I don’t read the Economist regularly and I don’t plan to start. I’ve seen enough of Clive Crook’s blog to know that, whatever the merits of the magazine’s reporting, its editorial stance must be mostly right-center, establishment pap. I know they endorsed Kerry and Obama but so did the Washington Post. Plus, I just don’t like English people as a group, not so much because they starved my great-great-grandparents to death as because of Christopher Hitchens and various English co-workers and colleagues I’ve had over the years.
So I have to give a lot of credit for this. Would that our stateside right-center establishmentarians had the balls to say it in front of y’all and don’t gotta be false or sugarcoated at all:
WHEN Mitt Romney was governor of liberal Massachusetts, he supported abortion, gun control, tackling climate change and a requirement that everyone should buy health insurance, backed up with generous subsidies for those who could not afford it. Now, as he prepares to fly to Tampa to accept the Republican Party’s nomination for president on August 30th, he opposes all those things. A year ago he favoured keeping income taxes at their current levels; now he wants to slash them for everybody, with the rate falling from 35% to 28% for the richest Americans.
All politicians flip-flop from time to time; but Mr Romney could win an Olympic medal in it.[….] [C]ompetence is worthless without direction and, frankly, character. Would that Candidate Romney had indeed presented himself as a solid chief executive who got things done. Instead he has appeared as a fawning PR man, apparently willing to do or say just about anything to get elected. In some areas, notably social policy and foreign affairs, the result is that he is now committed to needlessly extreme or dangerous courses that he may not actually believe in but will find hard to drop; in others, especially to do with the economy, the lack of details means that some attractive-sounding headline policies prove meaningless (and possibly dangerous) on closer inspection. Behind all this sits the worrying idea of a man who does not really know his own mind.