You know the meningitis outbreak that’s killed more than two dozen and sickened hundreds more?  Sue Hoell forwards this:

As Craig Unger at Salon reports this week, the pharmaceutical company that’s responsible for the outbreak, Massachusetts-based New England Compounding Company, was cited for numerous violations in 2004 while Mitt Romney was Governor. However, his administration did nothing to punish the company or place more regulations on it. Records show that that between 2003 and 2006 – there were six complaints against the New England Compounding Company, yet the Romney administration did not crack down on the company, and instead signed an agreement allowing the company to regulate itself in the future.

It should be noted that New England Compounding Company is a big political donor to both Mitt Romney and Republican Senator Scott Brown in Massachusetts. But as a result of their “self-regulation” order by Romney – 25 Americans are now dead. As an attorney representing the victims argues, “It goes all the way up to Mitt Romney…When the person who is supposed to be in charge of oversight does not believe oversight is necessary, this is what happens.” This is why a Romney presidency is so dangerous to America.

I’m (fairly) sure Gov. Romney is just sick about this, and obviously it was not his intention.  But a Party contemptuous of government and regulation is a party unlikely to govern or regulate well . . . is a party that de-professionalizes FEMA when it’s in power — as the Republicans had done until Bill Clinton came along and fixed it — and then did again as soon as they regained control (heck of a job, Georgie).  And as Mitt Romney likely would because, as he has said, he thinks as much as possible should be left to the states — whom he believes should leave as much as possible to private enterprise.  Republicans have great faith in corporate self-regulation in part because, just from a practical point of view, they don’t want to harm people and get sued.  But to blunt the threat of those lawsuits, the Republican Party also does all it can to denigrate trial lawyers and promote “tort reform.”  (Full disclosure: I too have promoted tort reform — but the targeted, plaintiff-friendly kind.)

How can so many voters want a president who’s pro-tobacco — Monday’s post — whose economic plan evokes “The Emperor’s New Clothes” — Tuesday’s post — who by one liberal count has told more than 500 lies in the course of the campaign — yesterday’s post — who left office as Governor with a 34% approval rating having taken Massachusetts’s job creation rank down from 37th to 47th, who refuses to release his tax returns even for most of the years he’s known he was running for president, who’s recruited 17 of his 24 foreign policy advisers from the team that gave us the Iraq war, and who has, behind closed doors, expressed contempt for 47% of the electorate?

Like most of us on the left, I’m an insufferable elitist (though I would argue that most of us “on the left” are actually pretty largely in the center, where moderate Republicans used to be) — but I (and the President) have only one postgraduate Harvard degree.  Mitt has two.  And I (and until a few years ago the President), fly commercial.  Mitt — and even his wife’s horse — fly private.  So . . . why does Joe the Plumber not find him elitist?  Is it because he knows NASCAR owners?

When push comes to shove next week, I think there will be far more people voting for Governor Romney than should — but not enough to elect him.



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