LA Times today about how Mitt Romney seemed to sincerely believe in doing something to address climate change while he was governor of Massachusetts. He kept talking about how the US had the resources to help fix this problem, while poor countries like Bangladesh were going to suffer the most if we didn't. One of the people who attended meetings with Governor Romney on this subject is quoted as saying it was like a mantra with him. "He was the radical in the room."
Now that Romney has adopted the current GOP mantra on climate change--that we should ignore science and pretend climate change isn't happening--this evidence that Romney at one time favored strong action against climate change, makes people wonder how Mitt Romney would deal with this problem if he were president, with conservatives recognizing they would have to keep pressure on him so he would not "weaken" on this issue, and environmentalists hoping Romney's true colors might come out. But stories like these should also make us concerned about the extent to which Romney's campaign is built on lies. We are used to politicians making the promises they feel they need to make to get elected, then falling short. But Romney's campaign takes this practice to a whole new level. Romney is continually making promises that seem to contradict his own core beliefs, and repeating statements that he knows are lies.
You have to wonder how Romney deals with these contradictions as a moral issue. I'm sure Romney thinks of himself as a person with good values. And anyone who thinks (or used to think) about the impacts of global climate change on poor countries, and the responsibility of rich countries to fix the problem, understands the moral dimensions of that environmental problem. Yet candidate Romney mostly stays silent about environmental concerns, and makes the necessary noises about building pipelines and increasing energy production, in order to appease Republican supporters.
You also have to wonder what parts of the Romney program are NOT built on lies. We already know that the Romney health care platform is built on a gigantic lie. Romney used to say that his Massachusetts plan could serve as a model for the nation, but when President Obama basically adopted that model, he now says we should repeal it and instead advocates a bunch of gimmicks that he previously rejected as governor of Massachusetts.
We know that the Romney economic program is built on lies. Romney has acknowledged understanding that if we cut government spending back too severely, that will damage economic growth. And he knows that his economic performance as governor was weak, because he hardly ever talks about it. He has no serious program to reduce unemployment, because he only talks about creating jobs in vague generalities.
We also know that Romney's foreign policy proposals are built on lies, because he blatantly misrepresents the Obama administration's actions, or attacks them for not doing things that they are in fact doing.
And now we know that Romney's energy and environmental policies are built on lies, on positions that go against the candidate's own core beliefs. It's sad, really. And not just because voters can have no confidence of whom they are electing if they support Romney. But also because the extent of Romney's mendacity reveals a campaign that is rotten to the core.