt Romney who has prostrated himself to the Republican base during the entire campaign to date to show up at tonight's debate and claim to be Barack Obama's twin only more so. The deep conservatives of the base had wanted a showdown on conservative ideology versus liberal ideology. What they got in this debate was Romney agreeing with Obama only more so. Romney took a giant running jump to the middle tonight, telling everyone on the right just how much he wants to be the president, just not their president.
Romney's performance was exceptional. It was exceptional because it was a thoroughly cynical distortion of both his record at Bain Capital and his pandering to conservatives. It may have moved the needle with low-information independents, but what it illustrated is the man's utter lack of principle. Still, the ability to deceive at least half of the public that you are principled while contradicting yourself every other day is remarkable, except by a CEO. Politicians lie for a living. CEOs lie for the big money, and they are very good at it.
Did anyone count how many times Mitt accused Barack of taking $716 billion out of Medicare? This despite the fact that the $716 billion accusation is groundless. Mitt was a one-man parade of very high-quality spin and lies that did not take Obama by surprise, it was just so beneath contempt that it should require oratory contempt to deal with it. It showed on Obama's face, but he is disciplined enough, statesman enough, not to let contempt enter into the oral record. Imagine Romney trying that crap with U.S. senators or foreign leaders. They will not be so forbearing of insult. Insulting people, and their intelligence, appears to be a staple of the Romney public record.
You can, it seems, insult the intelligence of the American people. You can accuse the President of not doing his job even when you know full well that Mitch McConnell, with the filibuster, led an all out effort to block any legislation that would help the economy, for all of Obama's term to date. McConnell led that effort in full knowledge that it would harm 98 percent of Americans for as long as it took and as much as it took to make Obama look ineffective and to get Obama out of the White House after one term.
That Romney chose to run on McConnell's vicious, cynical, contemptuous and utterly manipulative exploitation of the national economy and the public is an unparalleled moral disgrace. Apparently, in Mitt Romney, the conservatives have inadvertently nominated a candidate truly emblematic of who they are. There is no depth of deception or manipulation too great to cause the GOP a question as to how far and what end they will go to do to America what America does not want done. Mitt just went so far as to claim to be the next and better Barack Obama in the public forum of political debate. He will resume wasting that $716 billion on the Medicare Advantage corporate profit that Obama saved the public. He will not cut taxes for the rich at all and he will not throw your grandma, your children, and you at some point, to the wolves of corporate profit. He will only allow good, caring CEOs to run for-profit schools, privatized Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. If only he were equipped to know a good person when he saw one.
So if Mitt is Barack's twin, he is his lying twin. And if Mitt's sons lie to him so often that they imagine he will believe their lies to be truth, aside from being an obvious politically motivated projection by Mitt, it may show that they have not fallen far from the fatherly tree. Keep it up Mitt. Facts are more stubborn than any man's, or any political party's, ability to lie.