Mood Swings

A psychiatrist surveys the mind and the wider world

My State: The State Romney Will Not Name

The verdict from Massachusetts

Have you ever noticed that in all the three presidential debates, Republican candidate Mitt Romney refused to say that he had been governor of Massachusetts? He kept saying: “In my state…”, “when I was governor, in our state…” He never uttered the word “Massachusetts” even once.

Why’s that? Is it because Republicans just hate Massachusetts? If that’s so, why are they seeking to elect a Republican from Massachusetts as president?

Romney repeatedly said that he was born in Detroit, that his families were from Michigan, but besides Massachusetts, he also didn’t mention Utah, or Mormonism. It was “my faith”, not Mormonism.

Interesting. I’m not a Mormon so I can’t speak to why he wanted to hide that part of who he is, but I am from Massachusetts so I can speak to what we know about Mitt Romney based on personal experience. And his attempt to hide himself in so many ways is an important psychological tactic that needs to be unmasked. (Anonymous Republican internet trolls can forego making their usual criticism about identifying the psychological aspect of this post).

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Here are a few facts, comparing then and now:

Then, when Mitt was from Massachusetts: he was in favor of abortion rights. (His running mate at the time said that, on abortion rights, there was'nt "a dime's worth of difference" between Romney and the  female Democratic candidate for governor in 2002.)

Now, when Mitt is from “my state”: he opposes abortion rights. 

Then, when Mitt was from Massachusetts: he was in favor of gay rights (although he opposed gay marriage). In 1994, writing to the Log Cabin Republicans, he said: "we must make equality for gays and lesbians a mainstream concern."

Now, when Mitt is from “my state”: he opposes gay rights. (Here is the official stance from his campaign: "Governor Romney supports a federal marriage amendment to the Constitution that defines marriage as an institution between a man and a woman. Governor Romney also believes, consistent with the 10th Amendment, that it should be left to states to decide whether to grant same-sex couples certain benefits, such as hospital visitation rights and the ability to adopt children."  Some commitment to equality: Sounds like the states' rights attitude of 1960s racists who  opposed desegregation)  

Then, when Mitt was from Massachusetts: he was in favor of comprehensive health care reform, exactly as enacted by Obama.

Now, when Mitt is from “my state”: he opposes comprehensive health care reform, unless each state does it state by state. (How does this make sense when a huge chunk of US healthcare is paid for by federal government programs: Medicare and Medicaid).

Then, when Mitt was from Massachusetts: he constantly criticized the Democratic legislature and vetoed over 800 bills.

Now, when Mitt is from “my state”: he claims that he was bipartisan as governor of “our state.”

The only topic in which Mitt the governor of his state and Mitt the presidential candidate is consistent is the economy: When governor, Romney repeatedly acted in favor of business interests wherever possible. This is the core of Romney – he is a libertarian free-market capitalist - with tax cuts  for the wealthiest as his top priority.  If you liked George W. Bush's economic policies which practically ruined our economy and our country, you'll like Romney. 

There is still another troubling aspect to the governor of "his state" - the rewriting of history.  Romney claims he went out of his way to hire women to office in Massachusetts; of his 19 Massachusetts judicial appointments, 17 were men, 2 were women. He claims he asked for a binder of qualified women; a Massachusetts women's group gave him the binder on their own accord, without his asking

No one ever asks Mitt Romney how he is doing in “his state” in the polls for the presidential election. He can’t admit that those who he governed will vote against him overwhelmingly. He had a 34% approval rating when he left office.

Based on the most recent Real Clear Politics poll, Romney will overwhelmingly lose the election in “his state” – 56% to 40%.

We in Massachusetts will vote against “our governor” because we know him too well: where he is consistent, he will side with the interests of the 1% against the 99%; everywhere else, he is playing a psychological game: like a chameleon, he says what he needs to get elected, even to the point of refusing to identify where he worked as governor by name.

At least George W. Bush, who got so much headway calling John Kerry a flip-flopper,  had principles, whether you agreed with them or not - and stuck to them.  And he wasn't afraid to say he was from Texas. 

Let’s be clear:

Mitt Romney was governor of Massachusetts.

And the people of Massachusetts do not recommend him to the American people.

Nassir Ghaemi, M.D., M.P.H.,

is Professor of Psychiatry at Tufts University School of Medicine, and Director of the Mood Disorders Program at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. more...

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