Mitt Romney bowed out gracefully from the Republican Presidential primary race, clearing the way for the anointed one, Senator John McCain (R-AZ). Romney’s concession speech was a harbinger of things to come:
· “... If I fight on in my campaign, all the way to the convention, I would forestall the launch of a national campaign and make it more likely that Senator Clinton or Obama would win. And in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign, be a part of aiding a surrender to terror.”
· “... we cannot allow the next President of the United States to retreat in the face evil extremism!!”
I can almost hear it now: “A vote for Obama is a vote for Osama (and did you know his middle name is Hussein?).” John McCain has to keep playing the fear card--over and over; because it is the only card he has, and playing on the fears of Americans is the only thing the Republicans do well.
Fear-monger-in-chief, George W. Bush has already thrown his support behind the Republican front-runner (without calling McCain by name). Bush knitted his brow and used his most serious voice:
· “The stakes in November are high. Prosperity and peace are in the balance. So with confidence in our vision and faith in our values, let us go forward, fight for victory and keep the White House in 2008.”--George W. Bush, 2/7/08
Does Bush realize how ridiculous this sounds? After seven years of George W. Bush’s vision and faith: We have more people in debt, more people without health insurance, more people in poverty, more people losing their homes, and more families who can’t afford to send their kids to college. Throw in a couple of expensive wars that have lasted longer than WWII--and there you have George W. Bush’s idea of peace and prosperity. No, we certainly wouldn’t want to change course now--when things are going so well.
Peace and prosperity may well be in the balance; but the Republican platform of more wars that we can’t afford, more tax cuts for the rich, and more cuts in domestic programs--is not the way.
Former National Security Advisor and White House counterterrorism expert Richard Clarke summed up George W. Bush’s State of the Union address and legacy in The Philadelphia Inquirer (2/1/08). Here are some highlights:
· “Besides overstating successes in Afghanistan, painting a rosy future for Iraq, and touting unfinished domestic objectives, [Bush] again used his favorite tactic - fear - as a tool to scare Congress and the American people. On one issue in particular - FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) - the president misconstrued the truth and manipulated the facts.”
· “...For this president, fear is an easier political tactic than compromise. With FISA, he is attempting to rattle Congress into hastily expanding his own executive powers at the expense of civil liberties and constitutional protections.”
· “...In these still treacherous times, we can't afford to have a president who leads by manipulating emotions with fear, flaunting the law, or abusing the very inalienable rights endowed to us by the Constitution.”
· “...So it is no surprise that in one of Bush's last acts of relevance, he once again played the fear card. While he has failed in spreading democracy, stemming global terrorism, and leaving the country better off than when he took power, he did achieve one thing: successfully perpetuating fear for political gain. Sadly, it may be one of the only achievements of his presidency.”
· “The fastest-growing bet in the oil market these days is that the price of crude will double to $200 a barrel by the end of the year. Options to buy oil for $200 on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 10-fold in the past two months… a record increase for any similar period.”--(Bloomberg.com, 1/7/08)