In the national anthem of the island of Margaritaville, Jimmy Buffett sang about a libation-fueled crawl including a “blew out my flip flop” mishap. I think Mitt Romney owns a Bain-acquired flip-flop warehouse just to cover his blown footwear needs. To cite my decades-long following of Caribbean troubadour Brother Jimmy again, teetotaling, decaf Mitt Romney “stepped on a [LOT] of pop-top[s].” It’s two weeks until Election Day. Will American voters send the former Bain Capital CEO to “limp on back home?” At least Mitt and Ann Romney have six homes to hobble to. Perhaps they have one of Ann’s Cadillacs stashed nearby? “Some people claim that there’s a woman to blame, but I know, it’s all [Romney's] fault” to morph another line from the song.
Debate moderator Bob Schieffer, from CBS News, was able to keep President Obama and Governor Romney mostly on topic, even if CEO Romney still believes he always gets the last word, as if the debates were held in the Bain board room before prostate corporate sycophants. Romney’s caught flip-flops on policy stances became personal “attacks” on Ann’s sweetheart Quarter Billion Dollar Man? We thought Donald Trump had a Hindenburg zeppelin-sized ego.
On the remaining war in Afghanistan, Romney tacked again away from his saber-rattling to the Rightist extremes of his own Republican party. Now Mitt pledges to withdraw from Afghanistan, in a drunken stumble unusual for Mitt, the caffeine-free Coke-sipper, and in a 180 degree vôlte-face reversal of his previous assurances to the conservative Republican base in the primaries. Perhaps Saturday Night Live will take the bait and have a “Dr. Jeckyl and Gov. Mitt” debate skit.
More than three decades ago, I was a Navy submariner. In the rigorous training and qualification process, we had lectures titled: “School of the Boat.” When Mitt Romney parroted adviser ex-Reagan-era Secretary of the Navy John Lehman’s simpleton line that we were heading to a smallest navy in nearly a century, the President schooled Romney on military technology in the kindergarten terms even a draft-skipping Mormon missionary to France could understand.
As I have written before, naval strength is measured in capabilities, not mere numbers of hulls. In the late 1980s, Reagan and Lehman’s quest for a 600 ship navy was hobbled by chronic manpower shortages needed to crew those vessels. With the collapse of the old Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, America found we didn’t need several hundred ships, and many were decommissioned, sold, scrapped, or recycled relatively early in their service lives. Modern warships are much more capable, and far more expensive. Memo to Mitt: The Cold War ended over twenty years ago. File with the oft-debunked but still repeated “apology tour.”
While the debate theme was foreign policy, both candidates steered the discussion to the domestic economy. Romney repeatedly promised jobs and rising take-home pay for workers. Ahem, that wasn’t “the Bain Way.” Or record. Romney even tried to say he liked school teachers, but took a swipe at the teachers’ unions who elevated that profession out of penury and sacking on an administrator’s whim.
Failing as a military officer is referred to as “falling on one’s sword.” Romney repeatedly failed to counter the President’s pointed jabs throughout the debate.
Missionary Mitt instead fell off Ann’s tax-writeoff Dressage horse and onto an entire case of bayonets.