Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Behind the Lines: How many Romneys?
First Published Oct 15 2012 08:39 am • Last Updated Oct 19 2012 04:58 pm

Welcome to Behind the Lines, a weekly conversation with Salt Lake Tribune cartoonist Pat Bagley and BYU economist Val Lambson.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Bagley: My Star Wars cartoon allowed me to indulge in science fiction, which Mitt Romney seems to enjoy as well, given his explanation of how his tax plan would work. But it poses a larger question: Just who is Mitt Romney and what does he really believe? He has been on both sides of every question imaginable, from abortion to guns to climate change The only constant seems to be that he really, really wants to be president.

Lambson: Politicians are often chameleons when running for office, but these two (and indeed these four) have records. It is not hard to figure out what they are probably going to do if elected. That’s the good news. The bad news is that it is not hard to figure out what they are probably going to do if elected.

Bagley: Let’s say Romney’s shape-shifting works and he gets elected. What then? He has no natural base outside of Utah, southern Idaho and pockets of Arizona. Republicans nationally don’t really trust him and Democrats see in him the Wall Street plutocrats who drove the country into a ditch. He won’t have the personal popularity or clear policy agenda to address the country’s real problems. Being all things to all people may carry him into the White House, but it’s a lousy governing strategy.

Lambson: Unless you believe, with Jefferson, that government is best which governs least. Knowing you, I suspect that by inability "to address the country’s real problems" you mean, among other things, that Romney would be less able to throw massive amounts of stimulus money down special interest rat holes. I prefer clear policy agendas that preclude throwing massive amounts of stimulus money down special interest rat holes. But, always the perky optimist, I can imagine that lacking a clear policy agenda could be better than implementing a wrong-headed one.


story continues below
story continues below

Bagley: Oh, I think Romney has made clear he intends to shovel tons of money to the rats. He’s vague on the details, but his promise to boost defense spending warms the cockles of defense contractors’ tiny, withered hearts. And his plan to cut business and capital gains taxes have made him the sweetheart of Wall Street hedge funders. I was wrong when I said Romney had no natural constituency; I just named two.

Lambson: It’s enough to make one a libertarian. I know. I know. You are going to write a book about how you lost your libertarian faith. Does that mean you won’t be going to see "Atlas Shrugged Part 2," opening today at a theater near you?

Bagley: I prefer my fantasy movies to have orcs.

Lambson: Or, as reflected in your cartoon, storm troopers.

Lambson: The top comment this week is from utecougar, who reminds us of the value of a sense of humor:

As Fernando would say, "It’s better to look presidential than to be presidential, and Mitt looks mahvelous." Looks can be deceiving, but we Americans are so shallow and easily distrac.... Squirrel!!

Next Page >


Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.