(Article changed on October 7, 2012 at 23:04)
(Article changed on October 7, 2012 at 20:06)
There is no longer any ambiguity about the path that Romney would pursue as president, because it's the same trajectory charted by Paul Ryan, the architect of the House GOP's reactionary agenda since the party's takeover in 2010. "Picking Ryan as vice president outlines the future of the next four or eight years of a Romney administration," GOP power broker Grover Norquist exulted in August. "Ryan has outlined a plan that has support in the Republican House and Senate. You have a real sense of where Romney's going." As Norquist told party activists back in February, the true direction of the GOP is being mapped out by congressional hardliners. All the Republicans need, to realize their vision, he said, is a president "with enough working digits to handle a pen."
But the GOP legislation awaiting Romney's signature isn't simply a return to the era of George W. Bush. From abortion rights and gun laws to tax giveaways and energy policy, it's far worse. Here's why:
Measures that have already sailed through the Republican House, and are simply waiting for Romney to take the presidency, would do the following:
* roll back clean-air protections so as to help increase the profits of many large corporations,
* gut both Medicare and Medicaid as a favor to big health insurance companies,
* lavish trillions in tax cuts on billionaires while raising taxes on the poor, to help pay for those tax cuts,
* slash everything from college aid to veteran benefits, to help pay for more tax cuts for the very rich.