Retired Nevada pugilist and current Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid found some testicular fortitude this week. Feeling his oats a bit, he decided to take a couple free punches at Mitt Romney’s perfectly-cleft chin. He threw out damaging allegations supposedly sourced from a Bain Capital insider, that Romney hasn’t paid any federal income taxes for the last ten years.
Now, one elitist millionaire criticizing another for being elitist may seem comical from the trenches of real life, but this was another naked and ugly attempt to foment class warfare amongst the electorate by portraying Romney as a corporate raider whose principal mission is to put Americans out of work while avoiding paying taxes on his ill-gotten gains.
Obama’s entire reelection campaign hasn’t been about touting his accomplishments (there aren’t any good ones), but about fostering resentment between income brackets in our country and demonizing success. And why not? It motivates the have-nots to get out the vote, fires up his political base and draws attention away from his appalling record.
Unfortunately for Romney, he’s the poster-boy for such classism. If you are expecting the other side to play fair, Mitt, you don’t belong in national politics. Nothing hurt Bob Dole’s candidacy more than Bob Dole petulantly whining at his fellow Republican contenders to stop “lying about his record”.
The problem is, the Left’s tactics are working. Romney’s responses are so tepid, mild and manicured that he comes off as the spoiled rich boy these political street toughs are portraying him as. This is bare-knuckle Chicago politics writ large, and Romney’s “Buffy and Chip” Ivy-League responses are alienating even those who want to support him. Time to spill a little blood on the stupid cardigan, Mr. Rogers.
Romney is the nominee presumptive. Rather than hanging back tentatively awaiting his coronation, he should be acting not only as the nominee but the de facto winner, projecting a confidant air about the positive changes that are about to happen to America. He can start by throwing a real verbal punch at his detractors, not appealing to the badminton referee about foot-fouls and net serves. Obama and the Liberals are a target-rich environment of failed programs, economic suicide and racial division. If Romney can’t put this crowd of losers and idiots on the defensive for the remainder of campaign season, we need someone else who will…immediately.
Americans appreciate grit and willingness to mix it up. When George H.W. Bush ran for president, the Left painted him as being a wimp. The truth is, Lt. Bush was at the time of his commissioning the youngest carrier pilot in the entire Navy at 19, flew combat missions in a torpedo bomber, and was shot down over Chichi Jima making a second pass on his bombing run because his plane was damaged by anti-aircraft fire on the first pass and knocked off course. He had to be rescued by a submarine the following day, after being fired upon in his tiny rubber raft by Japanese soldiers on the island. None of that stopped the Democrats from trying to smear him by floating the accusation that the rich little son of privilege saved himself at the expense of his two other crew members, who perished.
He went on to become head of the CIA, another tough position requiring fortitude. Romney could take a lesson from Bush Sr., who fought his way through the Japanese and then again through the campaign lies and prevailed in both situations.
Another group that Romney could learn from is his own hometown Boston Bruins. During the Stanley Cup finals in 2011, they were underdogs to the Vancouver Canucks and the vaunted Swedish Sedin twins, Daniel and Henrik. At one point in the series, Bruins undersized spark plug and pest Brad Marchand punched Daniel Sedin in the face shield after play had stopped, directly in front of the referee. Rather than return fire, Sedin opted to complain to the ref while Marchand was helping himself to yet another free swing! The ref ignored Sedin’s pleas for relief, as if to imply “Hey, fella, if you’re not man enough to at least defend yourself against a guy half your size, why should I?”
Later when Marchand was asked why he hit Sedin, he simply said “Because I felt like it.” Marchand’s action exposed what people suspected about Vancouver all along – that they didn’t have the stomach for a real fight. The Bruins went on from that point to win the Cup. Marchand’s actions were a momentum changer.
Romney’s softness was exposed during the Republican debates. Americans don’t want to hear anymore petulant whining about “fairness”. They want a leader who will project a positive image of strength abroad and secure American interests and safety without apology.
If Romney wants to be that man, he is late getting started. It’s time to take off the prep school tie, roll up the sleeves and draw some blood. To heck with the convention, Mr. Romney. Start now! Your opposition attacked you before the Republican debates were even concluded. Stop playing by the Marquess of Queensbury rules, and go after President Obama hard.
Cry ‘Havoc’, and let slip the dogs of war!