fresh voices from the front lines of change







The Mitt Romney campaign is shaping up to be a constant stream of projection, accusing President Obama of whatever weaknesses are in his own record.

Hug the House Republican plan to end Medicare as we know it, then claim President Obama wants to “end Medicare as we know it.”

Mock President Obama’s Harvard law degree, despite having a Harvard law degree and business degree yourself, sending three of your kids there and being a donor.

But particularly hilarious was Romney’s charge that Obama “does not want to share his real plans before the election.”

Really Mitt? You’re launching that attack just days after you told the conservative Weekly Standard:

One of the things I found in a short campaign against Ted Kennedy was that when I said, for instance, that I wanted to eliminate the Department of Education, that was used to suggest I don’t care about education … will there be [programs] that get eliminated or combined? The answer is yes, but I’m not going to give you a list right now.

Yes, Mitt Romney literally told a conservative publication — not read widely among the broad electorate — that he fully intends to hide from the voters what programs and government agencies he wants to eliminate. And then he accused President Obama of doing just that.

The Romney campaign’s suggestion of secret radical Obama agenda is a bizarre attack to make. He’s been President for over three years! He has a record, quite an ambitious one in fact. It’s not like he spent the last three years playing small ball in a timid defensive attempt to deprive Republicans of avenues of attack.

And the President appears eager to use his accomplishments to date and proposals for the future to make a broad philosophical contrast between his transparent agenda, and the transparent agenda — if you look at it — of the Romney-backed House Republican budget.

In President Obama’s Tuesday speech to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, he ticked off many of the ways the GOP budget would decimate our government and deprive us of essential services: financial aid cuts for 10 million students, 200,000 fewer children receiving early education, less support for law enforcement, more flight delays and cancellations, less accurate weather forecasts and diminished disaster preparation, fewer medical and science research grants and less clean energy.

And he closed by welcoming a clear philosophical debate, that puts the liberal ideal of shared responsibility squarely on the side of the patriots:

This larger debate that we’ll be having and that you will be covering in the coming year about the size and role of government, this — this debate has been with us since our founding days. And during moments of great challenge and change, like the ones that we’re living through now, the debate gets sharper, it gets more vigorous. That’s a good thing.

As a country that prizes both our individual freedom and our obligations to one another, this is one of the most important debates that we can have. But no matter what we argue or where we stand, we have always held certain beliefs as Americans.

We believe that in order to preserve our own freedoms, and pursue our own happiness, we can’t just think about ourselves. We have to think about the country that made those liberties possible. We have to think about our fellow citizens, with whom we share a community. We have to think about what’s required to preserve the American dream for future generations.

And this sense of responsibility to each other and our country, this isn’t a partisan feeling. This isn’t a Democratic or a Republican idea. It’s patriotism.

The cruel and ridiculous Republican budget is a golden opportunity to re-engage the debate about the role of our government, and renew public support for an active government that responds to the people to responsibly solve national problems. And the President is wisely taking the opportunity.

Romney, on the other hand, is willing to engage that debate with platitudes, like claiming Obama wants a “government-centered society.”

But he is not willing to “give you a list” of what his anti-government vision would actually do to us …. even after backing a budget with numbers so ludicrous that it can only lead to the end of much of what we want and need our government to do.

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