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July 10, 2012

No GOP “Best Man”

Roy Meachum

The other morning some of my right-wing Republican good friends were talking about the national political race, and I was along. Their dialogue easily fit in the category of anti-Obama. These are colleagues; there was no trace of racial bias.


Mitt Romney’s name never came up, even though he’s their party’s all-but-certain presidential nominee. I was reminded of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, referred to the GOP forever as “that man in the White House.” The first African American chief executive is almost the opposite of the New York patrician, except for opponents’ fury at the very mention of his name. In the instance of FDR, it was easier to grasp.


After all, the squire of Hyde Park threatened to let no Republican back into the Oval Office; he kept on winning, through four elections. Washington’s 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, had become a GOP preserve since Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln moved in, in 1861. The past 72 years, in 1933, there were only two Democratic tenants: Grover Cleveland and Woodrow Wilson. When Franklin Roosevelt moved in, the Great Depression had already begun.


Similarly, America now wrestles with an economic whirlwind. At home and abroad, unemployment and debt woes present hazards to more than several governments. In Cairo, the new Islamist president quickly announced his administration’s highest priority is to create Egyptian jobs. Yet Republicans hoist all the world’s international woes on Mr. Obama. Without “scarcely mentioning Mr. Romney’s name, they declare he can solve all the problems.


Not since the years of deadlocked conventions, the GOP members have had the most difficult time in deciding their flag bearer this season. The former Massachusetts governor was wracked and rolled by Republican contenders from ex-Alaska governor Sarah Palin, Godfather Pizza Herman Cain and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, with several others popping up. The last one standing was Rick Santorum, once a Pennsylvania senator. Between them they provided a road map for Democrats of nominee Governor Romney’s flaws and weaknesses.


If Republicans couldn’t agree among themselves for months on his political merit and leadership, how can Democrats and Independents cotton to him? The strategy is obvious. By making a full press assault on his competitor, they mean to distract from the eventual GOP choice. The right-wing is playing a shell game with the nation’s future. They don’t see it this way, of course.


In their minds, they’re staunch defenders of the U.S. Constitution, scared about the public debt, local and national; they rant much about our collective grandchildren’s future. They’d rather save a dollar than a human life, which has much to do with their fear and loathing of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, denigrated as “Obamacare.”


Like the minority who boast their faithfulness to the Tea Party, the GOP majority puts forth no claim to racial or religious bigotry. More important than their guy’s Mormon faith, they want to see the present president’s African American back departing the White House for evermore. As a result, they can anticipate many Southern evangelicals to stay home on November 6, 2012.


So, they dodge talk about their “best man,” eventually counting on Mitt Romney to be swarmed by “real Republicans,” in elected and appointed offices.


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