Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Thursday, July 05, 2012

Romney's Flip-Flop Olympics Trials

Seeded No. 1 by acclamation, the GOP standard bearer is so outdoing himself in issue acrobatics that even a sympathetic judge, Rupert Murdoch,  is raising questions about doping in his performance.

“Met Romney last week,” he tweets. “Tough O Chicago pros will be hard to beat unless he drops old friends from team and hires some real pros. Doubtful.”

Such concern,  echoed in the Wall Street Journal, of course, is prompted by the health care tax/not-a-tax swan dive by Romney as he perfects his love Roberts/hate Roberts stance on the Chief Justice.

While voters prepare to start paying serious attention to 2012 election gymnastics, flip-flop records are being set by Romney’s whirling dervish moves to the point that pundits are wondering if the President, with his puny past record of reversals on the individual mandate, stands a chance of competing.

“A foolish consistency,” Emerson wrote, “is the hobgoblin of little minds.” By that measure, the former governor of Massachusetts is the Einstein of modern politics.

Amid all this, the New York Times offers an OpEd argument that little has changed in the past half century:

“People on the political right have blamed the late ’60s for what they loathe about contemporary life--anything-goes sexuality, cultural coarseness, multiculturalism. And people on the left buy into that, seeing only the ’60s legacies of freedom that they define as progress. But what the left and right respectively love and hate are mostly flip sides of the same libertarian coin minted around 1967. Thanks to the ’60s, we are all shamelessly selfish.”

Maybe so for Baby Boomers, but Romney’s antics for one even older observer recall the first monologue of Bob Newhart, who back then was launching his comedic career.

In the role of an airline pilot giving reassuring information to passengers on the intercom, Newhart broke off to clear his throat and ask nervously, “Would any of you folks back there recognize Cleveland if you saw it?”

With Romney in the GOP cockpit, someone should turn on the seat belt sign for the rest of the summer.

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