Saturday, August 18, 2012

Salvation By Faith In Mitt Alone

Controversy seems to follow Michelle Obama.  On April 13, the First Lady had the nerve to proclaim

But this election is also a choice about the health of our families.  Now, the fact is that over the past century -- all right, 100 years -- there have been so many Presidents who have tried and failed to meet the challenge of health care reform.  But fortunately your President was determined.  Fortunately he was driven by the stories of people he'd met.  We all know these stories -- the grandparents who couldn't afford their medications; the families going broke because a child got sick; the woman dying of cancer whose insurance company wouldn't cover her care. And let me tell you something, that's what kept Barack going day after day.  That's why he fought so hard for this historic reform. 

Media Matters caught Fox News contributor Deroy Murdock alleging "We've got President Obama's supporters and even Michelle Obama saying that if you vote for the Republicans, people will get cancer."   Another Fox News contributor, syndicated columnist/author Michelle Malkin, claimed Mrs. Obama was suggesting "that somehow, if Republicans are elected to the White House, that all of these people are going to die, die, die."

Obviously, Mrs. Obama said nothing of the sort.    Murdock and Malkin act as if unaware that the Affordable Care Act closed the infamous prescription drug doughnut hole in Medicare, prohibited denial of coverage of children under 19 based on preexisting conditions, eliminated lifetime limits on insurance coverage, and prohibited insurance companies from rescinding coverage by choosing to deny services to a covered individual when he or she gets sick.   Mrs. Obama simply chose a more graphic means to demonstrate the impact of reforms such as these in the PPACA.

Malkin tried to draw a parallel between the Obama comment and the controversial ad produced by Priorities USA about the death from cancer of the wife of a worker who had lost his job because of Bain Capital.    No parallel between Michelle Obama's statement and any ad exists- but Malkin could have drawn a straight line between another of Obama's comments and one by the woman anxious to succeed her as First Lady.

During the last presidential campaign four years ago, Michelle Obama remarked "People in this country are ready for change and hungry for a different kind of politics and... for the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback."     Accordingly, she brought down upon herself a torrent of abuse, presumably because she seemed proud of her country only because its people were considering electing to the presidency her husband.

Selective outrage is clearly prevalent in today's Republican Party.   Politicians, pundits, and others were simply aghast at Mrs. Obama's attitude.   There was no such outpouring of disgust, however, when  earlier this summer the heartthrob of the GOP Young Guns exclaimed "On Tuesday we save Wisconsin.   On November 6th we save America."

Nor has there been a backlash against Queen Ann Ann Romney, who in March said her husband "is the only one who can save America" an this week told NBC News' Natalie Morales (segment transcript, here)

We have a reason why we're running and it's because I believe in my heart that Mitt is going to save America. That economically we are in such difficult times and that he is the person that's gonna pull us through this. And it's propelled me through the negative criticism. And I am stalwart and steadfast and positive and confident that still to this day Mitt is the person who's going to save America and he's gonna get us back on track. 

As Bill Maher noted on HBO's Real Time in referring to Mrs. Romney's remarks, America does not need "saving."    The nation is not irretrievable, lost without the redemption that can come only by Willard Mitt Romney.    It need not be salvaged from the trash heap of Mrs. Romney's imagination, but instead will survive any Democratic, or Republican, administration without need of rescue.

Perhaps the increasing reference by conservatives to the need for the country to be "saved" comes from the religious impulse of many individuals in the Gas and Oil Party.   If so, it is an odd perversion of Christianity, seeing man (or woman, as long as she's a conservative Republican), rather than God, as savior.

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