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