Point of View Columns

Weekend Edition – April 27, 2012

The spirals of political controversy begetting bombast and strategies that can’t possibly make any sense continue unabated. We now know how Mitt Romney’s dog must have felt as we are strapped to the roof of his rhetoric and forced to face the gale force of his pronouncements. This week he proclaimed that he will build the controversial XL oil pipeline himself……really?

Clearly it will be a while before any Secret Service agents go to Colombia again. So where will they go for fun and frolic now? And finally, the Teapublicans are supposed to be toying with the idea of Florida Senator Marco Rubio as a vice presidential candidate. Do they believe that speaking Spanish automatically makes you dumb as a stone?

Mitt the Builder

Mitt Romney has spent a good part of his business career doing a decent imitation of Ras the Destroyer (from Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man), tearing down and selling more companies than he built up. But Romney is proving that if you live long enough, transformation and redemption are possible.

He has now waded into the XL oil pipeline controversy and stated that if he is elected president, he will build it himself. It is not clear if he plans to start up the Romney Pipeline Construction Company and have the federal government give it a sole source contract – a la Halliburton.

Or, in the process of shredding the reams of scientific studies that predict that such a pipeline has the very real potential for a very real environmental calamity through much of the middle of the United States, President Mitt Romney might decide that paying Americans to build the pipeline would be a great jobs program.

But wait, doesn’t that sound like an Obama stimulus plan?

In any event, the idea of Mitt the Builder is as much a fantasy as the idea of Mitt the Job Creator or Mitt the Friend of the Middle Class.

Welcome to Mitt World!

Colombian Hat Dance?

Much has been written about the Secret Service fiasco in Colombia. Last week in Point of View it was pointed out that the Colombian Hat Dance obscured the fact that President Obama and the United States seem wedded to a shriveled remnant of the Cold War in continuing to oppose Cuba’s participation in the Western Hemisphere family of nations.

Not enough has been written regarding confirmation that the Cartagena Follies were an aberrant act by a (very) large group of rogue Secret Service agents, or is this just the first time that Secret Service agents have been caught in the act – so to speak? It is very hard to believe that what took place in Colombia was the first time that a Secret Service presidential advance team took advantage of being in Bangkok, Manila, Paris, Rio de Janeiro……you get the picture.

It will take a lot more than a blanket denial by the Director of the Secret Service Sullivan to make us believe that presidential trips abroad are just another term for party time down at Secret Service headquarters.

Marco Rubio? Verdad?

Mitt Romney and his fellow travelers in the G.O.Tea Party are engaged in an old fan dance that they have dusted off for 2012. Every presumptive presidential candidate in either party has always dangled the names of prospective vice presidential nominees as a way of giving a shout out to various and varied interest groups.

Right now the flavor of the week is Florida Senator Marco Rubio. If “thinking” is the right word, the Teapublicans are thinking that having a Latino as a vice presidential candidate will allow them to make major inroads into the Latino vote that went heavily for President Obama in 2008.

They seem to believe that somehow the virulent and toxic anti-immigration (read anti-Latino) sentiments expressed by the Teapublican Party zealots will be forgotten because the Republican vice presidential candidate can say “Hola!” A similar strategy would be to get Clarence Thomas or Condoleezza Rice as the vice presidential candidate in order to make inroads into the black community.

You can already hear shouts of Nunca! Nunca! (Never! Never!) greeting the idea of a Rubio vice presidential candidacy.

Have a great weekend!

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