- Special Sections
- Public Notices
As this column is being prepared for submission to the publisher, the Democratic National Convention is just getting underway, and the Republican National Convention has been concluded five or six days ago.
Due to these circumstances there is as yet little that we can say about the Democratic get-together in Charlotte, and a very great deal about which we could comment arising from the Republican assembly in Tampa, including addresses by Mrs. Romney, Mr. Ryan, and the Governor himself; not to mention Clint Eastwood’s performance.
But, it is none of these about which we wish to begin our commentary; it is instead the speech of Senator Marco Rubio introducing Governor Romney about which we wish initially to give some analysis.
We have heard almost nothing from any of the TV talking-heads/ commentators about this speech, even though they all mention that the senator was one on Gov. Romney’s short list of prospective vice presidential running mates, and he has been given the star treatment as the Republicans’ leading Hispanic office-holder, etc.
We had thought of beginning this column with the question: “Didn’t Marco get the Memo?”
Because so much of his address was outside the parameters of almost all of the other speakers at the convention. Instead of the oft-repeated line “I Built That,” Rubio reminded the listeners of our debt to God for any success we enjoy, and even further from the party line, he reminded of our debt to others for their aid and comfort along the way to any ultimate success. This is more in line with what the president so obviously meant when he made the unfortunate syntactical statement that “you didn’t build that.”
Rubio courageously cast doubt upon a major segment of the current Republican position of favouring the rich in so many aspects, especially rates of taxation, when he quoted the Apostle Luke (Chapter 12, Verse 48) who said: “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required”.
He also spoke of his parents’ immigration from Cuba, which, although he did not specifically spell it out, calls attention to the fact that they were in fact illegal immigrants, whose status was regularized when the illegal entrants into the country fleeing Castro’s Cuba were granted amnesty and access to citizenship.
This too is totally outside the scope of current Republican orthodoxy.
Both in tone and in content, the young senator’s rhetoric would have seemed unwise, especially in a speech introducing his party’s nominee for president. However, wise reader, a moment’s thought will show you how clever the young man is. He, like the old curmudgeon, probably thinks that it is highly unlikely that Romney will win. In the unlikely event that he should do so, then Rubio’s position is secure in the party, and in the administration. As the token Hispanic, he can almost write his own ticket.
If, however, in the more likely scenario of a Romney defeat, he is in a position to call attention to the fact that he tried to get the party to be more rational, and suggest that had they done so they might have won, and on a personal level, that had he been chosen as VP instead of the radical Ryan, with his disastrous Medicare-ending budget, that they might well have won.
So, he is in a relative win/win position, whereas had he gone along with the predominant radical rhetoric, he and his career would have suffered a severe, if not fatal, set back.
But, even Rubio had to praise Romney’s business experience, and decry Obama’s lack thereof, suggesting that such lack of business experience is some how disqualifying.
Of course, this position is more than a little hypocritical, in view of the fact that neither Sen. Rubio, Rep. Ryan, nor a whole tribe of professional politicians have had any business experience.
Some of them cannot even trot out the John Boehner playbook about how he janitored in his father’s tavern as a record of business experience.
Of course the whole thing about business experience is nonsensical in the first place, because the government is not a business, it never was, and it never will be as long as we preserve our Constitutional system.
Government is not organized to make a profit — the Constitution clearly sets out in broad categories the activities for which the Union was formed, and not a one of them is to make a profit, or to make or sell goods, not even to create jobs (a point which virtually no one in this modern age seems to be aware!).
There is a great difference between the decisions that governments are called upon to make and those that businessmen, no matter how big or powerful their business may be, are called upon to make.
And, possibly of even greater importance is the complete difference in how these decisions can be made, and implemented. Doubtless those who decry President Obama’s lack of leadership have no idea of just what a president has the power to do to exert his will in our Constitutional form of government.
We have a divided form of government with the power of that government vested in three separate co-equal branches: the Congress, the Supreme Court, and the President.
Under this scheme of things, even though one branch may resolutely intend to direct the government in one particular direction, either of the other two branches can stop any movement in that direction dead in its tracks.
Which is what has been done to Obama.
In the last four years it has been the Congress which has held its foot firmly on the brakes.
During the first two years, due to the filibuster rule in the Senate, the Democrats having less than 60 votes could not prevent that body from stopping the President doing anything.
And, during the last two years, added to the filibuster run Senate, the Republicans had an absolute majority in the House of Representatives, so that the President has been stymied to a great extent from leading any where. And we have no reason to doubt that should Romney win, his “leadership” will be as dead in the water as Obama’s has, unless he, Romney, is willing to jettison his right-wing agenda and adopt a bipartisan plan of government, which he is probably unable to do, or is scared to do.
Returning for a moment to the Republican convention’s speeches:
While Gov. Romney in his address briefly mentioned his intention to hold China’s feet to the fire, we can scarcely credit this intention, inasmuch as his buddies in the world of business and finance have gotten themselves so intertwined with China that there is no way for them to extricate themselves from the relationship without losing money, and Lord knows we can’t let that happen.
Maybe he intends to establish a bailout fund for old “China Hands” who have gotten those hands burnt.
And one other comment he made concerning how Russia is our greatest adversary, or words to that effect. Doesn’t he know that the Cold War is over — and that we won?
We have long known that our Republican brethren have sorely missed the Cold War, but we thought that Dubya’s military adventures in hot wars would suffice to replace it, but evidently not.