Hendrik Hertzberg (left) imagines a worst-case yet conceivable scenario: a Mitt Romney presidential victory combined with GOP retention of the House–or even a complete Congressional takeover. We'd have a president whose only principle is to hold power–one who consistently forsakes prior positions according to political expediency–combined with a party devoted to obstructing progress for the 99 percent and extending further benefits to the one percent. While reviewing the current GOP primaries, Hertzberg considers the implications of a Republican Party holding Romney to his campaign pledges:
All this is kind of fun to watch—or would be, if it weren’t for what it says about the deeply alarming degeneracy of one of our country’s two great political parties, a party that already controls half of Congress, paralyzes the other half, and has a nontrivial chance of inhabiting the White House a year from now. ...No one, maybe not even Romney, knows if Romney means what he says. But as President, especially if the Republicans complete their takeover of Congress, he would be under irresistible pressure to do what he says. And what does he say? That he would let states recriminalize abortion; that he would seek constitutional amendments outlawing new same-sex marriages and requiring two-thirds congressional majorities for tax increases; that he would sabotage “Obamacare” (never mind that “Romneycare” was its prototype) and seek its repeal, destroying its cost savings and consigning tens of millions to the ranks of the uninsured and untreated; that he would replace unemployment benefits with unemployment “savings accounts”; that he would supercharge income inequality with further huge tax cuts for the wealthy; that he would gut financial regulation; that he would “double Guantánamo,” reauthorize torture, and deport undocumented aliens en masse (including President Obama’s Kenyan uncle); and more.