Well there you have it; modern politics in a nutshell. There’s what you say to get votes, and there’s what you actually believe, and the amount of daylight between them could solve our energy crisis.
This has been getting a lot of coverage and comment by Democrats and Republicans alike. And because Mitt Romney is the man everyone likes to despise, most of that comment has been focused on what this unabashed lack of any conviction whatsoever says about the presumptive Republican nominee.
But, really, this is not about Romney. This is about politics. Not all equivalences are false, and drawing one picture for voters in the primary, drawing another for the general, and finally shaking the Etch-A-Sketch blank once in office is standard operating procedure for both parties. Political advisers are mercenary by nature; this one was just dumb enough to talk about it openly. The Republicans have had a run of especially deplorable advisers in recent years – including those who picked Sarah Palin as John McCain’s running mate, as cold and calculated a political move as can be imagined – but the Democrats have had their fair share. The Clintons after all brought us Dick Morris, a man whose complete lack of integrity makes even the most cynical party operative clutch at a copy of the Constitution and whisper to themselves that there must be some meaning in politics, somewhere.
And in the end, the Etch-A-Sketch metaphor – as much as it captures the spirit of political campaigns – is not totally accurate. If politicians could promise anything at all during the primary and then just shake it all away once nominated, they’d promise hover cars, and a five-day weekend, and rainbows every afternoon, and
colonies on the moon. Okay, maybe partially accurate.
Romney will be the candidate. And he might even be the president. But he’s going to have to contend with all of the lies he has told and the promises he will break along the way.
At the risk of ending with a clip from Juno, I’ll end with a clip from Juno (apologies for the crappy quality – this was all that was available on YouTube):