I know people are complaining that I go too easy on
political candidates. It is true. But with Mitt
Romney, I will make an exception.
I wanted to like Romney. George Wilcken Romney, Mitt Romney’s
father, had a truly inspirational life. He was a Mexican
immigrant who became a successful businessman. In fact, he
led American Motors to some degree of success, albeit short-lived, when
he promoted the sale of small cars.
He later became an influential politician, a Republican governor in a
heavily-Democratic state. He was well-liked in the State
where he governed, enough so that there was a spirit of bipartisanism.
He was governor of Michigan when I was a kid growing up there.
Mitt is different. Mitt is dangerous. Never mind
that he is named after the shape of his home State. That is
cute, but it is not enough to make me like him.
The Concord Monitor created a
bit of fuss when it took the unusual step of writing a
reverse endorsement of his candidacy for President:
When New Hampshire partisans are asked to
defend the state’s
first-in-the-nation primary, we talk about our ability to see the
candidates up close, ask tough questions and see through the baloney.
If a candidate is a phony, we assure ourselves and the rest of the
world, we’ll know it.
Mitt Romney is such a candidate.
The Paper has not issued any endorsements, but the editors
already have made up their minds about this one candidate.
Even more disturbing than the Concord Monitor
revelation that Mitt Romney is a phony, is the information presented in
Globe. The sent a questionnaire to
candidates, inquiring about the candidate’s beliefs on the topic of
presidential power. No one is thinking those responses are phony, but
perhaps it would be better if they were.
His responses, while not phony, are in some cases meaningless:
8. Under what circumstances, if
any, is the president, when
operating overseas as commander-in-chief, free to disregard
international human rights treaties that the US Senate has ratified?
President must carry out all of his duties in a manner consistent with
the rule of law, whether it is our Constitution or valid international
agreements, so long as they do not impinge upon the
Translation: The president must follow the law, unless the law violates
the Constitution. While that is true, it is a trivial truth;
the statement does not answer the question. What he implies,
without stating explicitly, is that the President has the power to
determine what laws are consistent with the Constitution.
That is incorrect. The authority to decide matters
of constitutionality rests with the supreme court. Plus, he
implies that it is possible for the Constitution to “impinge upon the
The only way the Constitution can impinge upon itself is if it
contradicts itself. Obviously, if the Constitution
contradicts itself, then we need to re-write it. The
President is not free to do that unilaterally.
The other responses indicate that Mitt Romney is fully in agreement
with the view of the unitary executive that has shaped the Bush
Presidency. The concept of balance of powers
is part of the bedrock or our Nation. Anyone who does not
agree, has no place in politics, much less a place in the White House.