While I’m not hearing much about many of my generation out in the trenches working for the Obama/Biden ticket, I know that their emotions are at least running hot. Part of this comes from a simplification of the options that goes something like this: Romney and Ryan in the White House is an unthinkable scenario.
Unfortunately, it is thinkable since we’ve already endured and have fresh memories of the previous unthinkable scenario: Bush/Cheney. So point one of my presentation to you here will be that however psychedelic the thought of surrendering the White House to the very people that are pro-actively trampling the middle class, it’s completely possible that a confluence of several troubling mentalities would once again give us an election result that wreaks havoc on 21st century America.
Wreaks havoc? Whither all your liberal drama, lefty? If I might just cite a few facts now known to all: Under Bush/Cheney in excess of 4,000 Americans dead in Iraq; estimates of more than 100,000 civilian deaths.
Eight years of pillaging and control of the executive branch and American tax dollars by oil and Halliburton, with the cost of oil wars married to economic negligence resulting in the worst American financial crisis since the Great Depression. Rise of the “One Percent” as a ruling class not required to pay their fair share of taxes. Bush takes a huge dump on Kyoto Protocol. Yes, I’m going with “wreaks havoc.”
But this kind of audit stirs emotions, and we find we can reelect President Obama solely on practical and pragmatic grounds. Let’s start with this: The Republicans haven’t earned it. The Republicans are running largely on “Obama didn’t do what he said he would do.” That of course infuriates us, because we know how and why Obama was obstructed from making more progress. Another fully rational response would be, “What have the Republicans done, in fact, in the last four years besides obstruct the administration?” Nothing. From the standpoint of performance, they haven’t earned your vote.
Then let’s argue the best evidence that someone can administrate a nation might be to demonstrate that they can properly administrate a presidential campaign. John McCain failed this test overnight when he selected Sarah Palin for vice president. Romney doesn’t believe that the public’s memory lasts longer than four to six months; video that can be edited together by high school students definitively proves that Romney has no sustained convictions whatsoever.
We’re not fearful of his ‘say anything to get elected’ hypocrisy and cloddish nomenclature like “binders full of women” per se; we’re frightened that those things indicate the level of ability of the man as President of the United States.
Staying with practical concerns one could argue that Obama is and has been a President and that Romney/Ryan, even as a two-man collective, doesn’t add up to that depth of experience. But a more complete assessment would highlight that a “President Romney” does not exist anywhere inside the man.
We know that Romney has no foreign policy views beyond saying “I agree with the President.” Roll tape, last debate.
When we compare Romney’s life experience of creating money by doing whatever it takes to squeeze dollars out of American businesses in distress to Obama’s career of work with social programs and organizations, we reasonably conclude that Obama has the greater amount of empathy for human beings.
In gathering up almost any handful of videotaped gaffes and statements from Romney, you can readily draw the conclusion that he really doesn’t feel anyone’s pain.
Now let’s meld that lack of empathy thing to my previous point regarding administrating a campaign. As recently as last week, Romney was handed a golden opportunity to gift us with a clear and resonant indication that he is his own man. After Romney appeared in a campaign commercial endorsing Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock, Mourdock made the statement that when a woman becomes pregnant during rape “it is something that God intended.”
A Presidential candidate with spine and the strength of his own convictions would have gotten as far away from Mourdock’s observation as possible. Instead, Romney only disavowed the statement but continued to support Mourdock for the senate.
And that unfortunately brings us back to “binders full of women.” One can argue that Romney’s views on women are evidenced just by his selection of Paul Ryan as a running mate. But there’s so much more that should concern women; frighteningly bold statements that have been looped on television over and over again.
We are now so aware of Romney and the GOP’s intentions toward women’s individual rights that I don’t even have to cite the evidence here. And yet, in 2004, all of America knew that the WMD’s were just a trick to get Iraq’s oil. We knew so much; it was all so clear and obvious. And millions still reelected the wrong guys.
We cannot let history repeat itself so quickly.
We don’t need heated emotion, smarmy jokes or catch-phrases like “Romnesia” to help us. We can reelect Obama because it just makes practical sense.