Burch: Mitt snit

Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 10:05pm
By Michael R. Burch

Mitt Romney was scheduled to attend a private fundraiser in Franklin on Tuesday. This will be at least the third visit Romney has made to Tennessee recently, as he appeared at Nashville-area fundraisers in November and March. According to an invitation, the latest event was to be at the home of Lee Ann and Orrin Ingram. Gov. Bill Haslam, Romney’s state campaign chairman, was expected to attend, along with Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey and House Speaker Beth Harwell.

Romney certainly cuts a dashing presidential figure, and he has considerable business and political experience, but questions remain about his character. Here are some of my concerns about the man I have come to unaffectionately think of as the Romneybot.

Does Romney lack empathy? Take, for example, his remark that “I’m not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there. If it needs a repair, I’ll fix it. I’m not concerned about the very rich; they’re doing just fine.” Does he somehow equate the very poor with the very rich? Also, Romney has been accused of bullying when he was in high school and was called a “Lord of the Flies” type figure by an ex-classmate. The head of PETA recently suggested that Romney might lack compassion after he put his dog in a crate and strapped it to the roof of his vehicle for an 11-hour road trip. And he has been quoted as saying, “We should double Guantanamo!” making him sound like a man in need of a heart transplant.

Does Romney “get” how most Americans feel about their finances? He recently opined that his speaking fees of $374,327 last year were “not very much.” At a debate, he offered to bet Rick Perry $10,000 — an amount that, however facetious, reminded voters just how rich and carefree Romney is.

Where does Romney stand on women’s rights? When Rick Santorum and Rush Limbaugh made outrageous remarks about women who use contraceptives, Romney said and did nothing to contradict them. And Romney is a high-ranking official of the Mormon church, which says God favors “maleness” and so men must rule over women. As Sally Denton, who has written three books about the Mormon church, pointed out in a New York Times article, “The controversial and secretive religion is a multi-billion-dollar business empire ruled by a stern patriarchal gerontocracy. Only ‘worthy males’ can ascend to positions of power — both now and in the afterlife — and women are relegated to supporting roles. Male dominance is the essence of the faith ...”

Is he a hypocrite? Romney, who once ran a private equity firm and has raised large sums of campaign cash from Wall Street firms like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, insists that “corporations are people” and has called federal government spending to assist tornado and flood victims “simply immoral” because it increases the national budget deficit. But when has he ever called government borrowing to fund wars and Wall Street bailouts “immoral”?

Why does he have a Cayman Island IRA estimated at up to $101 million by The Wall Street Journal? It seems Romney may have sheltered all or most of his Bain Capital wealth from taxes by putting it into an offshore “IRA” and only allowing it to be valued correctly once the appreciation was protected from taxes. I first became suspicious about Romney’s finances when he squirmed like a fish out of water when asked about releasing his tax returns during a presidential debate. Romney’s total wealth has been estimated at around $200 million. If he shielded half his wealth from taxes, that would seem to drop his effective tax rate from around 14% to perhaps 7%. How is that fair to non-millionaires who pay higher tax rates?

Is Romney his own man? In a telling exchange during a debate in December, Romney criticized Newt Gingrich for making a disparaging remark about Palestinians, declaring: “Before I made a statement of that nature, I’d get on the phone to my friend Bibi Netanyahu and say: ‘Would it help if I say this? What would you like me to do?’ ” Martin S. Indyk, a United States ambassador to Israel during the Clinton administration, said that Romney’s statement implied that he would “subcontract Middle East policy to Israel.”

I think Americans should remember and consider what happened the last time we elected a president who looked the part, but lacked the heart and brains to be an effective leader: George W. Bush.

Michael R. Burch is a Nashville-based editor and publisher of Holocaust poetry and other “things literary” at www.thehypertexts.com.

Filed under: City Voices

106 Comments on this post:

By: yogiman on 6/15/12 at 9:24


You're exposing your ignorance more by your 9:41 remark. When have you heard me when I opened my mouth?

By: Captain Nemo on 6/15/12 at 9:32

Great comeback yogi. Week(sic) as usual.

By: Mike Burch on 6/15/12 at 9:33

And of course there are questions about Romney's policies and his pandering to the Religious Right.

It sounds as if he will start a war with Iran to "protect" Israel, which needs no protection because it has a large cache of nukes and one of the most powerful (and brutal) militaries on the planet.

What will Romney do about pollution and global warming? Probably not much.

What will happen to the rights of women and gays?

The list of bad ideas is almost endless ....

By: MusicCity615 on 6/15/12 at 9:41

well said BenDover!

captain nemo-

His CEO experience served him well in Massachusetts.

Seriously people, let's get to what matters most- the economy

If you have two resumes, one with private sector experience and governing experience, and then you had one where the candidate was a senator, who would you hire??

Mitt Romney 2012.

By: MusicCity615 on 6/15/12 at 9:43

Mike Burch-

Romney was governor of massachusetts. Did he overturn gay marriage?

You're scare tactics are pathetic.

By: BenDover on 6/15/12 at 9:45

"And of course there are questions about Romney's policies and his pandering to the Religious Right."

Obama's pandering to the government employee unions has a tremendously larger negative effect on the average American taxpayer.

"It sounds as if he will start a war with Iran to "protect" Israel, which needs no protection because it has a large cache of nukes and one of the most powerful (and brutal) militaries[sic] on the planet."

When the Mad Mullahs get the bomb they will use it against Israel. To deny this is self-delusion of the highest order.

"What will Romney do about pollution and global warming? Probably not much."

Hopefully he will give it the attention it deserves and not continue subjugate our energy needs and the world economy to such nonsense.

"What will happen to the rights of women and gays?"

Fear mongering about women's rights and oppression of gays is absurd. Women and gays will benefit just like the rest of us when all of the uncertainty, unnecessary regulation and class warfare is eliminated and our economy is allowed to recover.

By: Ummm... on 6/15/12 at 9:52

All you Teapublicans should get your drawers out of a wad- the cult member will carry backward, regressive Tennessee easily. Even though his natural constituency (old white men) are dying off, his other constituency (the ignorant) seems to be growing apace, especially in this state. I only wish they would do away with the outmoded relic known as the electoral college, so my vote for president would actually count for something.

By: yogiman on 6/15/12 at 10:05

Your popular vote issue exposes your dumocratic ignorance, Ummm. If the government puts us into that popular vote stage, we'll only need votes in a couple of the democratic states.

Fortunately, I believe it would have to be an amendment to our Constitution unless congress gets us into that One World Government stage.

By: MusicCity615 on 6/15/12 at 10:08


I couldn't agree with you more.

By: slacker on 6/15/12 at 10:12

The Democrats should accept the reality that Romney just might win.
If he does, dogs & grandma's tied to car roofs, won't matter if Romney somehow stops the bleeding. Obama & associates, don't appear to have the answers.
If he fails, you can elect the Queen Mother Hillary, who awaits patiently, with 365 different colored pantsuits. And don't forget, you'll also get Bill.

By: Mike Burch on 6/15/12 at 10:13


Do you just marry the first person you meet, or do you try to get to know potential mates? The "dating process" with politicians is to get familiar with their words and actions. Romney was compared to the "Lord of the Flies" by a classmate. He mugged a gay student and cut off his hair, but can't even remember the "prank." But all the other students who participated remember it vividly, and have expressed remorse. Romney sounds as if he would attack Iran at the drop of hat, so perhaps he hasn't grown up to think about how other less fortunate people can suffer.

No, I don't know everything about any politician. But I can tell the difference between JFK and Nixon. Can you? Suppose there was a question about JFK's birth certificate. Would you vote for Nixon, a paranoiac, or would you vote for JFK?

Is a piece of paper more important than a man's character, beliefs and actions?


By: Ummm... on 6/15/12 at 10:35


You shouldn't waste your time addressing Yogi- not only is he too intellectually challenged and ignorant to comprehend what you're saying, he hasn't got time to read it because he spends his time searching for tinfoil sales at Walmart and making his trademark hats to fend off the mind-controlling alien transmissions.

By: govskeptic on 6/15/12 at 11:07

Since this mythical story started with fund raising, it's already been counted
that Barack has held more fundraisers with 5 months to go, than the
3 previous Presidents combined. Now that's taking care of business on that
end, while his work in Washington, the Congress, with Cabinet Officials, and
the Business community has suffered severely at every turn! With today's
announcement on his unilateral move to allow illegals to be given work
permits after capture by ICE agents, he can now count on a few more votes
and Hispanic locations for more fundraisers! What a desperate Clown!

By: yogiman on 6/15/12 at 11:24


I only know one man, and woman, that married their first girl/boy friend. That is my son and wonderful daughter in law. Do they still love each other after 16 years? If they don't, they're better actors than Barack Obama, and he's a good one. Just look at how many he's fooled in this nation. They dated for years before they got married so they weren't kids when they was married.

Was you such a good little boy you did nothing you might regret when you reach your age of maturity, Mike? No boo boos at all? If so, then you are one among few... not many.

Yes, Mike, I could tell the difference between Nixon and Kennedy. That's why I voted for Kennedy. Sadly, the thing that got him assassinated was because he didn't "follow the rules" of his party.

And knowing Kennedy as the man he was, I'd bet you money he would quickly show his birth certificate when he was questioned.

By: bfra on 6/15/12 at 11:38

By: yogiman on 6/15/12 at 10:24


You're exposing your ignorance more by your 9:41 remark. When have you heard me when I opened my mouth?
Just going by how people in your neck of the woods laugh about your preaching and shoving those little books in everybody's face. You are the town dunce!

By: slacker on 6/15/12 at 11:38

skeptic, it won't matter. Obama already had the illegal & graveyard vote. This obvious pandering, might piss-off some of the undecided voters, and they might vote ''Mittens.''

By: BenDover on 6/15/12 at 11:55

That's how I saw it too, Slack. Poorly calculated Desperation seems to be the theme of Obama's campaign this time around.

It just illustrates that when you're a one trick pony and running against 'the man' is the trick; then it's not as effective when you, yourself, are 'the man'.

By: yogiman on 6/15/12 at 12:00


If you honestly knew what you are saying, I'd laugh my a$$ off. But even though you don't, I still laugh at you for your obvious ignorance.

Keep it up! Laughing is better for your looks than crying. What other crap do you not know about me you can comment on? I'd like to laugh these old age wrinkles off my face.

By: BenDover on 6/15/12 at 12:02

Obama rides into a gay piano bar on the back of his one trick pony and orders a Smurf Fart.

Pony says, 'get off my back, man'.

Obama replies, "It's George Bush's fault", then leaves without paying.

By: BenDover on 6/15/12 at 12:05


By: BenDover on 6/15/12 at 12:07


By: slacker on 6/15/12 at 12:14

If Obama grants amnesty for all prisoners, & people with traffic tickets, he might just win re-election.
I bet he & Axelrod are on the phone now.. kicking the idea around.

By: BenDover on 6/15/12 at 12:22

Axelrod is a porn-star name, right?

By: slacker on 6/15/12 at 12:26

Exactly... Dirk Axelrod.

By: BenDover on 6/15/12 at 12:27

"Line up David Axelrod, Samantha Power and Cassandra Butts for my next shoot"
Dirk Diggler.

By: slacker on 6/15/12 at 12:28

Debbie does Axelrod...

By: bfra on 6/15/12 at 12:54

slacker - Toss the Kardashians in there, too!

By: slacker on 6/15/12 at 1:07

bfra, I did.. they were tossed back.

By: yogiman on 6/15/12 at 1:08

Good for a vote?

Obama has a new plan. He says it is to stop deporting younger illegal immigrants (aliens) who came to the U.S. as children will make the system "more fare, more efficient and more just."

He says it "makes no sense to expel talented young people who are essentially Americans." He says he was taking the action in the he absence of action by Congress "to fix our broken system."

A man at the meeting asked Obama , "Why do you favor foreigners over American workers?" Obama's response? "This is the right thing to do."

Who does he favor, Americans or foreigner?

By: pswindle on 6/15/12 at 1:15

President Obama has done well in helping create Private sector jobs with the GOP trying to stop his every effort. But the problem lies, where the GOP governors are laying off needed government workers to make the unemployment rise before the election. The GOP has tried every trick that they can think of to keep this President from helping the American people. In November, we will remember what the GOP has done to us and our Governor is doing the same thing by laying off state workers. TN has a growing unemployment because of this Governor of ours.
Some TN elected officials met the day with other republicans at the time that President Obama was sworn in office and plotted to do everything in their power to not let him pass anything to help the American people. What in the hell do you call this? I wish we had met to try and stop Geo. Bush from destroying our country and killing our service people in useless wars. We could never get the truth about Bush's military record. His Father had it removed.

By: dargent7 on 6/15/12 at 1:17

GW Bush has two DUI's, admitted alcoholism, cocaine use, his wife killed someone, and his VP has 3 DUI's and 5 deferments.
You got to hand it to a Republican to say, "So, what?"
They counter with Obama admitted to snorting coke and smoking weed.
I guess the "admitting", the "honesty" part, is what they have the problem.
Obama in 2012.

By: BenDover on 6/15/12 at 1:32

pswindle, it takes some chutzpah to join in the criticisms of calling yogi some paranoid nut and then post that last one.

By: yogiman on 6/15/12 at 1:39


If you would look into it, you would find both Bushes (look who their foreign friends (business partners) are, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama are all in line with the One World Government the UN has been trying to get brought into effect for decades and the past number of presidents have been in line with them. Ronald Reagan pretty well stood on his own.

Are you aware of the LOST program they've been trying to get passed for decades, also?

Think about it. At times of election you wonder how in the hell the candidate won their nomination when there seemed to be better Americans in the race.

Congress has taken over control as our parents and we are their children. Hang in there, I'm sure y'all will soon get it all figured out. But I'm afraid it'll be too late then.

By: slacker on 6/15/12 at 1:58

When did Dan Rather move to Nashville?

By: bfra on 6/15/12 at 2:18

Ben & yogi don't like to read the truth!

By: yogiman on 6/15/12 at 3:15

It would be great, and welcome, if you could provide some, bfra. Regrettably, you don't know the truth and can't offer any. You're just ridiculing yourself.

By: bfra on 6/15/12 at 3:41

yogi - Coming from you, that's a compliment!

By: yogiman on 6/15/12 at 4:12

Thank you, bfra. I feel good telling everyone the truth.

By: govskeptic on 6/15/12 at 4:59

Darge: I know the criminal history of the former President and V Pres are
favorites of your's we've read them quoted many times over the
years. But, let me point out your numbers are exaggerated which they
often are! George Bush was convicted one time for DUI not twice.
Only a reporter stated Bush used cocaine, but never a single witness.
Cheney was convicted of DUI twice in his twenties, not 3 times as
you often state. Not a big deal, but a long neglected correction!

By: govskeptic on 6/15/12 at 5:00

Darge: I know the criminal history of the former President and V Pres are
favorites of your's we've read them quoted many times over the
years. But, let me point out your numbers are exaggerated which they
often are! George Bush was convicted one time for DUI not twice.
Only a reporter stated Bush used cocaine, but never a single witness.
Cheney was convicted of DUI twice in his twenties, not 3 times as
you often state. Not a big deal, but a long neglected correction!

By: govskeptic on 6/15/12 at 5:01

So sorry about double posting!

By: BenDover on 6/15/12 at 8:06

lol... "you can't handle the truth", bfra

By: dargent7 on 6/16/12 at 4:37

Gov: Like yourself, I just know what I read.
Many sources provided the stats I recite re: Bush, Laura, Cheney.
You convienently omitted the Laura Bush traffic fatality.
And whether it was 2 DUI's for Cheney or 3 is hardly worth making that a point.
His 5 deferments and attitude about serving his country during Vietnam is more worthwile a discussion.
As all 5 sons of Romney haven't enlisted. Romney fled to France to avoid service.
You pretend to wipe their lawlessness aside by stating their weren't any "eyewitnesses" and "in their 20's". Well, what age was Obama when in college he did coke and smoked weed?
Hint: 20's.
Further, Bush's National Guard service was suspect since no one could remember him, yet the "swift boat" a-holes all remembered Kerry as the guy who shot himself to gain Purple Hearts and was a coward. Three Purple Hearts and a Silcer Star and it was all phoney.
Being a Republican is a sad state of mind.

By: yogiman on 6/16/12 at 6:44


You continue to condemn Mitt Romney and his sons for not volunteering into the services yet you don't see anything wrong that you didn't serve yourself. Are you someone special? Did the boys know some day their father was going to get deep into politics and they should all volunteer to serve in the nation"s military?

How many, on this site, are veterans? I've only "heard" of two, other than myself. Yet that seems to be okay because they apparently aren't republicans. Gimme a break, dargent7. Justify yourself before you condemn others.

By: yogiman on 6/16/12 at 7:35


It seems appropriate to condemn your opposing party, so let me throw this little point to you: You stipulate no one remembered George Bush in the National Guard. Tell me, can you name anyone who can remember Barack Obama in college? Didn't think so.

In essence, then, you question whether George Bush served in the National Guard. I then question if Barack Obama went to the colleges he claims to have. After all, no one is stepping forward in recognition.

By: Moonglow1 on 6/16/12 at 8:52

Moonglow1: Mike, you hit every major point.
I would highlight the issue of federal aid to victims of natural disasters. If Romney believes it to be immoral for the federal government to let tornado victims fend for themselves that speaks volumes about his character. It is unchristian not to help those in need.
Nashvillians should especially be concerned as more tornadoes will probably hit. So if Romney is elected, Nashvillians can be guaranteed to receive no help from the federal government to re-build. Instead they will have to re-build using their own funds.
Weather related disasters are probably due to pollution from carbon emissions of which receive government subsidies.
So the polluters get government subsidies to pollute, which drives climate change and you pay.

By: Moonglow1 on 6/16/12 at 9:01

Moonglow1: Also most very wealthy individuals became so by purchasing political influence. They receive government subsidies and no bid contracts. Romney is no different. They (the 1%) leach off the government. However, they want to suck up all the money for themselves. Too bad for the middle class. They want you to pay to make them wealthy. And by the way, Romney absolutely is a tool of Israel. He is taking money from the orange haired guy in Vegas. I thought Mormons didn't gamble. Oh right? A sin for you, but not for Romneybot.

By: Moonglow1 on 6/16/12 at 9:11

Moonglow1: To the Yogi-like suckers!
The Greeks and others have been driven out of business by the banks. The Greeks and the French have wised up. Austerity does not work!!! Stimulating the economy does work. Hence elections of socialist leaders. They get it. We on the other hand vote for giant leeches who suck money from the government for themselves and call it capitalism.
Obama is far from being a socialist. He continues to give away large subsidies to Lockheed Martin and others.
Also, the insurance companies and hospitals plan to continue with health reform and the Affordable Health Care Act no matter what the Supreme Right Wing Court does. So tea nuts-you lose!!!

By: dargent7 on 6/16/12 at 9:12

"Can anyone remember Barack Obama in college..."
Dumber than, "IF Mitt Romney's dad WAS Govenor of Michigan..."
Add in his Birth Cert. isn't real because you never saw it, and held it in your hands, under a microscope.
Some things on the surface are just as they appear.
If Jesus Christ Himself came down from Heaven and personally told you Obama was born in Hawaii, you'd still question why Christ was paying you a personal visit.

By: yogiman on 6/16/12 at 10:01


For every president this nation has had since I've been old enough to know remember, everyone who knew them let it be known they knew them. The schools they went to welcomed their recognition for the free publicity. Every place of birth also readily accepted their recognition for the free publicity.

So tell me, why does the hospital Obama claims to be his place of birth refuse to accept that claim and give up that free publicity. Unless he has passed away, why does the doctor that delivered him stay silent?

Every "hometown" of every president has started their "library" immediately after they went in office. After three and a half years, where are they building Obama's library?

I have only seen one man who claimed to be in college with Obama. Did he?