Sunday, August 12, 2012

Olympic-Style Politics

We should have guessed. We should have calculated who Willard's running mate would be long before Willard announced it.

His was a predictable choice, given all we know about Willard, and how he's positioned himself to be the "man of the hour," the unlikely, likely choice of Republicans to run against President Obama, and fulfill Republicans' most cherished, and most anticipated, hope: limiting Obama to one term, making him a "One-Term President."

We all know the obstacles facing Willard--his religion, his history of flipflopping on the issues, his passage of Romneycare (with the dreaded mandate), for which he doesn't wish to take credit or talk about, and the persistent accusations among party faithfuls that he's not conservative enough to be a real, card-carrying member of the Right.

Hence his running mate, Paul Ryan.

Not only will Ryan pass the conservative "brown bag" test, but Willard is hoping that the love and affection that Tea Party-ites now hold for Ryan will now shine down brightly upon him.

So it's no surprise that when introducing Ryan as his running mate, Romney referred inadvertently (or was it Freudian?) to Ryan as the next president of the United States. Consciously, or unconsciously, Willard's hoping that the most conservative of Republicans, as well as moderates, will now see the team of Romney-Ryan as one, and forget about his supposed conservative deficiencies and turn out in large, enthusiastic numbers to elect Ryan, if not him.

Now that the members of the team, on both sides, are now known, and revealed, holdouts can finally draw sides, size up the competition, and determine which team will be the winning team for Americans, and represent the "golden" aspirations and "silver" standards of a nation, as the U.S. Olympians have in the recent Olympic games, with Gabby Douglas as one of its most golden and gifted standouts.

My choice for who will win Political Gold--and who must settle for last place as an also-ran with a bronzy compensation for competing--has been known for sometime, although I'm not predicting, just yet, who among the two teams on the field will actually win.

Once more I'm crossing my fingers for the Team of Obama-Biden. I won't be leading the cheers, but I'll certainly be in the stands noisily showing my support as they near the finish line, hoping for a Usain Bolt-like sprint that breaks World Records, and Olympic Records.

My reason for selecting Team Obama-Biden isn't a selfish one, it's not even a political one, but a highly practical one, I know the potential pain that Team Romney-Ryan will inflict upon the nation if elected.

And the least of that pain is the possible repeal of what's been referred to, derisively, as Obamacare, or that Ryan's budget plan calls for ending Medicare as we know it, the reduction of medicaid, and cutting back aid for the poor, or that Romney's overhaul of the Tax Code will reward the uber-rich while asking the middle class to take up the slack.

And it's not that Romney has threatened to defund Planned Parenthood, or has threatened to push for a Constitutional Amendment to outlaw same-sex marriage, or support legislation that says that Religious institutions that pursue secular interests needn't have their insurers provide female contraception.

What I fear most is the Tea Party agenda--reckless, and singleminded--that will dictate how the nation's deficit will be reduced, pushing for austerity measures over economic growth as the way to manage the nation's growing debt, and to do so by taking out huge chunks all at once, rather than small pieces over time.

As Federal departments fall to the debt-reduction knife, and social programs are slashed, leading to greater unemployment, this nation economy will stumble, as politicians remove vital parts supporting the body politic as they hack away at supposed government excess.

Republicans, by purposely reducing the money supply in the economy by using one device or the other, will see demand begin to dry, consumer confidence falter, panic ensue, and a depression as the inevitable outcome, creating once again soup lines, and the plaintive pleas, "Brother can you spare a dime?"

Our government contributes billions to the gross domestic product (GDP), and is the employer of last resort, but that's changing, as political aspirations supplant the needs of a nation.

I fear, too, the neo-cons and Republican hawks with whom Willard Romney has elected to surround himself, many from the Bush-era administration, with Cheney at the top of the smelly heap. I don't think this nation can long survive a Bush Redux.

If this nation is still reeling economically from having fought two wars that we didn't pay for, but borrowed heavily from China and the Saudis, prepare once again for war profiteers--Cheney's Halliburton at the forefront--to make the case for war, and continue where they left off under Bush.

Sure, a President Obama might embroil us, too, but I believe that if war becomes necessary--say with Iran--it will be a reluctant one, a short-lived one, and follow Colin Powell's rules of engagement.

An Olympic medal, gold, silver, or bronze, doesn't say how athletes acquitted themselves in the fray--during the competition--only that they won. In the game of life, it's more important how you acquitted yourself, than that you managed to win according to your assessment, or another's. 

In the political arena, you might win the gold of victory while using that victory, not to make others of your nation winners--the majority of the people--but a select few.

If the nation must lose in order for politicians to win a political contest, then we all lose. By winning by any means necessary--voter suppression, and the weakening, and elimination of public and private unions--you and your party lose character, and ultimately the confidence of a nation.

A nation loses, too, when a political party win using such dastardly tactics, but our losses, regrettably, will be measured by our sweat, blood, and tears--and our only medal that of shame and regret. 

No comments: