Column Opinion Sartell St. Joseph — 06 September 2012

A comedian took a trip to one of our Southern states once; I can’t remember if it was Iowa or Kansas. The comedian told the audience, “If you ever get a chance to go there, pass on it. Because when you get there, there’s no there there.” I’ve thought those exact thoughts every time I’ve heard Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan speak.

Romney has said he “doesn’t make a move without his wife, Anne’s, approval.” I heard Anne’s speech during the Republican National Convention. I discovered, “there’s no there there” either. Mrs. Romney went on and on about her love for Mitt and her life with Mitt. She droned on about their first date, their first dance and years later about raising five boys.

It was a flashback to Sarah Palin. I would have happily voted for Sarah Palin as Cub Scout Troop Mother of the Year but not for vice president of the United States. In that same vein, I nominate Mitt and Anne Romney for Homecoming King and Queen but not for president and First Lady.

I have to admit he is a good dancer, though. Mitt has danced around every question no matter how pointed it was. He has two-stepped and side-stepped around every issue also. He twirls the questions from what was asked to what he thinks should be asked. Why are we worried about his past taxes? Why aren’t we worried about our future taxes?

Well Mitt, I would like to know why you pay a 14-percent tax on a quarter-billion dollars when I pay 28 percent tax on $20,000. I can’t even picture a quarter-billion dollars, and I’m sure he doesn’t even notice $20,000. Can I have this dance?

I would like to know why I’ve paid into Medicare and Social Security since I was 16 years old but now that I’m 52, you want to take it away because I’m too young? I want to know what you’re going to do with it, but it’s obvious even you don’t know. You and Paul, “haven’t worked out the details yet,” as you’ve said. Care to dance?

I watched the audience during the convention. Some were overcome by boredom; most were overcome by confusion. They all clapped dutifully, then turned to each other for clarification, “What did he/she say?” Or: “Why is Clint Eastwood talking to a chair?” So many of them had vacuous looks of incomprehension.

I had that same look when Anne tried to relate to the women voters. She said something to the effect that we aren’t too smart to do one thing but not too dumb to do another. I still haven’t figured out if I’m too smart or too dumb.

What I do know is Mitt visited three countries and annoyed four or more. I don’t care if he is a good dancer. Then again, I don’t care if he has two left feet. I think if you’re a diplomat you should at least be diplomatic. So far he hasn’t been, and I don’t want any of his 10 thumbs anywhere near America’s nuclear buttons. I don’t want Romney’s possible presidency to be America’s last dance.

I want him and Paul to “work out the details” so they can start answering questions instead of rewording them. Because when it comes to the Romney/Ryan platform, so far “there’s no there there.”

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