Sunday, July 22, 2012

The gulf between?

So, what are the main differences between Candidates Romney and Obama? Well, if one was to assume that these might be revealed by considering the main topics on which the incumbent is attacking his rival, the two main differences would seem to be related to the recently-passed Affordable Care Act, and to the outsourcing/off-shoring of American jobs. President Obama and the Super-PACs supporting him are making big play that:
  • Romney was in favor of universal coverage, but flip-flopped, and is now against it, and,
  • Romney while at Bain Capital was responsible for outsourcing jobs (to China)...
OK, let's posit that this is true and 100% correct. What does it reveal about the differences between these two? Well, really not all that much! Why, one asks? Well:
  • If candidate Romney is a flipper-flopper 'who was for universal coverage before he was against it', then President Obama is a flipper-flopper 'who was against universal coverage before he was for it.' After all, during the presidential campaign of 2008, then Senator Obama mocked Hilary Clinton's call for an insurance mandate, saying, "... if a mandate was the solution, we can try that to solve homelessness by mandating everybody to buy a house...
  • Now, it is an article of faith among broad swathes of the Democratic Party that free trade agreements are bad, a principal reason being that they are accused of encouraging off-shoring. Yet President Obama has been an enthusiastic supporter of free trade agreements, signing agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama, while pushing for (along with the Republicans) the Trans-Pacific Partnership accord. So while Romney has been facilitating off-shoring at the individual company and state levels, President Obama has been doing it at the national level. Who does that make a better candidate for the title of "off-shorer in chief"?
OK, so this blogger is not arguing that there are no differences between the candidates, because there clearly are significant ones. However, they are not the ones that seem to be the main focus of President Obama's push to 'define Romney' for the American public...

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