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Romney Brands Democrats the Monarchist Party

May 4, 2009

Republicans are not merely beaten and battered. As they revealed once again at the kickoff event for their latest extremist makeover, they are confused as well. According to the McCain/Palin ticket and later myriad Republicans in Congress, Barack Obama is a "socialist." While their tea-bagging faithful slander Obama as a "communist," their erstwhile leader Glenn Beck and others warned of Democratic "fascism." And on Saturday, the once and future GOP White House hopeful Mitt Romney called Democrats "the party of the monarchists."
Romney's act of projection came this weekend during the Virginia launch of the National Council for a New America. Building on the tea baggers misunderstanding about no taxation with representation, Romney during the GOP brand-building event similarly cast Barack Obama in the role of George III:

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney compared the GOP to Americans fighting the British during the Revolutionary War. "We are the party of the revolutionaries, they [Democrats] are the party of the monarchists," he told the overwhelmingly Republican crowd, saying the Republicans needed to "once again lead the American Revolution."

Of course, as Romney well knows, it's good to be king. The son of auto magnate George Romney, Mitt is worth an estimated half a billion dollars, $45 million of which he plowed into his failed 2008 bid for the presidency. (Desperate to avoid John McCain's fate in being accurately depicted as too wealthy and out of touch to count his homes, Romney recently sold two of his multi-million dollar estates.)
And as Romney showed during the '08 campaign, the king can change his mind at any time and for any reason. Romney's flip-flop on abortion was so contorted that one of his top advisers admitted in 2005, "He's been a pro-life Mormon faking it as a pro-choice friendly." (That position, of course, was reversed for the '08 race.) On immigration, Mitt has executed a complete 360, returning to his reform position after briefly flirting with the requisite xenophobia during the GOP primaries. (His short-lived role as an immigration hardliner was further undermined by revelations he had employed illegal aliens to tend the grounds of his chic Belmont, Massachusetts home.)
Romney's monarchical prerogatives even extend to the veneration of that sainted Republican icon, Ronald Reagan. In the run-up to the 2008 primaries, Romney declared, "My life experience convinced me that Ronald Reagan was right." Later, he proclaimed, "As I've gotten older, Reagan keeps getting smarter and smarter" and told a Florida audience that he like the Gipper would score 10 out of 10 on a scale of conservatism.
Alas, when Mitt Romney was running for Ted Kennedy's Massachusetts Senate seat in 1994, he took a different - and much grimmer - view of St. Ronnie:

"I was an independent during the time of Reagan-Bush; I'm not trying to return to Reagan-Bush. My positions don't talk about the things you suggest they talk about; this isn't a political issue."

During another moment of Saturday's Republican irony fest, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush weighed in on the future of his party. The son of another of America's great political dynasties, one which produced a Senator and two presidents, declared it was time for the GOP to leave Reagan behind:

"So our ideas need to be forward looking and relevant. I felt like there was a lot of nostalgia and the good old days in the [Republican] messaging. I mean, it's great, but it doesn't draw people toward your cause."

Neither does calling your opponents socialists. Or communists. Or fascists. Or in Mitt Romney's latest comparison, monarchists.

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Jon Perr
Jon Perr is a technology marketing consultant and product strategist who writes about American politics and public policy.

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