Friday, August 31, 2012

Romney Remakes the Blues Brothers

Romney's acceptance speech at the Republican convention last evening reminded me of a scene that has been in so many movies. The audience is gathered, but when the lights dim, for some reason the starring act isn't ready to start the show. Maybe the star performer is caught in traffic, passed out from drinking too much, or just suffering from a bad case of nerves. Stalling for time, someone takes the stage and tells some jokes, or draws out the introduction until the crowd grows restless. In the movies, at the last minute, the performance begins and everything comes out OK.

Last night, Mitt Romney took the stage and tap danced through his entire speech. He kept telling us he had a plan, but he never told us what it was. He kept telling us he would do better than Obama has done, but he never told us how. For nearly an hour, he sounded as if he was waiting for someone to run up to the podium and hand him the notes he had forgotten to bring with him which spelled out what he was going to do if he was elected president.

As Romney concluded his speech, I half expected him to tell the audience in the convention center that he was going to take a little break and that they should order another round of drinks and come back for the second set when he would tell them what his plan was. But, of course, he didn't. He smiled and waved as the balloons dropped and the band played, apparently hoping that we wouldn't notice that he never told us what we wanted to know.

The pundits say that all Romney was trying to do was convince us he was a nice guy. He almost succeeded, as he told us stories about his wife, parents, and kids. But when he went on to attack Obama for not fixing the economy and told us that he wished that Obama had succeeded because he wanted America to succeed, Romney reminded me of the bully who trips a kid in school and then smirks at him, “Gee, sorry you fell down.” Romney's party announced at the beginning of Obama's term that their primary goal was to make sure Obama failed so that they could defeat him when he ran for reelection. If Romney had really wanted Obama to succeed, he should have scolded the delegates he was speaking to for sabotaging their country's economy just to gain a political advantage. Instead, he grinningly affirmed their strategy. Not a nice guy.

Romney promised to put ten million people back to work. He promised prosperity. He promised to reduce the deficit without raising taxes or cutting military spending. He promised and promised and promised. But he never even came close to giving us even the slightest idea of how he was going to accomplish any of these things.

Romney is telling us we should elect him because our country is failing and he knows how to fix it. I would hope that before banks loaned Mr. Romney millions of dollars to take over companies, they would have insisted that he show them a business plan for how he was going to make failing companies succeed. It seems to me that we have at least as much right to insist that Romney explain his plans to us before we trust him with our future.

1 comment:

  1. He was that bully but he did crueler things than just trip someone. (See Cranbrook, hair cut incident.)

    Clint's act reminded me more of the time-filling riffing cliche. Mitt's was the usual vague promises that could never be true.