Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Why Mitt Romney Should Never Be President

If you need a reason for why Mitt Romney should never be President of the United States, I can give you one straight from the "horses mouth".

Mitt Romney to Jay Leno on Tuesday, March 27th. "...Well, if they’re 45 years old, and they show up, and say, I want insurance because I’ve got a heart disease, it’s like, `Hey guys, we can’t play the game like that,’” Romney answered. “You’ve got to get insurance when you’re well, and if you get ill, then you’re going to be covered.”

There you go.  That single statement should exemplify why Mr. Romney should never, ever, be President of the United States.  First of all,  this is not a game. We are talking people's health care and subsequently, life or death issues.

Mr. Romney is so out of touch with the majority of the people in this country it is astonishing.  First of all, he's coming at this from a standpoint of hypocrisy since the law he signed when he was Governor of Massachusetts is as Rick Santorum says, the blueprint for "ObamaCare".  Secondly, the idea that he as president would essentially say "tough luck" to the hypothetical person described above shows a monumental lack of understanding of what the office of the Presidency is for.

Mr. Romney has consistently said he is the best guy to replace Obama because he understand the economy and understands business. Okay,he let's say for a moment that it is true he understands the economy and understands business.  He doesn't understand governance.  What he wants us to believe is because he was very adept at financial manipulation of companies when he was at Bain Capital, and that he served four years as a Governor, and that "he saved the Olympics", that he is better qualified to be the leader of the United States than the current occupant of the White House.  This is so far from the truth it is silly.  There are many, many businessmen who are likely as or more competent in business than Mr. Romney.  Carl Icahn, Rupert Murdoch, George Soros, Warren Buffett, the list is essentially endless.  That doesn't make them qualified to lead the country.   In fact, the training and experience they have accumulated can actually hurt them when it comes to seeing the whole cloth of presidential governance. The principle reason is that they operate is such a narrow community of people they have little to no understanding of how the majority of people in this country live their lives.  They do not understand the issues a normal, middle class person has attempting to pay their bills, keep their jobs, get health care for their kids, and on and on and on.  Romney in particular is so far away from the middle class that he has lost any sense of empathy for the majority of the people in this country.  That is of course, assuming he had some empathy at one point in his life.

Harry Truman probably characterized the office the Presidency and its role in terms of leading America better than any other President.  He said:  "The legislative job of the President is especially important to the people who have no special representatives to plead their cause before Congress and that includes the great majority. I sometimes express it by saying the President is the only lobbyist that one hundred and fifty million Americans have. The other twenty million are able to employ people to represent them and that's all right, its the exercise of the right of petition but someone has to look after the interests of the one hundred and fifty million that are left."  

What Truman was saying is just as true today as it was then.   But the important point here is that Truman really understood the life of a normal, everyday, working citizen.  Before he went into Politics, he ran a clothing store, and had a very pedestrian life with not a lot of money.   He could relate to the plumber, the milkman, the farmer, etc. etc.  His worldview informed him that his job was to be the advocate for the majority of the Americans in this country.  He had empathy.

Romney doesn't possess this quality, and it is not simply because he is wealthy.  Several, very wealthy presidents have understood the job and what it entails with respect to how government can improve other peoples lives.  Theodore Roosevelt, a Republican is a good example of a patrician, aristocratic president who had empathy.  His cousin, Franklin Roosevelt was the same. 

Romney has a blind spot for this in that he cannot relate to people in general.  They are either wealthy business people or they are employees of wealthy business people and he really, really doesn't understand those folks at all.

The job of the President is to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.  There are several requirements in the job description that detail what the leader of this country is supposed to do, but one of them, in the preamble of the Constitution is probably the single most important job requirement in the document.  The words that essentially tell Congress, the President and the Judiciary that they are supposed to do: 

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

That's it in a nutshell, the rest of the document is process and an explanation (through the Bill of Rights) on how we "provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity (meaning our children)"


Romney has made idiotic statements such as "I like firing people", and "I'm not worried about the poor", that I simply assumed were dunderheaded gaffes from someone who wasn't fast on their feet when speaking.  I'm now beginning to believe this is part of his core makeup, and the only way I want this guy in the White House is if he bought a ticket and took the tour.

Author's note on the Supreme Court hearing on the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare).

The Supreme Court of the United States has been hearing arguments on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act since Monday of this week.  Arguments on the constitutionality of the so-called "mandate" were heard on Tuesday and the questioning was hard and pointed.  The government's position and defense of the mandate seemed like it was not reasonating with the Supreme 9.  What will happen after they issue their opinion, which is expected to be in late June of this year?  Will they declare the entire law unconstitutional? Will they simply negate the mandate?  Will they kick the can down the road for a couple of years because the "fines or penalties (tax) for not buying insurance wont kick in until 2014, and according to an 1867 law on the books a law cannot be found to be unconsitutional until someone has actually been injured by it. So, theoretically, one would have to not buy health care, incur the fine, then sue for relief, which by then the court system could actually judge on the constitutionality of the question.   That is highly unlikely, as the law is pretty weak tea and no one wants this to drag on. 

However, let's suppose for a minute that the law is declared unconstitutional.  What then?  Does it strike a death blow on the Obama presidency?  This is the President's most significant legislative victory and he and his administration spent 18 months working on its passage.  Does it signal a weak executive?  Will it carry Romney to victory in November?

I think not.  Remember, there is history here to reflect on.  In the early stages of the Roosevelt administration, a law was passed to attack the Depression that was known as the National Recovery Act, or the NRA.  The act was passed in 1933 by a congress eager to fight the terrible economic situation at the time.  However, in 1935, the Supreme Court declared the law unconstitutional and it had to be dismantled.   The law was fraught with problems that ultimately were solved in a future piece of legislation that established the Works Progress Administration, but that's not the point.  Charles Evan Hughes, the Chief Justice of the Supreme court and his fellow jurists, gave a gift to Franklin Roosevelt, whether intended or not.  They gave to probably the most charismatic man to occupy the office up to to that time a "bully pulpit' to rail against the rich and powerful and set them up as the enemy of the people.  Here was an extremely wealthy president, taking dead-aim at the business people, lobbyists, bankers, etc and laying the obstruction of government intervention to improve the economy right at their feet.  Little of that was true, but it gave FDR a bullhorn to castigate the wealthy every weekend on his fire-side chats.   The end result was continued victories in Congress with legislation and electoral battles, and we know by our junior high school history that FDR is the only president to have ever been reelected 4 times.

So, Conservatives, Tea Party acolytes, and all anti-Obama folks out there.  Be careful what you wish for.  If "ObamaCare" goes down and the President does indeed get re-elected in November, he can say "Look, I've tried it your way. I was bi-partisan. I took a plan engineered by the Heritage Foundation and conservatives and created ObamaCare.  I pushed back my own base who wanted Single-Payer and a Public Option. I essentially took a Republican Plan and got it passed that will generate 30 Million new customers into the private sector insurance business.  Ok, you don't like that? Well here we go. I'm going to use the Press, the Internet, FaceBook, and any other means necessary to take my message to the people to say that the GOP has just sold you all down the river.  They could give a rat's behind that 50 million people are without health-insurance.  How do I know?  They don't have a plan!  They only want to defeat ObamaCare and defeat me.  Well, they didn't defeat me, so guess what?  Game on, and welcome to Single Payer Health Care!"

The GOP leadership right now, need to get on Wikipedia or look in their old college dictionary for the definition of Pyrrhic Victory.

Tell me what you think,


1 comment:

  1. Health insurance is one of the most complicated issues we face. Insurance is based on members paying into the pool while they are relatively healthy and drawing benefits on the few occasions they are sick. I'm not opposed to a national health insurance plan, but it can't be a free ride. It should be like income taxes or FICA. You earn, you pay. When you get sick or retire you draw on retirement and/or the health insurance. Pay premiums most of your life. Most importantly we need to get people healthier. If you weigh 400 lbs., don't exercise and eat at McDonald's five time a week your premiums should be higher. There has to be some penalty to bad health practices and some reward for good habits. Insurance should pay doctors who keep you healthy , not just those who medicate a problem. Though to legislate but absolutely necessary. Of course we have to clean up the fraud in Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance.