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    Navigating the presidential election

    Some are convinced that, as goes Loudoun County, so goes the presidential election – and apparently the contenders themselves agree – that we Loudounians are a strong indicator of the outcome – given how often the presidential candidates have appeared here. 

    What is astonishing, and hardly understandable, is how any sentient being in the voting nation could possibly still be “undecided.”  Of course, some may be “undecided” because Romney himself appears “undecided” about what he actually “believes.”

    In the Republican primaries, and when visiting Israel, Romney was prepared to war with Iran on Israel’s say-so, but, in the last debate, Romney favored the crippling economic sanctions that Obama put in place with our international partners.

    Romney and his tyro Vice-Presidential partner, Paul Ryan, even recently rattled their sabers about Syria, wanting to arm the rebels to fight President Bashar al-Assad, but then Romney, only a week ago, when debating Obama, said we can’t really do more than we are doing.

    Romney earlier “thought” we should stay in Iraq and Afghanistan, but, a week ago, he had an epiphany that we’d done enough in both places, and agreed to end military operations in Afghanistan on the same schedule as President Obama.

    Gathering up an assessment of Romney’s “true” beliefs, on war or taxes or jobs, is like scooping up a handful of water from a rushing stream and watching what you’ve gathered slip through your fingers.

    Our esteemed Loudoun neighbor, Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State, reportedly reviewed Romney’s most recent foreign policy address on October 7th, because, she said, she wanted “to figure out what Governor Romney’s [foreign] policies really are,” and concluded, “I have come out more confused because he has changed his mind on a number of different issues.”

    I’m sure there are conservatives who believe that Romney’s resorting to a Trojan horse strategy, saying one pacifistic thing to manipulate moderate voters while harboring a jingoistic mid-East agenda he’ll implement if elected.  Radical conservatives take heart from Romney’s foreign policy team, resurrected like a bad Halloween trick, consisting of the terminally bellicose neocons that devised the Iraq war, including Messrs. Carlucci, and Kagan, as well as other significant members of that militaristic imperial minded cohort.

    Romney’s public policy lane-shifting has followed the electoral season and public polls prompting Romney to adapt his pitch to his changing audience as adroitly as a fast-talking street-side three-card Monte dealer.

    Equally disconcerting as the easily shifting tectonic plates of Romney’s “belief system” is what he doesn’t know as, for example, when he made a foreign policy pronouncement based on a rudimentary geographic fact he got dead wrong, when he said, “Syria is Iran’s … route to the sea.” 

    On the home front, Romney’s promise to reduce taxes may drive many to support him, but who is he going to help? 

    On the eve of his first debate with Obama, Romney suggested cutting the home mortgage interest deduction, a serious chunk of change to millions of home-owning middle class families, amounting to about 26.8% of the average tax return, and $12,221 in hard cash on the average.  After a recession created by questionable mortgage practices, it is distressing that Romney would even consider up-ending the finances of middle class homeowners by taking away their deduction. 

    Romney’s “flexibility” on a range of issues give anyone cause that his shifts are capricious and his electoral success depends on a public devoid of memory and critical sense.

    By contrast, President Obama has been doing the job, actually fighting the war on terrorism, and achieving victories that are generally acknowledged while Romney’s participation in our nation’s progress has been remote and trivial. 
    President Obama dared to challenge a resistant establishment including Governor Romney that would deny health care to millions of Americans. 

    Obama bailed out failing banks and the car industry, securing credit and preserving and creating jobs when Romney would have left them to the vagaries of Darwinian chance. 

    Obama has permitted and promoted vast amounts of fossil fuels while working hard to keep safe the air we breathe and the water we drink and developing wind, solar and geothermal energy alternatives.

    President Kennedy was fond of saying, “Bull fight critics row by row fill the enormous plaza full but there is only one who knows and that’s the man who fights the bull.” 

    Romney runs from his own views, so I expect he’d run from a real fight.

    President Obama has proven himself a fighter with the resolve to make a difference for the better, for now and the future, and I’m convinced we shouldn’t change horses in mid-stream and certainly not for Romney.

    John Flannery

    Leesburg

    Comments

    John, Most politicians are corrupt because they’re attorneys. I voted for Obama in 2008 for change. He failed big time. His accomplishments were few. He’d rather blame the other guy. His priorities were off, Health care not as important, priority 1 economy/jobs stupid! Benghazi debacle. Over 100 rounds of golf in less than 4 years(more than I even get a chance to play in a good economy). Nah, I think he had his chance. Really, what could he possibly do different that he didn’t do in first term? Obama is more afraid of Romney than running on his accomplishments, again, not leader material man.

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