Believe that, as President, Mitt Romney would revert to his days as a “Massachusetts Moderate?” Think again.
Every bit of evidence indicates that if he were President, the Far Right would lead Romney around by a ring in his nose.
Just last week, we saw it clearly on display. It didn’t take but two weeks for the Far Right to force the Romney campaign to sever its ties with openly gay Richard Grinnell, who it had hired as its foreign policy spokesman. The campaign itself argued that it had begged Grinnell to stay. But right wing talk show host Brian Fischer of the American Family Association, who had led the drive to force Grinnell’s resignation, declared it a major victory.
On his radio show, Fischer bragged that Romney had learned his lesson and would never again hire a gay or lesbian in a major campaign role. And you certainly didn’t see Romney contesting that assessment.
Instead we’ve seen Romney lined up shoulder to shoulder on TV with Tea Party icon Michele Bachmann, and Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell — a potential Romney VP pick and a champion of “trans-vaginal ultrasounds.”
The reason why there is not a chance that Romney will ever reinvent himself once again as a “moderate” is that he wasn’t really a “moderate” in the first place. He’s always practiced one version or the other of ultra right wing, “let Wall Street run wild” Romney economics. And he’s never given one thought to firing workers, cutting pensions, loading companies with debt and bleeding them dry of millions of dollars.
But you can’t really say that he is a committed believer in any economic principle or political value. Mitt Romney is committed to one thing and one thing alone — his own success. He has shown he has no core values whatsoever.
That’s why it wasn’t hard at all for Romney to shed his “moderate” past positions on issues like abortion rights, contraception, gay rights and immigration and to become what he himself calls a “severe conservative.”
Why will he remain a “severe conservative” if he is elected President? Because people who have no core values have no backbone. You won’t find Mitt Romney taking a stand against the dyed-in-the-wool ideologues that dominate the Republican caucus in Congress.
Those Republican ideologues may be way out of the mainstream, but they definitely have core values. Some of them were so committed to those values that they were willing to take our country to the brink of bankruptcy last year due to their unwillingness to give an inch of compromise.
The plain fact is that people with no core values never stand up to people who have core values. The fact is that Mitt Romney has the backbone of a jelly fish and that is precisely why the first time the ultra right wing pulls his chain and demands that he heel, he will fall right into line.
Even if he decided he wanted to challenge the right wing agenda propounded by the committed minions of the Tea Party, in a confrontation he would fold in an instant. When you have no core values, it’s always much easier to go along with the demands of passionate, committed true-believers than it is to stand your ground.
And the Far Right knows this is true. Last week, right wing icon Grover Norquist was very clear. He said he was not looking for presidential leadership from Romney. He believes that the leadership of the Republican Party will continue to come from right wing Republicans in Congress. All he asked of a president, he added, was enough digits on his hand to hold a pen to sign the bills embodying Congress’ right wing agenda.
Watch how Romney behaves when he delivers the commencement speech at far right Liberty University on May 12. Liberty University was founded by the late Moral Majority leader Jerry Falwell. Now it’s run by his son, Jerry Falwell Jr.
After the 9/11 attacks, Falwell Sr. said that “abortionists,” “feminists,” and “the gays and the lesbians” helped cause the 9/11 attacks. According to CNN:
On the broadcast of the Christian television program ‘The 700 Club,’ Falwell made the following statement: ‘I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say ‘you helped this happen.’
Until recently, Liberty University banned inter-racial marriages between its students. Today it requires parental permission.
As recently as 2010, Liberty University Law School withdrew as a co-sponsor of the Conservative Political Action Conference in protest after the conference allowed the homosexual group GOProud to co-sponsor the event.
When Romney speaks at Liberty University will he speak out against that kind of intolerance? Or, true to form, will he instead worship at the altar of ultra-right wing ideology and say just what the leadership of Liberty University wants to hear? I might be wrong, but I’ll bet that not one critical word escapes his lips.
Romney’s unwillingness to challenge the far right does not pertain solely to the social conservative right. It also goes for economic right wingers like Grover Norquist, who want to return America to the bad old days of more Bush-like tax cuts for the wealthy, and the deregulation of Wall Street that did such damage to the middle class and led to the Great Recession that cost 8 million jobs.
And it also goes for the Neo-Con foreign policy right. Seventy percent of the 40 individuals identified by the Romney campaign as its foreign policy advisers served in the Bush administration and were responsible for the catastrophic Neo-Con foreign policy.
No, in exchange for the Republican nomination, Romney has sold his soul to the extreme right. He has willingly walked into the right wing inner sanctum, and even if he wanted to, he doesn’t have the backbone to escape.
Robert Creamer is the author of the new book, Stand Up Straight: How Progressives Can Win. His firm, the Strategic Consulting Group, works with many of the country’s most significant issue campaigns. He was one of the major architects and organizers of the successful campaign to defeat privatization of Social Security. He is a consultant to campaigns to end the war in Iraq, pass universal health care, change America’s budget priorities and enact comprehensive immigration reform. He has also worked on hundreds of electoral campaigns at the local, state and national level. Mr. Creamer is married to Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky from Illinois.
Follow Robert Creamer on Twitter @rbcreamer.
This piece is republished from The Huffington Post.