The Turnbull fallacy

Malcolm was of the opinion that, given his own personal estimate that he was more likely to win the coming election, he therefore had a right and a duty to depose a sitting Prime Minister. The only question in his mind, as he articulated his rationale, was to ensure a Coalition victory at the coming election. Values? Political morality? Vision and direction? None were part of his stated objectives, although for the rest of us, his transparently far-to-the-left-of-centre views were his genuine motivation. He would become PM and bring about all of those great centralising ideas that have worked so well everywhere they have been tried. How successful his electoral strategy has been is there for anyone to see.

Which brings me to this posting by LQC three days before the Presidential election in 2012. We don’t vote in Australia for the American president, by that stage the die was certainly almost cast, but as you can see, the biggest flaw in Romney was that he was not going to win:

I have grave misgivings about a Romney presidency. While I am in full agreement with Steve Kates and most Catallaxy readers about the appalling Obama presidency, I fear that Romney is the most protectionist Republican candidate in history. Perhaps even the most protectionist presidential candidate in history. His pronouncements have been exclusively about an insular US, fear of China, and “protecting jobs”. Where is the vision for an open economy? In truth Romney is a died in the wool mercantalist.

A Romney administration promises cuts in Government spending – which I applaud – but probably a less efficient tax system. Most fundamentally, a Romney administration would put up the shutters and move to a ‘self sufficient’ United States. That would be a disaster for the US and a disaster for the world.

Anyone who has read my musings will recognise a pretty conservative and right-wing leaning. But I have a lexicographical preference for free trade and a free market.

I fear that Romney will make the US market less free than he would inherit from Obama. Perhaps the BBC poll that Steve cites [that only 6% of Australians would vote for Romney] is right for the wrong reasons: supporting Obama because he is less bad than the alternative?

From Steve’s perspective it is probably fortunate I don’t get to vote. But can anyone – please – give me one reason to vote for Romney rather than against Obama? In my recent post I wrote

Obama does not deserve a second term

That is true, but does Romney deserve a first term? I suspect not.

If I were voting, it would be for a write-in candidate. But it doesn’t really matter, as I still think Obama will win with around 332 electoral votes against Romney’s 206. When the GOP chose Romney, they voted for an Obama victory.

His standard is whether someone can be elected. And in that same vein he asks me to apologise for traducing his fine reputation based on his certainty that Hillary will win, which at least with Trump is by no means a certainty. As he now writes:

By the way Steve, I would appreciate an apology if Clinton is elected. I’ve said on both occasions that the GOP candidate would never be elected and you keep calling me a fool.

As for the rest of you: I have never said I liked Obama or Clinton. Quite the contrary.

Both Romney and Trump are unelectable. Romney would have made a good president. Trump would be a disgrace and disaster.

It is certainly new to hear from LQC what a good president Romney would have been. And just who might that candidate have been in 2012 who would have won instead? And it is ludicrous to think that Rubio – his choice this time – would not have been crushed by the Clinton machine. Last time, at least, he didn’t say vote for Obama. This time he does say vote for Hillary.

No one has to tell me what a dangerous choice Trump is or that he is less than evens to win given the media’s role in the US. But to prefer Hillary shows you are no conservative and puts you on the left.

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