It’s time to Break It Down!
Near the end of The Wizard of Oz (The Wiz, if your predilections insist), Dorothy exclaimed, “There is no place like home!” Apparently, that’s how Willard “Mitt” Romney felt last Friday as he boastfully told a crowd in Commerce, Michigan (Romney was born in Detroit, Michigan) that “no one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate,” making a clear reference to the divisiveand racist inspired birther (conspiracy theory) controversy. In the past, Mr. Romney has stated repeatedly he believes President Obama was born in Hawaii, and left the banal birther crap to his more politically unctuous surrogate, Donald Trump.
Afterward, he insisted that his comments were a joke, and that rather than referring to President Obama and his birth certificate, the statement was intended simply to pay homage to the fact that he (Willard) was back in the state where he and his wife were born. He then reiterated, what he has often said in the past, “President Obama was born in Hawaii.”
There is no denying, he had every reason to feel he deftly handled the matter. Mr. Romney walked back the statement in a manner that at once, sidestepped an apology, implied that a liberal media was too sensitive and/or biased to discern “the joke,” and most important, dog-whistled the far Right fringe a most comforting note, “I got your back!”
As the Presidential campaigns have labored on, many of the blatant half-truths, unsubstantiated innuendo, and virulent, bald-faced lies have been smartly packaged and foisted upon the airways by nameless, faceless Super PACs. While we hate that it has come to this, we recognize this practice has quickly become inured as part and parcel of the fabric of campaigning, especially at the highest level. In other words, “it is what it is!“
Given that concession up front, no matter how reluctant, we know that such deception will, sooner or later, due to convenience, or by necessity, make its way to the candidates. On Friday, Willard bit into that apple. On this one, he cannot stand behind some Super Pac whose message he does not control, wink, wink. Nor can he just be coy and say he did not write or frame his surrogates’ message.
Nope, this time, Mr. Romney is not demurring on his taxes; nor are we left to ferret out when exactly he left Bain Capital. This time is different. On Friday, we heard, in Willard’s own words, what he really wants to convey (to skeptical Right Wing voters) about what distinguishes him from President Obama.
No, it was not his policies, some of which are eerily similar to the President’s (See Massachusetts Health Care law and the drawdown of U.S. troops from Afghanistan). Last Friday anyway, Mr. Romney wanted to underscore the source and validity of his birth certificate. With that, he figures you are smart enough to infer how that makes him different…and better for us than President Obama. So, one fine day, in Commerce, Michigan, “Willard the Joker Played the Birther Card; then Denied It!”
I’m done; holla back!
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