Former Gov. Mitt Romney and his advisers and surrogates are going apoplectic over the anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden and the attention President Obama is getting for the success.
They absolutely hate that he is using the events in ads and are especially defensive that the Obama campaign is pointing out Romney’s own statements that he “wouldn’t move heaven and earth” to get bin Laden and that he was against going into Pakistan unannounced.
Well, as I write this, the networks just reported that President Obama has arrived in Afghanistan on a surprise visit. My, my, now we are really going to hear from the Romney campaign, or won’t we?
If I were them, I would just zip it. The Republicans look unbelievably hypocritical on this one.
Remember “Mission Accomplished”—landing on that aircraft carrier declaring victory in Iraq? Oops. Remember the Republican National Convention in New York City in 2004? Remember President Bush and the Republicans trying to use 9/11 as a political club to beat Sen. John Kerry?
Go back and review the speeches at that Republican convention from Mayor Rudy Giuliani, in particular. Or how about Ed Koch, or Bernard Kerik, or even retired General Tommy Franks? And, yes, even one Mitt Romney, who declared, “George W. Bush is right, and the ‘Blame America First Crowd’ is wrong!”
Playing politics with the tragedy of 9/11 or even the war in Iraq was the Republicans’ mantra.
I guess they were for it before they were against it, huh?
The bottom line is that President Obama did the right thing at tremendous risk to the lives of men under his command and with a real risk of failure. He knew, as we all do now, that had this mission not been successful lives would have been lost and his political career would have been over. And, yet, he had the courage, the grace under pressure, to make the call. That is what we call leadership.
By: Peter Fenn, U. S. News and World report, May 1, 2012
The bales of hay were stacked strategically in the hope that they’d make it into the television screen. The sturdy white barn nearby provided an image worthy of a Christmas card, the symbol of a solid, calm, industrious and confident country. The slogan behind the candidate, “Believe in America,” did not invite debate.
Whatever the punditocracy may have made of Mitt Romney’s formal announcement of his presidential candidacy last week, we could all give the guy credit for trying to reassure us that not everything in politics has changed.
In an age of media flying circuses where you never know who is running for president and who is just trying to boost book sales and speaking fees, Romney did it the old-fashioned way. He really, really wants to be president, and he offered pretty pictures to encourage us to watch him saying so. It was the venerable liturgy of our civil religion.
Unfortunately for Romney, he barely got his moment in the sun because dark clouds rolled in. Sarah Palin and Rudy Giuliani showed up in New Hampshire on the former Massachusetts governor’s magical day, underscoring why Romney is plagued by the word “putative,” which almost always appears before “front-runner.”
But Romney’s travails are about more than the man himself. They speak to the
condition of a party that won’t let him embrace his actual record and constantly
requires him — and all other Republicans — to say outlandish things.
Romney’s greatest political achievement, the Massachusetts health-care law, was a genuinely masterful piece of politics and policy. The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza recently wrote a superb article about how Romney got the plan passed. The campaign should be
reproducing the article in bulk. Instead, Romney’s lieutenants will pray that Republican primary voters never read the story. Working with those horrid Democrats to pass any sort of forward-looking government program is now forbidden.
When Romney spoke at Doug and Stella Scamman’s Bittersweet Farm, he was guarded in talking about his health plan, saying he “hammered out a solution that took a bad situation and made it better. Not perfect, but it was a state solution to our state’s
problem.” The crowd gave him modest cheers when he got to the part about health
care being a state problem.
But he received what was, by my reckoning, his loudest response when he pledged “a complete repeal of Obamacare.” That’s where the GOP heart is, and Palin and Giuliani both got into most of the Romney announcement stories by bashing him on health care. When you’re forced to tiptoe around your accomplishments, it’s no wonder you get accused of shifting your shape.
Yet it was Romney himself who exposed contemporary conservatism’s core flaw.
“Did you know,” he asked, “that government — federal, state and local — under
President Obama, has grown to consume almost 40 percent of our economy? We’re
only inches away from ceasing to be a free economy.”
Actually, the federal government of which Obama is in charge “consumes” about a quarter of the economy — and this after a severe recession, when government’s share
naturally goes up.
But even granting Romney his addition of spending by all levels of government, the notion that we are “inches away from ceasing to be a free economy” is worse than absurd. It suggests that the only way we measure whether an economy and a country are “free” is by toting up how much government spends.
Are we less “free” because we spend money on public schools and student loans, Medicare and Medicaid, police and firefighters, roads and transit, national defense and environmental protection? Would we be “freer” if government spent zero percent of the economy and just stopped doing things?
Romney, presumably, doesn’t think this, but the logic of what he said points
in exactly that direction. We thus confront in 2012 nothing short of a fundamental argument over what the word “freedom” means. If freedom, as the conservatives seem to insist, comes down primarily to the quantity of government spending, then a country such as Sweden, where government spends quite a lot, would be less “free” than a right-wing dictatorship that had no welfare state and no public schools — but also didn’t allow its people to speak, pray, write or organize as they wish.
Many of us “believe in America” because we believe its history shows that our
sacred liberties are compatible with a rather substantial government that invests in efforts to expand the freedom from want, the freedom from fear, the freedom from unfair treatment and the freedom to improve ourselves. That, as the politicians like to say, is what this campaign is all about.
By: E. J. Dionne, Opinion Writer, The Washington Post, June 6, 2011
I have a great idea for a new show on Fox. It would be a reality comedy show with Sarah Palin as the host. It’s what Hollywood calls “high concept.” The idea would be that all the Republican presidential candidates would travel across America in Sarah’s RV. Hilarity follows.
Late night comic Jimmy Fallon put it best: “Obama was in Ireland. He thought about buying a four-leaf clover for good luck, and then he looked at the field of Republican candidates and decided it wasn’t necessary.”
Dramatis personae include:
Gary Johnson—Ex-governor of New Mexico who favors the legalization of pot. He didn’t get an invite to the next GOP debate, but his hopes are high and he has grassroots support.
Herman Cain—Multi-millionaire and former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza. He’s rolling in dough.
Newt Gingrich—Former speaker of the House. If he really is a fiscal conservative, he would use his $500,000 revolving charge account at Tiffany’s to make a payment on the federal debt. He is clearly the jewel in the GOP crown. The former speaker is currently on a cruise with his wife in the Mediterranean. He will return to the campaign trail after he decides whether he supports or opposes the Ryan plan to gut Medicare. It might be a long trip.
Palin—Can the former half-term and half-baked governor of Alaska see Russia from her magic bus? This trip is her magical mystery tour because we have no idea where it will lead. She rained on Mitt Romney’s parade by showing up in New Hampshire on the day of Romney’s formal announcement and popping him for his support of a state run healthcare program in Massachusetts with a personal mandate. National surveys indicate that twice as many voters dislike her as like her. So, I don’t think she will get a mandate from Americans.
Michele Bachmann—Tea Party favorite and conservative congresswoman from Minnesota. When baseball players have a short stay in the majors, it’s a cup of coffee. She will have a cup of tea in the presidential race. Last week, Representative Bachmann said she and former half-governor Palin were friends. That didn’t last long. This week, Bachmann’s campaign manager said Palin wasn’t a “serious” candidate. At least the Minnesotan and I agree on something.
Chris Christie—Governor of New Jersey. Teddy Roosevelt described the presidency as a bully pulpit. Christie is just a bully. Don’t be surprised if he helicopters into the race.
Rudy Giuliani—The former mayor of New York City. Why not? He did so well last time. If he runs, he should borrow Donald Trump’s toupee and MapQuest Iowa so he can find it this time.
Jon Huntsman—Ex-governor of Utah who served two years as President Barack Obama’s ambassador to China. He will charge Obama with incompetence. Just look at the clown the president made ambassador to China.
Bobby Jindal—The governor of Louisiana who is not ready for prime time TV. But that hardly disqualifies him in this field.
Mitt Romney—Former governor of Massachusetts and the father of Obamacare. This would be the grudge match of all time. Healthcare reform 1.0 vs. 2.0. A Romney position is like the New England weather. Don’t like it, just wait, because it changes every 15 minutes.
Ron Paul—Paul is the anti-Romney because the Texas congressman sticks to his positions for more than 15 minutes. Actually, he still holds Herbert Hoover’s positions. But will socially conservative voters buy his opposition to drug laws and will the neocons accept his opposition to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq? I don’t think so.
Tim Pawlenty—The former two-term governor of Minnesota is as bland as his fellow charismatically challenged Minnesotan, Walter Mondale. Jay Leno described T-Paw to a t when he joked, “You know, I don’t want to say Tim Pawlenty is boring, but his Secret Service codename is Al Gore.” Bland is good, though, because the other GOP candidates have enough baggage to fill a Boeing 727 headed for LAX.
Rick Perry—In 2009, the governor of Texas threatened to secede from the union. The question is whether he wants to lead or to secede. Too bad Jeff Davis isn’t still around to be his running mate.
Rick Santorum—Why does he torture himself with the hope he could win? Is the GOP this desperate for a candidate? He lost his Senate seat in a presidential battleground state, Pennsylvania, by 16 percent.
This may be why four out of 10 Republicans in a new Pew Research Center poll say they are not impressed with the GOP presidential candidates. But I think the reality TV show would get good ratings hammocked between Family Guy and The Simpsons on Sunday nights.
By: Brad Bannon, U. S. News and World Report, June 9, 2011