open letter to mitt romney - what you need to do to win
will the old mitt romney please stand up
by jeffrey d. walker
From the Desk of Jeffrey D. Walker, Esq.
Inside the Offices of Intrepid Media
Dear Gov. Romney:
I am a 37 year old registered Republican living in New York State. I am also the chief political correspondant and commentator for Intrepid Media. We might not be a large outfit that you are familiar with, but don't judge us by our underexposure - judge after considering the following suggestions about your upcoming election.
To sum it all up, Governor, if you want to win, you need to be the Mitt Romney you used to be. Let me remind you:
You once were a man of bold initiative. Your career highlights are smart, aggressive decisions made for the greater good. As a management consultant, your firm entrenched itself into each business you became affiliated with, forcing them to make the hard decisions they needed to ensure long-term success.
Your hard work was instrumental in making the Salt Lake City Olympics profitable (when it was not on track to do so). And as governor of Massachusetts, you fixed budget loopholes by raising fees on pretty much every license the state gave out, increased gas taxes, and closed many business tax loopholes, all in the face of conservative counterparts and corporate critics. You brought near-universal health insurance coverage to the state after you were advised that doing so would be the best way you could help people.
Mitt: Where is this man of bold initiative for good now?
Your top campaign promise, to “Repeal and Replace Obamacare”, only covers the first part, "Repeal." As you know, you don't have any replacement in mind. You propose to repeal first, and then …eh, let the states do it themselves.
As President, if you were, you know that you would have virtually no ability to implore a state to regulate itself. So your ability to "Replace" the program with state laws is a non-starter. Moreover, with the exception of Massachusetts under your reign, health care on a universal scale hasn't come even close to being addressed by any of the states. Nor do most want to!
You have no plan for our nation's health care. Where is the man that ran Massachusetts?
In regards to our nation's spending debt, your current proposition is the obvious right-wing pandering choice of first dropping the funding for virtually all social services, and then blocking parts of Medicaid and its workforce training initiative, virtually ensuring that any rug left underneath our nation's most needy citizens is pulled from beneath their feet.
How are these the choices of a man whose life work aimed to help people?
What's worse, from my reading of your site, that's all planned to save the country somewhere in the range of $300 to maybe $400 billion, though some of that wil not be realized until 2016. And from there, your plan for trimming the budget is... well, vague and non-existent. Certainly, you aren't going after the business taxes (in fact, you want to reduce those).
What you probably know, even though it's not listed on your website, is that he federal deficit for 2012 is $1.327 trillion dollars, and the total expenditures anticipated for 2013 are now at $3.803 trillion dollars (those have a "T" in front of them). So, your savings of a few hundred Billion over several years is, well, like bailing out the sinking Titanic with a mop bucket. They will accomplish nothing, other than putting people out of work, and out of hope.
Don't get me wrong - I can understand your pause. The nation's budget, and the nation's health care problems are complex issues that may not have an easy fix. Sure, I wouldn't want to just come out and say "I think we ought to do this, knowing you may later have to eat crow.
But that's me; that's not you, Mr. Romney. And you are the one that wants my vote as our nation's leader.
The man I want as President needs to be bold. And for the first time ever, last week, I donated money to a Presidential campaign. It was Mr. Obama's, the day after he came out in support of Gay Marriage.
That was a leader saying that all persons, regardless of sexual orientation, deserve the same rights as our other citizens. That's a bold statement a leader should make. Do you remember what that is like, Governor Romney? Let me try to remind you: Where is this man?
But, I also know that marriage is a state issue. So I don't need you to change on this issue. But, if you want my vote, you have to quickly remember how to take bold steps for the common people. Run for President as the leader you know how to be - a bold practical centrist with the good of the people in mind.
Up through now in your campaign for President, I feel like it's not you talking, but instead that Rush Limbaugh has his hand up your butt like a puppet and that it's his words coming out of your mouth. Unlike your prior history of charging into a problem head-on with a solution, you're engaging in blaming and passing the buck speak. You will "undo" what Obama has done. But you know that our economy and health care were both in major trouble before the Obama Presidency began. Undoing is not the answer: a solution is.
Where is the bold Mitt Romney? I firmly believe that in the effort to secure the right-wing base, you're pulling so hard to the right that you're unable to do the bold things that you want. I think you want to do the right thing, like you usually have as a leader, but currently feel constrained to keep it quiet to secure the vote. Well, you're not going to be able to get elected and then stray back toward the center (where you've done your best work), and and expect to keep your job.
Do the right thing, Mr. Romney. You have a few more months between now and Tuesday, November 6, 2012. Break back to the center now. Promise to get elected, and clamp down on tax loopholes like you did in Massachusetts. Fix our economy by generating revenue (what your life work has been), not by cutting people off at the knees. Give people health care; don't pass the buck. Give people rights, instead of taking them away. That is your legacy; make that the message of your future. That is the only Mitt Romney I could ever vote for.
Sincerely and truly yours,
Jeffrey D. Walker, Esq.
A practicing attorney and semi-professional musician, Walker writes for his own amusement, for the sake of opinion, to garner a couple of laughs, and to perhaps provoke a question or two, but otherwise, he doesn't think it'll amount to much.
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5.14.12 @ 9:04a
Undoing is not the answer: a solution is.
Yes. I'm not personally a fan of Mr. Romney, but if he could propose reasonable solutions (with details), I'd be willing to listen to them. Solutions are what we need from our elected officials, and you're right - lots of people appear to lost sight of that.
5.14.12 @ 11:04a
I don't know if it's the incredible pressure of the lobbyists, the Republican party, or what, but the presidential election machine really changes people. Look at McCain - the man that announced he was running for President and the man who conceded the election to Obama were two very different people, and the latter was a shadow of his former self.
5.14.12 @ 1:20p
Sarah: Romney is not my favorite. Truth told, I'd love to see Gingrich in this. But, that said, Romney has done good work. I actually started this as a letter to Obama, in praise of his coming out in favor of Gay Marriage, but as I worked through the piece, I realized that the person I should be talking to is Romney. Hey - even if he didn't win, my belief, the old Romney would at least bring great ideas into the campaign. That's all I really want.
Roger: I was trying very hard to find the first appearance on (I think it was Leno) by Bob Dole after he was beaten to use as an example clip of your point. That Bob Dole, that man was electable. I wanted to back up an day or two and vote for that guy. But the guy in the campaign, was a boring old man.
5.15.12 @ 12:25a
I had almost this same conversation with my Dad and Stepmom this weekend, and she brought up the Dole example too. It would be nice to see candidates trying to one-up each other with solutions and not with sound-bites.
5.15.12 @ 11:48a
Jeff - from the point of view of a Republican, let me ask you because I'm curious: would you say Romney is tracking right more than Obama is tracking left? It seems like that to me - Obama appears pretty centrist on most issues, but I'd love to get a Republican opinion.
5.15.12 @ 12:19p
My gut feeling: Romney (at least has been) a left-of-center Republican, who has turned hard right at least during this campaign.
Obama, on the other hand, talks pretty far left; however, in practice, he tracks back center (and maybe even to the right on military issues - he went from close Guantanamo and get out of Iraq to, wishy-washy at best on both). But, he still gets credit for being left, even without the follow through.
5.16.12 @ 4:41p
I agree with Roger. McCain was a viable force in the beginning of his campaign. Then, nothing. Adding Sarah Palin to the ticket didn't help.
The main problem with Republican candidates is they let Fox "News" and histronic, misinformed pundits speak for the party, rather than permitting candidates to establish a foundation.
I'm incredibly proud of President Obama's decision to take a stand on gay marriage. For any president to do this is a bold move. I think marriage should be federally-defined. I don't understand why it's more advantageous for states to have control over the matter.
5.16.12 @ 7:37p
Tracey: Careful about permitting federal definition of marriage. They don't b/c of the 10th Amendment: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
The Federal government can't define marriage, sans an amendment to the Constitution. And, the last time that was attempted, was the failed Federal Marriage Amendment (2006), seeking to make federally marriage "one man and one woman." The Federal government needs to keep its damn hands off the issue, or you'll risk stripping the right from those six fortunate states where it's allowed.
5.16.12 @ 10:21p
But states are fickle. While gay marriage is legal in Iowa (for now), the judges who allowed it were ousted in a nasty smear campaign. So a just law became political leverage for someone's revenge. And look at Arizona. The current government is listening to crazy talk about prohibiting cultural diversity classes in high school. Because it's not history if white people look bad.
I'm not saying the federal government would be without offset political influence (and as a sidebar, "Prohibition" by Ken Burns demonstrates how narrow-minded people can greatly influence the development of Amendments) but I hope at least the Supreme Court could seek a positive solution without being mired down in religion or politics.