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The Last American Tyrant

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Neo-neocon and I had a lengthy back-and-forth in the comments to her post about what Romney might do as President.

She made an excellent case for his credentials as a manager. I hold he is not what most people think of as a “manager”. He’s a consultant, somebody that managers hire. And worse to me, he abandoned initmate hands-on consulting to become a finance guy, somebody who works with bankers to manage debt and leverage.

From my comment that puts a frame around my perspective on President Romney:

I need to make a better case based on a distinction between finance and economics. I do not mean to draw a definition so narrow that few can qualify. But I DO want to disqualify those who feel that managing money is more important than managing real resources. I like battlefield generals, not headquarters generals.

Trying to set aside my “finance guy” hang-up, you’ve made a great case that Romney is just the kind of consultant the FedGov needs. He’s looked at all the departments and begun to identify inefficiencies and redundancies. He did the same thing for MassGov and accomplished many of the recommendations in his consultants’ report.

Clicking though his campaign site just now (to be sure I wasn’t misremembering) I see essentially a boilerplate GOP set of promises in business analyst framing. It’s an excellent report, with a wide collection of good but minor suggestions. There’s nothing significant. This would have been great ten or twenty years ago. It’s too little, too late for 2012.

That he doesn’t aim to make any “transformational changes” to government is a good thing to many. The exclusive goal I hear is to defeat Obama.

To my ear, that means holding a growing government at its current ratchet. Let the lefties consolidate their gains so the next battle will be over moving to the next step in bigger government.

Interwoven in the consveration was a discussion about how to use one’s vote. We drifted away from Romney specifically toward a critique of my view that I will vote for Obama before I will vote for Romney. In a very considerate and polite way, Neo called me crazy and unpatriotic:

There seem to be a great many people with an apocalyptic political vision who are going to act irrationally (IMHO) and against their own interests, and the interests of the nation, in order to help precipitate a terrible crisis in hopes of being able to pin it on the bad guys.

I see a collapse on the horizon. I would prefer it did not happen, but believe the sooner it comes, the more mild it will be. My vote for Obama would be to shorten the Period of Violent Upheaval when the gov’t can no longer keep its scheduled handouts, and to speed along the Great Repricing in which we find out—among other things—a liberal arts degree is not worth $100,000.

President Romney, being in the hot seat when the house falls down, would make it too easy for the lefty factions to blame the righty factions and for everyone to deny structural corruption in the entire system of government.

All that (and more) being said, my last comment on the thread was elevated to a post of its own:

Commenter “foxmarks” writes:

Barry can’t really be a -100. He has studiously continued many of GWB’s policies (cf: FICA tax holiday, GITMO, drone strikes). Barry’s rhetoric is a -100, but as the Progs fairly argue, he has governed as a moderate Republican. His laziness has led me to no longer fear a 2nd term. Obamacare will either lead to my desired systemic correction or be overturned by the Supremes. I have zero faith that Congress will repeal and replace with anything that honors individual liberty and market-based pricing. I don’t want mere repeal, I want a catastrophic defeat at the hands of economic reality or legal principle.

Foxmarks is not alone; I’ve noticed a growing number of people in the blogosphere saying some version of the above. I’m working on a larger article discussing the danger of the idea that it’s more desirable to strive for a catastrophic event that will lead to something revolutionary (and which its advocates think they will be able to control) rather than a gradual step-by-step redressing of the problems. But that’s not this post. Here I’m going to deal with the idea that Obama would continue to govern as a “moderate Republican” in a second term.

I expressly do not believe my factions can control the outcome of a collapse. My hope is to confine the collapse as much as possible to the financial world and preserve much of our decently-functioning society. The issue I want debated and decided is the role of government in that society. I’m angling to restore the Constitution and the rule of law in the United States.

If the GOP doesn’t nominate someone who I believe will take the Oath seriously and govern within Constitutional limits, my integrity requires voting for someone else. I have been able to reconcile with the lesser of two evils, or to choose based on a single issue (GWB and conservative Supremes). Things weren’t so far gone, and I had hope in the conspiracy of goodwill to invent a way to avoid collapse.

Now I see the financial economy as “fracture critical”. For the first time, I have a chance to help precipitate a legal revolution. First, we try ballots…