Romney: an American Diocletion writ very-very small? Or: Listen to the voice of the Post-Progressive political actor, Romney

“It is time to move beyond the current limited approaches that call for ‘transformation’ and truly transform our interagency and civilian capabilities,” argues Willard Milton Romney in an article titled Rising to a New Generation of Global Challenges.

… We need to fundamentally change the cultures of our civilian agencies and create dynamic, flexible, and task-based approaches that focus on results rather than bureaucracy. We need joint strategies and joint operations that go beyond the Goldwater-Nichols Act to mobilize all areas of our national power. Just as the military has divided the world into regional theaters for all of its branches, the work of our civilian agencies should be organized along common geographic boundaries. For every region, one civilian leader should have authority over and responsibility for all the relevant agencies and departments, similar to the single military commander who heads U.S. Central Command. These new leaders should be heavy hitters, with names that are recognized around the world. They should have independent objectives, budgets, and oversight. Their performance should be evaluated according to their success in promoting America’s political, military, diplomatic, and economic interests in their respective regions and building the foundations of freedom, democracy, security, and peace … more

Romney proposes to militarize civilian affairs. This militarization takes the form of a new upper echelon of US Augusti, leaders Romney imagines as “heavy hitters” with celebrity status, a concept of operation consonant with Romney’s authoritarian, elitist, and apolitical instincts.

Note that the candidate emphasizes outcomes over principle, performance over precept. Where in Romney’s line of reasoning is any space given to deliberation or argumentative procedure—i.e. to the messy and often muddled operations of a political community? Answer: there is no such space, as these are the dreams of a super-technician charged with the performance of a colossal system. Consensus is simply assumed. This is the voice of a post-progressive, American Caesarism that speaks in the idiom of a turn-around manager.

This is principate passing into dominate without benefit of a prince, at least in the father-tormented imagination of one Willard Milton Romney.

yours &c.
dr. d.g.

P.S. Question: How is Romney a conservative again? What, precisely, is this man “conserving” other than the power and prerogatives of the state?

P.P.S. Using, developing, expanding, and extending the power of the state as a means to pursue conservative policy goals is not conservatism—concentrating power in the hands and at the arbitrary whims of “hitters” however “heavy” (as opposed to developing a civil society based on law and custom) is not conservatism—it is not even the miscarriage or the caricature of a conservative policy. It is rather “conservatism” in the service of its opposite—it is the antithesis of conservatism—it is counter-conservatism in the same sense that e.g. killing on grounds of compassion would be counter-compassion. Our preferred term for counter-conservatism is Post-progressive, which is precisely what Romney is.

P.P.P.S. Note to Romney-sycophant Jim Geraghty: this is when the “competence” you prate about can become a positive menace. What if Romney had the power combined with the competence necessary to realize his absurd and dangerous fantasies? Where would we be then, Jim!? So let us together bless Hashem for the slack-jaw’d, knuckle-dragging, and mouth-breathing incompetence of one Willard Milton Romney and his hireling-entourage of hacks, flaks, and flatterers!

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