by Randolph T. Holhut
Chief of American Reporter Correspondents
May 17, 2012
HOW WE'VE BECOME TWO AMERICAS: SEPARATE AND UNEQUAL
DUMMERSTON, Vt., May 4, 2012 -- "To all of the thousands of good and decent Americans I've met who want nothing more than a better chance, a fighting chance, to all of you, I have a simple message: Hold on a little longer. A better America begins tonight."
Maybe that statement would be true if the Tea Party dolts and wimpy centrists get voted out of Congress, and President Obama gets a solid progressive majority to work with for his second term.
But that statement came from the mouth of Mitt Romney, who all but clinched the Republican presidential nomination last month, and it is a lie like just about everything else that exits his mouth,
In his victory speech in Manchester, N.H., last week, he trotted out the old "Are you better off now than you were four years ago?" trope made famous by Ronald Reagan in his 1980 campaign against Presidfent Jimmy Carter.
And yes, millions of Americans would say "No" to that question. But Romney conveniently fails to mention whose policies caused the biggest economic collapse since the 1930s, and who left the mess for Obama to clean up.
That's right, the words "POresident George W. Bush" are absent from Romney's, or any Republican candidate's, stump speeches. They are hoping Americans forget who was president before Obama, and are hoping that people forget which members of which political party have obstructed any attempts to pull the economy out of the ditch.
Romney is also hoping that people forget he was governor of Massachusetts until he got bored and decided to run for president. He wasn't the worst governor the state has had, and his health care plan - the one great accomplishment of his tenure - is actually working.
But since he and the Republicans are campaigning on the idea that government is evil and can do nothing right, Romney is keeping silent about that, too.
He'd rather talk about his time running Bain Capital, but there, too, he glosses over the many companies that were driven into bankruptcy by his venture capital firm and the tens of thousands of jobs that were lost in the process.
Thankfully, Romney's Republican rivals during the primary season did all the work for the Democrats in pointing out that Bain Capital destroyed more jobs than it ever created.
In listening to Romney over the past year, it is clear that he does not have a consistent belief in anything except what might benefit Mitt Romney at any given moment.
Is it any wonder why so many Republicans hate Romney and, according to a Gallup poll, he is drawing the least amount of support from his own party of any presidental nominee in decades?
Romney said that Obama "will run a campaign of diversions, distractions, and distortions." That is especially rich coming from a candidate that spent more than $100 million on winning the Republican nomination. Virtually all of it was spent on attack ads against the other Republicans in the field.
Aside from hoping for a return to the economic chaos of 2008, Romney and the Republicans have nothing to run on - unless you think advocating massive cuts in social welfare programs and attacking women, immigrants, union members, students, and anyone else who isn't white, male, Christian and heterosexual is a winning strategy.
Many things that can happen between May and November, but I think Vice President Joe Biden came up with the best description of the contrast between Romney and Obama when he said last week, "If you are looking for a bumper sticker to sum up how President Obama has handled what we inherited, it's pretty simple: Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive."
Good luck trying to spin that one, Mr. Romney.
AR Chief Correspondent Randolph T. Holhut has been a journalist in New England for more than 30 years. He edited "The George Seldes Reader" (Barricade Books). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.