Revisionist History: the New Normal

It’s time to Break It Down!

Yesterday marked the annual observance of Nine-Eleven (9/11); the 11th anniversary.  Last year I wrote a post, “Calling All Patriots; 9/11 Ten Years Later,” acknowledging the 10th Anniversary.  That edition framed specific details of one of America’s most fateful days, including segments about the 2,977 victims, the Twin Towers, The Pentagon, Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and the four flights (2 American and 2 United) for which the aforementioned sites served as ultimate final earthly destinations.  I invite you to click on the link referenced above and review the post at your leisure. 

As a postscript to last year’s 9/11 post, a new tower, One World Trade Center (1WTC) is currently under conrstruction, and due for completion in 2013.  The 104-story skyscraper will be, upon completion, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, and the third-tallest building in the world.      

In today’s post, I will attempt to describe and put into perspective some of the more interesting developments, especially contradictions or position changes, emerging from the 2012 Republican Presidential CampaignWillard Romney’s repeal Obamacare mantra took a serious detour over the weekend when he suddenly began explaining how he would “not repeal all of Obamacare”on day 1 of a Romney Administration.  Turns out he actually likes certain provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  Imagine that; will wonders never cease to amaze?

Actually this Etch-A-Sketch (See video tribute, courtesy of Ms. Bree Newsome: moment is not all that surprising; probably should have been predicted.  In fact, perhaps it was.

CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger in a documentary entitled “Romney Revealed: Family, Faith and the Road to Power,” interviewed’s Erick Erickson, among others, about Romney.  In two brief anecdotes, Erickson noted:

  1. “If a group of conservatives were locked in a room and asked to raise their hands if they believed Romney would fully repeal Obamacare, not a single hand would go up.”
  2. There was a period of time when Romney referred to himself as “severely conservative.”  Erickson went on to note, “conservatives do not refer to themselves using that term;” rather it is a phrase others use, and in a pejorative sense.

As most observers know, Obamacare was modeled after Romneycare.  By all accounts, the Healthcare Reform program in Massachusetts, adopted during Governor Romney’stenure in the Bay State, is wildly successful. Ninety-nine percent of Massachusetts citizens are covered.  You might say, “Governor Romney was for Healthcare Reform before he was against it.”

During the Republican Primary debates, Tim Pawlenty, former Minnesota Governor, and one of the challengers to Governor Romney for the GOP Nomination, suggested that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the President’s Healthcare Reformlegislation) was a derivative or an amalgam of Governor Romney’s Massachusetts law.He referred to it as Obamneycare.

In an interview this past Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press, Romney’sfirst national interview on a show other than Fox News Sunday, the Governorrevealed, surprisingly to his Right Wing/Tea Party supporters, that he favors some elements of the program he has excoriated consistently, and promised to repeal on day 1.  Give Erick Erickson his due; he called it.

Reports indicate the Governor spent last week during the Democrats’ Convention, holed up, preparing for the upcoming debates; the first of which is scheduled for Wednesday, October 3rd. at the University of Denver, in Denver, Colorado.  The theme for this debate is Domestic Policy; Jim Lehrer, host of NewsHour on PBS will be the Moderator.  The full Presidential/Vice Presidential Debate series schedule is accessible by clicking on the linkbelow:

You can be sure these new revelations are both tactical and political.  After all, on one hand, Mr. Romneyhas secured the nomination…take that Tea Party; on the other hand, he and his Teamhave obviously reasoned, a lot of those independent voters he now needs and seeks to attract, like a number of Obamacare provisions.  “So Romney wants to repeal Obamacare and replace it with Obamacare, or at least the consumer-friendly parts of Obamacare that Romney knows are popular.”

But not so fast!  As soon as the dust settled, the Romney Camp began to walk back his Sunday revelations.  They now claim he would repeal all ofObamacare, then replace some of it with similar provisions that he likes…wink-wink.  Hmm, now this is more like the Willard we have come to know!

Prior to the selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate, it was widely reported that the Far Rightwas pressuring the Governor to choose the Congressman from Wisconsin, which he did, ultimately.  The pressing concern revolved around Mr. Romney’sperceived lack of conservative bona fides.  It would appear the basis for that concern is becoming evident.

One recent tack by Governor Romney is to accuse the President of attempting to divide Americans because Mr. Obama has expressly sought support from members of several different segments of voters, including women, Latinos, the Lesbian Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community, and independentvoters. Mr. Romney has implied, alternately, thatHe, instead, embraces the idea of E Pluribus Unum (from many, one), or bringing all Americanstogether.  Yet, interestingly, the Governor has designed ads, and made pitches at rallies designed to pursue individual voting blocs, such as veterans, the wealthy, small business owners, Jews, Latinos, and Independents, just to name a few.  Pot, meet kettle!

In point of fact, there is really no problem recognizing/conceding that all of these groups are integral parts of the tableau that is America, and that to run a successful national campaign, it is not only appropriate, but necessary to secure the support of voters from as many constituent groups and/or voting blocs as possible.  At least, there is no problem unless one candidate attempts to bludgeon the other for doing so…while moving full steam ahead doing the same thing.Frankly such behavior appears to validate the suggestion that Mr. Romney believes the rules do not apply to him, or worse, that voters are too dense to see through such a shell game…in effect, he is propagating a kaleidascopic panacea of Etch-A-Sketch moments.

In the wake of the Democratic Convention, and amid GOP concerns that President Obama may get a bigger bounce than Governor Romney received after the GOP Convention, Romney, Ryan and their surrogates reversed field and made their way to the Sunday Morning Talk Show Circuit, an arena many Republican candidates and office holders avoid like the plague.  In addition to Mr. Romney’s appearance on Meet the Press, Congressman Ryan appeared on CBS’ Face the Nation and ABC’s This Week.

Included among the delightful machinations Mr. Ryan released was the notion that Governor Romney and he did not intend to present in advance a plan for how they would cut taxes for the wealthy without increasing the deficit.  Rather, he said,  they will work with Congress to reach a deal.

Ryan noted expressly, they would not do as President Obama did with Healthcare and spring it on the Congress.  The principal problem with that line of attack (and it was an attack) is President Obama not only did not spring the bill on Congress, he ceded it to them to create.  Admittedly, after Republicans made it clear they were opting to practice obstructionism instead of negotiating in good faith, or agreeing to compromise, Democrats wrote the bill and passed it without Republican support. 

Still, that was not the President springing it on the Congress.  The truth of the matter is President Obama wanted a more robust bill that included a single-payer componentHe and Deomcrats in Congress settled, as they did with the Stimulus bill, for legislation they felt they could enact.

Congressman Ryan has also slammed President Obamafor not supporting the Bowles-Simpson Commission, and for supporting the sequester and the Budget Control Act.  Oddly enough, inexplicably really given the Congressman’s pronouncements, President Obama’s position on each of those matters was precisely the same as that of Mr. Ryan.  To paraphrase David Plouffe, Senior Advisor to President Obama, Mr. Ryan appears to be running from his position on those issues with the same vigor and fictionalized sub 3-hourspeed he claimed (and subsequently walked back) he once ran a marathon.

Newt Gingrich joined the GOP’s merry band of Musketeers over the weekend.  He appeared on CNN’s State of the Union with Candy Crowley, CNN’s Chief Political CorrespondentMr. Gingrich, often referred to as the GOP’sdeep-thinking intellectual, frequently employs a creative, if not over the top approach to his attacks.  Sunday was no exception.

In his latest spin, he proclaimed Bill Clinton was a real President, and labeled President Obama a pretender.  Here is where I confess I found this claim stunningly hilarious; especially coming from the former Speaker of the House.  Not so much because I disagree with his assertion of President Clinton’s status, I do not; I do, however, take issue with his premise about President Obama.  And while I believe Bill Clinton was a great President, there is little to suggest that such a notion ever crossed Newt Gingrich’s mind.

Based on historical accounts, I believe Mr. Gingrich either suffers from acute amnesia, or he has taken up residency in an alternate reality universe.  After all, at least the way I recall it, between 1995 and 1999, Mr. Gingrich and his Republican contemporaries were instrumental in shutting down the government…twice, and spearheading the Impeachment of the old sax player by the U.S. House of Representatives.  If that is how he treats “real Presidents,” I don’t even want to imagine what designs he has in store for President Obama, whom he considers a pretender.  I suppose in the case of Mr. Gingrich, “He was against President Clinton before he was for him.”

In reality, the GOP has devised a strategy intended to pit President Obama against President Clinton.  Ultimately, this is an effort to stunt the impact of President Clinton’s nomination speech at the Democratic Convention, as well as his subsequent stump appearances on President Obama’s behalf.  In my view, President Clinton is a savvy veteran who will not fall prey to such sophomoric okey doke; President Obama…just too cool to be the Speaker’s fool.

Recent polling, by the way suggests President Obama benefited significantly from a post Convention bounce.  In addition, for the first time since April, the Obama Campaign raised more money than the Romney Campaign during the month of August.  The differential was narrow, $114 million to $111 million, but breaking through the psychological barrier of winning the month may be what matters to the Obama team.  It was their highest total for any month during the campaign.  Logical minds will infer there is a correlation between recent poll results, the fundraising edge, and this latest Romney Etch-A-Sketching.  Meanwhile, the Romney spin machine insists the new poll numbers are just a “Sugar High.”  He may be right.  But what if he’s not?

The acts of blatant deception, dishonesty, and dissembling by the Romney Campaign are tantamount to an emerging Republican Campaign theme. The appropriately coined phrase that comes to mind…“Revisionist History: the New Normal!”

I’m done; holla back!

Read my bloganytime by clicking the link: http://thesphinxofcharlotte.comor A new post is published each Wednesday. For more detailed information on a variety of aspects relating to this post, consult the links below:

2 thoughts on “Revisionist History: the New Normal

  1. Leon,

    Thanks for the thorough and resourceful blog post today. It’s going to take me a while to get through the hyperlinks and some of the documentation, but I am up to the task. Regarding the Affordable Health Care Act, I’d like to add a link to Eugene Robinson’s column in the Washington Post where he wrote that Romney wants to replace Obamacare with Obamacare. Romney likes the good stuff in the legislation such as coverage for pre-existing conditions and keeping young people on their parent’s policies. But, he wants to eliminate the individual mandate which made Romneycare work in Massachusetts and is the part that makes Obamacare possible today. Otherwise, folk would wait until they got sick and then sign up for insurance.

    Once again, “arithmetic” comes into play. Romney and Ryan’s chatter does not add up. It bad math, bad politics, bad policy and just a plain bald face lie! In the words of philosopher, Richard Pryor, “how long must this bullshit go on?” I ask that rhetorically, knowing that it will go on right up to election day 2012!

    Congress and the President need to be staring across the table over budget issues RIGHT NOW! The fiscal cliff and continuing resolution games are upon us and the solutions are within their grasps. But, Republicans don’t want to act on behalf of the public interest. They only care about their self interest and electing the biggest liar that Mormonism has produced since Joseph Smith built it himself!

    Finally, I find it interesting that Romney will likely lose all of the states that he has claimed residents except Utah. He will lose Michigan where he was born (they hate his ass over lack of support for GM, workers and suppliers), he will lose Massachusetts where he chose not to run for a second term as Governor (he would have lost despite Romneycare), he will lose California where he ran to after losing the presidential primaries in ’08 (debatable as to it being his true primary residence…it’s his largest real estate treasure) and he will lose New Hampshire where he has a vacation home. Truth be told, he will lose Wisconsin where Paul Ryan resides. They don’t even recognize their home state Congressman out on the stump! Plus, Wisconsonites know what saving GM meant to they and they know that Romney is not to be trusted. Fool them three times…shame on them and their next generation.

    I’m done!


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