No Matter How Many of His Detractors Were Convinced Otherwise, Governor Romney Sincerely Wanted to Help the Middle Class
By Ken K. Gourdin
An old Chinese proverb says, “Give a man a fish, feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime.” President Barack Obama wants give me some of the government’s money and other resources; former Massachusetts Governor and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney wanted to help me get some of my own resources. In short, President Obama wants to give me a few fish (and has no plan, once those run out, except to give me more fish), while Governor Romney wanted to teach me how to fish, so that I could continually replenish my own supply. Perhaps, since President Obama appears to know more about how our resources should be distributed than we do, we should simply remit each paycheck, in full, to the government, and if President Obama thinks we deserve anything back, he’ll give it to us.
Governor Romney was widely excoriated for being surreptitiously caught on video while daring to suggest that since nearly half the electorate pays no taxes, it was not likely to be swayed by his promises to alleviate the tax burden of those who actually do pay taxes. In short, he told the truth. In his own post-mortem of his election loss, Governor Romney told still more of the truth and made another daring suggestion (for which he was further excoriated). Echoing sentiments first expressed by Fox News analyst Bill O’Reilly on election night when it started to become clear that Romney would not win, Governor Romney essentially said that, confronted with a choice between someone who promised to give them more of the government’s stuff and someone who promised merely to help them get more of their own stuff, a majority of voters chose the former.
True, the foregoing assessment does not bode well for the party and its candidates who are most noted for encouraging personal responsibility vis-à-vis a party and its candidates who promise that the government will take responsibility for as many of the people’s failings (personal and collective) as possible, adverse fiscal consequences of such a policy notwithstanding. It’s not a comfortable truth to hear, and it’s an even more difficult one with which to try to come to terms. However, President Obama’s actions since his election victory have verified this uncomfortable truth. While he campaigned on a platform of raising taxes on the wealthy while simultaneously adopting at least a certain level of fiscal restraint (he often pays lip service to a need for fiscal restraint), the deal reached to avert the so-called “fiscal cliff” is concerned only with the former, and with the latter not at all. The Democrats “offer,” paralleling a similar “deal” offered to President Reagan and his fellow Republicans in the 1980s, was, “Give us the tax increases now, and we’ll talk about the spending cuts nev—uh, we mean, later.” Of course, “later,” with respect to spending cuts, will never come.
Agree with him or disagree with him, there can be no serious argument (except among the most hard-core leftists) that Governor Romney essentially is an honorable man. While I apparently am in the (gullible?) minority in holding such a view, I felt that Governor Romney’s assurances leading up to the election of wanting to help the middle class were genuine. National Review On Line’s Jay Nordlinger agrees. See http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/336683/superb-mitt-romney-jay-nordlinger?pg=1, last accessed today. Hat tip to Dan Peterson at Patheos.com, whose blog is located at the following address: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/danpeterson/page/2, for alerting me to Nordlinger’s piece (Peterson’s blog also last accessed today).
Governor Romney has enough grace, after nearly eight years on the stage as a presidential candidate, to fade into the background, largely refraining from public comment and resuming his corporate activities by rejoining the board of Marriott International. At least one of his detractors, however, refuses to credit him with even a modicum of anything approaching grace, accusing him, instead, of demonstrating cowardice by abandoning his country when it needs him most. See Dana Milbank’s column at the following address, last accessed today: http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/opinion/55407184-82/romney-marriott-party-post.html.csp. If Mr. Milbank thinks that President Obama, Democrats, and/or the majority of the electorate care one whit what Governor Romney had to say with respect to the fiscal cliff, he’s seriously deluded. Rather, I suspect Mr. Milbank’s true sentiments are captured thus: “Wait, Mitt! Where are you going? We’re not done beating up on you! Among the many faults we have attributed to you, we critics know you’re really a publicity hound at heart who can’t stand the cold of being out of the spotlight, so you’ll just have to stand there and take all of the criticism we’d like to heap upon you until we decide we’re done with you!” Make no mistake, Governor Romney can’t win for losing in the eyes of many of his detractors: don’t shun the spotlight after losing an election and you’re a publicity hound; do that, and you’re a coward for not caring about the fate of our country!
I don’t know about Governor Romney, but that certainly sounds like an offer I couldn’t refuse! I simply don’t know what’s wrong with him!