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Should the United States fund the service program AmeriCorps? President Obama would increase its budget. Rep. Paul Ryan would eliminate federal funding for the program.

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Tom Toles
Posted at 07:15 AM ET, 01/31/2012

Half a word in defense of Romney’s jelly-like interior

Yes, Mister Mitt is evidently willing to say just about anything in order to be elected to the public office of his choice, and this raises the obvious question of whether he believes in anything. One has to presume he believes in the religion he professes to believe in, though I don’t claim to know what his religion has to say about accurately representing your policy positions to voters.

But there has always been some tension between wanting a politician to reflect and channel the views of his constituents and a politician willing to ignore them once in office to do what is “right.”. Romney seems to have thrown in his lot with the former, and you can make the case for that. I’m not sure I want to be the person who makes that case, but here are a few fragments of it.

“Beliefs” are overrated as an unalloyed good thing. “Beliefs” are positions you hold regardless of the evidence. New evidence arrives by the minute, and when it starts piling up against your “beliefs,” well, then what? And what do you do in a country fractured by conflicting beliefs which could use a little sensible compromising? Voters do want a politician who has an internal compass, but does anyone doubt Romney has one, of some sort? It’s the meritocratic compass of get out of the way and the cream rises to the top, which is somewhat conveniently adopted by those who though some good fortune, rise to the top. Seems somehow quite obvious to them that that’s where the cream ends up, and just how lusciously creamy they are! But he’s also generous enough to spread some around when it works to his advantage. So which does it look more like to you? Creamy, or oily?

By  |  07:15 AM ET, 01/31/2012

 
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