Apparently, my sagacious, insightful commentary caused Evil Arch-Anarchist Todd Littleton to run for the hills. Literally. I talked to him yesterday while he was on his way for a Labor Day Weekend vacation to Colorado to watch a hot air balloon festival.
Or, so he says. I could barely understand him, what with his pleading for mercy and protestations of his personal unworth. Perhaps the mountains will help him, if he is not eaten by a bear, or a Libertarian.
On the other hand, I also watched the GOP convention's last night. I think I may have been eaten by a twelve minute interview with an empty chair.
Ancient action star and director, Clint Eastwood, pretended to interview an empty chair in which, supposedly, President Obama was sitting, unseen. The whole bit was ad lib, unscripted and, well, bizarre. Forget Mr. Romney for the moment. I want to know who advises Mr. Eastwood.
Mr. Romney, thankfully, did not see invisible presidents on borrowed furniture. He strode purposefully, if woodenly, through the crowd, shaking hands with bewildered security persons, whom he mistook, apparently, for donors. The roar from the crowd seemed sincere, unscripted and grew as the nominee approached the platform.
Mr. Romney received the most prolonged welcome I have heard in any of his appearances to date. He also gave a decent speech, though Mr. Romney will never make anyone forget Ronald Reagan. He was less confident than Bill Clinton, not humorless, but much less wordy, speaking as if he would rather get back to the office, read a report, crunch some numbers and make a decision or two.
He did not try to bypass, in order, his Mormonism, his Bain background or his overall record. Mr. Romney sometimes gets a bit teary when he talks about his parents and he did so again last night.
In other words, Mr. Romney did not do anything to hurt himself last night. This should not be ignored in a campaign featuring some plain old bad luck.
For the lead up to his convention, Mr. Romney had to deal with, in order:
- Todd Akin, who has little or nothing to do with Romney or Ryan and will apparently not even win his race for Senator from Missouri
- The factual errors Paul Ryan had to correct on his voting record in the Congress, his use of stimulus money for his state and his on again, off again love affair with bipartisianship
- A hurricane, which forced the cancellation of one whole night of activities. This may have been a good thing, for one hears Clint Eastwood had a sofa and lamp stand he wanted to talk with on stage, as well
For all the disappointments Mr. Romney actually pulled even in the national polls. Granted, this is a mini-surge, at best, but the 2012 election will be fought and won (or lost) incrementally. There will be no major revelations that will swing the election suddenly and hugely in one way or the other. These two men have been inspected fully. Their respective records have been reviewed, dissected and exposed.
My arch-anarchist friend, Todd Littleton, thinks it is the Christian duty of evangelical believers to stay home in November, eschewing the franchise. Sadly, in representative government, when we do not decide, we tend to make the decision. There is no difference between the goals of either candidate and not much difference in their records. Apparently, neither man has anything in his past that would bespeak anything but familial love, so there will be no "bimbo eruptions."
This time, perhaps more than ever, one has to decide which man and which party will do a better job for the nation, now and in the future. I believe in American Exceptionalism but we are very much in danger of losing some of the things that make us exceptional. We may not be standing on the brink but we can see the precipice from here. Our legacy, yours and mine, must not be, "I stayed home."
Monday-I will actually return to the verbal battle with my arch-enemy (best friend), the Evil Doctor Littleton, though it will probably be Tuesday, because who wants to read this stuff on Labor Day?
Opinions expressed here are mine alone.