Mitt Romney Flips, and Mitt Romney Goes

You had to like former Gov. Mitt Romney for just a moment there. He had decided to stand up for himself and for sweet reason in general by deciding not schlep down to South Carolina to kiss Sen. Jim Demint’s ring.

Demint, a totally off-the-charts social, religious, and fiscal conservative, has become the Tea Party Kingmaker. He is holding a Labor Day audience for the GOP presidential candidates where they make a pilgrimage to the Palmetto State and engage in a contest to see who can call the most things “socialist.” Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, and Rick Perry will all be there. I believe Perry is currently in the lead in the contest for calling-out sliced bread as a socialist conspiracy because it makes us weak and more dependent.

But Romney flip-flopped again and decided to go to Demint’s “Palmetto Freedom Forum.” Perhaps because he has been told thousands of times that a victory in South Carolina’s GOP primary has wound up predicting, in every race since Ronald Reagan, who the eventual Republican nominee will be. So, Romney flips, and Romney goes.

Well, if South Carolina is going to wield such influence on whom the next president just might be, it seems like it would be prudent to take a look at how South Carolina itself is actually doing, running the state the way they say we should run our entire country. So, here you go:

According to a state-by-state economic snapshot prepared by the Congressional Joint Economic Committee, in July 2011, the unemployment rate in South Carolina was 10.9 percent. The national average was 9.1 percent. In Massachusetts, it was 7.6 percent.

The same JEC report shows that in the first quarter of 2011, the real per capita personal income in South Carolina was $29,971. In Massachusetts, it was $46,883.

The percentage of children living in poverty was 24 percent in South Carolina. In Massachusetts, it was 13 percent.

According to U.S. Census statistics, South Carolina had the sixth-highest infant mortality rate. For the sake of comparison, Mississippi came in at No. 1 with the highest rate; Massachusetts had the second-lowest rate and came in at No. 49.

According to a 2010 study by the Guttmacher Institute on state trends in teen pregnancies, South Carolina had the 10th highest rate. Massachusetts had one of the lowest rates, coming in 43rd.

In 2008, the four-year high school graduation rate was 59.9 percent in South Carolina. In Massachusetts, it was 80.8 percent.

So if all Romney needs to do to win support in South Carolina (and maybe get the GOP nod) is to promise to achieve on a national scale what the Republicans of South Carolina have achieved for themselves in their state, that should actually be pretty easy.

All Romney would have to do is put in place a deregulated, anti-union “business friendly” policy that puts a lot more people out of work, lowers personal income by more than a third, cuts of high school graduation rates by 25 percent, throws twice as many children into poverty, leads to more infant deaths, results in far more teen pregnancies, and provides much less health care for all.

That is quite a lot of failure to orchestrate. But for someone as flexible in his core values as Romney, it could be a snap.