published Sunday, June 12th, 2011

Barrett: Al Gore, Bill Clinton, Mitt Romney and other Democrats

Why is Mitt Romney still running for president?

Let me rephrase: Why is Mitt Romney still running for president — as a Republican?

Shouldn’t he be seeking the Democrat nomination and snapping up as many center-left votes as possible while Barack Obama forages for support on the fringe?

After all, there’s incontrovertible evidence of Romney’s Democrat credentials. It’s called RomneyCare, and he merrily shepherded it into law as governor of Massachusetts. How’d that work out? Well, it’s estimated that without radical reform of RomneyCare, annual premiums for a typical family in Massachusetts could hit almost $27,000 by 2020.


Alas, we can’t dismiss RomneyCare as just the latest sidesplitting plot twist in the hit PBS reality series “Those Nutty Bostonians.” For despite its industrial-strength tax and premium hikes, budget-vaporizing cost overruns and glacial wait times to see a specialist, RomneyCare is but a preview of coming attractions nationwide. That’s because it was the model for — you guessed it — ObamaCare. (And for the record, “hit PBS reality series” is a combination of words I never thought possible.)

More exciting still, RomneyCare, like ObamaCare, forces individuals to buy government-approved medical insurance — and fines the disobedient.

Mm mm good!

The sole defense of RomneyCare that doesn’t sound like something from a Flat Earth Society pamphlet is that, as a state law, it is at least constitutional — which federally enacted ObamaCare patently isn’t. But ruby-encrusted commemorative dustpans at the Pentagon are also constitutional. That doesn’t make them reasonable, much less affordable.

Don’t know about y’all, but all this makes me wanna rush right out and cast a ballot for the former leader of a state that sent Ted Kennedy to the Senate — eight times. (OK, I’ll grant that Massachusetts is the one place liberal enough that Romney can plausibly claim to be a conservative.)

Fortunately, what he lacks in fiscal understanding, Romney makes up for with a tibia-smashing inability to lead. Wooing voters in corn- and subsidy-saturated Iowa, an early caucus state, he declared, “I support the subsidy of ethanol. I believe ethanol’s an important part of our energy solution ... .”

And I believe for every drop of rain that falls, a baloney sandwich grows. For crying out loud, Mitt, even Al Gore, Bill Clinton and Dianne Feinstein admit these days that ethanol subsidies don’t work. If your fellow Democrats-in-spirit — Obama excepted — can let it go, so can you!

Your support for ethanol subsidies, I mean, not your candidacy.

Oh wait, I mean that, too.

Barring so gladsome a possibility, here’s the plan, Mitt: Switch your party affiliation. Pick up the backing of the not-quite-Leninist Democrats. (There are more of them than you might think!) Do your darnedest to get Zell Miller to abandon political retirement and be your running mate. Defeat Obama in the primaries and whatever jellyfish the Republicans are apt to put up in the general election. Then resign 10 minutes after John Roberts flubs your oath of office.

Zell becomes our next commander in chief, eight years of peace and plenty begin, and you go on tour to promote your book, “The Invertebrate’s Guide to Politics.”

Do It For the kids!

The sticker on one side of the bumper read, “I’m voting for kids!” The sticker on the other side read, “Obama/Biden.”

Does it belabor the point to say, “Duh”?

Absolute nonsense

Jill Abramson on being named executive editor of The New York Times: “In my house growing up, the Times substituted for religion. If the Times said it, it was the absolute truth.”

And for that, folks, she is more to be pitied than censured.

To reach Steve Barrett, call 423-757-6329 or email

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nucanuck said...

Is Barrett trying to tell us that some form of cost conscious universal Medicare may be the best way to provide cost effective national health care? He seems to be acknowledging that insurance companies aren't the answer.

Maybe Stevie is a deep cover socialist hiding out as a right(ious) wingnut.

June 12, 2011 at 2:05 p.m.
Skeptic101 said...

$27k by 2020? Says who? And even if that were true, what makes you think private health insurance would be less with the same or better benefits. I'm paying $14k now for health insurance for a family of three from a private insurance company. Under "ObamaCare" at least our benefits increased. We already have to wait for specialists. If it weren't for guaranteed coverage by my employer no private insurance company would touch us. I've had a heart condition since I was three and my wife is a leukemia survivor. Meanwhile, I read where a child injured in the April tornadoes has a hospital bill of $150k+ with no way of paying for it. Under "ObamaCare" the hospital bill would be paid by insurance. Instead, the hospital will just raise their rates to cover the loss and my insurance rates go up to cover the increased hospital rates. This is a good plan? Not for us. We can barely afford the insurance rates now. "ObamaCare" can't come too soon for us.

June 12, 2011 at 2:25 p.m.
charivara said...

Once again, Stevie blithers on with his name calling (I challenge him to name one Leninist Democrat in office and explain why he calls her a Leninist). And who says that Massachusetts medical insurance premiums could hit $27,000 by 2020? How about backing up allegations and “facts”? Yes, his is an opinion column, but at least he should let his readers know that it’s based on something more than the effects of an undercooked meal or overoptimistic date.

As far as the attacks on the Affordable Care Act, here is some data reported by the World Health Organization ( which reflect the health we enjoy under our present health insurance for private profit system: In 2007, Americans ranked behind Cuba and Canada and 32 European nations (most of these have “socialized” medical insurance) in the probability of dying by the age of 5. The U.S. ranked behind Canada and 27 European countries in the maternal mortality rate. The U.S. ranked behind Canada, Cuba, the Netherlands, France, and the United Kingdom (just to name a few) in the healthy life expectancy of people born in 2007. Yet we are told we have the best health care system in the world and don’t need to change it. Why are Canadians and Europeans--all of whom live in democratic societies--not voting an end to “socialized” medical care if it is so bad and move to our wonderful system? One of the many reasons: they are not stupid.

And what have conservatives done for kids? Ever? Duh?

June 13, 2011 at 12:48 a.m.
charivara said...

L4F: Would it be too much to ask for an example of the wicked liberals stealing an election by tricking the unwary Republicans into nominating a RINO? Perhaps you could also reveal to us how we may recognize a real Republican.

June 13, 2011 at 11:09 p.m.
Leaf said...

Good lord, Barrett has got to be the worst writer at the paper. I think he must have ADHD.

June 14, 2011 at 4:37 p.m.
charivara said...

Poor maligned John McCain. I guess similar Republican attacks on John Kerry are excusable because, after all, he is a liberal Democrat. Remember the Republican attacks on Max Cleland’s patriotism? Although neither side is blameless in this name calling, the Republicans seem to be more ruthless in their lust for power. The elections of 2000 and 2004 as well as their continuing attempts to keep people with Democratic leanings from voting are testimony to the danger they pose to our republic.

By the way, in open primaries Republicans can also vote for Democrats but,of course, they would never stoop to vote for a weak Democratic candidate.

June 15, 2011 at 5:13 p.m.
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