published Friday, July 13th, 2012

Courage is not enough

Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, deserves credit for having the guts to speak at the national meeting of the NAACP on Wednesday. Given the GOP's long-standing antipathy toward the host organization and Romney's relentless criticism of Barack Obama's policies and performance, the candidate had to know his reception by attendees who overwhelmingly support the nation's first black president likely would be unfriendly. That proved the case.

Romney was loudly booed and heckled — most noticeably when he pledged to repeal what he pejoratively called "Obamacare" rather than the Affordable Care Act, the legislation's correct title. He was booed again when he said that Obama has failed to restore the nation's economy. The candidate did win weak applause a couple of times, but mostly the crowd was silent or greeted Romney talking points with jeers or groans. The candidate, it should be noted, was treated with respect. The opprobrium was reserved for his policies, platform and promises. That's no surprise.

There's little that Romney proposes that finds resonance with most NAACP members — or with anyone outside the smug, comfortable confines of the conservative, right-of-center wing of the Republican party. His jobs, tax and economic policies, his proposals about social services and his disinterest in making American society more equitable limit his political appeal.

Indeed, Romney's speech offered little new to those in attendance or listening on radio or watching on TV. He reiterated his familiar pledge to cut Obamacare and what he called other "non-essential" government programs, regurgitated his standard prescriptions for jobs and the economy and lambasted Obama for failing to keep his many promises to the American people. It was, by any objective measure, a boringly routine speech delivered in a practiced but passionless manner.

It could have been more lively, but Romney chose not to address issues that would engage his audience and the public — his continuing flip-flops, most noticeably on health care; his questionable views on immigration and deficit reduction; his tenure at Bain Capital; his ongoing refusal to release tax returns that might help provide an unbiased view of his personal finances. That's nothing new. Avoidance of those vital issues is a key component of the Romney campaign.

If Romney hoped to convince his Wednesday audience that his candidacy was relevant to their needs and to the hopes of the great majority of hard-working Americans, he failed. If he wanted to prove that he was not afraid to speak to predominantly black audiences at a political event — he rarely does so — he succeeded. That modest success, though, is hardly a recommendation for the presidency.

Vision, leadership and a solid plan for the nation's future that addresses the needs of all Americans are required. Romney, try as he might, has yet to prove that he and his party can meet those requirements.

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Courage? Not a chance. For Mitt Romney to show courage, he would have had to listen to the concerns of the audience, and respect them. That might have offended his base, that'd be a risk.

Instead, he just took the no-risk option of pretending he's standing up to an audience, and walking into hostile territory, when in reality, he wasn't even taking a chance at losing anything.

July 13, 2012 at 12:25 a.m.
JustOneWoman said...

After appearing as a snob at the NAACP, it appears that Romney got a $70k tax credit on his horse and is amassing a $100 Million dollar IRA. And now it looks like he committed a felony under SEC rules. This day just keeps getting better and better. There is talk in the blog world that the RNC may have to pick another candidate. Holy Cow!

July 13, 2012 at 11:39 a.m.
riverman said...

What he should have said was you have been on the Democrat Plantation for 50 years and you are still the poorest and dumbest ethnic group in the country. Maybe you should try something different. Thank you.

July 13, 2012 at 3:18 p.m.

JustOneWoman: Unfortunately I believe the statute of limitations would have expired on that.

riverman: You should certainly tell him that, and see if he'll hire you as a policy adviser.

That's sarcasm, BTW. I know you right-wingers want to believe that your argument is persuasive, but the only one who believes you is your own deluded self.

Unless you're really a false-flag operative.

July 13, 2012 at 4:49 p.m.
Rtazmann said...

I don't think Romney prepared himself for the audience that was there,,,,and besides how can he relate to middle class america?? a multimillionaire or a billionaire...He is here for the rich to keep them rich,,,,In fact government does not care what mainstream america wants they will give what they think the people need....Hopefully the voters will change that thought process. It is time for a change....It can no longer be business as usual ..

July 13, 2012 at 6:50 p.m.
ebenji87 said...

I'm not a huge Obama fan, but if you think Romney will be better and has your interests in mind, you aren't that smart. Will definitely be voting for Obama.

July 14, 2012 at 8:14 a.m.
anniebelle said...

Romney was speaking to his racist base. Just like that Iran Contra criminal, race baiter, Ronald Reagan chose to open his campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi where he knew he would get the white hooded rednecks to vote for him. The very idea that he would use the perjorative phrase "Obamacare" in front of these American citizens goes beyond race baiting, it speaks directly to Romney's lack of principals and character. Then he has the audacity to import 20 Uncle Tom traitors to be there in the audience to applaud his hatefilled rhetoric.

July 14, 2012 at 8:14 a.m.
anniebelle said...

It's too bad these uppity blacks don't have near the braintrust DrivelBoy thinks he has.

July 14, 2012 at 8:48 a.m.
Rickaroo said...

It's amusing the way the righties are spinning their faux respect for blacks as they deride the liberals' attitude as one of trying to "keep them on the plantation." Very clever. Actually the issue is not race any more, riverman, but class. We are involved with a struggle of the classes and we're fighting to strengthen and reinstate the rightful place of the middle class and the working person, regardless of race, while you and your fat cat boot lickers are hell-bent on stripping away those safety nets and policies that have been in place since FDR - those policies that ensure that we prosper as a nation, in total, and not just as a country club for the rich.

The "respect" you have for blacks is like the respect you have for all poor and working class people. In other words, nonexistent. You say to them, "We respect you so much that we are going to strip you of every safety net and not only that but we're going to throw every obstacle in your path. If you make it, we have a place for you here, but if you perish, well, you didn't deserve to make it anyway." Yeah, that's true respect.

I think it's great that we have come as far as we have in race relations that the blacks can be perfectly free to join the ranks of the repressives who just a few decades ago would've as soon hanged 'em as looked at 'em. If the deluded souls like Allen West, Condolezza Rice, Herman Cain, Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, and other blacks want to adopt the conservative ideology and act like rich old white men, well, that's their prerogative. I'm glad they have the freedom to indulge their stupidity and misplaced conceit and pretend to be just "one of the boys in the club." But the vast majority of blacks have the good sense not to drink the kool-aid at your little tea party.

July 14, 2012 at 12:59 p.m.
Easy123 said...

JonRoss,

"Slowly but surely African Americans are leaving the ProgDem plantation."

This is wishful thinking at best.

"But they would rather destroy America than allow black Americans to have a say in their own future."

And this statement moronic. Since when do African Americans NOT have a say in their own future?

Your comments are ignorant.

July 14, 2012 at 9:27 p.m.
Rtazmann said...

When you plan what you are going to do courage is not an issue...He didn't want to be there no more than the man in the moon..

July 20, 2012 at 5:21 p.m.
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