|Official White House Photo by Pete Souza|
If Barry O’Bama were a registered Republican, Republicans would be hailing him as a brilliant commander-in-chief who took out Osama bin Laden, sent in the Marines to spearhead a military surge in Afghanistan, saved Wall Street, Main Street and the American automobile-SUV-and-pickup-truck industry from bankruptcy, stood shoulder to shoulder with Israel in the face of threats from Iran, and created an economically sound, bipartisan, public-private partnership based on the pioneering state health care plan formulated by that rock-ribbed compassionate conservative, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.
The irony of the 2012 presidential election campaign is that Barack Obama’s record as president is more Republican than it is stereotypically Democratic. Like Eisenhower’s pledge to end the stalemated war in Korea, Obama vowed to end the war in Iraq and did so. Like Nixon’s diplomatic coup in traveling to Communist China, Obama deftly undercut dictators in Egypt and Libya. Like Teddy Roosevelt’s nurturing of national forests and national parks while thundering like a bull moose at the rapaciousness of big banks and oil corporations, Obama revived environmental protection and tighter regulations of big financial wheelers and dealers as national priorities.
Like Gerald Ford, Obama dutifully and thanklessly picked up the pieces of a recklessly war-waging, backroom dealmaking, self-serving presidency that crashed in flames—and pardoned the unrepentant crisis-makers, telling the nation, including furious Democrats, let’s move on, clean up the mess and work together to rebuild. Like Lincoln, Obama has tried mightily to hold a fractious republic together in the face of a fiercely anti-federal government, “states’ rights” rebellion on one side and a revolt by disenfranchised students, military veterans and disgruntled armies of the unemployed on the other.
In contrast, Mitt Romney appears to be running to be CEO of America Inc. The former governor contends that government can’t do anything right including creating jobs, but that he can. In that case, as an experienced business executive, Mitt has a tremendous public spirited opportunity to invest his fortune and that of fellow billionaires to create or expand companies to hire millions of Americans to do good American jobs. With all that money, reportedly sitting in off-shore tax havens, what’s he need the government for to boost the economic engines of the private sector?
Mitt Romney likes to invoke the genial ghost of Ronald Reagan. Unlike Romney’s bellicose stance regarding Iran, however, the former California governor knew how to diffuse an international crisis involving threats and worries over nuclear weapons, reaching out to adversaries. Like Reagan, who went to Moscow to embrace Gorbachev in Red Square and end the Cold War, Obama has traveled far and wide to offer his hand in friendship to nations in turmoil, and also to our tumultuous, politically-divided, culturally warring states. It’s time for Republicans of good will to bury the animosity driving the debilitating Cold War at home that has so disastrously divided Americans.