Diatribes of Jay

This is a blog of essays on public policy. It shuns ideology and applies facts, logic and math to economic, social and political problems. It has a subject-matter index, a list of recent posts, and permalinks at the ends of posts. Comments are moderated and may take time to appear. Note: Profile updated 4/7/12

03 August 2012

A Dozen Reasons to Reject Mitt

[For my most recent post on Syria, click here. I advanced publishing the post below because it seems someone was hacking it.]

1. He’s an investment banker. He’s part of the tiny international cabal that recently destroyed the global economy and is threatening to do it again. In his first visit abroad after becoming the presumptive GOP nominee, and after insulting the British, he made a point of meeting with bankers, including those from Barclays, the first bank to be charged with manipulating the LIBOR interest rate.

2. However many jobs Romney’s Bain Capital did or did not create, being president is nothing like being a private-equity investment banker. You don’t have rich people falling all over themselves to give you money to invest. Instead, you have to raise taxes or cut programs that real people depend on. And the people you have to deal with—the Chinese, Russians and Democrats, for example—don’t think of themselves as failing companies, desperate for handouts.

3. Romney has just four years of experience in elective office, as governor of Massachusetts. That would make him the least experienced president in American history.

4. Romney has never served in our armed forces and has never had any job remotely related to foreign or military policy. Congress and the courts can block stupid ideas at home, but abroad presidents enjoy as close to one-man rule as our democracy allows. Take Dubya, for example. With all his experience of six years as governor of Texas, he started two unnecessary wars that lasted most of a decade. Do you want another Dubya ordering our troops around?

5. Although he’s made a lot of money, Romney has done absolutely nothing of lasting value in the public sphere in his entire life. He did make a dead-ringer for “Obamacare” a success in Massachusetts, but he now disclaims that achievement. His next biggest feat was helping to making the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City a success. Isn’t that a bit stale and small for a president?

6. Both at home and abroad, presidents have to deal with lots of different people with lots of different views. Doing that requires diplomatic skill.

Romney has none. He’s a jerk [search for “sort of person”], a frat boy [search for “crown”], and the King of Gaffes.

I’ll need a separate post to outline all of his gaffes (coming soon). But he’s made two in just the last week, and on his first foreign trip as presumptive GOP candidate. He insulted the British, our closest ally, and he gratuitously alienated the Palestinians just to entice a few Jewish votes. If he wins, you can bet he’ll piss off our friends, enrage our rivals, trash any chance for peace in the Middle East, and make our enemies hate us even more. His loose tongue might not start a war, but it will certainly make a new one more probable.

7. Romney can’t make up his mind about anything. He’s flip-flopped on abortion, on health care, on what to do about China, and lately on whether to call the “mandate” portion of “Obamacare” a “tax.” If you want a guy who’ll make a decision today and amend or rescind it tomorrow, Romney’s your man. Good luck if you’re in our armed forces.

8. Romney wants us to put all our energy eggs in the fossil-fuels basket. He disparages wind and solar power, which have no fuel and create no pollution, and in which Germany is investing massively. His approach seems simple: if he doesn’t have a rich crony who’s interested in twenty-first century industry, then he’s not interested either. So it you want a job in a coal mine or an open tar-sands pit, Romney’s your man. If you want a twenty-first century job, vote for Obama.

9. In one of his many gaffes, Romney referred to himself as “unemployed.” Yet he keeps millions in offshore banks and won’t release his tax returns. If you think he has empathy for the real unemployed, let alone the middle class, vote for him. But don’t be surprised if he continues the class warfare that bankers have been winning over our students and the rest of us.

10. From the Gospel of Grover Norquist to fundamentalist religion, the GOP looks to extremists for its “base.” Romney has done nothing to change that. On the contrary, he has pandered to every extremist group his campaign flunkies can discern. If you want to see the GOP reform itself, so that a well-qualified candidate like Jon Huntsman, Jr., can someday have a chance of securing its nomination, your best chance is to pass Romney by. Or you can vote for him and hope he loses badly, thereby jolting his party into reform.

11. Romney plays his game strictly by the book of the GOP’s stale dogma. For thirty years, that “Little Red Book” has laid us low. If you can find a single important and original idea that Romney has ever had in public policy, by all means vote for him. But don’t be surprised if what you get is more of the usual: less regulation, more taxes for you (but less for the rich) and more crumbs from bankers’ tables.

12. With the aid of the Supreme Court’s supremely misguided decision in Citizens United, Romney and his rich friends are trying to buy the election with TV ads. California rejected similar candidacies of rich political ingenues Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina. If you think it was wrong, by all means vote for Mitt. But before you do so, consider California’s small and easily curable deficit and status as the world’s eighth largest economy, all by itself.

Did someone hack this post?

The post above twice “disappeared” from this blog while in draft form. That has never happened before, and Google’s “issues page” gives no hint of any relevant problem there. So I believe this blog may have been hacked.

The most suspicious visiting IP address is this one: 10.144.128.#. One of my two IP-location services lists it as a “PRIVATE IP ADDRESS LAN.” That means the suspected hacker is hiding behind an anonymity service.

NOTE TO SUSPECTED HACKER: Technology won’t protect you. All it takes to force disclosure of your real identity is a subpoena, which can be served abroad under the Hague Convention. Two federal statutes—the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act—protect this blog (along with every other private, Internet-connected computer).

So jail, fines and liability await if you hack this blog again. You might want to read here [subsection (c)] and here how deep is the guano you’ll be in, not to mention the “embarrassment” if you work for Romney or another public figure.

This blog is civil, but it won’t be silenced. I will prosecute hackers to the fullest extent of the law.

Site Meter


  • At Fri Aug 03, 11:10:00 AM EDT, Blogger Marzy Dotes said…

    Let me guess. You have sitemeter right as your stat counter? It's broken, hence the same IP addresses visiting. If you try to click the individual visitor for more information, it'll say it's not available and to try again later.

  • At Fri Aug 03, 02:53:00 PM EDT, Blogger Allen Stambaugh said…

    On a technical note IPv4 10/8 is private address space that can not be used over the public internet. This leaves two alternatives. 1. Someone has hacked into one or more of the LAN computers, or 2. the hacker is an employee or other authorized user on the LAN.

  • At Sat Aug 04, 04:11:00 PM EDT, Blogger Brian Miller said…

    wow pretty crazy someone is trying to hack you to potentially silence you....i dont need 12 reasons...smiles...

  • At Sun Aug 12, 07:13:00 AM EDT, Blogger Greg hodges said…

    Dear Jay,

    Thanks, as always, for your insights. A note, though - you mentioned that you had to rush this publication. I found a technical error in reason #3:

    Mitt Romney was governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007.

    Your point is still the same, and does not invalidate the argument in the least. It's just the wrong state.

    Thanks again,


  • At Sun Aug 12, 03:44:00 PM EDT, Blogger Jay Dratler, Jr., Ph.D., J.D. said…

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • At Sun Aug 12, 03:47:00 PM EDT, Blogger Jay Dratler, Jr., Ph.D., J.D. said…

    Dear Marzy, Allen and Brian,

    Thanks for your brief and helpful comments.

    Yes, Marzy, Sitemeter was down for a few days last week but appears back in business. I also discovered that Google's Blogger offers similar information under “Stats” on the Blogger Dashboard. While I welcome Google’s help, I’m pretty much stuck with Sitemeter, as I’m not about to change code manually on some 560 essays.

    Thanks to Allen for your technical note, which says something I should have realized from my own work on our LAN. Changing my Google password to something much more robust appears to have solved the hacking problem, if there was one, at least for the time being.

    As for Brian, it's best to finish your thought. You don't need 12 reasons not to vote for Mitt or to silence me? Hard to tell from what you wrote.

    Anyway, the “hacking” could have been my own paranoia. The supplementary information on the “hacker” is consistent with the unknown visitor being my own computer and browser. How that IP address ended up in Sitemeter I’ll never know.

    But as Andy Grove once said, “Only the paranoid survive.” The current political environment seems to justify paranoia.

    Best to all,


  • At Sun Aug 12, 04:04:00 PM EDT, Blogger Jay Dratler, Jr., Ph.D., J.D. said…

    Dear Greg,

    Thanks for the correction, which I thought I had already made. Of course I know that Mitt Romney was governor of Massachusetts and his father George governor of Michigan. Thanks for bringing my slip of the pen to my attention.

    My policy is to fix typos and obvious factual errors but to let real mistakes stand and even call attention to them. That helps keep me humble.




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