Movie_Clapperboard_preview

“Mitt” the Movie and Obama the Juror

“Mitt” the Movie

At long last I watched the Netflix film “Mitt” a documentary about Mitt Romney’s 2008 and 2012 runs for President.

If more folks had seen this side of Mitt, he might be President today. When the film ended even I felt bad for how severely I had judged him. Any suspicions that Romney is Fred MacMurray’s Steve Douglas from “My Three Sons” are confirmed in this documentary. Mitt is truly from a different age. He is wholesome to the core. Very devoted to family and to his religion.

In a telling moment Mitt complains about his lot as the “flipping Mormon”. He remarks that he can’t change the Mormon part and then quickly corrects himself that he WON’T change the Mormon part.

Other notable moments are his intense admiration for his father George Romney and his brutal honesty in the wake of his 2012 defeat where he refuses to say in his concession speech that all will go well with Obama. “I’m not going to be soothing” says Romney.

I have a problem with the way the film was edited. Seeing Romney go through the 2008 primary process humanizes him. We don’t get to see him go through the 2012 primary process and how hard he had to fight in an anyone-but-Romney lead up to his nomination. So the Mitt we see in 2012 is a hardened Mitt missing the softer edges that made him sympathetic in the film’s first half.

Still what stands out is Mitt obsessively picking trash off the floor when he’s nervous, his decent self deprecating humor, and the degree to which his family adores him – and how hurt they are by the process of running for POTUS. If nothing else, this film is a cautionary tale for the families of Presidential hopefuls.

Obama the Juror

It started on July 20, 2009 when Lynn Sweet asked Obama to weigh in on the arrest of Professor Skip Gates (a question she would never have asked a white president). Obama, self important bloviator that he is, fell right into her trap:

I don’t know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played in that. But I think it’s fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry; number two, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home; and, number three, what I think we know separate and apart from this incident is that there’s a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately. That’s just a fact.

While I felt at the time (and still do) that both Gates and the cop were stupid, Obama would have been wiser to say “no comment”. Or better, “Lynn would you be asking me this if I were white?”

Then on March 23, 2012, he did it again:

My main message is to the parents of Trayvon Martin. You know, if I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon. All of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves.

This comment became more absurd the more we learned what a thug Trayvon was. Again, refusing to comment on an ongoing investigation would have been smarter.

But wait, there’s more. This past Friday Obama felt compelled to comment on the murder of three young North Carolina Muslims:

No one in the United States of America should ever be targeted because of who they are, what they look like, or how they worship.

Only one problem. We do not know with certainty that the victims’ religion played a role in their deaths. Again, Obama plays juror and renders verdict before all the evidence is in.

Obama may feel some special pressure as the first black President but this series of public pronouncements just comes off unpresidential at best and negligent at worst. Sometimes the best thing to do Mr. President is just shut up.

Just shut up.

What do you think? The bar is open.

Duel_preview_500

The Upcoming Showdown

Well folks, it appears the 44th POTUS has not taken the expected lessons from the November 4th GOP victory. On the contrary, with no more elections to win and no more congressional seats to worry about (not including Mary Landrieu) Obama feels free to do what he damn well pleases. He’s dealing with continued opposition to the ACA and he’s taking a swing at net neutrality and the Keystone pipeline. But the most imminent battle is over immigration reform and this has the right apoplectic.

Obama is famous for favoring politics over ideals, no doubt one of the biggest let downs for his supporters. To focus on Obama’s motives (fairness, narcissism, power grab) is to focus on the wrong thing. This is a rare time when there is bipartisan recognition that we have a problem so the focus should be on the fix.

It seems completely reasonable to me when Obama cites congressional malfeasance on immigration. The Senate passed a bipartisan bill that House leader Boehner refused to put to a vote. Is government supposed to come to a standstill because one chamber refuses to do its job? (In fairness Harry Reid has sat on his share of bills too.) Obama has given numerous “warnings” that if Congress could not get its act together, he would take whatever executive action he could. Again the fact that it is expedient for him to act now is beside the point. We’re focusing on the wrong thing.

The solution must encompass:
1. Border security: Unless we want to be Cold War East Berlin, we need to recognize there are limits to what we can do here. We’re not going to build a wall with snipers ready to shoot interlopers. We should take reasonable steps here but with such a long border, breaches are inevitable. Some money allocated to border security is a good idea. Unlike conservatives, I don’t think this is top priority.

2. Conditions that encourage migration: This is a tough nut to crack as the ball is really in the court of Mexico and points south. To the extent that we can implement policies (perhaps trade policies) that improve the lives of folks in their native lands, we should.

3. Exploitation: We should vigorously prosecute business owners who hire undocumented workers.

4. Compassion: How can we as a civilized country tell people who have lived here for years and raised families here that they must summarily leave? This segment of the undocumented have become part of their communities and are loved not just by family but by friends. We must find a way to compassionately deal with this.

5. Fairness: Compassion aside, law breakers cannot be prioritized over those following the rules. Any path to citizenship must place lawful immigrants at the “front of the line”.

I honestly don’t think legislation or an executive order that encompasses these five principles is rocket science. I also don’t think that the world will come to an end if it takes an EO to move this forward. If Congress wants to act responsibly, they should pass legislation to supplant Obama’s executive action as soon as possible and not waste any more time whining about it.

What do you think? The bar is open.