William Bender: When Push Comes To Shove

Nothing else is as relevant as the famous saying, “When push comes to shove… the real Mitt Romney shows up.  This is the quintessential point of distinction between not just Romney and Obama, but between conservative Republicans and Democrats.  Conservative Republicans really do not care about the 47% of the country they do not identify with; people who actually work for a living, do a job, have a life, and have no interest of becoming Donald Trump.  The 2012 election is not a battle for the hearts and minds of America; between self-reliant individuals and consensus accommodating pro-government activists. Rather it is a choice whether America becomes a battle of haves and have-nots, or one of equitable distribution of opportunity.  Although prone to seeing the world through rose colored glasses and never seeing a government program they didn’t like, Democrats speak to and for 100% of America; whereas conservative Republicans are clearly stating their dislike for all but the upper middle class and higher.  Perhaps they should consider on whose shoulders they stand, and upon whose blood, sweat and tears they depend.

Joe Scarborough and others are crying for Romney to be more specific.  He just did; saying clearly, “screw half the country.”  Nothing can be taken away from the candor with which he spoke in confidence, he thought, to wealthy donors.  Mitt Romney simply doesn’t care about anyone other than the top half; if that.  But what did you expect of a man with a car elevator in his house?  Of a man who grew up rich, feeling entitled, went to private prep schools, and had his way paid for at every turn?

The new conservative Republican Party is constituted with similar a perspective.  It was all too revealing when during the GOP primaries, at a debate about health care, the question was asked, “what to do with a patient with cancer who had no health insurance.”  The resounding cry from the debate audience was, “Let him die!”  There was no push back from Romney.  That cry from the crowd was not some crazy mob retort; that was the pure expression of the new Tea Party/Koch brothers/Carl Rove/Rush Limbaugh conservative Republican party.

Mitt Romney is spinning a delusion.  He is assuring the far right he is one of them; a NeoCon, Grover Norquist anti-tax, Ryan Medicare voucher system, continued military expenditures growth Republican.  While at the same time he is winking at everyone else, almost as if in collusion with the far right, trying to con and hoodwink the rest of America into believing they can take him on faith, that he will rescue the country economically, revive housing values, implement a vital deficient reduction plan, solve the challenge of tax reform, entitlement restructuring, reevaluation of military and foreign policy objectives.  And give them back a president who isn’t Black.

I know and talk with a good number of middle class and upper middle class Republicans.  They honestly believe their success; educationally, family wise and especially business and/or career wise is due 100% to their hard work.  They believe everyone can achieve the same success if only they take responsibility for their lives and lead both a good Christian life style and adhere to sound fiscal behavior.  FDIC insurance, FHA insurance, the Interstate Highway system, the internet, clean water supply, constant source electric power, public schools and universities, uncorrupted police and criminal justice system, etc. etc. etc. have no bearing on their success.  Question:  If we are all business entrepreneurs who is going to unload and load the trucks?  Who is going to cook the food, clean the clothes, harvest the food and clean the toilets?  And by the way, who is going to spend and consume and use credit such that the manufacturing sector, the distribution, transportation and retail sectors grow and expand and generate profit?

Romney and the conservative Republicans are derisive of those who feel entitled.  Does that include military contractors, the Lockheed Martins, Northrop Grummans and Halliburtons of our country?  Does that include the big oil companies like Exxon, who with even tens of billions of quarterly profits feel “entitled” to special tax breaks?  I personally feel entitled to safe food in the store, to tested, approved drugs, to clean water, continuous electricity, high speed internet, honest police and good schools.  Does that make me a user, morally deficient because I expect the phone to work every time I pick it up, that I expect planes to operate on schedule, that I expect my Senator and Congressperson to make laws to facilitate commerce and improve our quality of life instead of taking a know nothing, never-ever-raise-taxes-end-of-discussion stance?

When push comes to shove Mitt Romney showed he is not a spokesperson for conservative thought, a la George Will, Matt Dowd, and Joe Scarborough.  He is not going to discuss or debate the concept of limited government, of more individual freedom and responsibility, or the political ideology America as a whole should more forcefully adopt.  Instead he is simply the advocate and spokesperson of greed, arrogance, self-entitlement, self-centered and self-important narcissism that permeates about 20% of the American electorate and which has taken control of the Republican Party.