Reader’s who have peeked at this blog in the past are aware that it will be a steaming hot day in Antarctica before a born and bred southern “yellow dog” liberal Democrat like me casts a vote for a Republican—especially Mitt Romney, the animated department store manequin and probable 2012 GOP Presidential nominee. But in fairness, I will say in Romney’s is getting a raw deal from a lot of reporters, albeit a dilemma of his own making.
Because Romney has been less than forthcoming in providing documentation relating to some aspects of his reign as CEO of Bain Capital, certain segments of the news media have become an echo chamber in raising suspicions. “What is he hiding?” The question is being repeated over and over again by reporters, left-leaning pundits and representatives of President Obama’s re-election team. Romney’s wife, Ann, jumped to his defense today.
There may be perfectly good reasons why Romney refuses to release income tax returns and/or minutes of Bain Board of Directors meetings, though I can’t think of any offhand that would excuse a man who wants to be leader of the free world from making full disclosure. Recent history has proven that lack of transparency has been the basis of bogus scandals.
Why did President Obama wait so long to make public his long form birth certificate, which proved to all but nut-cases like billionaire Donald Trump and Arizona tough-guy Sheriff Joe Arpaio that he was born in Hawaii instead of being delivered by an African witch doctor in a Kenyan jungle.
Why did Bill and Hillary Clinton delay delivering documents that would have ended the so-called Whitewater scandal before it gained steam—a $70-million taxpayer-supported charade that ultimately degenerated in to an impeachment that focused to large extent on the knee calluses of White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
Since the 1970’s Watergate scandal, journalists have been doing cheap imitations of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, the Washington Post reporters credited with giving momentum to an investigation that brought down a President. Admittedly, I had such thoughts when CNN dispatched me to Little Rock in the early stages of Whitewater.
But there was no scandal to be found as was shown seven years later in the final report of the findings of three Independent Counsels, who combined to waste the aforementioned 70-million bucks. Leaving Bill and Monica’s amorous adventures aside, of course. All I got for beating the final report by seven years and $69.99-million was a reputation of being a Clinton apologist. Truth in reporting my Emmy-nominated story didn’t matter.
Anyway, I’m puzzled by Mitt Romney’s secretiveness. Maybe he doesn’t really want to be President. Surely, he knows concealment of information only breeds suspicions. And in the absence of a “smoking gun,” that is all that is needed to create a full-scale scandal—at least in the minds of contemporary journalists. Actually, I wouldn’t be shocked if he threw the election.
Romney only had to take a side glance at the GOP candidates standing beside him during the primary debates to understand the gene pool of his opponents. Think about it. Gaffe-prone Texas Governor Rick Perry? Mentally deranged Congresswoman Michele Bachmann? Serial adulterer Newt Gingrich? Weird Rick Santorum? Crazy Uncle Ron Paul? Pizza king Herman Cain? I can’t imagine that Romney wanted to be viewed as a member of the strange cartel.
Indeed, Former Utah Governor and fellow Mormon Jon Huntsman was the only candidate on stage besides Romney who seemed to have a grasp of reality. And Mitt’s reality changes from day to day.
His most recent incarnation is being a whiner. “Poor me, the President is saying bad things about my business background.” Boo hoo. Romney must have forgotten his own barrage of attacks on Obama. Or the Golden Rule. Turnabout is fair play, meaning there is no place in politics for sissies.
Romney’s whining does provide a light touch in an endless campaign that sometimes seems like its been going on for a years, rather than months. But his hypocrisy is nothing compared to that of Fox “News,” aka the Republican Propaganda Network. A Fox executive says he is upset because the President has made good-humored, smart-ass remarks about Fox—the “fair and balanced” network specializing in manufacturing bogus scandals to discredit the Obama Administration.
Ironically, the so-called mainstream media is on the brink of sinking to the level of Fox “News” by creating a scandal involving Romney’s previous business dealings and failure to release income tax returns—a scandal that is solely based on Romney’s lack of transparency. Fortunately for the candidate, he can stop all the speculation by simply changing his mind and releasing information.
As we all know, changing his mind is Romney’s special talent.
My memoir, Odyssey of a Derelict Gunslinger: A Saga of Exposing TV Preachers, Corrupt Politicians, Right-Wing Lunatics…and Me is available at amazon.com, soft-cover or Kindle and at independent bookstores like the Cottonwood in Baton Rouge. It offers $19.99 worth of laughs and much more. The book is an account of my illustrious (I choose the adjectives) investigative reporting career.