Saturday, May 14, 2011

Panderer for President

When someone hires you to do a job, you work for them. You do what they say and you execute policies even if you disagree with them.  Not talking about anything unethical, necessarily; but sure, yeah, you're likely to cross even a few ethical lines, as long as it's not too egregious.  As their employee, you're obligated to do what they ask of you to the best of your ability, or you should step aside and let them hire someone else. To do otherwise is morally irresponsible.

But for some reason, we expect our politicians to be different. To actually believe in the policies they write and execute. Why? Whom amongst us believes in every policy we fulfill in our jobs? If the boss tells you to do some lamebrained policy that annoys customers and creates inefficiencies, you do it. Because he’s the boss and he said so. We do it all the time and we don’t have a problem with that.  Life simply couldn't work if people only did things they believed in.

So…why do we expect our politicians to be any different? We’re the boss. They’re our representatives.  Our employees.  They need to do what we say, even if they don’t believe in it. And frankly, I’d rather have a politician who does that. He should represent OUR beliefs, not his own.

Romney v. Romney

And this all ties to Mitt Romney's big problem.  I mean, besides that his name is Mitt.  I mean, really.

As things stand, Mitt's one big accomplishment of passing universal healthcare in Massachusetts is the biggest thing holding him back.  That wasn't the case last time around, as his big problem then was the whole Mormon thing.  Well, plus that the man's not particularly bright, has only one term as governor on his political resume, had a horrible economic record as governor, and is stuck in a political party that's gone batshit crazy.  Plus, his name is Mitt.  I mean, come on.

And so Mitt gave a dumb speech yesterday that was mocked by Democrats and lambasted by Republicans.  The latter because Republicans realize that healthcare mandates are pretty much the only weapon they've got to fight Obama with; seeing as how all the race baiting and whistle-calling still seems to be blowing up in their faces for some odd reason.

Sure, Republicans from Nixon, to Bush Sr, to Newt Gingrich, and many many others once supported mandates.  But now that Obama used mandates in his plan and all the Obamascare lies about Death Panels have been laid to rest, mandates are all they've got.  And that means that Mitt's got mandate problems.  Not because it was a dumb idea, but because it was a smart idea and he's trying to woo dumb voters.

Mitt as Technocrat Employee

So my response would be the smart one.  Mitt should have explained that he passed universal healthcare with mandates in Massachusetts because MA is a liberal state and that’s what they wanted. And then he could pivot and say that he opposes Obamacare because America is a conservative nation and doesn’t want it.

Sure, the bit about America being too conservative would be a lie, as each of us really do want good healthcare.  But the main part is the truth: Mitt supported universal healthcare when his constituents wanted it, and he opposes it now because GOP primary voters oppose it.  And that’s not “flip flopping” or political pandering. That’s what we should want. We shouldn’t want an ideologue who forces his ideology on a resistant public. We should want smart guys who give the boss what the boss wants.  And if he gets a new boss, it's ok to support new policies.

Because the reality is that this is what most politicians do anyway. Sure, there are always a few true believers, and we consider them to be nutjobs.. But most politicians just want to be in politics and will support whatever they need to support to stay in office. And as much as that’s a problem, it’s only because they lie about this and pretend to be ideologues. That makes no sense.

We need to get out of the True Believer frame of mind, and move into the 21st Century by hiring people who are open about their desire to give us what we want.  Like Obama.  Giving voters what they want is what democracy is all about. None of this is personal. It's a job.  Sure, we could spend all our time trying to find the people whose beliefs match the policies we want, or...we could hire a guy who will give us whatever policies we want, regardless of what he believes.  What a crazy idea!

Again, that's what most politicians do anyway.  Is it really a problem if they're honest about it?

1 comment:

Doctor Biobrain said...

Note: In no way should the title of this post be construed as an endorsement of Mitt Romney. I was referring to panderers in general, and simply liked the alliteration.