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Opening Arguments

Just be you, Mitt

Memo to Mitt Romney: If President Obama wishes you were more like John McCain, just keep on plugging way, because you're obviously doing something right:

Faced with deteriorating economic conditions and an unexpectedly aggressive Republican opponent, President Obama and his aides are expressing nostalgia for Sen. John McCain, the Republican opponent Obama defeated handily in the 2008 election.

At a rally in Minnesota Friday, Obama said Republicans today are in the grip of a "fever" that has caused them to oppose his initiatives virtually across the board.  That "fever," Obama said, will make this presidential race against GOP nominee Mitt Romney particularly contentious -- in contrast to the last time, when Obama faced an opponent, McCain, who declined to engage in the kind of hard-hitting fight that many of his Republican supporters hoped he would.

"I mean, 2008 was a significant election, obviously," Obama told the audience at a Minneapolis restaurant called Bachelor Farmer.  "But John McCain believed in climate change.  John believed in campaign finance reform.  He believed in immigration reform.  I mean, there were some areas where you saw some overlap."

And the result of all that negativity-avoiding politeness and "some overlap" in policy areas was that McCain lost! Jeez.

Not to be left out in the Romney-must-listen-to-me sweepstakes, NYT columnist Thomas Friedman says the candidate should go green:

MITT ROMNEY certainly has his weaknesses as a candidate, but his biggest challenge in attracting independent swing voters will be overcoming a well-earned reputation for saying whatever the Republican base wants to hear. Having watched him in the primaries, you have to wonder whether there is any issue in which he would turn to the far-right in his party and say: “I’m sorry. You have this wrong. Here’s the hard truth. ...”

One place he could start to change that perception is with the issues of energy, conservation and the environment. In recent years, the G.O.P. base has fallen into a knee-jerk drill, baby, drill attitude that clean energy is for sissies and protecting the environment only hurts jobs, therefore, conservatism and conservation can’t mix. Last week, Romney traveled to a remote coal-mining town, Craig, Colo., where he trashed President Obama’s green jobs record, while addressing workers wearing caps that said “Coal = Jobs.” Yes, it does, for lung doctors.

Believe it or not, I do try to keep personal attacks on other pontificators at a minimum. Heaven knows, I am vulnerable to them, too, and one takes a risk by encouraging such venom. But, honestly, Thomas Friedman is a total buffoon, and it's a profound embarrassment for this profession that he has won a Pulitzer -- more than once!


Mon, 06/04/2012 - 2:34pm

Back in the 1960's & 1970's The National Rifle Association was willing to compromise on a number of gun issues.  Richard Nixon was confused because some NRA board members were openly supporting anti-gun senators and also the Saturday Night Special ban.

In 1977, at the Cincinnati members meeting, there was a revolt by its membership.  No more compromises.  Board members became nominated by the members, not the president.  No more good ole' boy politics in the organization.  Its attitude was going to be run by its membership.

The good ole' boy Republican Party is being replaced by no compromise Tea Party members.  It won't happen overnight, but it will happen.

The Republican Party better listen to its supporters.  Not its nonsupporters.