Eric Alterman: What President Romney would do

In a recent article published in The Nation magazine (August 27/September 3 issue), CUNY professor Eric Alterman ponders want Mitt Romney would do if elected president. It’s worth reading.

Since Romney has taken positions on opposite sides with respect to abortion, gay rights, immigration, the NRA, taxes, health care reform, and a host of other things, almost anyone of any political persuasion can find reasons to be hopeful or fearful or both about the possibility he might be inaugurated president next year.

Alterman argues that the most likely future Romney is the current one, not the much more moderate earlier version. Even if Romney’s current stance is a disguise adopted to win the Republican nomination, his history of turning with political winds suggests that he’ll go along with the Republicans in Congress, who have become fairly extreme in their views.

It might be tempting to suppose that the article in question is a sort of mirror-image of over-the-top warnings on the right about how Obama is a secret Muslim socialist, but it’s really not. Alterman is admittedly not a neutral observer, but his complaints are about radical positions actually adopted by congressional Republicans, for example the Paul Ryan budget passed by the House 235 to 193.

Incidentally, Alternam quotes a comment by Thomas E. Mann of the Brookings Institution “no Republican president in the modern era would have felt comfortable being a part of” today’s GOP. That might be a bit of an overstatement, but Mann has interesting things to say on the subject in an interview published by Columbia Journalism Review that Alterman is quoting from. It’s worth a read as well.

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