Commentary By Ron Beasley
It's no surprise that those on the left don't like Willard Romney but the folks over at The American Conservative don't dislike him any less. I have been passing on Daniel Larison's rants on Romney's foreign policy for months but he's not alone. Social conservative Rod Dreher is not too excited with his foreign policy either, Dubya 2012.
This is a milestone moment in American politics. "Fabulously wealthy" presidential candidates are more of a norm than an aberration - witness the Roosevelts, the Kennedys, the Bushes, Nelson Rockefeller, George Romney, Ross Perot. But to a man, each of them ran at least in part on the principle of noblesse oblige - the idea that the wealthy must make sacrifices for the common good (yes, even George W. Bush, who promised not to "balance the budget on the backs of the poor).
In contrast, Romney and his ilk are having none of this. They are trying to persuade voters - and for all we know may have persuaded themselves - that, in effect, "As Goes Bain Capital, So Goes America."
I've thought a lot about this question over the last six months. How did this happen? How did we come to this pass, where a man like Mitt Romney - whose candidacy represents a breathtakingly cynical, borderline nihilistic pursuit of power on behalf of a tiny sliver of the population - sits within striking distance of the highest office in the land?
An accident - the last man standing. Perhaps not!
Still, the "accident" narrative only gets you so far. The reality is, Romney slipped through - and there are troubling factors that buoy his campaign. The complete rejection of mainstream macroeconomic theory is one such factor. Cultural animus toward Obama is another. Liberals overstate its extent, but it's undeniably real.
Most decisive is what I've been calling the theological fusion of social and economic conservatism. Too many evangelical Christians seem incapable of even questioning Mammon. Now they enthusiastically welcome the money changers into the temple. Like the Calvinists of old, they glorify market outcomes as a sign of divine favor. And the cliche "class warfare" has served as a handy tool to shut down any deviation from this new orthodoxy.
The prospect of a second Obama term doesn't excite me. Nevertheless, my overriding hope is to see Mitt Romney spat out of the body politic, once and for all. (Bold mine)
Noah Millman makes a good observation, but he seems to be missing Scott Galupo's objection to Romney:
So expelling Mitt Romney will do nothing to change the fact that a critique of the financialization of American capitalism has barely begun anywhere in American politics.
That's correct, but what I believe Scott was saying was that he wants Romney to lose so that we will be rid of Mitt Romney as a political figure. Put another way, a political system that rewards someone like Romney with the Presidency is in extremely poor health, and Scott doesn't want our system to be as far gone as a Romney victory would prove it to be.
Regardless, the point is that Scott is mostly objecting to what he calls Romney's "breathtakingly cynical, borderline nihilistic pursuit of power." It's the sheer cynicism involved that offends even more than the interests served by that cynicism.
I haven't seen such an effective critiuqe of Romney on any of the progressive blogs or media.