Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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February 10, 2011

NO APOLOGIES, BUT PLENTY OF EDITS.... No one should want to be president this badly. (via Taegan Goddard)

When Mitt Romney's second book, No Apology, came out a year ago, it looked like he was moving away from the far-right demagoguery of his 2008 bid for the presidency, and toward a more moderate centrism for the 2012 election cycle.

But times change, and so does Mitt. A year later, with the Tea Party-fueled extremism of the 2010 midterms foretelling a rightward tilt to the GOP presidential primaries, Romney is tacking back -- as evidenced by changes made to two sections of the text in the new paperback edition of No Apology.

Now, mocking Romney for shedding his skins and radically transforming himself into a whole new person is pretty easy. The guy, lacking in any kind of core principles or fundamental beliefs, has a Kafka-like appreciation for metamorphoses.

But it's worth doing anyway since Romney stands a chance at actually becoming president of the United States next year.

The touch-ups to his book are the latest shameless attempt to quietly re-write history. In the hardcover version, "No Apology" offered tempered praise for the Recovery Act, noting that the stimulus would "accelerate the timing of the start of the recovery." Romney was right, but he can't say so because the base doesn't care for this reality. The paperback, then, calls the economy-saving stimulus a "failure" and describes the effort as "the first time government has declared war on free enterprise."

It's implausible that Romney actually believes this nonsense, but the man will say and/or do anything to get elected.

The former one-term governor also seems a little defensive about his state-based health care law, which shares a striking resemblance to the Affordable Care Act. The new paperback version of his book goes to great lengths to show how much Romney, ever the opportunist, hates the law that looks like his own policy, since apparently the hardcover was insufficiently irate.

To state the obvious, Romney knows how hysterical the Republican base has become, and realizes a failure to pander to extremists will prevent him from getting the Republican nomination.

Romney certainly appears to be targeting those voters in the paperback's new introduction, in which he bemoans the "elite" liberals' destruction of everything the Founding Fathers stood for -- especially "freedom," a word that appears 25 times in the introduction. "Constitution" shows up 11 times. The Tea Party gets mentioned by name, as does the Glenn Beck-promoted 9/12 movement -- even Joe the Plumber gets a shout-out.

I wonder sometimes if Romney even cares about feeling a sense of pride. All things considered, I really doubt it.

Steve Benen 10:00 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (27)

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Comments

"the first time government has declared war on free enterprise."

Even if it were "war on free enterprise," surely it wouldn't be the first time.

Posted by: Grumpy on February 10, 2011 at 10:04 AM | PERMALINK

It's implausible that Romney actually believes this nonsense,

But it is quite plausible he didn't even write it, much less read it.

Posted by: martin on February 10, 2011 at 10:10 AM | PERMALINK

The GOP zoo seems to have an over abundance of Pander Bears. . .

Posted by: DAY on February 10, 2011 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

The guy, lacking in any kind of core principles or fundamental beliefs, has a Kafka-like appreciation for metamorphoses.

Well played, sir!

Posted by: Jeff S. on February 10, 2011 at 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

New Rule:

If anyone wants the Presidency THIS badly, don't vote for him/her.

Posted by: c u n d gulag on February 10, 2011 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

The thirty million or so evangelical fundamentalists wont vote for Romney.

Posted by: Kill Bill on February 10, 2011 at 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

Who knew the people he's hoping to woo could even read?

It occurs to me that nothing the Obama administration has done compares to Republican Richard Nixon's wage and price controls, if we're talking about "war on free enterprise." (But of course, that was in this reality, not the alternate dimension of the Romneyverse.)

Posted by: biggerbox on February 10, 2011 at 10:29 AM | PERMALINK

"...nothing the Obama administration has done compares to Republican Richard Nixon's wage and price controls..."

Or the National Recovery Administration. Or, according to Comrade Reagan, the creation of Medicare.

Posted by: Grumpy on February 10, 2011 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

Mitt Romney has The Face. He is like all those dashing Hollywood presidents of movies where the end of the earth occurrs. Then we find our handsome leader of This Great Nation is gutless and loses control of everything to the point Tom Cruise has to step in and save the day.

Romney's got so much Face, he's creepy. Buuuuut, he's Republican so we'll all be able to rest easy in our national utopia if he's president...at least until the aliens show up...

Posted by: Skip on February 10, 2011 at 10:41 AM | PERMALINK

Speaking from slight personal experience and as a Massachusetts resident, Romney is an utterly cynical man who thinks voters are morons. That's always a pretty good bet.

Posted by: JMG on February 10, 2011 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

What would you expect from someone who would strap a dog to the roof of his car, then drive 300 miles ?

Posted by: G.Kerby on February 10, 2011 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

The thirty million or so evangelical fundamentalists wont vote for Romney.

They will in a heartbeat when the other option is 'black guy.'

Posted by: doubtful on February 10, 2011 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

Romney has never shown the slightest regard for the law (his rewriting of his residency to become eligible to run for Mass gov) or fact (his infamous channeling of his father marching with Martin Luther King).

Why am I not surprised at this?

Posted by: Hart Williams on February 10, 2011 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

What we have here is a rerun of the G.H.W. Bush and gwbush. Romney's father was a heck of a lot more competent than Mitt will ever be and commanded a lot more respect from decent people. This grates on Mitt and he is following the same path that W did in order to show that he really is too as good as his dad, even though he knows in his heart, he'll never, ever compare.

Posted by: Texas Aggie on February 10, 2011 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

One image of Romney I'll never forget was during the 2008 GOP pres nomination battle. McCain had launched an easily provable lie about Romney - can't remember what, exactly- but a clear lie. In a debate Romney called McGrouch on it and McCain proceded to repeatedly repeat the lie straight to Romney's face, all the while wearing that creepy grin the old fella uses when lying. And Romney just stood there shaking his head, couldn't muster the guts to say 'listen McCain, you are a dirty liar and you know it"... All he could do is stand there and watch McCain rub him in the dirt. No guts. A pretty face, and that's it.

Posted by: T2 on February 10, 2011 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

But it's worth doing anyway since Romney stands a chance at actually becoming president of the United States next year.

B.S.

Mittens will never get the repuknican nomination! Even though he may be acceptable or even preferred by the corporate/wealthy wing of the party, the Social Conservatives will never allow a non-christian (Mormon) to get the nomination. To think otherwise is to deny reality!

Personnally, I am still betting that the corporate/wealthy wing is ok with Obama getting reelected and is setting up the party for Jeb Bush to get elected/selected in 2016.

Posted by: SadOldVet on February 10, 2011 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

Pride doesn't enter the equation. It's a sense of shame that Republicans lack. Point out the lies, hypocrisy and internal inconsistencies in a Republican's statements and they won't even deny it. They will just attack the messenger, and then criticize vaguely analogous situation involving a Democrat.

Posted by: Rip on February 10, 2011 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

I have to agree about a Mormon being unable to win a GOP nomination, even more so for a shape-shifting drone who has no unchanging principles other than having perfect teeth and hair.

In the 2008 primaries, Romney stumbled right out of the gates in South Carolina, the traditional buzz saw state for getting through the bible belt. And that was his best performance: checking the other southern states shows a 10:1 or 20:1 ratio of votes.

It's nearly impossible to imagine him (or the much more qualified Huntsman) as the GOP nominee, because much of the GOP base is permanently bigoted.

Posted by: Rathskeller on February 10, 2011 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

Don't blame Romney for the changes to his book. They were actually made by a minor functionary of the Outer Party named Winston Smith.

Posted by: hells littlest angel on February 10, 2011 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

the man will say and/or do anything

Prety much following the example of Joseph Smith, the "profit" who founded his cult.

Posted by: TCinLA on February 10, 2011 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

I guess Romney is now a bigger slut than McBlame.

But it's close.
They both go down on anything.

Posted by: cwolf on February 10, 2011 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, I think Romney's utter lack of principle is his best quality. If, God forbid, he became President, he might do something sensible by accident, or because the arithmetic forces him to. He lacks the spine to stick to a disastrous course simply because he believes in it.

Posted by: CJColucci on February 10, 2011 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

They will in a heartbeat when the other option is 'black guy.'

He'll never get the nom. He's Mormon. Fundies hate Mormons as much as they do Catholics.

Posted by: Screamin' Demon on February 10, 2011 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

It's embarrassing to be part of an electorate that makes or breaks a candidate based on which imaginary sky god he believes in (or in this case, which cult of the most widely accepted sky god). I certainly hope that in the near future our progeny will look back on this era with near disbelief that our era still was dragging Bronze Age beliefs well into the 21st century. Anything to keep the rubes pulling the lever for you, even if it means that a highly-educated rational and even brilliant person has to pretend to be BFFs with Jeebus.

Posted by: President Lindsay on February 10, 2011 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

Not that I'm saying Romney is rational and/or brilliant, mind you. I was speaking of candidates in general.

Posted by: President Lindsay on February 10, 2011 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

SadOldVet, I agree 100% with your statement.

I do not believe that the Repugs want to win the presidency next year, or believe that they can. They DO believe that they can win Congress especially if the economy doesn't improve much (sabotage anyone?), but even if they can't win Congress then the plan is simple:

Keep the economy in the gutter and blame it on the Dems.

My crystal ball also predicts a Jeb Bush run in 2016. My greatest hope is that Republican party tears itself to shreds between now and then.

Posted by: Mitch on February 10, 2011 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

"Romney certainly appears to be targeting those voters in the paperback's new introduction, in which he bemoans the 'elite' liberals' destruction of everything the Founding Fathers stood for -- especially 'freedom,'"

Weren't the Founders themselves "elite liberals"? And if one reads a history of the Constitutional Convention, one will see that they were very skeptical of the masses, some proposing that only those with a certain amount of property should be able to vote or hold office. So much for "freedom," then?

I suppose it's nice to invoke history when you can make it up.

Posted by: dsimon on February 10, 2011 at 7:37 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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