Friday, August 31, 2012

 Dirty Harry meets the GOP

     Crazy old man takes the stage at the Republican Convention and talks angrily to an empty chair, just before Mitt Romney gives the speech of his life . What gives?

     Whoever was in charge of timing and scheduling at the RNC convention flunked badly. The night before they followed a brilliant speech by the candidate's wife with an in your face angry fat guy Governor from New Jersey who was all self absorbed and less complementary of the candidate than he should have been. Can you say, "Get the hook?"

     There were moments when the Republicans actually did shine. Ann Romney's wonderful and inspirational talk was one of those moments. Blue as the blood in my veins may be, I could be persuaded to vote for her. Problem is, she's not running. She seems to me , as the mother of five fine sons who raised them with a loving but largely absent father, to be the real hockey mom we can all respect. Sadly, this was not the case for most of the other supporting cast of characters and bloviators.

     Mitt Romney's most inspirational moment for me came when he said about President Obama's election that we as Americans, himself included, wanted him to succeed. The problem is , his Vice Presidential partner Paul Ryan, and the other head honchos in the Republican Congress did not. They were plotting immediately to chart a course that would insure Obama could not solve America's problems, for if he did, his re-election would be assured, so they decided to just say no....to everything, all the time . Total non-cooperation on their part elevated politics over governing , and they even drove the Chevy almost to the levy during the debt crisis debate, playing chicken with the American people. They largely achieved their objective.  Our credit rating even got downgraded. Whatever happened to the old  golden rule of politics, "First, do no harm"? Sadly, for America, it went out the window on day one of Obama's Presidency.

     So, Obama did not totally succeed, and the jobless number remains high.  He did some good things, like saving the auto industry and millions of jobs, but unemployment  would be lower if they had just voted for a jobs bill that would have fixed and built roads and bridges.  They refused to do so, knowing Obama would be given credit, so they just sat on their hands and will continue to do so until the election is over. There is no letting up to their no-ism.  Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Eric Cantor, and Paul Ryan politically outsmarted, indeed,  ukered the President with their negative trump cards of filibusters and no votes.

     The problem for Obama was that he was initially naive. He didn't fully understand that they were just playing him along, and that at the last minute, they would again pull the plug on any broad solution to the debt crisis, or the Medicare funding problems, or a bill giving better health care coverage to millions of uncovered Americans. They chose to walk away from the table and curse the darkness. They played Obama for a chump, and sadly he mostly went along, trying desperately to find common ground, where there was none to be found.  He was continually surprised when they teased him, entreated him, and then just slammed the door in his face. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

     Obama may have finally learned his lesson, and is starting to fight back. The only question is, will it be too little, too late, or can he save the day for himself and the country. Will he be Mighty Mouse, or Mickey Mouse. That is the question.

      Mitt Romney as Popeye the Sailor man actually does have a chance of knocking Obama out of his Executive chair. I guess it all depends on how much spinach Obama eats between now and the Democratic convention. If it were up to me, I'd take the arugula off the White House menu, and feature a little more red meat .  Obama will need all the testosterone he can muster to beat back this bunch in November.

     We shall see if he can play the role of the man of steel, or just crumple under the weight of the unrelenting Republican mega funded juggernaut. Hopefully he will rise to the occasion and save the day for America. Hopefully. That's still the key word. Hope. Fortunately, it springs eternal.