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Oct 11 2012

The Bizarre Republican Excuse for Romney’s Vagueness

As Mitt Romney continues to refuse to give any details at all about most of his policy proposals, the Republicans are trotting out a really lame excuse for that refusal: If he tells you what he’s going to do, you’ll just criticize him for it. Here’s one Republican strategist explaining this:

Well yes, Mike, you’re right. If Romney details which deductions he wants to eliminate, he’ll be “attacked” for it — that is, other people will point out that eliminating those deductions has costs attached to it. That’s called debating the pros and cons of a policy and it’s really a good thing. You would never accept such an idiotic excuse from a Democrat, so there’s no reason for anyone else to accept it from a Republican. It doesn’t excuse anything at all, it only admits that he cannot defend his ideas.

31 comments

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  1. 1
    tomh

    That’s the same reason he gave for not releasing tax returns. It would just give his enemies ammunition to attack him with.

  2. 2
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Of course he can’t win either way.

    Not being open and being shifty and vague = worthy of attack.

    Being honest and revealing those unpleasant truths Mitt theDhit keeps tryin’ tohide = providing ammunition.

    Might as well go for that latter option and at least show you’re brave enough to’fess up and be accountable.

    The job of POTUS kinda demands accountabilty and taking responsibility for the buck stopping there and all or so I gather..

  3. 3
    unbound

    Also, when the specifics become clear (i.e. effective tax increases on the middle and lower classes), he can’t be called a liar since he never provided the specifics to begin with.

  4. 4
    Chiroptera

    If he tells you what he’s going to do, you’ll just criticize him for it.

    Um, yeah, isn’t this supposed to be the way it works? The candidate tells us his or her policy positions, and then we criticize or applaud and decide to vote for or against?

    Heck, if a candidate wanted to be in touch with the “American people,” wouldn’t he or she want to use the criticisms to either

    (1) modify his or her position to align better with the people’s preferences (that democracy thing again!), or

    (2) try to explain to the people exactly why this position is the best one, to take advantage of a “teaching moment,” to actually be a leader?

  5. 5
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Mitt the Dhit?

    That’s not what I thought I’d typed. Take II :

    Mitt the shifty, weaselly, “what-th’fuck’s he hiding?” Shit.

    Being vague doesn’t help ya Mitt especially when you already have a reputation for changing positions more often a devoted teenage practioner of the kama sutra on viagra at an orgy. Being slippyer than one too.

  6. 6
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    *than*

    I missplaced a ‘than’ somewhere in there – like between the ‘more often’ and the ‘a’. Sigh.

  7. 7
    Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

    Well, to be fair, he’s not running on his policies. He’s running on Not Obama. Not Obama doesn’t require tax returns, and it doesn’t require policies. All it requires is continual display of his Not Obama pigmentation.

  8. 8
    eric

    This excuse is functionally equivalent to: “if our candidate really told you how he would govern, you wouldn’t elect him.”

    I believe its detrimental to democracy in a fundamental way to have candidates act like this. The whole democratic process depends on voters making an informed choice as to how the country should be governed (informed here does not mean every voter must be well-educated; it just means they have to understand the differences between candidates).

    When a candidate lies about how they intend to run the country, or provides no information on how they will govern, they are subverting the whole notion of democracy. They are not allowing voters to have a meaningful voice in how they are governed. Basically, introducing so much noise into the process that there is no more signal to be heard.

  9. 9
    Modusoperandi

    Oh, come on! His plans aren’t “vague”. Here…

    Mitt’s Big Plan,
    1. Get elected president.

    There! Are you happy now?

  10. 10
    Abby Normal

    Oh sure, when a commie refuses to Incriminate himself before Congress liberals are all “Hooray for the 5th Amendment!” But when a Conservative does it you’re all, “we need open Debate!” When a Righteous man says, “teach the Controversy,” you Point and Laugh and then turn around and demand Romney do just that. Sad. If you liberals believed in the concept of Virtue you could at least aspire to be Hypocrites.

  11. 11
    Sastra

    If he tells you what he’s going to do, you’ll just criticize him for it.

    This is the type of defense which is often made in a family situation where spouses or parents or kids have gotten into the habit of sniping at each other for no good reason. “No, I’m not going to tell you where I’m going or why … because I’m sick of you picking on me for every little thing and turning it into a big argument, that’s why. You’re so critical! You’re not the boss of me!” And the newly-empowered worm turns around, sticks up for themselves, and marches off to the tune of their own drummer.

    But, hey, you know what? While it sounds familiar and we have some intuitive sympathy for it, I just don’t think that this analogy really applies to this situation. I mean … politics.

  12. 12
    Alverant

    If he gives us his plans then his plans will be picked apart. So how is that different from every other canidate out there? Why should Mittens get special treatment?

  13. 13
    ashleybell

    Excellent point, eric @ 8

  14. 14
    Michael Heath

    Modusoperandi writes:

    Oh, come on! His plans aren’t “vague”. Here…

    Mitt’s Big Plan,
    1. Get elected president.

    There! Are you happy now?

    Hey! It worked for George W. Bush, twice.

  15. 15
    busterggi

    Romney is planning on continuing to be white.

    Obama is continuing to be black.

    Any other position question is unneeded by a horribly high percentage of the country.

  16. 16
    gushinrich

    That was also the reason for taking the computers when he left the Governor’s office in Massachusetts. He didn’t want opponents to have access for research…

  17. 17
    RickR

    “All it requires is continual display of his Not Obama pigmentation.”

    Unless he’s speaking to a Latino audience, of course.

  18. 18
    SnowyBiscuit

    Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant):
    Well, to be fair, he’s not running on his policies. He’s running on Not Obama. Not Obama doesn’t require tax returns, and it doesn’t require policies. All it requires is continual display of his Not Obama pigmentation.

    If Mittens keeps on with the spray tanner, he’s not going to have that “Not Obama” pigmentation much longer.

  19. 19
    Area Man

    Romney’s problem is not that there are costs and benefits, but that the benefits accrue to a tiny number of already wealthy people while the costs accrue to everyone else. If his tax, energy, or educational policies were actually in the best interests of the majority of voters, I’m sure he’d be happy to go into specifics.

  20. 20
    Raging Bee

    If he’s running away from this tiny fraction of the responsibilities of the job he wants, before he even gets the job, do you really think he’ll be any braver in the face of the full scope of those duties?

  21. 21
    typecaster

    The job of POTUS kinda demands accountabilty and taking responsibility for the buck stopping there and all or so I gather. – StevoR

    Umm…were you watching any of the news outlets during the Bush administration? Just askin’….

  22. 22
    Worldtraveller

    Eric@8

    I believe its detrimental to democracy in a fundamental way to have candidates act like this.

    Good point, but for the record: I don’t think Mittens, or the GOP, cares one whit about democracy, beyond it getting them money/power.

  23. 23
    Modusoperandi

    Michael Heath “Hey! It worked for George W. Bush, twice.”
    It would’ve been a third time, but Cheney said “No!”. *Pout*

    typecaster “Umm…were you watching any of the news outlets during the Bush administration? Just askin’….”
    “Mistakes were made…”

  24. 24
    wholething

    Why should Rmoney tell us his plans when he will have to tells us something different tomorrow? Just let him know what you want him to say and he will tell you that. His plans are carved in Etch-A-Sketch, you know.

  25. 25
    Ichthyic

    The job of POTUS kinda demands accountabilty and taking responsibility for the buck stopping there and all or so I gather..

    that’s what they taught us in school, but my experience has taught me that’s about as realistic as saying that Ward and June Cleaver are representative of the average American Family.

  26. 26
    Ichthyic

    “Mistakes were made…”

    “…but you can’t go using the past mistakes of the administration to knock the current administration!”

    We plan to revamp the administration…

  27. 27
    Abby Normal

    @wholething

    That reminds me, after Obama’s lackluster showing at the first debate some clever person released a beautifully edited version wherein he removed Obama and replaced him with a second Romney. Second Romney was much tougher on candidate Romney than Obama ever was. It was great to see such a spirited debate between two politicians so diametrically opposed on every topic.

    I wish I’d saved the URL. I haven’t been able to find it again yet.

  28. 28
    Joshua

    So basically they are admitting that they wont lay out the specifics of his plans because they aren’t very good plans…

  29. 29
    John Hinkle

    If he tells you what he’s going to do, you’ll just criticize him for it.

    Once again the GOP displays the model behavior of personal responsibility. Just like the silent ‘e’ at the end of many words, there’s a silent for other people at the end of personal responsibility.

  30. 30
    caseloweraz

    This is OT, but I don’t see a better recent post for it.

    He’s ba-ack. Another “sting” video from James O’Keefe — this time claiming to expose Organizing for America, President Obama’s campaign organization, in voter fraud.

    And more drivel from the Heritage Foundation.

    http://blog.heritage.org/2012/10/10/organizing-for-america-assists-voter-fraud/

  31. 31
    grendelsfather

    Totally OT, but we have a confirmed case of voter fraud here in Texas. Looks like the Republicans were right, for a change:

    http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Records-indicate-Fort-Bend-precinct-chair-voted-3937458.php

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