Wednesday, May 30, 2012


This weekend, my wife and I saw a film starring Judi Dench that is something of a Slumdog Millionaire tailored for an older audience.  If you are in that “over sixty” crowd, this movie is for you.

The plot features Dev Patel working to create a magical experience for guests of a rundown hotel in Jaipur, India.  The street scenes and characters make this a delightful experience, and Dev Patel is the consummate promoter of positivism.  He makes you feel welcome!

I use this vantage point to contrast the welcome shown in the city of Jaipur with that displayed in the American city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Last week, Mitt Romney came to West Philadelphia to highlight problems in education for the upcoming presidential election.  He was met by a street protest organized by the Democratic Party.  The protest was designed to showcase how inappropriate it is for a Republican to make an appearance in Philadelphia.

Keep in mind that “City of Brotherly Love” is the nickname for Philadelphia.  Surprisingly, that sentiment does not apply to those of us who are Republicans.

While the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States were both conceived in Philadelphia, the spirit of these documents seems to have been lost.  If you are a Republican, Mayor Michael Nutter lets you know you are not welcome in Philadelphia.

Are you struck by the incongruity?

How about Chicago?  You might remember the iconic poem by Carl Sandburg.  It is a defiant piece of work that epitomizes the resilience of a people and a city.  Contrast that with our current picture of Chicago.

Does anything seem incongruous?

Here in Colorado, we’ve got a Congressman in a bit of political hot water over a statement characterizing president Obama as not having the true feelings of an American.  The point is that president Obama, as head of the Democratic Party, sees Chicago and Philadelphia through the eyes of Bill Ayers and Michael Nutter, not from the perspectives of Carl Sandburg and Benjamin Franklin.

Which is the right direction?  Is it more important to honor our American heritage or to extend the power and authority of the Democratic Party?

In November, we will get to decide.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Sinister Intent

Ann Romney, wife of presidential candidate Mitt Romney

There is an elephant in the room, and it is time to take note.

Mitt Romney is being characterized this week by The Washington Post as a vicious high school bully.  It is in similar vein to George W. Bush being characterized by Kanye West as a person who doesn’t care about black people.  It’s also like Dan Rather characterizing Mr. Bush as a person who shirks responsibility and flies with the Texas Air National Guard rather than enlisting for a tour of duty in Viet Nam.

The common theme is that Republicans are not good people.  They have Sinister Intent.

Kanye West knows it.  Dan Rather knows it.  They are helpfully showing us that Republicans don’t want to do what’s best for us.

And there’s more:

Here in Colorado, Secretary of State Scott Gessler wants to deny people the right to vote.  On the national scene, Mitt Romney wants to give tax favors to his rich friends.  Ann Romney wants to force her ideas on us, and she has never worked a day in her life!

These characterizations gain traction because Americans know that Republicans have Sinister Intent.  Dan Rather may not have found exactly the right documents, but he was trying to point out the truth.

This is extraordinary!

Because I am a Republican, it is understood that I want our drinking water to be unsafe.  I want the economy to “tank.”  I want to bring harm to our school children.


Yet the characterizations are believable because our culture reinforces them.  In America, Republicans are known to have Sinister Intent, and this personal shortcoming is only absolved by a change in political party affiliation.

And remarkably, Americans never directly acknowledge the Republican Sinister Intent.  We just know it.

The pachyderm metaphor is apt.

Republican candidates face an uphill battle in getting elected to public office.  Think how difficult it is to defend “intent.”  If someone accuses you of wanting to do bad things, how do you effectively counter that?

We are going to find a barrage of political ads confronting us over the next six months.  Watch the anti-Romney ads to see how they reinforce “what Mr. Romney wants to do.”  It is his intent that will be attacked, and those attacks, sadly, will resonate.

UPDATE: 5/16/2012:
The third week of May begins with a political ad that tell us Mitt Romney wants to hurt people, while Ann Romney wants to be like Hitler and Stalin.  The accusations are strong - maybe over the top - and yet millions of Americans quietly agree, "Yes, that's what Republicans intend to do."

UPDATE: 5/19/2012:
Jason Riley has a column in the weekend edition of The Wall Street Journal.  It is an interview with Abigail Thernstrom, vice chairwoman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.  Mrs. Thernstrom offers this observation on a comment by Attorney General Eric Holder: "...they're suggesting that inside the breast of every white is a willingness to kill a Trayvon Martin."

The "they" being referenced is the black leadership of America, and "they" appear to see Sinister Intent in every white.

For all you political junkies out there, keep in mind that in America, if you have dark skin tone, the odds are ten to one that you are not a Republican.  The black leadership in America might be rhetorically talking about "every white" but they grant special exemption to anyone who is not a Republican.

Did you catch a glimpse of the elephant we spoke about at the top of this post?

UPDATE 7/9/2012:
Here is Mitt Romney wanting to take your job away and Mitt Romney wanting to harm women.

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