Whatever It Takes
The bottom line is very plain and simple. For some people, mostly conservatives, the controversy linking now President Barack Obama to his former spiritual the Reverend Jeremiah Wright is about as dead as the controversy regarding Mr. Obama’s birth certificate and the doubt that he is a legal citizen of the United States. The Ending Spending Action Fund, a conservative super PAC with the goal of ousting Mr. Obama from the White House, was exposed by the New York Times as planning an advertising campaign reviving the link between Mr. Obama with his former pastor.
When questioned about the ad conservative presidential hopeful Mitt Romney tried his best to distance himself from the super PAC plans saying that he repudiated the effort and hopes to focus the issues back to jobs, the economy, and about how his vision for America’s future differs from Mr. Obama’s. But with super PACS operating under significantly looser campaign finance restrictions that were given the green light by the Supreme Court’s Citizen’s United decision and the strict condition that prevents politicians from exercising any influence over super PACs, there is little guarantee that Mr. Romney would have any impact on groups willing to make Reverend Wright and the issue of race a factor in this year’s presidential campaign.
But unfortunately for Mr. Romney, like many things he says, we can point to an occasion where he said the opposite not too long ago. Back in February Mr. Romney made an appearance on FOX’s Sean Hannity where he resurrected the reference to the controversial pastor. Mr. Hannity played a sound bite of Mr. Obama saying that the United States can no longer consider itself just a Christian nation. In response to the clip, Mr. Romney said that he didn’t know which was worse, Mr. Obama listening to Reverend Wright or Mr. Obama saying that we must be a less Christian nation.
Earlier this week, after his statement repudiating the attack ad against Mr. Obama, Mr. Romney was asked for clarification over his statements on Sean Hannity and Mr. Romney replied, “I am not familiar, precisely, with exactly what I said, but I stand by what I said, whatever it was.”
We have yet another example of how Mr. Romney reveals his single most notable core conviction which can be summed up as say anything that will expedite him getting what he wants. It sounds good to repudiate the recently revealed, ugly rewind to the political racism of the previous presidential elections where there was an ugly attempt to stoke white people’s inherent fear that a black President would hand the keys of the kingdom to the black community. The past forty months or so has shown that the fear of some racial retribution led by Mr. Obama were unfounded. The negative reaction to the racially charged advertising campaign by the super PAC made it apparent that Mr. Romney doesn’t want to go there.
But Mr. Romney already went there when he did his interview with Mr. Hannity and says that he stands by what he said then. Based on his latest statement, it would be a reasonable conclusion that Mr. Romney doesn’t stand by his more recent repudiation? But it’s just as reasonable to assume Mr. Romney doesn’t stand by what he said back in February and really does mean to repudiate what he says now but simply wants to sound like he has convictions that are strong, good, and consistent.
But more than likely, the most reasonable conclusion is that Mr. Romney doesn’t really care about what he said then and really doesn’t care what he says now. He truly has an etch-a-sketch approach to politics and will say anything that will make him look favorable to the people who are listening to him now regardless of what he said before. He doesn’t even bother to find out or remember what he said before. He stands by what he says until he doesn’t, but reserves the right to go back to what was said in the middle. Whatever it takes to get whatever he wants is his only conviction.
Mr. Romney is that rarest of politician who thinks he can refer to his often changed record as proof of who he is and what he stands for. What he stands for today has nothing to do with anything he stood for in anytime in his past. It takes a rare politician to admit he doesn’t remember what he said, doesn’t care to find out what he said, but stands by his statement in the past even though it is the total opposite of what he said just the day before. He is the true epitome of an etch-a-sketch politician.