Wendell Romney

Does history repeat itself? I fervently hope not.

Ok, I have grudgingly thrown my support behind Mitt Romney. It’s not that I am excited about Romney as a candidate, but I am genuinely excited about the need to get Obama out of office before he does irreversible damage to this country. But, here is where I see a problem:

In one corner, we have a radical Marxist/Progressive, with little to no understanding of human nature and economics, who is on a tear to totally transform society to fit a bankrupt utopian ideology. In the process, he destroys jobs, strips companies of investment capital, destroys human capital, demonizes success, romanticizes failure, takes command of and promptly ruins entire segments of the economy, undermines the Constitution, blatantly disregards the law and does his very best to bankrupt the country while redefining entire segments of the population as dependent wards of the state.

In the other corner, we have a square-jawed, well-coiffed, highly intelligent, erudite and successful businessman who made his mark in an industry demonized and under constant assault by the President. Formerly a Liberal, he now claims to be a Conservative, although large swaths of the Republican party refuse to accept his supposed conversion to conservatism as sincere. He is a nice, rational man who believes in using soft-spoken discourse to sway people and find common ground. Rather than go on a blistering attack in support of the capitalist, free-enterprise economy, he ends up trying to placate the population with his moderation and management credentials, while fending off internal strife within the Republican Party between those that promote strong advocacy of conservative principles and those seeking an accommodationist “middle way”. In many ways, he remains tone deaf to how others perceive him to be and how they react to his awkward choices of words.

This man of whom I speak was Wendell Willkie. He ran against FDR in 1940 and got creamed by 5 million votes. Now, I realize there are many differences between then and now, but take a look at these photos below and please tell me they don’t suggest a spooky echo of the past.

Wendell Willkie

Mitt Romney

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  • Charles Martel

    You had me at “well coiffed.”

  • jj

    OK.  They don’t.

  • Oldflyer

    “Former Liberal who claims to be a Conservative”.
    Does that describe anyone else you know Book?
    I am continually perplexed by Conservatives who speak and write intellectually to convince the “unwashed” to join the cause; but, if they do never truly accept them into the fold.  
    I used to say the same thing about Virginians.  I am not sure how far back your lineage must must confirm you as a son or daughter of Virginia, before you are accepted as a Virginian; but, it a long way. I am working on 37 years in state, and among some would be considered a “carpet bagger”.   Of course I also used to say that Virginia was stuck somewhere between the 18th and 19th centuries with no real intention to leave.  But, Virginia changed.  Now the question is can Conservative pundits wake up to the reality of 2012?.
    John Bolton endorsed Romney last night.  I guess he is convinced.  Actually, he referenced the line from the  old hymn, “That Old Time Religion…it’s good enough for me.”  Bolton says Romney is “conservative enough for him”.  He also cited William F. Buckley who opined that  he (sic) “will support the most conservative candidate who can win”. Bolton says that Romney is the man to  beat Obama.  If Romney is good enough for Bolton and good enough for Christie, he is good enough for me.  I just wish McCain had kept his mouth shut; but he is congenitally incapable.

  • Oldflyer

    PS
    I am convinced now that the lack of enthusiasm that is so widely expressed with regards to Romney, simply became an obligatory mantra for the Punditry, which was then  picked up by the hoi polloi.
    Ya’ know, I think I prefer candidates who don’t generate a lot of mass enthusiasm.  When I think of those who have recently generated excitement to the point of sending tingles down various legs, not to mention other unmentionable reactions, William Jefferson Clinton and Barack Hussein Obama are the first who spring to mind.
    But, then again as an old stodgy, and proud of it, I  much prefer restrained competence as a characteristic of those who wield power.

  • roylofquist

    My observations informed by watching elections since about 1952.
    Americans do not want to be politically involved except briefly every couple of years. The past four years or so have been extremely unsettling. They’ve had it with radical changes. Mitt Romney is Mr. Normal. At this point he resembles Eisenhower more than any candidate within memory.
    The people know that the wheels have come off. The guy who promised great changes has crashed and burned. They certainly don’t trust another bomb thrower to set things right. Now is the time for the proverbial father figure. That’s why Romney is going to be the nominee and that’s why he’s going to win big.
    Landslides: 1932, 1952, 1980 – it’s a generational thing. We’re due for a major realignment. Just in the nick of time – again.

  • Danny Lemieux

    I sincerely hope so, roylofquist.

    However, what I hear from the Liberal/Lefty side of the family, even those that are virtually unemployed, is not encouraging: they still prefer to bray with donkey-ass voices at handy Liberal/Lefty scapegoats (Bush, Big Oil, Big Pharma, Wall Street, etc.) rather than to think for themselves regarding what is really going on and why.

  • roylofquist

    Danny,

    I hear you. We all live in our own quite small worlds. Family and friends have an overwhelming influence on how we vote. In a number of studies “media” rank very low on the influence scale. 

    I base my observations on following a whole bunch of elections and looking at the long term trends that are evident throughout our history.

    I also listen closely to the politically uninvolved. These people rarely mention politics in casual conversation. I am hearing more “tidbits” than ever. They are overwhelmingly cynical. They want this whole mess to go away and quit distracting them from their real lives.

    People have a long term memory – it’s called the “family story”. Most families remember the Eisenhower and Reagan years as times of hope and tranquility.  This may have little basis in reality from some viewpoints but it is what it is.

    I see a mass nostalgia for better times. Mitt looks like a president. He is calm and soothing. His campaign stresses returning to what we once were. Thus, my prognostication. Of course if I were any good at this sort of thing I’d be writing from a mansion on Biscayne Bay instead of a trailer park in deepest, darkest Florida.

    Roy
     

  • Old Buckeye

    Roylofquist, I have observed the same of the politically uninvolved. What do you think is a good “seed” to plant in their heads when we are in casual conversation with them?

  • roylofquist

    Old Buckeye,

    No need to plant a seed, it’s already starting to bloom. A little gentle watering may be in order but remember that they most likely don’t really want to hear a whole lot about this Ungodly mess.

    Roy

    p.s., OSU, Newark campus 66-67. 

  • http://OgBlog.net Earl

     
    BW: Recently read The Forgotten Man (which I found a bit of a slog, actually), so I am WELL acquainted with the 1940 election and what led up to it. 
     
    That knowledge did NOT make me think of Wilkie as I watched things (apparently) swing inexorably to Mitt, whom I did NOT support.  I can see the connections you cite, but I think they are more apparent than real. 
     
    I hope and pray that you are wrong and I am right.  I also pray that Romney’s conversion is as real and as deep as yours.

  • http://OgBlog.net Earl

     
    Interesting….my brother just forwarded a column from “baseballcrank.com” that pretty well expresses what I’ve felt about Romney for a long time….and what BW is obviously expressing above.  Here is the second-to-the-last paragraph, but you should go over there and read the whole piece:
     
    The other point I would make about integrity is that it goes close to the core of why a Romney nomination worries me so much: because we would all have to make so many compromises to defend him that at the end of the day we may not even recognize ourselves. Romney has, in a career in public office of just four years (plus about 8 years’ worth of campaigning), changed his position on just about every major issue you can think of, and his signature accomplishment in office was to be wrong on the largest policy issue of this campaign. Yes, Obama is bad, and Romney can be defended on the grounds that he can’t possibly be worse. Yes, Romney is personally a good man, a success in business, faith and family. But aside from his business biography, his primary campaign has been built entirely on arguments and strategies – about touting his own electability and dividing, coopting or delegitimizing other Republicans – none of which will be of any use in the general election. What, then, will we as politically active Republicans say about him? I was not a huge fan of John McCain’s record, but I was comfortable making honest points about the things McCain had been consistent on over the years – national security, free trade, nuclear power, public integrity, pork-barrel spending. There were spots of solid ground on which to plant ourselves with McCain, and he had a history of digging himself in on those and fighting for things he believed in. But Mitt Romney’s record is just one endless sheet of thin ice as far as the eye can see – there’s no way to have any kind of confidence that we can tell people he stands for something today without being made fools of tomorrow. We who have laughed along with Jim Geraghty’s prescient point that every Obama promise comes with an expiration date will be the ones laughed at, and worse yet we will know the critics are right. Every time I try to talk myself into thinking we can live with him, I run into this problem. It’s one that particularly bedeviled Republicans during the Nixon years – many partisan Republicans loved Nixon because he made the right enemies and fought them without cease or mercy, but the man’s actual policies compromised so many of our principles that the party was crippled in the process even before Watergate. We can stand for Romney, but we’ll find soon enough that that’s all we stand for.
     
    http://baseballcrank.com/archives2/2012/01/politics_on_kee.php
     
    Oy Vey!
     

  • SADIE

    Earl, I didn’t know you spoke Spanish “Oy Vey” :)

    The Willkie/Willard analogy vs a Marxist/Mormon one? We already know what we’ve got (dreck – more Spanish for the bi-lingual). I just have a feeling that we’ve reached the fork in the road and that choosing a president that abides by the values of the majority of voters is an exercise in futility. Remember those phony commercials on TV when actors dressed as doctors, played one and tried to sell the viewer the product as “geuninely approved” and it will really work and you’ll live better and healthier…blah blah blah. Crap on that and crap on the four out of dentists stuff too. The only reason I don’t get cavities anymore is due to a few crowns and a bridge. My best hope for our future is to elect a House full of Col. Wests. We’ve got to get rid of the men in white coats!

    p.s.  your new house looks great.    

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    No matter how many realize the Left’s evil or mendaciousness, a thousand more are converted each day at public schools. There’s no competition in terms of numbers here, because the gap is too wide. It takes age and wisdom for people to learn the error of their ways and who was really lying about what.

  • http://OgBlog.net Earl

     
    Sadie: I couldn’t agree more about Colonel West….and here’s someone to stand back to back with him:
     
    http://hotair.com/archives/2012/01/09/video-mia-love-the-next-conservative-superstar/
     
    Thanks about our home….it’s such a pleasure to be here.  The little covered patio area faces south, and all day long in the winter it collects heat so we can sit out there even when the overall temp is too low for comfort.  Lots of light and air — we’re loving it.

  • Old Buckeye

    Aside to roylofquist: Buckeye in the broader sense! BGSU ’77

  • suek

    >>The little covered patio area faces south, and all day long in the winter it collects heat so we can sit out there even when the overall temp is too low for comfort.>>
     
    Enjoy it while you can, Earl…and start planning for where you’ll go during the midst of summer when the sun will _beat_ down on that covered patio!  and the sun will come beating into the house.  Of course you probably have air conditioning, but Chico in the summer is pretty darn hot as I hear it!

  • http://OgBlog.net Earl

     
    suek: We moved in last May and spent the summer here.  I was somewhat surprised at the electric bill – mostly the air conditioner…..and the insane, enviro-wacko-inspired regulations that drive the cost of power up.
     
    But our patio is covered, and in summer the sun is much higher in the sky, so the concrete is largely shaded, as are the windows.
     
    I grew up in Ukiah, with a couple of valleys letting marine air in from the coast each night….summer days were hot, but nights always in the 60s, and often in the 50s.  Chico’s nights are often in the 80s, and I remember my shock when I first began visiting my future in-laws over here.  I put up with it for the blessings of family – 30+ in the immediate area – that includes three generations.  That and the fact that I enjoy living with my wife…..
     
    :-)