So if Mitt Romney makes a joke about how no one asks to see his birth certificate, is it funny? MSNBC's Chris Matthews doesn't think so. He jumped all over RNC chair Reince Priebus on the cable channel's show, "Morning Joe", accusing Priebus' candidate of race baiting. Priebus was immediately on his heels shrilly claiming that Mitt's joke, while it may have been awkward, was simply that.
Matthews was having none of it. He pointed out what many of us have been thinking for more than just a little while. The republican party establishment has picked up on the discredited birther issue and while those in charge say they don't actually believe Obama was born outside of the United States, they hint, rather ham handedly, that he isn't American. In speech after speech you can catch the glimpses of it. "If Obama only knew how America worked," "Obama doesn't understand America." Romney uses phrases like these continually. Catch the drift? This African American president isn't one of us, even if he was born here. Romney's boy, Donald Trump continues to hammer on the birther thing, while funneling money to Super Pacs that support the former Massachusetts governor. Romney says he disagrees with The Trump, but only after the checks have cleared the bank.
Even during the heat of the denials Priebus couldn't help but go to that same rank well. "Obama is looking for guidance from Europe when it comes to health care, spending, and stimulus," driving home the notion that Obama is somehow a foreigner, or at keast has a philosophy that unamerican. At that point Mr. Matthews asked Mr. Priebus if he was insane. No, he is just reinforcing the idea that Obama is some sort of alien threat. Swift boats are swarming in the waters and their engines frenzied roar have just begun.
Meanwhile vice presidential candidate, Paul Ryan was making a call on Sheldon Adelson who is the really big money man behind the Romney campaign now. Adelson has pledged to spend as much as $100 million to defeat Obama, much of it coming from the profits he has made from his Chinese casinos. No doubt promises were made during the meeting and there was a moment, not for the squeamish, when Ryan had to kneel and kiss Adelson's ring.
On the other side the Obama people have released an ad featuring former president, Bill Clinton. Clinton, after sitting out the last election, is suddenly off the sidelines and swinging away for the incumbent. There could be a couple of reasons for this. One is that he is genuinely pissed off that Romney used his name in an ad about welfare reform that has proven to be a blatant, not to mention, despicable lie.The other is far more Clintonian and my personal favorite. Billy Jeff's wife has claimed she is not interested in running for president four years from now. I don't believe that hokum for a minute. In four years Hillary Rodham Clinton will be 69 years old, which is on the cusp of being a bit too ripe for the job. However, if Obama wins a second term he can't run again and Mitt will be just a fading memory. No one in their right mind thinks Biden will be the democrat's guy during the next round, so the field will be wide open on both sides. Bill and Hillary aren't particularly altruistic when it comes to politics and they aren't stupid. They know that the odds go straight to even money if there is no sitting president to contend with. Get rid of Mitt Romney now and in a couple of years break out the buttons that say, "Clinton for President 2016!" Hey, no one has ever said either of them is short on chutzpah.
Yes it is a strange and Byzantine business filled with big money, big lies and chicanery that would make the Borgias blush. The faint of heart and idealists should seek shelter immediately. This isn't a time for either of them, or for that matter, amateurs. The pros are in charge now. The process has begun in earnest.