William Saletan did a piece showing where he thinks the Republican’s fall attacks are going to go. He’s got seven in there, and, if you’ve followed the last couple months of the American political scene, you’ve heard those pitches already.
There are a couple of things that concern people about Mitt Romney and the Republicans, and I’m sure that the Obama campaign is going to pick up on them mighty fast. One is, that they can’t seem to be nailed down. For all the forceful talk, they really haven’t said specifically what Romney intends to do. I blame the Powerpoint Sea that anyone near a big company, or other organization, floats in these days. Everything is themes and concepts. The actual details, the paragraphs that explain, are not present. Invisible, maybe, like the other man in the Clint Eastwood duo. I know it’s a campaign, and this ditty about “campaign in poetry, govern in prose.” But if the voter is supposed to turn Obama out for not having met certain goals and specifics, isn’t it fair to ask what specifically Mitt Romney seeks to change? Otherwise, it sounds like the puff-and-blow that makes up so many corporate meetings, where a manager is trying to get over. I’m being handed the stack of slides—not details.
The Republican Party used to have a claim on “integrity” as a quality. This was more than just whether the candidate himself had integrity. No one is saying that Mitt Romney is a man of zero percent integrity. But the party he now leads lost its integrity some time ago. It used to be a solid, competent political force in America. Now it’s some kind of patchwork of nuts, wackjobs and goofy, stupid people. Virtually none of the cast of characters from the last reality show season (Bush, Cheney, etc.) were anywhere near Tampa this past week. Nor was the clown car of primary challengers, several of whom are already fading into oblivion. At least, with President Obama, you get personal integrity AND you get institutional integrity with a political party that is actually seeking to address issues that the country faces, and has faced since it all melted down five months before President Bush left office.
Why is a corporate consultant (who became a politician) better than an academic who became a politician? “Hire Bain and we’ll fix it” doesn’t resound as a campaign message. Yet that’s what I’m hearing out of all of what Romney is saying. And like the corporate hack, he doesn’t want to nail down his “deliverables”. He just wants the deal inked. But I, or any other voter, am supposed to buy this idea that we should select a president just because he’s been doing business deals a good part of his adult life? Wasn’t the last president who was allegedly the “successful businessman”, Herbert Hoover? The last failed businessman (hat seller) was Harry Truman. Who was better?