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Ear to the Ground

Once Upon a Romney

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Posted on Nov 27, 2011
Wikimedia Commons, Richard L. Holzhausen

George Romney in 1986.

A progressive, sensitive and highly rational Romney? Yes, but you have to skip Mitt and go all the way back to the words of his father George to make the connection.

As Republican presidential contender Mitt’s campaign surges forward, Harper’s Magazine publisher John MacArthur pauses to attempt to understand where his disjointed political legacy comes from. And Mitt, MacArthur reveals, appears to be anything but his father’s son. —ARK

John MacArthur at Harper’s:

Romney is nothing if not open-minded, for this very successful businessman acknowledges that Franklin D. Roosevelt, the devil himself to many of Romney’s wealthy allies, “correctly recognized that by the late 1920s industrial, financial, and agricultural power had become excessive.” Roosevelt, he writes, “found it necessary to lead a peaceful revolution by creating a countervailing economic power” in the form of stronger labor laws and empowerment of unions, which corrected “indefensible abuses in American industry.”

To my mind, Romney sounds like someone a liberal like me could wholeheartedly support. But there’s a catch. The progressive, sensitive, and highly rational Romney I’m quoting is George Romney, not his son, Mitt, and George, as well as his brand of enlightened Republicanism, has been dead for quite some time.

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By doublestandards/glasshouses, November 27, 2011 at 2:56 pm Link to this comment
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I remember Romney and I would say that most republicans back then with the exception of a few like Goldwater were to the left of today’s liberal democrats.  As Bill Moyers says, the idiot fringe became main stream somewhere along the line.  Of course back then one word - in Romney’s case, “brainwashed” - could end any serious candidate’s campaign.  Herman Cain/Michele Bachman/Rick Perry/Newt Gingrich/Mitt Romney wouldn’t have lasted three days under those circumstances.  Today the more extreme a candidate is by any rational standards the more acceptable he or she is to the political establishment. On the other hand, anyone like Dennis Kucinich who is mainsteam by historical standards, is unacceptable today.

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