Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Ladies and gentleman, the seemingly endless 2012 election, which really kicked off the day after the 2010 election, is finally over. No more obnoxious television ads. No more annoying mailers. It's really over. Well, after you read this, that is. Before we move forward, indulge me for a minute or two, won't you? I have a few thoughts about what happened last night. 

To his great credit, Gov. Mitt Romney was most gracious in defeat and even called on the nation to come together. It was a class move, an impressive and thankfully concise denouement for a man who I truly hope decides to stop his something-less-than-Quixotic quest to reside in the White House. I think we've all seen enough of Mitt, at least as a presidential candidate.

But I just can't muster up any real animosity for the man. He's unquestionably a loving husband and father, and that to me is a greater measure of a person than anything else. I'm still troubled and perplexed by Romney, though. He's been on the public stage for years now, and I still don't know who he is, or what he really stands for. What are his core values? And what will be his political legacy, if any?

Both Romney and President Obama were responsible for some pretty reprehensible television ads over the course of the campaign. But Romney showed throughout this race that he was willing to say just about anything, and be just about anyone, to get elected. If there's ever been a more notorious flip-flopper in the colorful history of modern American politics, I can't name him or her. 

Romney, who went from being a Massachusetts moderate to a "severe conservative" and then back to a Massachusetts moderate, has changed his position on virtually every major issue. He has switched, sometimes multiple times, on immigration, abortion, regulation, taxes, stem cell research, minimum wage, campaign finance reform, health care, privatizing Social Security, Medicare and the Department of Veterans Affairs, guns, Don't Ask, Don't Tell, the bank bailout, the auto bailout, FEMA, and a timeline for removal of troops in Afghanistan. 

Romney's true identity is still murky. A church and business leader and child of wealth and power, he doesn't seem to have the capacity to really show his true self, or to connect with people. Is he out of touch, as his critics charge? Yes, utterly. 

I'm still bothered by his comment that it is not his job to worry about the 47 percent of the American people who will never vote for him and believe they are entitled to health care, food, and housing. It was I think the most telling and offensive remark of the campaign.

Romney has since said numerous times that he really does care about 100 percent of Americans. I'd like to believe him. But after hearing what he said on that infamous video behind closed doors, that claim rings hollow. How can a person effectively lead a nation when he apparently doesn't care about half of its people?

It will be interesting to see just where Romney, who's a very young 65, goes from here. His choice might help reveal the Real Mitt... if there is one. Will he run for office again? Will he re-enter the business world? Teach? Become an ambassador? Start a non-profit? Go on an extended public speaking tour? Open a chain of fast-food restaurants in the South (Mitt's Grits)? Retreat from the public eye completely? We shall see. I wish him well. 

Speaking of men who were born on third base but think they hit a triple, take Donald Trump... please! This guy is a freak show, a really entertaining lunatic. Memo to The Donald: You don't have to agree with America's choice last night, but to say as you did on Twitter that the election was a sham and to call for a revolution because of the election result is nothing short of insane.

Today, Trump's Tweets have been more, well, conciliatory. And he's removed some of the more incendiary and inaccurate remarks from his outrageous Tweets last night, including the one in which he said that Romney won the popular vote by a big margin. Actually it appears very likely that Obama will win the popular vote as well as the electoral college vote. Donald must have turned off his TV a little too early and gone night-night in his Trump Tower penthouse.

Trump also said last night, "We should have a revolution," and said, "The phoney electoral college made a laughing stock out of our nation. The loser one." You gotta love billionaires who don't know how to spell.

There are legitimate reasons to question the electoral college system of electing presidents. I've always questioned it, even though it's existed since our nation's very first election. But it is interesting to read all the complaints today about the electoral college from my Republican friends. These are the same folks who never said a word when Al Gore won 543,000 more popular votes than George W. Bush in 2000, but Bush won the election. This doesn't happen often, by the way. Other than Bush in 2000, only three other U.S. presidents - John Quincy Adams (1824), Rutherford B. Hayes (1876), and Benjamin Harrison (1888) - were elected without winning the popular vote.  

President Barack Obama's victory speech last night was stirring, uniting, and inspirational. But can he really bring this country together? Not likely. Judging from the angry and negative reaction to this election by so many Americans, and from some of the comments by the pundits as well as some of the Republicans who were elected or re-elected last night, it appears there could be four more years of gridlock and total resistance by Congress, especially members of the House, to work with this President, who, too, has got to do a better job of reaching across the aisle.

And finally, in California, Proposition 37, the California measure that would have required most foods made with genetically engineered ingredients to be labeled, was unsuccessful. It's really sad that Californians could not see through the transparency of the anti-Prop 37 crowd. Multi-billion dollar chemical companies like Monsanto and Dow spent millions and millions producing ads denouncing 37. These ads were filled with flat-out lies. Prop 37 should have been a no-brainer. We all deserve to know what is in our food. As the Yes on Prop 37 ads rightly said, 61 countries already have this requirement. It should not even be an issue. It should be a federal law. 


  1. Prop 37 big money fooled enough voters into thinking that their grocery bills would rise by $400/year for knowing the truth about what is inside. Ugh!
    Concur: The Feds should Trump the states on this health issue...or is that, too UN-American?
    Good stuff, Jamie!

    1. Thanks. and no, what is unAmerican is not letting citizens know what is in our own food.