Friday, September 7, 2012

Prophet of profit

Why Romney won't win

Bucks County Courier Times

I promised myself I would not write about the GOP and Democratic conventions until both were over. But then I figured, since I am writing about U.S. politics, where all promises are made to be broken and no one seems to care, what the hell.

Mitt Romney is headed to defeat.

It should not be possible. Most Americans now realize that the election of Mr. Obama was the result of the greatest “bait and switch” marketing campaign in the history of American politics, but he will be re-elected.

Mr. Obama drove Wall Street’s get-away car, his attorney general riding shotgun. He chose to stand aside while millions lost their homes. He has proved unable/incompetent/unwilling (Pick one) to put Americans back to work. His big domestic initiative has not made health care more affordable, and so it is less available when and where it is needed. He has kept America at war.

Mr. Obama swore the great oath to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” but is quite possibly the greatest threat to that Constitution in the history of the nation.

He has assumed powers and trashed constitutional protections in the manner of a Roman Caesar or a Tudor king.

The president and his apologists are compelled to embarrass themselves and argue that Americans are better off today than they were four years ago; and if they are not, well, he had nothing to do with that.

Mr. Obama should go down in a landslide. But he won’t. How is that possible?

For the answer, you need look no further than Mr. Romney’s acceptance speech.

The Nielson Agency says about 800,000 more Americans watched the GOP Convention than did so in 2008. It also reports that the audience was overwhelmingly 55 years or older. It did not say, and did not need to say, that the audience was also overwhelmingly white.

That is the GOP base. And Gallup reports that Romney’s speech got “the lowest ratings of any Gallup has measured since 1996.”

Trouble in River City. Why?

No one trusts the man. He has changed positions on issues more frequently than most men change underwear. And while he has strengths, they cannot be spoken.

He was a reasonably effective governor. But he has disavowed almost every policy he championed then, in an effort to hide out among the tea party that would impress a chameleon.

And his other strength — that of a deal making businessman — only serves to remind Americans that in the U.S. today, it is often only the deal maker who wins. Romney could only allude to it, and he had to rewrite history to do it.

Romney said, “He (Mr. Obama) took office without the basic qualification that most Americans have and one that was essential to his task. He had almost no experience working in a business.”

The most effective presidents in modern time had no experience with business. Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, Eisenhower, Johnson and Nixon spent their entire adult lives in public service, and Reagan’s only brush with business was as a sportscaster and actor.

There is a vast difference between a life devoted to public service and a life devoted to profit, which is all that business is about. Period. And most Americans know it.

Maybe not the latter day Republicans who now dominate that party, but most Americans know that a life organized around profit will be fundamentally different that a life organized around service, and that while each has its place in America, neither can be successfully directed like the other.

Mr. Obama has failed not because he has no business experience, but because he had insufficient experience of American government, perhaps even insufficient experience of America, and got rolled by Wall Street.

And Mr. Romney appears to fit right in with that same crowd of parasites in pinstripes. I don’t see Americans jumping from the frying pan into the fire.

Mike Krauss is chairman of the Pennsylvania Project and was executive director of the Pennsylvania Republican State Committee in the Thornburgh administration. Email:

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