The Tin Man
by Michael Maynard
March 20, 2012
When a man's an empty kettle,
He should be on his mettle,
And yet I'm torn apart.
Just because I'm presumin'
That I could be kinda human
If I only had a heart.
The Tin Man from “The Wizard of Oz”
Only half of the Republican primaries are done, however, it seems like they have gone on forever, like Dorothy’s trying to return to Kansas, though in this case, the most of the candidates fled Kansas terrified of the outcome. There are a lot of similarities between the Republican primaries and the Wizard of Oz, mostly the characters. There is the Cowardly Lion, afraid of his own shadow when challenged - Newt Gingrich. There is the Scarecrow, who appeared he would fall apart when hit, but always kept himself together, Ron Paul. There is the Wicked Witch, Michele Bachmann, who threatens to have her minions (The Tea Party members) attack, but rides off at the first sign of trouble. The current Wizard is Rick Santorum, though the actors playing the Wizard have changed periodically and will again. Finally, there is the Tin Woodsman, Willard Mitt Romney, if he only had a heart, and ability to self-edit before making really dumb statements, would be the natural leader, but goes down his own Yellow Brick Road instead.
Cowardly Lion: Come on, get up and fight, ya shivering junkyard! Put your hands up, ya lopsided bag o' hay!
Scarecrow: Now that's getting personal, Lion!
Tin Woodsman: Yes. Get up and teach him a lesson.
Scarecrow: W-w-what's wrong with y-y-you teaching him?
Tin Woodsman: W-w-well, I hardly know him.
"I learned something from that last contest in South Carolina," Romney said. "I'm not going to sit back and get attacked ... without returning fire.
"I'm going to point out things that I think people need to know," he said.
"I'm not going to spend the evening trying to chase Mitt Romney's misinformation," Gingrich said. "This is the worst kind of trivial politics."
That scintillating verbal exchange was during the “debate” before the Florida primary. It was the first time in months that Romney went after Gingrich directly. By then, Romney had the characterization of being a very rich, completely out of touch with current events patrician, primarily through attacks by Gingrich.
But most of the damage to Romney’s campaign has been dome by Romney himself because he has a tin ear about what he says.
"Corporations are people, my friend… of course they are. Everything corporations earn ultimately goes to the people. Where do you think it goes? Whose pockets? Whose pockets? People's pockets. Human beings, my friend." —Mitt Romney to a heckler at the Iowa State Fair who suggested that taxes should be raised on corporations as part of balancing the budget (August 2011)
That statement did nothing to dispel the notion that Romney was the tool of big business.
"I'm not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there." —Mitt Romney (January 2012)
"I get speaker's fees from time to time, but not very much." —Mitt Romney, who earned $374,000 in speaking fees in one year according to according to his personal financial disclosure (January 2012)
"I should tell my story. I'm also unemployed." —Mitt Romney, speaking in 2011 to unemployed people in Florida. Romney's net worth is over $200 million.
The worst of Romney’s statements was made before the Michigan primary. His father, George was the previously governor of Michigan and chairman and president of the American Motors Corporation, one of the companies who current existence depended upon the financial bailout created by the Obama administration. This was after Willard Mitt had stated that he would not have bailed out the auto industry, which directly and indirectly provides for 1 in 4 U.S. manufacturing jobs in the state that ranks 40th in post-bailout unemployment rate of 9.0%.
"[My wife] drives a couple of Cadillacs." –Mitt Romney, campaigning for president in Michigan (February 2012)
Patronizing and elitist to he max.
All of the above, and the incident of driving to Canada with his family’s dog strapped to the roof of his car has made great fodder for David Letterman and other comedians, but perpetuates the out-of-touch tin man with the tin ear image.
But the worst part of Romney’s campaign is that he has provided no ideas about why he is running for president, what he would do as president or why vote fo r him. His campaign gives the appearance of that he should be the Republican nominee because he should be the nominee based upon the widely promulgated notion that he would be “the best candidate” to beat President Barack Obama. Romney is currently having difficulty beating former Senator Rick Santorum who has severe fund raising and campaign organization disadvantages compared to Romney.
Cowardly Lion: Courage! What makes a king out of a slave? Courage! What makes the flag on the mast to wave? Courage! What makes the elephant charge his tusk in the misty mist, or the dusky dusk? What makes the muskrat guard his musk? Courage! What makes the sphinx the seventh wonder? Courage! What makes the dawn come up like thunder? Courage! What makes the Hottentot so hot? What puts the "ape" in apricot? What have they got that I ain't got?
An apt sporting analogy is the prevent defense in professional football where the team that’s ahead at the end of the game provides little opposition to the other team’s offense in the hope of running out the clock. In short, the team that’s ahead stops doing what has put them ahead for the past 59 minutes. Too often this leads to the team that’s behind winning in the last seconds. While the prevent defense allegedly is safe and non-criticizable in theory, in practice it is not. It is the cowardly way out.
Willard Mitt Romney’s campaign lacks courage, the courage of any convictions of why he is running for president, other than he was born in a political family, he’s run for president, he’s rich and he can. The United States recently suffered and is still suffering the after effects from 8 years of a president like that.
His campaign has given the impression of using the prevent defense from the beginning. Does Romney have courage? Does he have a heart?
All that’s certain is that he won’t be in Kansas for the next few months.