What we are seeing with Romney in the last couple of weeks is the potential implosion of a presidential candidacy. His campaign will now be under very great pressure to release more tax returns. There is the abundantly evident possibility that those returns would contain enough revelations to end any possibility of a residency in the White House for Romney and do so in an a highly embarrassing way.
While it would be a good thing for Obama and his leadership if Romney should self destruct, it would not be a good thing for the country as a whole. It would represent yet another sign of weakness and disorder in our government and our ability to run our own national affairs. It would only increase the desperation and shrill partisan eruptions coming from the right wing, rather than calm them.
There would be some clear benefits should the Romney campaign collapse. It could help us avoid a second, deep round of recession. If Romney and the Republicans take power next January, there is almost no doubt that they intend to plunge the country back into recession to "cleanse" weak businesses from the system and what they see as bad practices by our govt. With the economy once again weakened, their arguments for cutbacks in govt. programs would seem to make great sense, as they do in regard to the much larger of the welfare state in Europe. The result would be additional months of recession that could last three or four more years. In the end, megacorps, and the very wealthy, would be in a position to get whatever they want.
In a deep recession lasting for years, employees would be willing to work for whatever they can get. Benefits would be cut, unions would be placed at an even greater disadvantage and put on the run. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid could be cut to the bone, relieving fears of the very wealthy of big tax increases to pay for them. Regulation of business would be put on hold (must not harm the “job creators” with regulations!) and powers assumed by the federal government for 70 to 80 years would be pushed back to the states, which could then decide not to implement programs to help the poorest citizens. In short, it would be a field day for the right.
If Obama is to win, it would be altogether better, in many ways, for him to do so in a stand up fight, rather than having Romney implode. The crass, television airwaves battle being waged this summer, however, does no one any good and ultimately damages any faith people have in their government and would be leaders. The presidential campaign has turned into a mud fight that seems more like a race for governor in a small state or maybe county commissioner. It’s a mess. So, perhaps it wouldn’t be such a bad thing after all if Romney’s campaign is reduced to rubble. The mudslinging would continue, but it would be for nothing.
Doug Terry, 7.14.12