Friday, November 2, 2012

Mitt The Multiple

My life as a newspaper columnist has gotten off to a fitting start (as in "fits and starts.") Three have been published, but it's yet to be under the heading of regular columnist. As the paper is trying to figure out exactly on which day my work will regularly appear (Sundays so far), and to gin up some sort of photo-captioned banner, one of my pieces seems to be falling through the cracks. It's one I wrote about the multiple Mitt Romneys, which I intended to appear before election day. Since it now looks like it won't, and since I had fun writing it, I'll post it here, just to see it in print. Sort of.

There’s a lot to like about Mitt Romney, and I sure do. In fact, there’s a Mitt for everyone. I like the one whose argument for Romneycare was that when the uninsured go to emergency rooms, care is inefficient and expensive and the rest of us end up paying for it. You, on the other hand, might like the one who just claimed that there’s no problem with uninsured people, because they can go to emergency rooms; or the one who later said people don’t die from lack of health insurance.

I like the version of Mitt Romney who said he wouldn’t impose his personal beliefs on women’s health choices; you might prefer the more recent model, who says he will, then won’t, then will. You’ve also got your choice of Mitts who approve and disapprove of employers covering contraception, and choice is good. Tea Party people like the Romney they’d seen until the first presidential debate, the one who said he’d lower everyone’s taxes by twenty percent. I haven’t heard what they think about the guy who appeared onstage claiming his tax changes would be revenue neutral, so government keeps the money. I didn’t much like it when campaign Romney mocked President Obama for saying we need more teachers. “Didn’t he get the message of Wisconsin,” he inquired, to applause. Debate Mitt Romney, though, was all in favor of more teachers, which I think is awesome.

When debate Romney said to President Obama, right to his face, that the president had “doubled” the deficit, I was impressed. To me, one-point-two trillion was a big number, all right, but it didn’t used to be “double” one-point-three trillion. I like that Mitt Romney isn’t bound by such old-fashioned ideas as arithmetic. Same with claiming our president hasn’t signed trade agreements. I believed three was different from none, which is another good thing about the ex-one-term governor: I learn new stuff. Words, too. Like “exceptional.” Here I thought when President Obama used it to describe America, it meant he’d said America is exceptional. Mr. Romney cleared that up for me. And “blind trust.” Few years ago, he said it’s a well-known ruse. At debate two, he touted his. I’m going with Mitt number one on that. You? I was with climate-change Mitt, too, until the other one showed up. There are two Romneys on assault-weapon banning, also. Your turn to choose. I got next.

It takes a patriot to increase defense spending by two trillion when the Pentagon says they don’t need it. What do generals know? If Mitt Romney says he can do it and cut taxes (or not) and balance the budget, I believe him. Ronald Reagan couldn’t, but Mitt Romney is ten times the men he was.

I’m still confused about the tax cut thing, though. I was sure Mr. Romney said he planned big ones, but “revenue neutral” has taken me aback. Sure, it’s hard to know which Mitt is talking when, but one of them said he’d lower taxes, and everyone sort of took it on faith. Then, economists (Yeah. “Experts,” right?) said his cuts would decrease revenue by nearly five trillion dollars. With increased military spending, that’s seven trillion to make up. Elitists, probably using math or something, have said there aren’t enough loopholes and deductions to do it. But Mitt Romney has already told us about Big Bird and Planned Parenthood, so we can be sure he’s got more savings up his sleeve. He’s taught me things about numbers I never knew, so I’m confident they’ll be magical, won’t cut spending for things we need, like education, health, environmental protection, research, cops, or roads. This time it’ll work. It’s just a feeling I have. Third time’s charm. I can’t wait for when he makes people stop hiding their money in the Cayman Islands, can you?

Back here along Puget Sound, where the rest of us keep our savings, we say if you don’t like the weather, just wait ten minutes and it’ll change. Hey!! I think I just figured out why I like Mitt Romney. Of course, since there are so many of him, we can’t know for sure which version is going to be president, but I bet it’ll be one of the good ones.

[Update: looks like it'll begin as a regular feature, on Sundays, in a couple of weeks, take or take. I went in for the official picture today. Hope the guy is good at Photoshop.]

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