Mitt Romney goes back ... to the future!

The former presidential candidate railed against a Washington controlled by liberals and a Europe mired in economic despair -- what decade is he living in?

Published September 4, 2008 1:50AM (EDT)

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Memo to staffers for Mitt Romney: Please, someone, the next time your guy gets onstage to make a speech before a national television audience, remind him what decade it is. Because the speech Romney gave at the Republican convention on Wednesday night sure didn't sound like it was written by someone living in this decade.

Never mind that it was mainly a diatribe about liberalism and political correctness that seemed to have been pulled from the rhetoric of, oh, 1991. Retro rhetoric is one thing. It was when he described Washington, D.C., and the rest of the world that Romney seemed most disconnected from the here and now.

"Last week, the Democratic convention talked about change. But what do you think? Is Washington now, liberal or conservative?" Romney asked the crowd, before going on to pose a series of questions designed to prove the inherent and radical liberalism of the place.

Within this structure, Romney was able to conclude that the Supreme Court is liberal (seven of its justices were appointed by Republicans), that Congress is liberal (he had a point there, since Democrats took it back in 2006, but before that they'd been all but out in the wilderness since the 1990s). He concluded that the government itself is liberal because its spending, in real dollars, has doubled since 1980 -- never mind that there was a Democratic president for only eight years during that period.

Then, speaking about the current state of the American economy, Romney said:

Democrats want to use the slowdown as an excuse to do what their special interests are always begging for: higher taxes, bigger government, and less trade with other nations.

It's the same path Europe took a few decades ago. It leads to moribund growth and double-digit unemployment.

Frankly, it may be time to consider retiring that line.

But the topper, as discussed in an earlier post, was when Romney said, "We have a prescription for every American who wants change in Washington: Throw out the big government liberals and elect John McCain and Sarah Palin."

Someone might want to let him know who, exactly, is getting thrown out of the White House next January.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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