Petty Politics: Why can’t the Right rally around the president in times of international incidents?

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So, the day after Mitt Romney loses the second debate to President Obama, Mitt’s kid Tagg Romney says, on some forgettable radio program, that he wanted to jump on that stage and punch the president in the face. Or nose, what’s the diff. “Take a swing,” were the actual words I think.

Holy mackerel, Jesus, Lord and Holy Mother of God! The reaction by the Lefties to that was:  “CALL THE SECRET SERVICE! PUT THAT MAN IN JAIL”

Lighten up, Francis! I’m talking to you, Rev.Al Sharpton. You’re going to get all lit up over that? The radio talk show guy asked Tagg how he felt when the president called his dad a liar. The young Romney said he wanted to take a swing at the president. But then noted that  A) there was a phalanx of Secret Service between him and the president, and B) it’s all part of the campaign deal. There should have been a C) “Plus my dad is stretching the truth a little.” Well, a lot, but who’s quantifying it all?

Rev. Sharpton, lighten up. My money is on Obama. He could take Romney’s kid by round three – just like the upcoming debate.

Then on Thursday night host Lawrence O’Donnell of  The Last Word called young Tagg out, challenging him to go on that show and take a swing at O’Donnell. Lawrence … Larry! Booby! Do you really have to go there? Are we not men of peace? Well, you grew up in a blue-collar Irish neighborhood, so maybe not. But still, that’s kind of adolescent.

On the other hand, as an old Marine, the idea of a good old punch fest sounds like fun. But still, it was beneath you Lawrence! In fact, this whole flap about what Tagg Romney said to some fairly anonymous radio show host from North Carolina is mountain out of molehill stuff.

You, my friend Lawrence (we don’t actually know each other, but I like him), are quite effective with your words, a man of great intellect. Don’t sully your reputation like this. You have enough haters for that anyway. Challenge these simpletons with your wit. It’s so much more entertaining.

OK, I’ll grant you this: if Tagg and his kin showed up on  The Last Word to take a swing, you would oblige and it would be great television.

Here’s the thing: if one of my relatives is up there on that stage in a presidential debate and “The Other Guy” infers she or he is not telling the truth, yeah, I wanna jump down there and punch The Other Guy in the face. It’s a natural response. Is it appropriate, thinking about it? Yeah. Actually jumping onto the stage and attempting to punch The Other Guy? No. If we were held to account for what we think … well I ain’t talking.

Young Tagg didn’t go on a rant and he qualified it, i.e. it’s all part of the game. So, lighten up Reverend Al and Lawrence.

Every once in a while I throw in a cultural reference that, at least at one time, was popular. If you’re young you might not get the reference to “Lighten up, Francis.”

Greatest Army movie – ever. Stripes. Murray and Ramis – that’s what this country needs.  And is the character Pycho related to the Romney clan? Can we get a DNA test for that?

Folks who may have been born before 1974 will remember it from the hit Hollywood comedy starring Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, John Candy and a host of others, Stripes. Released in 1981, it was an instant hit. Sgt, Hulka, played by Warren Oates, to Francis “Psycho” Soyer, played by Conrad Dunn, spoke one of the most memorable lines from the movie.

Psycho Soyer: “The name’s Francis Soyer, but everybody calls me Psycho. Any of you guys call me Francis, and I’ll kill you. And I don’t like nobody touching my stuff. So just keep your meat hooks off. If I catch any of you guys in my stuff, I’ll kill you. Also, I don’t like nobody touching me. Now, any of you homos touch me, and I’ll kill you.”

Sgt. Hulka: “Lighten up, Francis.”

The surrogates are in such a tizzy to have something to talk about, to try and bash over the other side’s head, they’ll pick up on anything to try out as a cudgel. Friday Morning the Righties got their undies in a twist over something the president said on  The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. In a serious question about the Benghazi, Libya incident, Stewart used the word “optimal.” In his reply, President Obama used the word as well.

Holy butt chug me with turpentine! Sen. John McCain, once the biggest flip-floppin’ phony in the GOP, until Mitt Romney started running for president again, told Fox News he was “sad” President Obama used the word “optimal.”

And of course McCain reminded everyone that the president never served in the military so he can’t possibly know what “it” is like — really Senator? Let me clue you in Senator: your guy hasn’t served either. When he could have been available for the draft during the Vietnam War he took a deferment to go to France on his church’s dime. And then he expressed support for the war.

Then there was Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. She silently sighed to Andrea Mitchell Friday Morning at the word “optimal,” then told the MSNBC reporter/anchor that she, Hutchison, was more concerned about what the president and his administration had done and said in the weeks after the tragedy in Benghazi.

Sen. Hutchinson – What happened to rallying around the president in times of war or major incidents?

Hutchison said that of course when an international incident happens we should all rally around the president, any president regardless of party, but this was different. Well, here’s the only difference that seems to matter to you, Sen. Hutchison: the guy in the Oval Office now happens to be a Democrat so there is no way your party leadership will allow any Republican to show some solidarity with the president — and by default the nation — when an international incident occurs.

Which is the same reason not one Republican congratulated the president when Usama bin Laden was killed. Sure, every Republican thought it was a good thing, but all of them, to a person, tried to give most of the credit to the Bush Administration.

The reality with acts of terror is they all have needed several weeks to months and even years to investigate. On the day the country was hit by terrorists on September 11, 2001 we were getting all sorts of information from the government through the media. Some of it true and a good portion of it wrong. No one took President Bush to task for not knowing all the details of the attack in the first 24 hours.

Years later when we found out about missed and ignored intelligence we criticized President Bush and Condoleezza Rice for not taking the threat of terrorism seriously. But on the day of the attacks and for weeks afterwards, we rallied around the president as one nation.

Now that the president is a Democrat, the GOP just can’t find it in itself to rally around the president. The Republican Party is so far gone into its own fantasy world, their one and only strategy for everything is to be the Party of No. Which means: don’t agree with anything President Obama says or does and attack him on everything and anything, regardless of the optics and consequences.

We see it in that “Fast and Furious” BS  investigation and then with this tragic terrorist attack. No matter how the president reacts, no matter what the president says, the GOP is going to find fault and go on the attack. It’s the GOP strategy for winning back the White House and control of the U.S. Senate.

Every administration can probably find some ways to improve response to tragedies like 9/11 and Benghazi, but to expect the president, any president, to have all the details, and accurately explain an act like the killing of our ambassador and three others within 24 hours is nonsense. It’s ridiculous and at the very least the Republicans look like idiots for attacking the president over this and at worst, a bit unpatriotic.

Ronnie didn’t bug Jimmy in times of international incidents. Maybe he had just a little more class.

During the entire 1980 election season President Carter (and the nation) had the Iran Hostage Crisis looming over him. Not once in those months leading up to the election did Ronald Reagan question or criticize President Carter’s handling of the crisis. Reagan knew there were some things that were larger than partisan politics and foreign policy was one of them. Campaign or not, Ronald Reagan knew that for America’s image, for America’s future on the world stage, standing with the president during times of crisis as one united nation was more important than trying to win an election.

Yet one more example the GOP should follow from the man they love to claim as the ideological leader of their conservatism. And this latest bullshit over the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya is one more example of why the Republican Party is no longer the Party of Lincoln or Reagan.

The GOP is a danger to itself and the nation. The sooner we make it irrelevant, the better off the nation becomes. And who knows, maybe the party will heal itself.

Let’s end the pettiness on both sides of the divide.

And take our poll on the right side of the homepage.  You might be surprised who is winning.

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