Election 2014  
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Why a Romney Presidency May Be Worse Than You Think

War with Iran. An ultra-conservative Supreme Court. Death to Social Security. Romney could be an epic disaster.

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The National Journal also says Michael “Warrantless Surveillance” Hayden could be the director of national intelligence or homeland security secretary in a Romney administration, so we have that to look forward to, too. (Also, Mitt will bring back torture. He will bring it back so hard.)

Also, from Jennifer Rubin: “Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), who caucuses with the Democrats, is frequently mentioned for the secretary of state job.” Ah yes, a wonderful option if you want some “bipartisan credibility” for your plan to wage endless global war forever.

The Courts

Jonathan Bernstein sums it up:

If Romney wins the presidency and holds it for eight years, he very likely would replace not only moderate conservative Justice Anthony Kennedy (born in 1936) with someone closer to Alito, but he also would probably have the chance to replace either Ginsburg (born in 1933) or Stephen Breyer (1938). On the other hand, if Obama wins, it’s possible that he could wind up replacing at least one conservative justice, perhaps Kennedy or Antonin Scalia (also 1936).

Scalia is obviously not going to purposefully allow a Democrat to replace him, but he’s quite old, and he may not have a choice. (Not that I’m wishing Antonin Scalia anything but the best!) Ginsburg is even older, and it’s extremely unlikely that she’d remain in place through two terms of Mitt Romney.

Basically one more conservative vote means the effective end of Roe v. Wade and the Commerce Clause. Replacing Breyer and Ginsburg with conservatives would possibly mean the end of the entire New Deal regulatory state. Three Romney appointees would mean conservative control of the Court for decades.

And there is every reason to suspect that Romney will pick judges who’ll vote like Scalia. That is the sort of person Republicans appoint now, while Democrats appoint squishy mainstream moderate liberals that they imagine everyone will be fine with. (And if Republicans control the Senate during a Romney presidency, haha, sorry, we’re going back to 1896.)

That’s just the Supreme Court. Reagan’s lower court judges profoundly changed American politics, and they continue to do so today. George W. Bush appointed more circuit and appeals court judges than Clinton, and so far Obama is on track to have appointed the fewest since Ford. These judges have a tremendous amount of power, and they will use it to strengthen the power of corporations at the expense of individuals, the environment, and communities every step of the way. (Plus, obviously, on criminal justice they will be universally pro-prosecutor and basically ensure that our horribly broken system keeps systematically locking up as many young black men as possible.)

The Environment

It’s not like President Obama will actually manage to avert catastrophic climate change in his second term, considering the many barriers to the sort of action required to actually help the problem, but it is safe to say that Romney will do less.

The EPA’s new fuel efficiency standards probably wouldn’t end up surviving. And the EPA certainly won’t be regulating greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act in a Romney administration. And no more investment in clean, renewable energy sources. And Keystone’s getting built (probably either way, actually). Basically instead of half-measures that won’t come close to addressing the problem, we will get actively harmful policies, most likely.

The Federal Budget

If you hate the deficit, you will … probably ignore those professed beliefs as you defend a president who spends ever more on defense and also slashes taxes, primarily on rich people. Just like the last Republican president! And their Messiah, Ronald Reagan.