FOR GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE MITT ROMNEY the last few days have been packed with red, white and blue fun and flag-waving excitement. During a campaign stop in Virginia last week the Governor broke down the Pledge of Allegiance for an admiring crowd, explaining how, line-by-line, President Obama was against it, while he, Governor Romney, loved every word and even the punctuation.
As the New York Times reported, Mitt is for God. Mitt is for America. Mitt wants to save our nation’s endangered coins:
“The promises that were made in that pledge are promises I plan on keeping if I am president, and I’ve kept them so far in my life,” Mr. Romney said, standing among old airplanes in a hangar at the Military Aviation Museum here. “That pledge says ‘under God.’ I will not take ‘God’ out of the name of our platform. I will not take ‘God’ off our coins, and I will not take God out of my heart. We’re a nation bestowed by God.”
Romney/Ryan 2012: We’ll keep your penny jar safe from attack!
Speaking of pennies and dollars and trillions in federal spending, Batman Romney and Robin Ryan are having a little trouble lately with basic arithmetic. That shouldn’t be a surprise. Mitt can’t make his income taxes add up; and the buff GOP VP candidate can’t get his own marathon time straight, claiming he once ran 26.2 miles in two hours and fifty minutes, an outstanding six-and-a-half minute-per-mile pace.
A little checking turned up a more modest truth. And what did checking show? That Ryan’s mouth runs faster than his feet. The only marathon he ever completed was the aptly named Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota in 1990.
His actual time: 4:01:25. A far more pedestrian nine-minutes-plus-per-mile pace.
Regardless, let’s focus on Mr. Romney. It turns out, during the Republican primaries, he might have made a few statements he wants to forget. In an interview yesterday on Meet the Press, Romney, who scoffed at Obama in the spring, implying he was weaker than Jimmy Carter, now admits taking down Osama bin Laden was “a great accomplishment.” “Using the drones to strike at Al Qaeda targets” also wins his approval.
Gregory wanted to know about the federal budget deficit the Governor says he knows how to fix. Well, sure. He’s going to need time to clean up the present mess. President Obama has had nearly four years to balance the budget and hasn’t been able to do it; but if we elect Mitt, he’ll get down to business. Mitt knows business! He ran Bain Capital! So, he wants us to know he can balance the budget in…well…maybe eight years.
No, maybe ten.
What about starting by trimming the defense budget? Romney told Gregory he’d never do that. This is America we’re talking about, “one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” You can’t be dividing Americans, as Romney says Mr. Obama likes to do. You can’t be pitting defense contractors against billionaires who hide wealth in the Cayman Islands to avoid paying the same kind of taxes us ordinary schlubs do. No way can you cut any of the $700 billion spent for defense. We need to be sure, Governor Romney insists, that we have the world’s strongest military when he takes his seat in the Oval Office. We need to be sure because we need to fight more wars, in Syria and Iran, for starters, as Governor Romney also insists.
Besides, we’re talking Romney Dollars. They have strange magical powers–and you can be sure they carry the slogan: “In God We Trust.” A dollar cut from defense does nothing to reduce the federal deficit. Cutting defense spending means killing jobs. But cutting spending on roads and bridges, and cutting spending on nutrition programs for kids, those dollars do reduce the deficit. A dollar spent for a bomb is a Romney Dollar. That’s a good dollar. An Obama Dollar spent to upgrade or expand national parks?
That’s a bad dollar.
Don’t worry, though, because Romney and Ryan have all kinds of ideas for eliminating federal debt. First, they’re going to cut taxes on everyone, including suffering American billionaires. In other words, they’re going to put more magical Romney Dollars into play. Then they’ll make up the difference by closing all kinds of tax loopholes, mostly used by the middle class, but which ones and when they aren’t in the mood just now to say.
Well, then, what about that trillion-dollar-mistake known as Obamacare? Mitt now admits he likes socialized medicine up to a point. (Like in Massachusetts?) He loves Medicare, for example, and he and Ryan are going to save it just as it is, even if they have to turn it into a voucher program, even if Medicare is, by every possible definition in every language known to man, already socialized medicine.
Now Governor Romney says he plans to keep certain elements of Obamacare in place. (Obamacare Lite?) He might be for socialized medicine, for instance, if it means individuals with pre-existing conditions, like Ann, his wife, are guaranteed coverage. Yes. He’d be for that.
SUDDENLY, MITT IS CHANNELING his inner Obama.