Tuesday, February 7, 2012
The other day, Mitt Romney made a comment about his not caring about poor people. His words were not only taken out of context in the literal sense, they were stripped bare of any technical or intellectual content and subsequently refashioned into something he did not mean or actually say.
Mitt’s words – the specific words about the poor that were excised from his statement – got lots of airtime, not because they were significant or meaningful, but because the media has lots of airtime to fill and it costs more to do real reporting than to ride the sound bite of the day until that wave hits the beach and another big one shows up on the horizon. (That, “Dude,” was as surfing analogy, for those of you who didn’t get it.) Likewise, Mitt’s competitors for the nomination, and President Obama, have so little real stuff to talk about they made a big deal about it too. The media and politicians tend to play off each other that way in a mutually self-serving love-hate-love relationship that we, the people who watch and read all this stuff, really need to do something about.
Making matters worse, Mitt eventually apologized. He shouldn’t have, but he did. His original point, if he’ll indulge me to make it for him, was that an effective manager needs to set priorities. Ours is a consumer driven economy. The poor don’t have any money, which is why we call them “poor.” The rich have money, but can only buy so many houses, yachts and pairs of underwear and sox. That leaves the great middle class to bring the economy back to life. ..Priorities. It’s all about setting priorities.
When an accident victim arrives at an emergency care facility hanging on by a thread, the doctors don’t worry about how that nasty rash or the bad hair day their patient is having. Their first and only concern is to stop the hemorrhaging. Mitt is a natural and proven manager. He knows all about setting priorities. His bedside manner may suck, but he gets the job done which is exactly why we need him, or someone with his skill set and experience, in The White House.
For those of you who may think I’m comparing poverty to a bad do, I’m not. Yes, it is unforgivably reprehensible that there is any poverty, whatever its definition, in the United States, and we need to eradicate it – as soon as possible. Unfortunately, as hard a concept as it is for us to accept, our economy is too weak, our government too ineffective, our fiscal management too inept for us to deal with it now. Reluctantly, regrettably, ours must now be a government of “first things first.”
Okay, fair is fair. Let’s nitpick President Obama. In a weekend interview conducted by NBC’s Matt Lauer, President Obama said the following:
What I’m going to just keep on doing is plodding away, very persistent. And you know what? One of the things about being President is you get better as time goes on.
OMG. So, let me get this straight. The “Yes we can!” President of the United States of America is persistent, maybe, but views himself as “plodding away”? That’s his self-image? That’s what we’re paying him to do? To plod?
And he’s getting better as time goes on. Good to know. So what were the last three years? A paid internship? We cannot afford to elect a person President who isn’t ready to be President when we elect him. So now, we’re supposed to re-elect President Obama on the grounds that, what the hell, we’ve already wasted his first term training him to be President, so now that he’s finally ready, if that’s even the case, we’d be fools to not give ourselves a chance to recover the investment we made in his first term? ..Think about it. My arguments make much more sense after a couple of beers and a plateful of cheeseburger sliders.
Yeah, well Mitt apologized for what he said. Now I want President Obama to apologize for what he’s done, or hasn’t done. I’m still not going to vote for him, but an apology would be the polite and right thing to do.
P.S. Let’s see if the media calls President Obama on his words, they way they “Mitt-picked” Mr. Romney’s.