Going into the Republican Party Convention in Tampa this coming week, it’s time to clearly and succinctly state the nature of this party’s ticket. It can be summed up in five words: Wall Street and Tea Party.
Governor Mitt Romney likes to point to his business experience. The only business he was in, however, was the Wall Street business.
He raised Bain Capital’s initial funding from friends and associates on The Street. After picking companies to pick clean, he raised money from friends and associates on The Street for leveraged buyouts. After converting these acquired companies into configurations that could be peddled profitably on The Street, a Wall Street investment bank was hired to do the peddling to its customers on The Street.
Do such activities at Bain qualify Romney as a man with “business experience”? Sure. Kind of. Just the way my own experience as a writer does.
I’m a businessman, too. I have a small business. I sell written products, keep records for the IRS, often have trouble meeting a payroll (my personal living expenses), sometimes hire and fire (technical help for my computer), and occasionally spin off a product to another business (a book publisher).
Does this “business experience” qualify me to be president? I’d hate to think that any sensible voter actually thought so. Any more than he or she, if they operate a small retailing or manufacturing or transportation-related enterprise, should see a reason to feel business kinship with Romney’s own Wall Street “business experience.”
And then there’s the Republican’s vice presidential pick, Rep. Paul Ryan. A small town rich kid whose views of social and economic reality have also been shaped by a few right wing gurus rather than real world angst. Do you think he or anyone in his immediate circle has ever worried their food budget would run out before the end of the month? That they couldn’t see a doctor because they couldn’t afford the co-pay? That having another kid would not only be a medical worry but a crushing financial burden that puts existing family members even deeper into a seemingly bottomless financial hole?
A cruel man, Paul Ryan? Certainly not. But the kind of guy who might see solutions to this country’s problems the way Mickey Rooney solved them in those old Andy Hardy movies. “Hey, kids, let’s have a show” that raises money to meet the need. Faith-based, market adoring, fact oblivious Tea Party economics.
If voters want to a turn this country over to the tender mercies of Wall Street hustlers and Tea Party ideologues, fine. If that’s what voters want, it’s a democracy, that’s what we get. But at least they should understand up front what such a vote is really all about.
You can’t vote for the Grand Old Party, the GOP, the traditional Republican Party, any longer. It’s dead and gone. Replaced by The Wall Street Tea Party.
By the pair that tops a political party’s ticket ye shall know them.