My friend Bill Lannigan stopped by tonight to catch up on everything from family travails to Mitt Romney’s speech bowing out of the presidential race.
In talking about the latter, a speech he made to a conservative group, in which he claimed once again to be the true conservative, despite his record as otherwise, Bill pointed out that instead of copping to the reality that he’d have to win every delegate still up for grabs in order to beat McCain, an impossibility, he depicted his quitting as a heroic act “in time of war” as he put it, putting aside his political ambitions for “the good of the Republican Party and of the country.”
As Bill said, he cast himself as some kind of “war hero” rather than a super rich guy who spent tons of money on a campaign that failed because he had taken both sides of every issue important to voters and took offense if that reality was pointed out to him.
For guys like us, he comes across as a phony even before we found out the reality of his either having no constant beliefs outside his Mormon faith, or else he’s an outright liar on almost every political issue.
It would have been funny, his portraying his quitting the race as wartime heroics, if it weren’t for the cheap shots he took to do it, referring to the possibility of a Barak Obama or Hilary Clinton presidency as “a surrender to terrorism” and even outright stating that the terrorists will be at our doorsteps if either of them get elected.
And Karl Rove isn’t even one of his advisors, as far as I know. But you can expect more of that crap from Republicans and “swift boat” style attack groups on the right whether it’s Barak or Hilary as the Democratic candidate. Those kinds of tactics would be so obviously pathetic if they didn’t work so well on too many ill-informed people.
By that logic, we should definitely elect a Democrat president, because the terrorists obviously waited for a Republican to get in before waging a really big attack on the U.S. and/or being able to successfully pull it off.
Or, if ending a war is “a surrender” to whatever enemy we’ve been fighting, then the Republicans have the worst record on that score, Eisenhower having given up in Korea, Nixon in Viet Nam, Reagan in Lebanon, Bush the First in Iraq, etc.
The pundits think Romney was making a pitch for a future run for president, say if McCain wins and is too old or ill to run for another term, or if a Democrat wins and things don’t work out well. They say he’s trying to pull a Reagan, impressing the conservative base in order to be their standard bearer in the future. I hope so. By then he’ll have proven himself to be even more of a phony than he already has.
[PS added next day: In the old days, when Republicans objected to wars waged by Democratic administrations, no Democrats questioned the patriotism of Republican opponents, and when candidates dropped out of races they honorably stated their respect for their opponents in all parties. The greatest example of a noble and humble acceptance of the sometimes arcane rules of our democracy and the rule of law as it stands here, even when the actual "democracy"—i.e. popular vote count—and laws —i.e. electoral college system—might be flawed, is Gore's concession speech when Bush Junior's Republican cohorts in the Supreme Court went against every belief they had ever expressed and voted on concerning "states' rights" to overturn Florida's desire to continue counting votes and straightening out the problems there, and handed the election to Junior. Even if you didn't like Gore or were disappointed in his campaign or wanted him to fight it out and be more aggressive in his campaign or the fight over Florida's votes, you have to give him credit for really doing what Romeny pretended he was doing, i.e. giving up the fight for the "good of the country" and our system of democracy, which obviously needs an overhaul on the "electoral college" level and the arcane voting rules of various states in what amounts eventually to a national primary system, as well as in the general election.]