Feb
24
2012

Krugman: Actually, Romney's Insincerity Is a Bad Thing

There's this notion in the elite press that Mitt Romney's flip flops are a good thing–we've written about it here and here. In the latter post, I pointed to Nicholas Kristof's take:

I'd much rather have a cynical chameleon than a far-right ideologue who doesn't require contortions to appeal to Republican primary voters, who says things that Republican candidates have all been saying and, God forbid, actually means it.

This has never made much sense to me. It's based on the hunch that the "real" Romney–you know, the Massachusetts Moderate–would be the guy in the Oval Office and not the guy who is currently running for the Republican nomination.

That's why Paul Krugman's take is a breath of fresh air (2/24/12):

So should those who don't share the right's faith be comforted by the evidence that Mr. Romney doesn't believe anything he's saying? Should we, in particular, assume that, once elected, he would actually follow sensible economic policies? Alas, no.

For the cynicism and lack of moral courage that have been so evident in the campaign wouldn't suddenly vanish once Mr. Romney entered the Oval Office. If he doesn't dare disagree with economic nonsense now, why imagine that he would become willing to challenge that nonsense later? And bear in mind that if elected, he would be watched like a hawk for signs of apostasy by the very people he's trying so desperately to appease right now.

The truth is that Mr. Romney is so deeply committed to insincerity that neither side can trust him to do what it considers to be the right thing.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.