The Choice: Go Forward or Turn Back the Clock

Four more years. Because the job’s not done

Here’s a question without an easy answer.  If Mitt Romney beats Barack Obama in November, who will be the next President of the United States?

Logically, it should be Romney, but as beholden as he will be to Karl Rove, Sheldon Adelson, the Koch Brothers and all the other rich men and special interests with one hand on his shoulder and the other up his ass, who will really be president if Romney wins?

There are trade-offs you have to accept with Obama.  Steady and mature decision-making instead of boldly ambitious plans.  The Republicans are not going to give the president a dime to do anything remotely grandiose.   If Obama achieves anything of significance in a second term, it will be in spite of the GOP, not because of them.

How do you govern when the legislative branch refuses to work with the executive?  There is a natural friction between the two that the Founding Fathers not only anticipated, they designed the Constitution to promote, but open hostilities wasn’t what they had in mind.   It is what it is, and even if Obama wins in a squeaker or a landslide, he can expect nothing more from a Republican-controlled Congress (if the GOP holds the House and takes the Senate) than the coldest of cold shoulders for the next four years.   If a second term emboldens Obama to pursue loftier goals than his first, it will also motivate Congress to give him absolutely zip.

Cornel West might say otherwise, but with Obama it’s a little harder to know who it is exactly who has the tightest grip on his balls.  With Romney you have to count all the hands stuffed in his pants.

Mitt’s other biggest problem is he doesn’t seem to like people very much or at least people not like him.  Wealthy.  White.  Conservative.  Mormon.   In a story at Salon a psychologist put Mittens on the couch and concluded:

He is anxious about revealing who he is and about interacting with people he doesn’t know. He appears to have much less experience than Obama in interacting with people from all walks of life. Basically, he is uncomfortable except within his own family and in the presence of those who share his wealthy background and Mormon faith.

Romney wouldn’t be the first rich guy who was painfully awkward and awfully comfortable rubbing elbows with the people he purports to want to lead.   It is not required that the president relate to  the citizens, but the prospect of a Chief Executive that has no empathy for the middle and working classes is a worrisome prospect.

In 1965, Romney was attending a private high school he was outraged by the appearance of one John Lauber, a quiet fellow student who had bleached d his hair blonde with one long lock falling over his eyes.  Lauber was not simply a nonconformist, but gay as well.  An incensed Romney told classmates, “He can’t look like that. That’s wrong. Just look at him!”

Not perfect, but perfect for the job.

Romney led his gang of bullies in assaulting and pinning Lauber down as Romney cut off his hair.  When asked about the incident Romney shrugged it off saying,  “I participated in a lot of hijinks and pranks in high school and some of them might have gone too far, and I apologize.”

Romney claims Lauber being gay had nothing to do with hassling him.  “I certainly don’t believe that I thought the fellow was homosexual,” Romney told a Fox News radio host. “That was the furthest thing from our minds back in the 1960s.”

As “hijinks and pranks” go, giving crap to the kid who didn’t fit in is a harsh rite of passage in high school.  But it says something about Romney that he didn’t recall Lauber and how he had abused a fellow student who was only minding his business. To Romney, Lauber was a weirdo who didn’t fit in.   How someone forgets their part in humiliating another kid in such a demeaning way says to me if Mitt doesn’t have a dark side, he’s cursed by a sadistic, mean streak.

Forbes contributor Josh Brasso wondered where is Mitt’s empathy?  “…There is a difference between learning to treat others respectfully and having empathy for them. It seems like teenage Mitt Romney fell down on both of those counts, and I’m confident that adult Mitt Romney has figured the respect thing out. But does Romney have empathy for people who are different from him?

No.   Not really.  When Romney appeared at the NAACP convention in July, much was made of the raucous booing he received for saying he would repeal Obamacare.   What was overlooked was his later claim he had met with Black leaders who supported him, but were afraid to do so publicly.

The NAACP’s Hillary Shelton told Ed Schultz,  “Quite frankly, the campaign actually gave me a list of African-American VIPs that they brought into the NAACP meeting.  So we were aware that they had people brought in specifically for the campaign. So I’m sure those were the ones they sat down with, because quite frankly none of the rank-and-file NAACPers met with him.”

“They’re bringing people in that they know will support his agenda from other places, that aren’t active with the NAACP. These are people who are brought in to actually provide the cheering for him, so there will be some support along those lines,” Shelton said.

Romney was praised for being willing to go before a hostile audience and not pander to the NAACP, but he tried to stack the deck by busing in his own Black cheerleaders.  This illustrates not only how uncomfortable Romney is around people he doesn’t relate to, but how he will to shape and manipulate events to make himself comfortable.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter. If Mittens gets five percent of the Black vote it would be a minor miracle.  Anyone duplicitous enough to bus in ringers to applaud for him like trained monkeys (and I do mean that insult in the most racial sense of the word) has already disrespected the intelligence of African-Americans.

I’m quite aware of President Obama’s shortcomings.  I don’t need a 30-second attack ad to tell me his flaws.  There are things about Obama that make me mad and/or drive me crazy.   I wish he fought harder for what he believes is best for America.  Often it seems he won’t if it might interfere with his natural inclination to reach out to the other side.

Some very intelligent people say Romney, once elected, will be free to govern from more moderate positions than the Tea Party-dominated GOP presently holds.   But what if he doesn’t?   What if he is simply a rubber stamp in the Oval Office?   That’s a chance not worth taking.

The likelihood Romney being captured by the right-wing of his party increased  this week in Texas when Ted Cruz, a Tea Party endorsed challenger defeated the favorite of the party, David Dewhurst for the U.S. Senate  vacated by Kay Bailey Hutchinson’s retirement.  Cruz’s win  wasn’t bad news for Obama because Democrats had no chance of picking up Hutchinson’s seat, but it was awful news for Romney because the GOP just got dragged a little further away from the political center.

“If we can elect a really conservative House and Senate that will force Romney to go along with our bold conservative agenda,” a spokesperson for Freedom Works said. “He’s going to have to really, really go to the right. He’ll be working with guys in the House and Senate. He won’t be able to get away with too many middle of the road policies, especially on things like the deficit.”

Would Mitt be in charge of a Romney presidency?

That dear reader, is the final reason a Romney presidency would be a disaster.  He would be an impotent figurehead.  A sock puppet for the wealthy elites that poured millions into the presidential campaign on his behalf and unable to lead from the center with the G.O.Tea Party dragging him far on the fringes to the Right.

Obama earns the contempt of Republicans but Romney would be expected to kneel and grovel before the yahoos of the party.  Is there any reason to expect Mitt would tell the Tea Party  “Screw off.  I’m the president?”

We need four more years for President Obama because four years of a figurehead on the  job  would be a catastrophe and stakes are too high to leave the future of the nation to Mitt Romney…and John Boehner…and Eric Cantor…and Paul Ryan…and Mitch McConnell…and Jim De Mint…and Sheldon Adelson…and David Koch….and Karl Rove…

America can’t afford a president who takes orders from a shadow Cabinet and that’s what we will have with Romney in the White House and someone else in charge.

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2 thoughts on “The Choice: Go Forward or Turn Back the Clock

  1. I wasn’t aware that Romney stacked and modified his NAACP audience like that, and I find it quite revealing of what lengths he is prepared to go to to appear to be “in touch”. Either you speak to the NAACP or you speak to your friends but you don’t try to pass one off as the other. That’s pure hipocrisy.

    On the other hand, i’m surprised the NAACP went along with it. Can anybody just gatecrash their conventions?

  2. You speak nothing but the truth, worse yet as more Republicans vacate their seats retiring because of the lack of statesmanship and compromise the ‘Ted Cruz’s’ of the world will be stepping up. It is a disaster. You and I must have been on the same wave length yesterday, we wrote similar pieces.

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