Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I have a plan - trust me!

Trust me … I have a plan….

Have you ever really listened to the speeches given by the candidates for the Republican nominee for the Presidential race?

It is really interesting to hear what they actually have to say once they get past all the thank you’s and obligatory praising of their teams and supporters.

Last night I listened to two of these people …and the differences were quite stark.

One was a little strained and clearly disappointed at having achieved only second place…while the other was upbeat and clearly exuberant as only a winner can be.

As they say…”winners are grinners, and losers can chose for themselves”….but that is not what I want to talk about today. Nor do I want to talk about how the Michigan result is not as clearly a Romney victory as the numbers indicate (although it appears that the delegate count will be either 15/15 Romney/Santorum or 13/17 Romney/Santorum. I find it very interesting that Romney claims victory with the vote and yet Santorum can rack up more delegates from this affair….but that is another story for another day.)

Today I want to look briefly at what these two guys said…and if I can, find a nutshell to wrap it up in.

Santorum appealed to the strength of the American people to build up the country when Government gets out of the way. He talked of the government being a tool and the responsibility being with the people. He spoke of dismantling federal entitlements and pushing that responsibility to the states. He spoke of smaller government, fewer regulations and constitutional guidance. While he indulged in some patriotic rhetoric in an attempt to reignite the patriotic fervor that will propel him forward, he used that sparingly and enticed the people to support his efforts to revive for them their rights as described in the Constitution.

This did not sound to me like a defeated man. It sounded like a man who loves his country and is only now finding the voice he needs.

And then I heard Romney….Mitt Romney, the man with a plan…..

I have no idea how many times he said…I have a plan….

I don’t know how many times he made claims about what he would achieve as President …without a single explanation of how he would do it.

His speech was long on rhetoric and short on specifics. A few meager attempts to refer to the Constitution did nothing to dispel my thinking…

What I heard was…”I have a plan….trust me!”

I don’t know about you, but I find those sorts of statements very discomforting. When have you ever thought a politician was trustworthy? Why would you just accept what he says without first determining the logic behind the statement?

I have to say that Romney has studied well. Our current President was swept to power on the back of his own statement that he “has a plan…a plan to fundamentally change America…a plan that provides hope”….

I can’t help thinking that Romney is following Obama’s lead….he has a plan…and we should simply trust that?

I confess I have not been to Romney’s website to actually look at his plan….it is likely to be there…it is likely to be spelled out quite well….so why is it that he doesn’t seem to be willing to articulate it in his speeches?
That is very simple to answer….we live in an era of sound bites….and when his plan is articulated; it becomes sound bite fodder…so he doesn’t.

On the other hand, Santorum has found himself beaten up over things he has said. The media (and his opponents) are merciless in their attacks on him (and Gingrich) for things they have said…often taken out of context, often misleading…but still the sound bite is there for the uninformed to salivate over.

But Romney?

He is clever….he has a plan….trust him!

With each passing day it becomes clearer to me that this year is Romney’s turn to screw up the Presidential race. The Republican establishment has decreed it…and thus it shall be.


Are you conservatives really going to sit back and allow the establishment to select your nominee for you?

The Republican brains trust are all sitting back in their ivory towers looking down at the conservative voters…and between puffs on their metaphorical cigars…they grin at each other and say….”We have a plan….trust us!”

I don’t think this race is anywhere near over yet. It is very clear that conservatives want Obama out…that is their highest priority…but I am sensing a growing movement that they want more than that. A Romney presidential administration meets their initial need to get rid of Obama….but it doesn’t meet their desire for a conservative administration.

And this where I believe that both the Romney camp and the establishment camp has missed the mark.
Santorum and Gingrich are said to be unable to get the women voters…especially those that are not interested in the intricacies of political discourse but base their opinions on the sound bites they hear between episodes of Desperate Housewives…and I suspect this is true.

And if it IS true?  What alternatives are left for the thinking conservative?

Good old Uncle Ron?

The libertarians among you will be saying “yes” and I confess that I find many of the Paul ideas appealing to the small “l” libertarian inside me. With the passage of time, Ron Paul’s ability to explain his positions has either improved, or I have simply understood better what he is trying to say.

I still find his foreign policy positions difficult to agree with but I don’t expect to agree with anyone 100%.

Anyway, here is what we are faced with, or at least what the media tells us we are faced with

-          Romney has a plan – but can we trust him?
-          Santorum is not electable because he hates women, college graduates and JFK speeches make him sick
-          Gingrich can beat Obama in a debate…but he is a philandering woman hater that no woman could ever vote for
-          Paul – he is just looney tunes…would make a great dinner guest but a President? Get real!

If we go by the media representations there really is no choice is there?

But wait….

Are we going to allow the media to choose our candidate? Who owns the media….the left? Well, yes, much of the mainstream media sold their souls to the left decades ago….but what about places like Fox, and many of the talk shows which are dominated by conservatives? Unfortunately, they are all about ratings…and are often in bed with the republican establishment.

So…the media is biased toward Romney….I still question why the left wants him as the candidate….perhaps they too believe that Obama and Romney are simply mirror images?

Just so you know…I am not in the “anybody but Romney” camp….I am in the “anybody but Obama” camp.

I just happen to believe that I have a better chance of winning the lottery (even though I NEVER buy a ticket) than Romney does of beating Obama in a general election.

Can we see any of the other three beating Obama?

Only if we decide that it is ok not to agree 100% with everything they say or do. Santorum’s weakness…some people just don’t like that he wears his faith on his sleeve. Does that mean he will make a bad President? Nope.

Some people don’t like that Gingrich has divorced twice…they assume that makes him a bad man and definitely a bad President. Really?

Some people don’t like Paul…they think he is insane…but his conservative record cannot be questioned. Does his goofy smile mean he will make a bad President? Nope.

It is time for people to stop listening to the sound bites…stop being lulled by the rhetoric and start demanding substance.

If we do that, we may avoid having Romney running for President. If we don’t , he will be the nominee….

Of course, that many not be a bad thing, right?

After all….he has a plan!


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