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ETpro's avatar

What the heck is a "Severly Conservative Republican Governor"?

Asked by ETpro (34568points) February 13th, 2012

When Romney tried to woo the CPAC crowd, he told them that, in a deep blue state (Maccashucetts), he ”...was a severly conservative Republican governor.” Now I always thought I knew what the words “severe” and “conservative” meant. I can look them up in the dictionary, and it seems to have them meaning about what I thought they meant. And I lived here in Massachusetts when Romney was governor. Romney claims he turned around a huge budget deficit in Massachusetts by slashing spending and cutting taxes, but both claims are lies. The fact is he increased spending 6.5% per year and raised taxes by about ¾ of a billion dollars per year. Now these might actually be conservative things to do, but not in the way the Republican right uses the term “conservative” today. In their already newspeak meaning, you are only conservative if you dismantle existing social structures and take us back to 18th or 19th century spending and tax levels. And doing that just gets you to Conservative. I guess you’d need to retreat all the way to feudalism to qualify as “severely conservative.”

So either his claim is based in some newer newspeak version of the words he used, or this guy is willing to say anything, no matter how ridiculous, to get what he wants. You have only to listen to his campaign speeches when he was running for the Governor’s Office in Massachusetts.to realize he ran as an extremely moderate, progressive Republican. He was pro choice, supported unions, and perfectly willing to let the state’s restrictive gun control laws stand. So what is it? Is there some secret newer newspeak meaning for “severly conservative” or is this guy just willing to say anything, down is up, left is right, bad is good; anything it takes to get himself elected?

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10 Answers

elbanditoroso's avatar

One who is pretending he is something he is not, in order to fool people into voting for him.

The guy is a fraud.

wundayatta's avatar

Do politicians have to tell the truth to get elected? Do they have to lie to get elected? Everyone knows you have to be extreme to win the primary and moderate to win the general election. So he is claiming to be extreme so he can win the primaries. He will then go back to being moderate to win the general.

Is he lying? Well, are there any politicians who do not tailor a speech for a specific audience? Is this tailoring—telling people what you know they want to hear—lying?

You say he’s moderate. He characterizes himself as conservative. Is that a lie? It’s a characterization to me. Sure seems like a stretch to me, but words are fungible. Meanings are elusive. He’s a fucking politician.

I think I’m going to spare myself the outrage. He’s just doing his job. The job of a politician is to get elected. He’s putting himself in the best position to get elected.

To me, it doesn’t matter whether he’s a moderate R or a severely conservative R; he’s still pretty much scum. I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw him (which probably wouldn’t be even half an inch). He is the kind of politician that makes Obama look like an angel. Then again, all Republicans do that.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Whew! Take a deep breath @wundayatta !

gasman's avatar

The phrase severely conservative was discussed extensively at Language Log (Severely Viral) today & two days ago (here).

Mitt Romney caused a stir in Republican circles when he went before the Conservative Political Action Conference and declared himself “severely conservative” as governor of Massachusetts. Many were puzzled by the phrase, noting that the adverb “severely” was not commonly used as modifier signifying admiration and respect.
...
Like Romney’s “strictly conservative governor”, these uses of severely imply something like strict restraint in a context where such stern discipline may be viewed (at least by some) as a Good Thing. And given this interpretation, it’s not unexpected to find something like 500 times more uses [in a Google search] of “severely conservative” than “severely liberal”.

saint's avatar

As previously stated. The job of any politician is to figure out how to get your vote. Somebody somewhere has told candidate Romney that this is the way to get the R and the Undecided votes. I doubt it, but you never know.

ETpro's avatar

@elbanditoroso A very succinct statement of the truth of the matter. Thanks.

@wundayatta Right after posting this, I wan thinking of a corollary of the very question you pose. “Do politicians have to tell the truth to get elected.” Obviously not. Look at George Bush. He campaigned totally against unnecessary foreign wars and nation building. Look at what he actually did. My take-away question went deeper, though. Can a politician EVEN get elected it s/he DOES tell the truth. There are lies each side needs to hear, and this is the saddest point of American politics today in my eyes.

@gasman Very interesting link. Thanks.

@saint Some politicians exaggerate what they plan to do—as when Obama promised to slash unemployment and get the deficit under control in 4 years. He inherited from Bush and the Republicans the worst financial quagmire since the Great Depression. With the number of foreclosures and the business failures; I knew there was no way he could do that; even if the Roadblock Republicans in the Senate had not done everything in their power to further damage the US economy in hopes of blaming Obama for it all.. Some make promises they plan to keep but find to be too politically costly—as in the Obama promise to shut down the terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. But some run on Big Lies, like Romney claiming this president has made the economy worse when we’ve actually had 23 months of private sector job growth after losing 700,000 jobs a month under bush. Then there is claiming Obama’s tax increases have hurt the economy when the truth is taxes are now at their lowest level as a percent of GDP in 50 years. There are bald-faced lies. There is a difference.

cookieman's avatar

He is simply saying whatever he has to to get the nomination.

Mark my words, once he gets the nomination, he will start leaning back toward the moderate, progressive, conservative he was here in Massachusetts.

I too lived though his governorship. You’re not wrong.

Ron_C's avatar

I think he meant severely deluded Republican Governor.

filmfann's avatar

Fraud is a very harsh word, and I would hesitate to use it.
I would prefer something like Fuck-tard.

ETpro's avatar

@cprevite Thanks for the backup. I am sure Mr. Romney must have some core beliefs. I just haven’t any idea what they may be. Maybe he’s not so sure himself. He may have lived his life so other-directed that he’s never taken time to know himself.

@Ron_C Whether he meant that or not, that;s what he is.

@filmfann You’re so much more reserved in your language then I am. :-)

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