It should be no surprise to anyone who reads this blog that I’m no Mitt Romney supporter. The day a “Romney for President” sign goes up in my yard is the day somebody else put it there. I’ve heard too many gaffes from Mr. Romney that leads me to believe that he has no compassion for anyone who isn’t worth millions of dollars. He says that corporations are people and he doesn’t care about the poor. He says he likes to fire people who provide services for him. He actually laughed about his father George Romney closing factories and firing people to move jobs from Michigan to Wisconsin.
Combined with the positions he espouses as a member of the Republican Party, I really find it difficult to think Mr. Romney would do anything that would truly help the black community. His tax proposals would do more damage to black neighborhoods. He wants to deregulate corporate America and leave responsibility for our environment to the self interest of businesses that could make far more profit by operating without any need to adhere to anything that remotely resembles required standards. He would everything he could to make the United States the most business friendly nation the planet has ever seen, and more than likely will ever see if he gets his way and reduces air pollution standards.
But I am willing to put my distrust and anxiety of Mr. Romney aside to give him some advice: Dump the Chump.
As I write this, Mr. Romney is arriving in Las Vegas, Nevada to conduct a fundraiser with fellow Republican Donald “The Chump” Trump. This only begs the question why. Republicans and conservatives are already focused like a warp powered phaser beam on doing whatever they can to get President Obama out of office for whatever reason. These people already have carte blanche to give to any super PAC they please until their heart is content. The super PACs are already collecting massive amounts of money. And while a warp powered phaser might sound good to the trekkies among us, few things in real life are more powerful than a practically limitless money powered political campaign. The super PACs aligned against Mr. Obama have already proven that they are ready to do almost anything to get Mr. Obama out of office. One super PAC already tried the strategy of rehashing Mr. Obama’s relationship with Jeremiah Wright. If money alone could buy the White House then Mr. Romney already has this election in the bag. So why does Mr. Romney feel the need to associate himself with The Chump?
Like a court jester performing to win the favor of his or her audience, The Chump would stop at nothing to win the favor of his audience. Long after the President has produced his long form birth certificate as proof that he was born in Hawaii and is in fact an American born citizen, The Chump continues to push the issue saying that he has yet to see a Hawaii state document that sufficiently proves to him that Mr. Obama is a citizen, noting that the document that Mr. Obama posted was not in fact a birth certificate but a certificate of live birth. Everyone thought the issue was laid to rest. But leave it to The Chump to create a technicality to keep the issue alive for all of the people who cling to their insistence that Mr. Obama is not legitimate. They are already united against the President. Why do they need more toxic fuel for their Obama hating fire already burning out of control?
The Chump says people are asking him to keep the birth certificate issue alive. That might be true. Like I said, a lot of people hate Mr. Obama for the sake of hating Mr. Obama. But a lot of people are scratching their heads and asking why we’re going back here when there are so many other challenges that are facing the nation? Why indeed! Far more people are asking The Chump to sit down and shut up. So why is Mr. Romney giving The Chump a platform to show his willful ignorance and his self importance of mythical proportions?
If Mr. Romney becomes fortunate enough to become President, he runs the risk of having his administration shadowed by his Chump affiliation. We will forever be the United States of Chumps. So it is in his best interests for Mr. Romney to stiff arm The Chump and does his campaigning sans the orange jester. Otherwise, The Chump and his distractions will become a distraction for Mr. Romney.
Nothing good will come from his affiliation with The Chump. He might be able to turnout more rich people who want to give more money. But then again, when it comes to donations, Mr. Romney already has the backing of a lot of people with a lot of zeroes in their accounts to buy whatever it is that their heart desires. And right now those people desire a change in the White House. The Chump might like to think he had a hand in making that happen.
But then again, the way he pushes people’s off button with his delusion of grandeur, The Chump just might be the manifestation that proves Mr. Romney doesn’t have the courage, insight, or good political sense to keep focused on running a campaign that is worthy of someone seeking the White House, but instead will do anything to make it happen. That is a sign of a desperate man. And if that is truly the case, then may The Chump be with you.
Nick Hanauer is an entrepreneur and venture capitalist with a net worth of about a billion dollars. He earned his money as a co-founder of the venture capital company Second Avenue Partners and by selling tech companies. He was the first non family investor in Amazon.com. He was the founder of gear.com which was eventually merged into Overstock.com. Mr. Hanauer is also the co-founder of the political action think tank known as The True Patriot Network, which is based on the ideas of he shares with Eric Liu and presented in their book called The True Patriot. He is a co-founder of the League of Education Voters, a non partisan political group dedicated to improving public education. He is a member of the board of the Cascade Land Conservancy, The University of Arizona’s Mount Lemmon Science Center, and The University of Washington Foundation. This is a very busy man.
Earlier this year, Mr. Hanauer gave a speech at the TED University conference. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design. It is a set of conferences owned by the private non-profit Sapling Foundation, formed for the primary purpose of distributing worthy ideas. TED was founded with an emphasis on technology and design. The conferences now address an increasingly wide range of topics regarding science and culture. Past presenters include Bill Clinton, Jane Goodall, Al Gore, Gordon Brown, Richard Dawkins, Bill Gates, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and many Nobel Prize winners. TED’s current curator is the former computer journalist and magazine publisher Chris Anderson.
TED attracted controversy when it chose not to put a copy of Mr. Hanauer’s speech on their website as is the customary practice. The speech analyzed the impact of taxes rates on unemployment and the economy. However, Mr. Anderson felt that Mr. Hanauer’s speech could not be released because it would be regarded as too political in the middle of a presidential election year for an organization that is supposed to be nonpartisan.
But Mr. Hanauer is a hard man to keep down. When he found out that his TED speech would not be posted, he hired a public relations firm to promote the talk independently. While the officials at TED may have been too timid to post the speech, plenty of sites were waiting in the wings to promote it. Regardless of your stand on the issue of taxes, Mr. Hanauer’s speech is worth a notice. Considering that TED promotes itself as an organization committed to the distribution worthy ideas, one would think this topic would be right up their alley.
The following is the text from his speech.
“It is astounding how significantly one idea can shape a society and its policies. Consider this one. If taxes on the rich go up, job creation will go down. This idea is an article of faith for Republicans and seldom challenged by Democrats, and has indeed shaped much of the economic landscape. But sometimes the ideas that we are certain are true, are dead wrong.
Consider that, for thousands of years humans believed that the earth was the center of the universe. It’s not, and an astronomer who still believed that it was, would do some pretty terrible astronomy. Likewise, a policy maker who believes that the rich are job creators, and therefore should not be taxed, would be equally terrible policy.
I have started, or helped start, dozens of companies and initially hired lots of people. But if there was no one around who could afford to buy what we had to sell, all those companies and all those jobs would have evaporated. That’s why I can say with confidence that rich people don’t create jobs, nor do businesses, large or small. Jobs are a consequence of a circle of life-like feedback loop between customers and businesses. And only consumers can set in motion this virtuous cycle of increasing demand and hiring. In this sense, an ordinary consumer is more of a job creator than a capitalist like me.
That’s why when business people take credit for creating jobs it’s a little bit like squirrels taking credit for creating evolution. It’s actually the other way around. Anyone who’s ever run a business knows that hiring more people is a course of last resort for capitalists. It’s what we do if, and only if, rising customer demand requires it. And in this sense, calling yourselves job creators isn’t just inaccurate, it’s disingenuous. That’s why our existing policies are so upside down. When the biggest tax exemptions and the lowest rates benefit the richest, all in the name of job creation, all that happens is that the rich get richer.
Since 1980, the share of income for the top one percent of Americans has more than tripled, while our effective tax rates have gone down by fifty percent. If it was true that lower taxes for the rich and more wealth for the wealthy led to job creation, today we would be drowning in jobs. And yet, unemployment and under employment is at record highs.
Another reason that this idea is so wrong-headed is that, there can never be enough super-rich people to power a great economy. Somebody like me makes hundreds or thousands as times much as the median American, but I don’t buy hundreds or thousands of times as much stuff. My family owns three cars, not three thousand. I buy a few pairs of pants and shirts a year like most American men. Occasionally we go out to eat with friends. I can’t buy enough of anything to make up for the fact that millions of unemployed and under employed Americans can’t buy any new cars, any clothes, or enjoy any meals out. Nor can I make up for the falling consumption of the vast majority of middle class families that are barely squeaking by, buried by spiraling costs and trapped by stagnant or declining wages.
Here’s an incredible fact, if the typical American family still retained the same share of income that they did in 1970, they’d earn like $45,000 more a year. Imagine what our economy would be like if that were the case.
Significant privileges have come to people like me, capitalists, for being perceived as job creators at the center of the economic universe. And the language and metaphors we use to defend the current economic and social arrangements is telling. It’s a small jump from job creator to the Creator. This language obviously wasn’t chosen by accident. And it’s only honest to admit that when somebody like me calls themselves a job creator, we’re not just describing how the economy works, but more particularly, we’re making a claim on status and privileges that we deserve.
Speaking of special privileges, the extraordinary differential between the fifteen percent tax rate that capitalists pay on carried interest, dividends and capital gains and the thirty five percent top marginal rate on work that ordinary Americans pay, it’s kind of hard to justify without a touch of deification.
We’ve had it backwards for the last thirty years. Rich people like me don’t create jobs. Jobs are a consequence of an eco systemic feedback loop between customers and businesses. And when the middle-class thrives, businesses grow and hire and owners profit.
That’s why taxing the rich to pay for investments that benefit all, is such a fantastic deal for the middle-class and the rich. So ladies and gentleman, here’s an idea worth spreading, in a capitalist economy, the true job creators are middle-class consumers. And taxing the rich to make investments will make the middle class grow and thrive. It’s the single shrewdest thing we can do for the middle-class, for the poor, and for the rich.
The bottom line is very plain and simple. For some people, mostly conservatives, the controversy linking now President Barack Obama to his former spiritual the Reverend Jeremiah Wright is about as dead as the controversy regarding Mr. Obama’s birth certificate and the doubt that he is a legal citizen of the United States. The Ending Spending Action Fund, a conservative super PAC with the goal of ousting Mr. Obama from the White House, was exposed by the New York Times as planning an advertising campaign reviving the link between Mr. Obama with his former pastor.
When questioned about the ad conservative presidential hopeful Mitt Romney tried his best to distance himself from the super PAC plans saying that he repudiated the effort and hopes to focus the issues back to jobs, the economy, and about how his vision for America’s future differs from Mr. Obama’s. But with super PACS operating under significantly looser campaign finance restrictions that were given the green light by the Supreme Court’s Citizen’s United decision and the strict condition that prevents politicians from exercising any influence over super PACs, there is little guarantee that Mr. Romney would have any impact on groups willing to make Reverend Wright and the issue of race a factor in this year’s presidential campaign.
But unfortunately for Mr. Romney, like many things he says, we can point to an occasion where he said the opposite not too long ago. Back in February Mr. Romney made an appearance on FOX’s Sean Hannity where he resurrected the reference to the controversial pastor. Mr. Hannity played a sound bite of Mr. Obama saying that the United States can no longer consider itself just a Christian nation. In response to the clip, Mr. Romney said that he didn’t know which was worse, Mr. Obama listening to Reverend Wright or Mr. Obama saying that we must be a less Christian nation.
Earlier this week, after his statement repudiating the attack ad against Mr. Obama, Mr. Romney was asked for clarification over his statements on Sean Hannity and Mr. Romney replied, “I am not familiar, precisely, with exactly what I said, but I stand by what I said, whatever it was.”
We have yet another example of how Mr. Romney reveals his single most notable core conviction which can be summed up as say anything that will expedite him getting what he wants. It sounds good to repudiate the recently revealed, ugly rewind to the political racism of the previous presidential elections where there was an ugly attempt to stoke white people’s inherent fear that a black President would hand the keys of the kingdom to the black community. The past forty months or so has shown that the fear of some racial retribution led by Mr. Obama were unfounded. The negative reaction to the racially charged advertising campaign by the super PAC made it apparent that Mr. Romney doesn’t want to go there.
But Mr. Romney already went there when he did his interview with Mr. Hannity and says that he stands by what he said then. Based on his latest statement, it would be a reasonable conclusion that Mr. Romney doesn’t stand by his more recent repudiation? But it’s just as reasonable to assume Mr. Romney doesn’t stand by what he said back in February and really does mean to repudiate what he says now but simply wants to sound like he has convictions that are strong, good, and consistent.
But more than likely, the most reasonable conclusion is that Mr. Romney doesn’t really care about what he said then and really doesn’t care what he says now. He truly has an etch-a-sketch approach to politics and will say anything that will make him look favorable to the people who are listening to him now regardless of what he said before. He doesn’t even bother to find out or remember what he said before. He stands by what he says until he doesn’t, but reserves the right to go back to what was said in the middle. Whatever it takes to get whatever he wants is his only conviction.
Mr. Romney is that rarest of politician who thinks he can refer to his often changed record as proof of who he is and what he stands for. What he stands for today has nothing to do with anything he stood for in anytime in his past. It takes a rare politician to admit he doesn’t remember what he said, doesn’t care to find out what he said, but stands by his statement in the past even though it is the total opposite of what he said just the day before. He is the true epitome of an etch-a-sketch politician.
Back on April 13th of this year, the police in Milledgeville, Georgia managed to create a national controversy for their self after they handcuffed a six year old kindergartner and took her to the city jail for throwing a temper tantrum in school. According to police, when Selicia Johnson began tearing items off the walls in the principal’s office at the school she attended and started tossing around furniture on Friday, the school called emergency operators for assistance. When the police arrived, the six year old girl resisted the officer’s attempts to calm her down in the principal’s office and threw a shelf at the principal’s leg. School officials said that the police were called in to assist due to safety concerns for Selicia, other classmates and the school staff. The girl was subsequently placed in heavy duty steel handcuffs, the kind used to restrain men who beat their wives, murderers, and other hardened criminals, and the girl was taken away by police.
When Selicia’s aunt picked her up from the police station later that day, Selicia was being kept in a holding cell. The little girl complained that the handcuffs were too tight and hurt her wrists. The little girl found the experience horrifying and devastating. The parents and other relatives of the little girl said that while she may have misbehaved they asked the question was her behavior so abhorrent to the point where it was necessary for her to be handcuffed and taken to the police department.
The only thing we know about the incident was that the girl tore items off the principal’s wall and threw furniture. She was six years old. How big and heavy was this furniture that was being thrown? Did she turn green, grow overdeveloped muscles that would do a bodybuilder proud, grow larger than life, referred to herself as the Hulk and threatened to smash everybody and everything? Highly unlikely. If the school needed help how come they didn’t call the girl’s parents or relatives instead of calling the police and creating a controversy that was totally avoidable? It’s a fair bet that the parents would have been much more successful in calming the little girl down than a police officer itching to pull out his handcuffs.
Milledgeville Police chief Dray Swicord defended the police action with an announcement that it was department policy that any detainee transported to the police station in a patrol vehicle is to be handcuffed in the back and there was no age discrimination on that rule. If he wanted to prove his point, he should’ve pointed to all the other incidents where the police handcuffed a six year old and took them to jail for having a temper tantrum. Unfortunately, he couldn’t because this incident was the first of its kind and marked a new low for the professionalism of his department. Initially, Selicia was to be charged with juvenile assault and criminal damage to property. However, somebody at the Milledgeville police station came to their senses and ultimately decided not to file charges against the little girl due to her age. According to a criminal defense attorney, filing charges against Selicia would blatantly ignore years of precedent which says that children cannot form intent at such a young age. And it was just a coincidence that little Selicia was black.
Compare the official response to six year old Selicia to another incident that happened, albeit a few decades ago.
In 1965 John Lauber was perpetually teased for his nonconformity and presumed homosexuality in his junior year at the prestigious Cranbrook School. When he changed his look so that he walked around the all boys school with long bleached blond hair that draped over one eye, it was more than some of his fellow students could handle. One incensed student, the eighteen year old son of Michigan Governor George Romney, complained that something had to be done about the walking eyesore that threatened their sense of conformity. The Governor’s son concocted a plan. A few days later, with the help of several friends, Mitt Romney walked out of his dorm room shouting about a plan to cut John Lauber’s hair. When they came upon John they tackled him, pinned him to the ground, and as his eyes filled with tears while he screamed for help, Mitt Romney repeatedly clipped his hair with a pair of scissors.
The incident was recalled by the other attackers who gave their account of what led to the shaming of John Lauber independently of each another. One of the attackers went on to become a dentist, another became a lawyer, a third became a prosecutor, and another became a principal. They described the incident as something senseless, stupid, idiotic, and vicious. Each expressed remorse about their participation. Days after the incident, all were guilt ridden and waited to see what form of discipline would befall them at the famously strict institution. The incident had the potential of being a hate crime. But nothing happened. And the son of the Governor himself went on to become a Governor and the conservative’s best hope for a return to the White House.
Growing up in a world of privilege young Mitt Romney was protected from himself. He could initiate an assault on a defenseless student and walk away without so much as the slightest blemish on his record. In fact, he doesn’t even recall the incident that his bullying buddies remember so well. Mr. Romney went further to say that even though he doesn’t remember that assault taking place, he can say that it wasn’t because John Lauber displayed homosexual like behavior. Which begs the question, how can Mr. Romney not recall the event but defend it at the same time?
Little Selicia isn’t the daughter of the Governor. Her parents aren’t privileged and she doesn’t attend a prestigious school well known for strict adherence to the rules except when the Governor’s son is involved. She was just a little black girl having a bad day with the manifestation of a temper tantrum that sent her to jail at the prepubescent age of six. It’s a fair bet that if she misbehaves sometime in the future somebody won’t bother to fight the urge to call the police on her again. Her record of jail time will come up and that’s all the justification somebody will need to throw the book at her. She would be considered a perpetual nuisance and the strong arm of the law will come down on her like Mitt Romney coming down on a potentially gay student.
If the roles were reversed and it was little Mitt Romney that was six years old and throwing a tantrum by tearing a principal’s bulletin board down and using all his might to hurl furniture across the room, would anyone bother to call the police on him? Chances are the answer would be a resounding no. Privilege makes people care about the outcome of things. Who gives a shit about a little six year old black girl whose parents are nobodies? But the eighteen year old son of the Governor? That’s a totally different ball game. That boy’s future is at stake and we can’t allow anything to interfere with that despite his abhorrent behavior.
See the difference? One is protected from his self at the ripe age of eighteen, not quite mature enough to take on all of the responsibilities of being adult, but old enough to understand right from wrong and actions have consequences. The other is six years old and is punished severely for not having the foresight to think about their actions just a few years out of diapers and being weaned. One has a bright future that includes a shot at being President of the United States. The other has a future that will have a record of a brief stint in jail for throwing a tantrum. One is black and the other is white and the two are worlds apart.
Last week, taking advantage over the controversial statement by political consultant for Democrats Hilary Rosen that his wife Ann has never worked a day in her life, conservative presidential contender Mitt Romney and his campaign pounced big time. Mitt Romney believes all mothers work hard and the work that they do should be respected and shouldn’t denigrated by anyone. Ms. Romney was right there with her husband telling everybody that even though she was a stay at home mom she had days where she really worked hard to help their staff raise their three sons. Ms. Romney referred to Ms. Rosen’s criticism as an early birthday gift.
But early Sunday morning I was watching MSNBC’s Up With Chris Hayes and they played a clip of Mr. Romney back in January on stage and telling a conservative audience that he believed that a mother with a child as young as two years old should be forced to go outside the home and work for a living in order to earn some social dignity. He said that his statement might sound harsh but he was willing to have the government pay more in order to supplement a welfare program to separate a child from his or her mother rather than pay less and leave the child’s rearing to the mother, the one person more than any other who we believe will work hardest to keep the child safe and to watch out for their well being. It might sound harsh, but Mr. Romney is willing to pay more to put the child at a higher risk of something happening to it.
Bear with me for a second as I propose for the sake of argument that we take Mitt Romney at his word back in January and he wants to help all mothers. It is our error that we assume that Mr. Romney wants to help people financially when in fact he wants to help women psychologically by helping them get their dignity back after their dignity was lost when they made the choice to stay at home to raise their child. In Mr. Romney’s opinion, there is no dignity in staying home to do the really hard work of being mother. It’s better if we pay for a woman to go outside the home to do easier work and leave the child rearing to somebody who wouldn’t have nearly the vested interest in the development and protection of the child. Makes sense so far? Now if Mr. Romney feels that women who stay at home don’t have any real dignity how does Ms. Romney deal with her lack of self esteem?
Now I don’t think Mr. Romney has a problem with Ms. Romney staying home and working to manage the staff helping to raise the Romney boys. In fact, I’m willing to bet Mr. Romney doesn’t have a problem with anyone who stays at home to do the hard work of raising a family as long as it happens without any financial assistance from government. What actually leads to the loss of dignity is the need for financial aid. Everybody likes to say that working at home as a mother might be the hardest form of work on the planet. But if that very hard work comes only with the assistance of government, then it really isn’t worth a damn and we’d be better off paying more to put the child in the hands of strangers so that everybody can have dignity. However, I’m pretty sure that if you asked most mothers they’d say that they’d rather stay at home and raise their child and suffer the loss of their dignity to people who don’t value their contribution to society’s future rather than have government pay to put the child in a daycare so that they can go to a job that they can run the risk of losing when they have to take off in order to take care of the child that got sick at the daycare the state paid to put the child in while the mother earned dignity.
Mr. Romney said that he gets his information about what women want from his wife who tells him that women are worried about the economy and about the lack of jobs and all things happening with Wall Street at the core. Maybe that’s because the women than Ms. Romney talks to are the ones whose husbands earn their money off of Wall Street investments. Ask these women what’s most important to them and I’d have little evidence to contradict the contention that market indicators are important to these hardworking, dignified women who passed on the really hard work of raising children.
But ask a woman who needs help and doesn’t have the choice to stay home but is forced to earn their dignity by earning a paycheck and putting their child in a subsidized daycare and the answer might be a little different. I think this woman would be concerned about their ability to provide for the child. They are concerned about the social programs that provide the housing subsidies and the welfare assistance that helps her keep her head above water while she does the hard work of being a mother and raising a child without the assistance of a staff waiting at her beck and call.
If Ms. Romney truly believed that the work of being a mother is truly important and that she wanted to report back to her husband the real concerns of women, I’m sure that if she really valued her membership in the sorority of mothers who work hard, she would say that women are concerned that their children are not getting the benefit of having their mothers care for them. I would think that if she really felt that being a mom was as hard as her staff tells her it is, I think she would tell Mitt to make sure that he doesn’t gut the social programs that help so many mothers be the kind of mother their children can depend on. If everybody agrees that motherhood is so important, then it should be important even when it is done with the help of government, whether or not the people who run the government think these people have dignity or not.
Conservative presidential contender and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney said that he gets reports about what women want from his wife Ann Romney and Ann Romney says that women worry primarily about the economy. In a roundabout response to that statement, liberal CNN commentator Hillary Rosen made the statement that Ann Romney has never worked a day in her life. And the political fireworks followed immediately. You would have thought Ms. Rosen had spent the last three days using her television appearances to call Ms. Romney a slut.
What Ms. Rosen probably should have said was that Ms. Romney has never spent a day in her life outside the home earning a living. She didn’t have to. She had a husband who was comfortably worth nine figures. Mr. Romney estimated his personal worth somewhere in the neighborhood between a quarter and a third of a billion dollars. With that kind of dough to make a family budget I’d stay home at home too. Let somebody else run that rat race if they want but I’d stay at home and raise my kids with the help of my maids, cooks, chauffeurs, gardeners, and all the other people I pay to help keep my two mansions, one on the east coast and one on the west coast, together. And let’s not forget all the people that helped her keep things together at that third home called the Governor’s mansion. That kind of life doesn’t sound all that hard!
I’m not saying that Mitt and Ann Romney had it easy. I’m sure they had difficult times in their life. When one of their five or so boys was seriously sick or injured I’m sure they responded to the stress of that situation with the same worry and anxiety of many parents. That would have been hard. But one thing that many parents don’t have is the resources that come from having a quarter billion dollars in the bank to help make sure the family has everything needed to assure quick recovery. Ms. Romney may not have had it easy, but she had it a lot easier than a lot of people who have to go through the same type of situation or other stressful situations.
In the rush to condemn Ms. Rosen’s statements, people have said that every mother works hard and every woman deserves the respect of others. And that’s true to an extent. Many women do work hard to raise their family and/or to work outside the home. But for many women who have to make the choice to stay at home or to go to work, the choice made is one that is often thrust upon them out of necessity and not because they have the luxury of having options. For many families, the mother stays at home to raise the family because the cost of daycare is simply too high and unaffordable. For other families, the mother has to work and raise the kids because the family needs the income. The number of women who are making the choice between the two worlds simply because they weighed their options and decided on one instead of the other are truly a fortunate but tiny slice of the whole pie.
Now, it might be just me, but I really don’t think being a mom is an automatic pass to sainthood. Maria Antoinette had a few kids. I don’t think that information helped her out when somebody was deciding whether or not she was going to face the guillotine. And a lot of people may not remember that on Gilligan’s Island, Lovey was the wife of Thurston Howell III (hard to believe but he was not modeled after Mitt Romney I’m sure) and the mother of Thurston Howell IV. Who thought she worked hard? Casey Anthony was a mother who got drunk and partied while her little girl’s body rotted in a ditch under a mound of snow. I seriously doubt if “hard worker” is the first thing people think of when they think of these women.
Please note for the record that I am not trying to say that Ann Romney is a bad mother. I’m sure she’s a wonderful mom who would do her best for her children. But for anyone to say that Ms. Romney can testify on what is and what’s not important for all or the majority of women in the country, I find that hard to believe. I’m sure she’s a wonderful representative for all the women with multiple mansions that never worked outside of the home to earn a living and yet have king’s treasure as a piggy bank. I’m sure that’s her circle and she would be an excellent weathervane to indicate what those women think
But there are a lot of women that Ms. Romney cannot speak for. I know she can’t speak for my mom who was busy raising ten black children and went to work as a nurse. I know she can’t speak for my life partner who stays at home to raise my son and help him through his issues. I know Ms. Romney can’t speak for my sisters, my aunts or any of the women from my family. I know the issues that these women face are nothing like what Ann Romney faces and vice versa.
At least I think that’s what Ms. Rosen was trying to say. She obviously did not use the best words to say it. And now, people want to point a damning finger at all liberals and tie Ms. Rosen back to President Barack Obama. But just like Ms. Romney doesn’t speak for all women, Ms. Rosen doesn’t speak for all liberals.
But I think it’s important to note what David Axelrod, Mr. Obama’s chief campaign strategist for his current 2012 bid for the White House, said on the matter when he was prompted by a CNN reporter to comment on Ms. Rosen’s statements. Ms. Rosen doesn’t work for Mr. Obama or anyone or organization that represents the Democratic Party. She actually works for CNN. Whatever she says is more an indication of how CNN thinks.
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has proven himself to be gaffe prone and self destructive throughout his campaign to become the Republican Party’s nominee for President of the United States. But in his off script comments during interviews and in various campaign stops, Mr. Romney shows little difference and little personal connection to the average joe. Mr. Romney has said that he doesn’t care about the poor because he believes that they already have a social safety net and wants to focus his attention to the ninety five percent of Americans in the middle class. He doesn’t make a lot of money from his speaking engagement. Just six times what the average middle class American family earns.
When asked about issues pertaining to people in the middle class, Mr. Romney says that the economy will get better when people lose their homes. He advocated letting the automobile manufacturers fall into bankruptcy and run the risk of ceasing to exist even though millions of jobs would be lost and the resulting negative ripple through the economy would devastate an already fragile economy. He jokes that he’s unemployed when the unemployment rate is pegging nine percent. He claims that corporations are people and deserve the same considerations as their flesh and blood counterparts. He pays a fourteen percent tax rate while the working stiff pays more than twice that rate at thirty percent on his or her earnings.
If all that’s not enough, Mr. Romney will change his position on any stance in as little as twenty minutes if the conservative political winds change or if his initial reaction to any issue happens to be what he believes but counter to what most conservatives believe. With his conservative credibility and his personal likability wanting Mr. Romney needs help connecting to the people he hopes to make his constituents. So enters his wife Ann Romney.
Mitt swoons over his wife. Born Ann Davies she knew Mr. Romney since they were in elementary school. When she went to the private all girls school Kingswood School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan Mitt Romney attended the affiliated all boys school Cranbrook. The two began dating in March of 1965 and were married four years later. She stayed at home to raise the family while he went to the office to earn their fortune. And now that Mitt’s on the cusp of earning his place in history as the next President, the two are campaigning together because dude can’t pull it off on his own.
On Monday, Ms. Romney was on the stage with her husband doing her best to sell him to the public as the most viable candidate to bump President Barack Obama from the oval office. In an interview with FOX News, Ms. Romney was asked about criticism that her husband appears out of touch with the average American. In her response, Ms. Romney said that she doesn’t consider herself to be wealthy. She said this even though her family is worth more than a quarter of a billion dollars, live in three different mansions, two on the east coast and one on the west, and own a couple of Cadillacs, actually.
If Mitt Romney said that he doesn’t feel rich despite all the digits in front of the decimal place in the number that represents his bank account all the late night comedians would have been working on more zingers to show Mitt being typical Mitt. How much money does it take for a multi millionaire to be rich? Does he need another hundred million or so? Does he need another mansion? Is that why he wants to give rich people more tax cuts and give them all the houses of all the people struggling to keep their homes? Is this why he wants to build a financial safety net for people in the upper one percent?
Ms. Romney elaborated on her answer saying that her personal struggle with multiple sclerosis has given her compassion for people who are suffering from multiple sclerosis, cancer or other diseases. Ms. Romney said that she doesn’t consider herself wealthy because money and wealth can be here today and gone tomorrow. However, I’m sure we can all agree that it’s a lot better to have wealth that might be gone tomorrow than it is to not have any wealth at all today and you know for a fact that you are going to be just as broke tomorrow.
Ms. Romney says that she measures riches by the friends that she haves and all the loved ones she haves and all the people in her life that she cares. That’s where her values are and that’s where her riches are. I guess we all are supposed to believe that all the travel between the mansions and all the wealth that the Romney family have is just a hobby to keep them busy as they count all their friends and all their loved ones.
I understand what Ms. Romney was trying to say. I must admit that I would find the sentiment commendable in other circumstances. But the clumsiness in the delivery of Ms. Romney compounded by the bull in a china shop levels of gracelessness that have become synonymous with being Mitt Romney leave me with the understanding that there is a distinct possibility that no one in the Romney family is equipped to make that connect to ninety nine percent of us.
Ms. Romney wants to remind us of how spiritual and emotional wealth is so much more important than material wealth. But that’s an easy thing to say for someone who has a ton of wealth to their name. Spiritual wealth doesn’t pay bills. Spiritual wealth is an intangible that has little meaning in the American economic system that demands an exchange of wealth to get anything done. Ms. Romney has a disease that gives her more compassion for people who suffer from disease. And she has to suffer her affliction with all the resources at her family’s disposal. I wonder if she can imagine what it would be like to suffer that same illness while she was struggling to make ends meet.
You would think that if Ms. Romney was dealing with health issues and learning compassion from the experience, her husband would be right there with her learning the same compassion. But Mr. Romney has proven himself anything but. He’s not concerned with the poor because they already have safety nets. What’s the safety net for the person who is poor and/or without sufficient healthcare coverage when it is discovered that he or she or someone else in their family has multiple sclerosis? Instead of giving me the feeling that he would do what he can to help people who might find themselves in that kind of situation, Mr. Romney has made assurances that if he becomes President he will do everything he can to unravel our national healthcare reform and put us back to square one.
The Romney’s are probably fine people. I never met them so I wouldn’t know. More than likely I’ll never meet them so I will never know. All I can do is go by what I see, read, and hear about them from a distance. Based on the evidence, Mitt Romney proves his self to be aloof and out of touch to the average citizen and is more geared to the Mortimer and Randolph Duke kind of crowd. He gives me no confidence in his ability to understand what it means to not have a ton of money in the bank and face all the problems that the average person has to face. From what I see, his wife appears to be cut from the same cloth.