Is George Washington rolling in his grave yet?
Though the rhetoric and spectacle of the most recent Republican presidential debates has died down a bit, it has left me thinking…
In watching the so-called “debates”, one almost gets the sense that a comedy of errors is taking place. Witness some of the following:
- Michele Bachmann takes on Rick Perry‘s Executive Order mandating that very young girls be immunized against a disease associated with sexual activity. The only problem? It was voted down by the legislature and never took effect.
- Or what about Rick Perry looking to smash Mitt Romney over the head with his “He’s been running [for President] for five and a half years” dig? As if. Romney was definitely out of the spotlight for most of that time, notwithstanding an occasional op-ed here and there. Not too egregious, but erroneous nonetheless.
- Even Herman Cain got into the act a few days ago, calling Perry “insensitive” for hunting on property with a rock outcropping adjacent to it that prominently displays the N-word. Perry’s people quickly insisted that any such epithet was painted over as soon as it was discovered. Uhh. Did I say it was prominently on display? But regardless. This is supposed to mean somehow that a candidate implicitly endorses a rock just because it’s there? Weak at best.
But I flinched hardest when Jon Huntsman‘s bush-league attempt at pulling a Jay Leno fell flat on its face. Watching him trying to pull his foot out of his mouth on national TV—as his lame reference to a previous “treasonous” controversial Perry comment arrived DOA—was truly embarrassing. Oops!
But wait! There’s more.
“Previous records” are fast becoming the new, chic, designer WMDs among the candidates.
- Who doesn’t now associate Romney with the “Romneycare” legislation he “authored” in Massachusetts? You know. It’s the bill that Obamacare was ostensibly patterned after? May I remind the people that an executive in government is not the legislature; and that only the legislature can craft new legislation. In point of fact, an executive can—in most cases—only veto the act or execute it (meaning put it into play, not use a firing squad).
- Or among those who’ve paid attention at all, who has missed the fact that Rick Perry supported (and still defends) legislation in his state to subsidize education for people who came into the country illegally? Especially in these tough economic times, it’s entertaining to watch a Republican candidate argue on behalf of the preposterous notion that taxpayer money should be spent assisting fugitives with their scholastic development.
- Between those of us who are a bit more savvy and sophisticated political “watchers”: Did you catch that Ron Paul was for Reagan, before he was against him? It seems he really liked the Gipper before he realized how much damage he was doing by increasing spending and almost single-handedly ending the heated Cold War.
- Oh by the way… Both Reagan and Perry were Democrats before they became Republicans. Weren’t they all?
For all their blather, much of this crop of candidates are incredibly obtuse! Didn’t they get the memo that people are fed up with Washington?
I’m pretty sure that being fed up includes having to endure the endless “politics as usual” campaigning that goes on.
(Unfortunately for us, these weasel campaign tactics do seem to work on some level. Darn!)
We could go on about the spin machines: Romney turning his health package into a states rights triumph; Ron Paul working to transform his Libertarian views into mainstream Republican values.
We could also talk about the image-crafting: Cain the non-politician; Bachmann the Tea Party darling; Perry the benevolent dictator; Rick Santorum the ever-dynamic candidate; Romney the business whiz-kid; and Newt Gingrich the principled statesman. Did I forget anybody? (How about Paul—the principled statesman?)
Herman Cain won the Florida poll for the same reason Bachmann won in Iowa. And it has everything to do with leaving the slick smoothness of a protracted political parlay by the wayside.
So what do We The People want?
Nothing more than simple, straightforward synergy in a dialog intended to solve this nation’s quandary.
That, and people with character to govern us—candidates in possession of integrity and honor; fidelity and virtue.
Romney’s parents instilled in him the outstanding campaigning skills of the 60s and 70s. Perry learned his on the job over the last two decades as he marched to win after win. Huntsman plays the outsider, but he’s just as focused on running the “prototype” campaign.
Well, I’ve got news for them. The American public is no longer buying…
Did you know that the father of our country, General Washington, never employed a campaign strategy? It’s because he never campaigned.
Washington never had to spin—he was always simply honest with his constituents. (What a novel approach!)
Washington was never forced to “remake himself” or run from his record. It seems his past was his greatest asset, not something he tried to rationalize or hide.
I think if you listen closely today, you just just might be able to hear something rustling beneath his burial plot…