Josh Barro uses Romney’s total lack of conviction and consistency on every issue to argue in favor of voting for him. Because he doesn’t mean any of it, you see, he won’t do anything he says he would do and he might do good things instead of the crazy things he proposes now.
In general, the best way to figure out a politician’s intentions is to read his platform. But Mitt Romney is no ordinary politician. His ideological positions are entirely flexible and his capacity for pandering enormous. His platform reflects what he thinks will help him get elected, not necessarily what he will do if elected.
It’s possible to understand every action in Romney’s life as an effort to become president. But once he is president, what will his goal be? I don’t know (nobody knows) but I suspect getting re-elected will be near the top of the list. To increase his chances of getting elected, he will have to implement policies that are likely to grow the economy.
Redoubling on Bush Administration economic policies — with the added factor of severe budget austerity laid on — is unlikely to serve that end. So, Romney will have good reason to implement policies that aren’t in his stated platform, even if that means butting heads with Republicans in Congress.
If the best argument you can make in favor of a candidate is that he doesn’t really mean anything he says, you shouldn’t be voting for that person even if there’s a gun to your head.