Raining on Romney

Mitt Romney is finding ways to tell us about his plans for the country even if Republicans aren’t willing to risk getting damp to hear about it.

So the Americans that survived Valley Forge and stormed the beaches of Normandy and Iwo Jima have gotten so soft that the mere threat of heavy rain is enough to cancel an entire day of a national political convention.

Here is the chairman of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus, on “Fox News Sunday,” explaining the decision to call off Monday’s program at the Republican National Convention in Tampa: “the Secret Service took down the tents out in front of the forum. People would be standing in line in driving rain.”

My goodness. Have the Republicans not heard of raincoats? Umbrellas? If a mere tropical storm hundreds of miles away is enough to send Republicans running for cover, imagine how the Grand Old Party would deal with a genuine threat, like a major terrorist attack, war, or a federal fiscal crisis.

Green Bay Packers and Buffalo Bills fans regularly watch football games outside in snowstorms and freezing temperatures. Yet for a historically significant moment in an election to defend the free enterprise system and turn back a vast expansion of government spending and power that has mired America in economic stagnation, the Republicans won’t even brave raindrops on the doorstep to an indoor arena?

A charitable interpretation is that this is a secret stroke of strategic genius by Republican operatives who realized that they were not going to help their party’s electoral chances by interrupting regularly scheduled network programming to broadcast speeches by a bunch of politicians who were also-rans in the vice-presidential contest.

For better or worse, the party’s presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, is finding ways to tell us about himself and his plans for the country even if his fellow Republicans aren’t willing to risk getting damp to hear about it.

So the Romney campaign Web site on Sunday featured a note from WMR himself that concluded with the less-than-rousing line, “It's time for the American middle class to have an unwavering champion in the White House.” He sounds like Senator Schumer with this “middle class” stuff. Since when did Americans divide ourselves up into classes? I’d happily settle for a president who championed freedom and economic growth and let the Marxists, Democrats, and college professors handle the class warfare.

And on the same “Fox News Sunday” show on which Priebus justified his surrender to the prediction of raindrops, Romney faulted President Obama for “the way the president cut Medicare, $716 billion for current retirees.” In fact these are future promised cuts against ten years worth of inflated baselines. Medicare spending has gone up every year of the Obama administration.

Romney went on, “one thing is for sure, putting money back into Medicare helps it, it doesn't hurt it.” Here Romney is campaigning on the promise to spend more on Medicare than Obama would. And he’s defining his choice not on the basis of what is best for the country or for the health of American seniors, but what’s best for Medicare. Imagine if, at Bain Capital, Romney had tried to launch Staples with the theory that it would help your company spend more money on office supplies than the competition.

Finally, in the same interview, Romney said he’d prefer if the presidential campaigns had less money to spend on informing voters about the choices in front of them in November. “I would far rather have a setting where we had both agreed to the federal spending limits,” Romney told Chris Wallace. “Look, what—what he's done has meant that both of us have to spend an inordinate amount of time fundraising. We can't spend as much time on the campaign trail. And, frankly, it increases the potential of money having influence in politics.” The last Republican who ran against Obama on a campaign-finance-reform (or, more accurately, campaign speech limitation) platform was Senator McCain, and we know how that turned out for McCain.

In another interview, this one with Politico, Romney claimed that Obama “got every piece of legislation he wanted passed.” Not so; Obama wanted a cap-and-trade law to curb global warming, he wanted legislation to legalize certain illegal immigrants, and he wanted to repeal some of the Bush tax cuts on upper-income individuals, but he could not get any of that through Congress.

In the same Politico interview, Romney is paraphrased as saying he would “treat his cabinet like a board of directors.” One significant difference Romney apparently did not mention is that a CEO works for and is hired by the board of directors, while the cabinet works for and is chosen by the president. Another is that the cabinet has nearly two dozen members, which is so large as to be nearly unwieldy for a corporate board. Anyway, whatever the case is for replacing Obama, his poor use of his cabinet probably isn’t at the center of it.

Some of Romney’s campaign rhetoric, alas, isn’t worth risking a mild suntan for, let alone raindrops. It’ll be a successful convention for the Republicans if by the end of it voters aren’t hoping that the presidential debates get rained out, too.

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  • Zeb||

    the Americans that survived Valley Forge and stormed the beaches of Normandy and Iwo Jima

    I'm pretty sure most all of those Americans are quite dead at this point.

  • Loki||

    Green Bay Packers and Buffalo Bills fans regularly watch football games outside in snowstorms and freezing temperatures.

    Yeah but those are, you know, actually important. Plus it helps that those fans might have a trace of blood in their alcohol streams.

    Obama to GOP: That convention - you didn't cancel that.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I was at the Pats-Broncos playoff game last year and sat up in the wind-exposed upper seats. My beer had ice crystals in it before I could finish drinking it. That's when I switched to my boot whiskey.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    Watch CFL football (Kramer knows what I'm talking about) in Winnipeg or Saskatchewan in -40c (not including the wind) and then let's talk you weak Americans. Green Bay and Buffalo is tropical next to that!

    But seriously folks, what do you think of this video with Chris Matthews? Dude is really a blind moonbat of priceless meaurement, n'est pas?

    http://thehill.com/video/campa.....ard-charge

  • Pro Libertate||

    I can't figure this out at all. Not just the convention, but the friggin' government shut down here. Schools? All closed. Libraries? Ditto. We don't do that with storms we are 99% sure are missing us normally. Why the freakout? Just because of the convention? It doesn't make any sense to me.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Maybe now you can get more federal funds somehow?

  • ||

    No one wants to take a chance.

    No mayor or emergency services director is taking that one percent chance.

    I work for the consulting firm that is managing the state's emergency response this year. I was talikg to the head of the department that's handling it this morning and his words were basically that as a taxpayer he was pretty disgusted that the state ordered them to get mobilized but OTOH he wasn't complaining about the million-plus dollar fee we were getting either. That's just for the consultant, God only knows what all the contractors were getting.

  • Skip||

    They cancelled it because if some old fart had a heart attack or something from the storm and died, the MSM would say Romney killed them.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    If some old fart in California had a hard attack and died because his daughter had to carry an umbrella as she walked to work at the convention, then Romney killed him.

  • ant1sthenes||

    If only the sort of people that would stand in line in driving rain could get in, then they would run the risk of Ron Paul winning the nomination by attrition.

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    Ira Stoll: Maureen Dowd after a sex change.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Wait, you mean Maureen Dowd is a woman??

  • ||

    If christians realized what Romney believes, they would not even consider voting for him.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGFAph3lWqw

  • Bill Dalasio||

    That's okay, I was raised in a faith that believes it's practicing ritualistic cannibalism and vampirism.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    The RNC does boring brilliantly.

  • Jackand Ace||

    "Since when did Americans divide ourselves up into classes?"

    Uh, since the revolution. Try checking out history first, Ira, as in Bacon's Rebellion, Shay's Rebellion, The Whiskey Rebellion, the labor movement early 20th century, the struggle for voting rights. Even the Civil War!

    Its who we are, Ira. Get over it.

  • Tom Doughy||

    The Rs can't stand in the rain with umbrellas...the R party, in the interest of 'security', has barred umbrellas from the convention hall, and has barred 'large' cameras to all but the media, and barred a host of other common items as well.

  • Sonderegger||

    the same Politico interview, Romney is paraphrased as saying he would “treat his cabinet like a board of directors.” One significant difference Romney apparently did not http://lyndatownsend616.blog.com/ mention is that a CEO works for and is hired by the board of directors, while the cabinet works for and is chosen by the president. Another is that the cabinet has nearly two dozen members, which is so large as to be nearly unwieldy for a corporate board. Anyway, whatever the case is for replacing Obama, his poor use of his cabinet probably isn’t at the center of it.

  • Alex the wolf||

    This article is very confusing because it talks about too many things
    With regards to the postponment, I dont see how this is more relevant than whether Obama was born in Hawai or not, or if a homosexual marriage should be called civil union or not.
    With regards to medicare, we all know whats the issue. The dems are saying that Paul Ryan will drop grandma over the cliff. The big issue is whether obamacare is repealed or not.
    With regards to the middle class comments, while I agree that its ridiculous to divide society in "classes", this is obviously a response to dems who are accusing Romney of being only for "the rich" who "aren`t paying their fair share"

  • ||

    Yet for a historically significant moment in an election http://www.airmaxsalle.com/hom.....-c-31.html to defend the free enterprise system and turn back a vast expansion of government spending and power that has mired America in economic stagnation, the Republicans won’t even brave raindrops on the doorstep to an indoor arena?

  • Francisco||

    Since when did Americans divide ourselves up into classes? I’d happily settle for a president who championed freedom and economic growth and let the Marxists, Democrats, and college professors handle the class warfare.

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