Sunday, April 24, 2011

Mitt Romney haunted by his past mistakes

From The Onion:
Though Mitt Romney is considered to be a frontrunner for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, the national spotlight has forced him to repeatedly confront a major skeleton in his political closet: that as governor of Massachusetts he once tried to help poor, uninsured sick people.

Romney, who signed the state's 2006 health care reform act, has said he "deeply regrets" giving people in poor physical and mental health the opportunity to seek medical attention, admitting that helping very sick people get better remains a dark cloud hovering over his political career, and his biggest obstacle to becoming president of the United States of America.

"Every day I am haunted by the fact that I gave impoverished Massachusetts citizens a chance to receive health care," Romney told reporters Wednesday, adding that he feels ashamed whenever he looks back at how he forged bipartisan support to help uninsured Americans afford medicine to cure their illnesses. "I'm only human, and I've made mistakes. None bigger, of course, than helping cancer patients receive chemotherapy treatments and making sure that those suffering from pediatric AIDS could obtain medications, but that's my cross to bear."

"My hope is that Republican voters will one day forgive me for making it easier for sick people—especially low-income sick people—to go to the hospital and see a doctor," Romney added. "It was wrong, and I'm sorry." ...

"I don't know what got into me back then," Romney said. "Wanting to make sure people were able to have health insurance if they left their job. Providing a federally funded website so individuals could compare the costs of insurance providers. Making certain that somebody who earns less than 150 percent of the poverty level can receive the same health care coverage as me or any government official. All I can say is that I was young and immature, and I am not that person anymore."

"The only solace I can take is in the hope that some of the folks I helped were terminally ill patients who eventually withered away and died," Romney added.

Though Romney has apologized profusely, Beltway insiders said he would need to distance himself from his I-tried-to-help-sickpeople image. Sources noted that Romney's current promise to take away health care from anyone who can't afford it is a step in the right direction, but might not be enough.

"The major strike against Mitt Romney is that he not only tried to help people get medical care, he actually did help people get medical care," conservative columnist Jonah Goldberg said. "No other Republican in the field has that type of baggage. And in the end, in order to defeat President Obama, the GOP needs someone who has a track record of never wanting to help sick people." ...

"I don't think I can vote for someone like that," Pennsylvania Republican Eric Tolbert said. "He says he's sorry, but how do I know that's the real Mitt Romney? What happens if he gets elected and tries to help sick people again?"

"I like Michele Bachmann now," Tolbert added. "Because what this country needs is a president who doesn't give a fuck about helping people."

You know, this would be a heck of a lot funnier if it wasn't true.


Jim Harris said...

I didn't see from the Onion when I read it on my RSS feed, so I thought you had written this as a parody Bill. I was impressed with your ability to write satire. Then I realized my mistake. Have you ever thought of writing such a parody?

WCG said...

This whole site is a parody, Jim. Didn't you realize I was a fervent, god-fearing, liberal-hating Sarah Palin supporter?


Jim Harris said...

What's interesting is your writing is serious, reasonable and thoughtful, but you seem to love outrageous parody. So when I thought that piece was your writing I was wondering if you were experimenting with a new style.

WCG said...

I do like parody, Jim. I love humor, and although I don't really like making fun of people, there are some ideas that deserve ridicule.

In February, there was a guest post at Pharyngula, In Defense of Mockery, that I've been meaning to blog about. Of course, that joins the many other topics I've been meaning to address, but just haven't quite gotten around to.

The short version is that I think ridicule is not just justified, it's actually the right tactic in some circumstances. As H.L. Mencken said, "The liberation of the human mind has never been furthered by dunderheads; it has been furthered by gay fellows who heaved dead cats into sanctuaries and then went roistering down the highways of the world, proving to all men that doubt, after all, was safe - that the god in the sanctuary was finite in his power and hence a fraud. One horse-laugh is worth ten thousand syllogisms."

I won't mock someone who honestly disagrees with me, someone who has gone to some trouble to think about what he's saying and is seriously trying to be truthful. But that doesn't seem to describe very many people on the right these days. (Still, face to face - even just figuratively so, through the medium of the internet - I usually try to be polite.)

Well, as I say, I've been meaning to post my own defense of mockery, but who knows when I'll actually do so?