Romney, Again?

Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts,...
Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts, 2008 US presidential candidate. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Good grief.

The 2012 presidential election was over six months ago and Republicans (and others)  are STILL talking about why they lost. The media are still doing stories on it. Whatever for?

Maybe I am suffering from a lapse of memory, but I don’t ever remember this kind of “after-the-election” coverage. Yes, when the United Supreme Court voted that George W. Bush had won, the conversation was pretty much over. Oh, it lasted a while, but not six months afterward.

When Clinton won, I don’t remember the expansive coverage on why the Republicans lost. What in the world is different this time?

Is it because the Republicans are in shock because they lost to the man whom they had determined would be a “one term president?” Is it because they cannot believe that the non-white, male vote wasn’t enough to vote them in?  What am I missing? Why are we STILL talking about this?

There are issues to be dealt with. There’s the vast amount of destruction that has happened because of Hurricane Sandy, the tornadoes  that wreaked havoc in Moore, Oklahoma and afterward. These natural disasters have not only caused great damage that will require lots of taxpayer dollars to bring relief, but there is they have also struck the hearts and spirits of those who were affected. There will be lots of emotional trauma because of these disasters, and this country, much as it may not want to, will have to address the subject of mental illness and what this country needs to do about it.

There is the ongoing turmoil in the Middle East. Benghazi has come and gone,and there is still much discussion about what happened there and why, but the overall turmoil in the Middle East is not getting better; it’s getting worse. As we sit in the midst of a sequester which is affecting all areas of the national budget, including the defense budget, it seems that someone ought to be dealing with what implications the sequester is having in all areas of our lives.

There is health care. Yes, we have the Affordable Care Act, and lots more people who didn’t have access to health care will now have it, but the poorest of the poor will still be unable to get it, if the reports are true. That being the case, even though the Affordable Care Act has passed, will our health care costs still soar because too many people will still be forced to get care in emergency rooms?

There is the horrible situation caused by excessive student loan debt. While everyone is talking about the national debt, very little real attention is being given to the plight college students, past, present and to come, are facing with their paralyzing debt. Our Congress isn’t really talking about it; the media isn’t really covering it. And yet, this staggering debt threatens the livelihood of young people who have bought into the idea that a good education means a good life. Not necessarily.

We’ve not yet really settled the issue of gun control. The memory of what happened in Connecticut and Arizona and other places is still fresh; in spite of heart-felt pleas by family members of victims, Congress is still at an impasse. So, we wait for the next gun-caused catastrophe and begin the clamor all over again?

There are the ongoing problems of sexism and sexual assault on women that has gone on in our own military. There are the issues of gun control and immigration reform.  The phone records of Americans have been compromised in the name of …what?

In other words, there are just lots of things that are current issues that we as a nation need to be focusing on, not an election which came and passed in November. The incumbent won. It’s over.

So, why are we still trying to “figure it out?” Why are we still seeing interviews of Mitt Romney? Why is it still an issue that he lost?  It’s a waste of time…

A candid observation

What Is a Conservative?

Mitt Romney at one of his presidential campaig...
Image via Wikipedia

OK. I am confused.

What is a “real” Conservative? And when did the word “Liberal” become a virtual cuss word for those who are on the Right?

I was perplexed when Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney said last week that he was “severely Conservative.”  I didn’t know what it meant; I am glad that David Frum, in an article posted on the CNN blog, said that what Romney meant to say was that he was, or is, “strongly” Conservative. (http://www.cnn.com/2012/02/13/opinion/frum-romney-moves)

Michelle Bachmann said she was the “perfect” Conservative, and this week, Sarah Palin intimated that Romney still has to prove he is Conservative enough to be a viable candidate to run against President Obama.

But I am still confused. What is a Conservative, really? What do Conservatives stand for? There seems to be a standard in order for one to call oneself “Conservative.” It’s like the elusive “standard” that exists for being “black.” President Obama has been chided by some for not being “black enough,” and by others for being “too black,” so much so that there is literally nothing else to call him but a Socialist.

In order to be a Conservative, what does one have to stand for? It’s can’t be small government and less government spending, because George W. Bush said he was a Conservative but made the government super huge and spent money like it was going to evaporate. He was “conservative” when it came to interfering with Terri Schiavo…meaning, he was on the bandwagon to make sure life-saving measures were not discontinued…but wait. That couldn’t have been Conservative, could it, when he invited the United States Supreme Court in to make a ruling on the case?

As I have always understood it, Conservatives stand for less government …but that’s not a constant standard, is it? I mean, some Conservatives are mad about “Obamacare,” because they say it’s government intrusion in health care, but isn’t the government already highly involved, so much so that we don’t have the freedom in some cases to choose our own doctors like we used to be able to, and we might be out of luck if we do not get certain medical procedures approved by our insurance companies first? Didn’t the government have something to do with where we are in health care today?

I am not being facetious. I am confused. What is the difference between a “real” Conservative and a Liberal? And what is it about liberalism that makes Conservatives so mad?  Is it because Conservatives think that a government ought not help the poor? Is it the Conservative viewpoint that people are down and out because they want to be and that they are where they are because they are just lazy? Is that what I am hearing underneath some of what Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have said? And is the Conservative view that we should let the elderly of our population kind of wing it when it comes to health care? I know Medicare is expensive, but what I am not sure about is what Conservatives are saying.

I am not trying to be a smart-aleck. I am genuinely confused. The Conservatives, many of them, say they are part of the evangelical population of this country. That is why they are against gay marriage, and want to overturn Roe vs. Wade…but if they are so attached to The Holy Bible, wouldn’t they have seen the literally hundreds of references about the poor and how God’s people are supposed to take care of them?  Liberals have been accused of being without religion, but what kind of religion is it that the Conservatives, a.k.a. the evangelicals, ascribe to?

I am genuinely confused. Is it just me, or is there a problem here? If Romney is “severely” or “strongly” a Conservative, what does that mean? When he ran for governor of Massachusetts, he said he was a Progressive. So…what do we have here? A new strain of politician? Is Romney a Progressive Conservative? Or a Conservative Progressive? It’s all really hard to understand for a non-sophisticated citizen like myself.

A candid observation …

Disrespect of President Obama is Telling

Governor at a book signing in Phoenix, Arizona...
Image via Wikipedia

I keep trying to put into perspective what I feel about seeing the picture of Arizona Governor Jan Brewer shaking her finger in the face of President Obama.

Actually, I don’t know what that perspective is…I guess whatever the president said to her annoyed her.

But I am thinking that other presidents have said things to governors in the past that were not words of comfort or praise for jobs well done, and yet, I have never seen a picture of any other governor shaking his or her finger in the face of the President of the United States.

Gov. Brewer said that she respects the office of president; it was striking but not surprising that she did not say she respected the President.

But her actions belie her proclamation of respect. Shaking one’s finger in someone’s face suggests that one thinks one has the right to do such, and that the one being “scolded” is somehow so much “less than” than the person doing the scolding that the pointed finger is deserved.

What has bothered me from the beginning of this president’s term is the lack of respect for him which has then spilled over into actions which have shown an absolute lack of respect for the office of President.

From Sen. Mitch McConnell‘s proclamation at the beginning of President Obama’s term that his top priority was to make sure that President Obama would be a one term president, to Joe Wilson shouting out “You lie!” during the President’s first State of the Union address to this …the lack of respect has been blatant, scorching, and arrogantly communicated.

So does this mean that some people will not and cannot respect the office of president if someone they truly dislike and/or disagree with is in the White House?

Why is it that I cannot remember anyone showing such disrespect when President George W. Bush was in office, a president who got the country into two wars, ran up our debt by out of control spending, and who, frankly, kind of made a mockery out of Republican/Conservative principles when it comes to spending?

Was it because he at least gave big business and the wealthy what they wanted – tax cuts – which arguably have contributed to the financial mess we are in now?  When one thinks about what President’s actions and policies have done to this country, it would seem that his actions would have stirred the ire of red-blooded Conservatives, and yet, nothing. I never saw anyone openly disrespect him.

Has Gov. Brewer apologized for what she did? I haven’t seen it. I have seen a story where she said that she went to the airport to give President Obama a letter to invite him to an event, but that he ignored that invitation and voiced disapproval over the way she characterized a meeting the two had dealing with immigration.

The story did not quote Gov. Brewer as saying the President had been rude, or disrespectful, in the way he voiced his disappointment; had that been the case, I am more than sure we would have known it. No, the articles I have read have merely said that she took issue that he had taken issue with the way she summarized the way she wrote about their meeting.

And for that, she shakes her finger in the President’s face?

I am appalled by what I have seen overall since the President took office. I am not an “Obama groupie;” I think the President has done well in some areas and not so well in others, but he is the President of the United States, for goodness’ sake! I did not like President George W. Bush, but he was the President of the United States! Had I met him, there would have been no way I would have disrespected him.

That so many people think it is OK to disrespect President Obama in the way that they are is troubling. The President has handled it well, probably better than we who have observed it. But the type and the width and the breadth of the disrespect of this president says a lot about what’s going on, on many levels.

I leave it to you to unpack that last sentence.

It is a candid observation.