Today I read an article where President Obama's team is attempting to present Mitt Romney as being "right of even George W. Bush".
I find this amusing, since absolutely no one with any sort of actual intelligence could ever, ever, ever, call George W. Bush a right-wing conservative. He's barely a conservative by strict measure of the word, given his promotion of growth in government to the point of ridiculousness. Let's look at a few things:
Medicaid Part D: Seriously? Would a right-wing conservative ever had passed this turd? Yet, somehow Bush is categorized as a conservative, despite creating a program that we'll spend $723 billion on over the next five years. Absolutely nothing about this program reflects anything conservative or right-wing.
Homeland Security Department: This utter waste of time, effort, and money is yet another money-grab that no self-respecting conservative would actually support. Obviously it was passed in the heat of the moment of 9/11, but instead of passing things because they feel good, we should be reviewing them and making sure that they're the right thing to do. No self-respecting true conservative can look back on that and say "Yes, that's right thing to do" after looking at the return on the investment of approximately $600 billion we've spent since it's inaugural year.
No Child Left Behind: This utter joke of a program forces yet another federal imposition onto the states and local communities. A true conservative would have rebelled against such an overbearing intrusion into the state/community responsibilities. The federal government has absolutely no constitutional authority when it comes to education, yet forces local districts to follow their rules. Interestingly, NCLB is voluntary....as long as the school district who opts out agrees to forego their federal funding, which we all know would never happen. This vomitous mass of a program has "only" cost the tax payers $75 billion or so (depending upon what sources you believe) at the federal level. Unfortunately, because of the requirements that NCLB imposes on the state & local authorities, it's cost them much more. Additionally, the federal government didn't fully fund their own requirements. So essentially, they said "Here's a new requirement that you have to meet in order to get federal funds, but here's 50% of the money that it's going to cost you to fulfill the requirements".
Now, I'm actually against federal funding of education of any sort. I think this sort of thing should be block-granted to the states and the feds should stay the hell out of the entire thing. But if the feds are going to force states to do something, they should damn well come up with the cash to back it up.
So, I think it's safe to say that GWB is absolutely no conservative. Sure he had a few things that made him look the part: Stem-cell research opposition, the war on terror (although I'd argue that Al Gore's sorry ass would have gone to war just as quickly as GWB did), and his frequent invoking of God's name in whatever speech he happens to be giving. Additionally his support of gun-rights was strong and I give him credit for that. However, John Dingell (D-MI) is an ardent gun-rights supporter, voted for the war on terror, and occasionally uses God's name in speeches, does that make him a conservative too? I'd argue no friggin way, and I'd say he would too.
Mitt is absolutely no conservative. His frequent moderation when it comes to gun control, abortion, states rights, and other hard-core "conservative" values would back that if anyone would have the intellectual honestly to do a little bit of research would know that as well. But since most people are too lazy to do that, I'll do it for them:
Gun Control: Romney has consistently been in favor of some levels of gun registration and gun control (something I oppose wholeheartedly). While governor of Massachusetts he signed one of the most restrictive assault weapon bans in the country. He also backs a 5-day waiting period on purchases of guns.
Immigration: Romney states he's not in favor of amnesty. Yet he supports the "Z-Visa" which is essentially, amnesty. It allows someone to stay in the country indefinitely. They have to re-register for it every so often, but essentially, it's amnesty for those who have already entered illegally. Ironically, not breaking the law is one of the requirements of the Z-Visa, but of course, they've already broken it if they're in our country, something that the liberals who support such idiocy are conveniently choosing to ignore.
Abortion: In this case, Romney and I agree. He personally thinks that it's wrong and does not support abortion, but does support a woman's right to choose. During the 1994 race for the Senate, he discussed a case where his brother-in-law's sister died of complications after an illegal abortion which is why he supports keeping abortion legal and safe. In my situation, I believe that it's a woman's choice and no governmental entity should make a law restricting that choice. I also believe that it's a horribly immoral thing to do and that it's not just the mother's life who is affected here, but if a woman wants to live with killing her child on her conscience, who am I to stop her?
Gay Rights: Mitt Romney actively campaigned for gays to be allowed to serve in the military "openly and honestly". He also ok with the Boy Scouts being forced to allow gay people to serve as troop leaders.
So, I think it's fair to say that Romney is no Reagan...nor is he Pat Robertson, Rick Santorum, or any other far right wing politician who wants to control what you do in your bedroom. And anyone who says otherwise has something they're trying to sell you.