Burch: Mr. Inappropriate

Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 10:05pm
By Michael R. Burch

A Tennessee athlete played two key roles in the 2012 Olympics. Amber Charles captains the Tennessee Temple University women’s basketball team, but she hails from London. In 2004, she presented London’s proposal to members of the International Olympic Committee. Recently, millions of people watched her carry the final torch at the opening ceremony of the London Olympics.

Tennessee is also represented by other athletes, including 2004 Olympic gold medalist Justin Gatlin, a world-class sprinter, and Candace Parker and Tamika Catchings, two world-class basketball players who won gold medals in the 2008 Olympics.

But unfortunately not all Americans are as exemplary. One less-than-world-class visitor threw a dark shadow over the opening ceremonies and left millions of otherwise ecstatic Brits feeling slighted by a prototypical “ugly American.”

Mitt Romney fumbled the ball in his first attempt at international diplomacy, when he suggested that London was not ready to host the Olympics. He called British preparations “disconcerting,” saying it’s “hard to know just how well it will turn out.” He seemed to be suggesting that England’s organizers fell short of the Olympic gold standard: himself.

America’s Mr. Inappropriate shocked Downing Street with his bad manners and lack of grace. Prime Minister David Cameron rebuked Romney with typical British irony: “We are holding an Olympic Games in one of the busiest, most active, bustling cities in the world. Of course it’s easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere.”

But Romney was not content to insult only the organizers. He also seemed to impugn the character of the English people, by asking if they would “come together and celebrate the Olympic moment,” as if only Americans under his leadership are capable of attending sporting events.

Senate majority leader Harry Reid justifiably questioned why an American presidential candidate would “go over and insult everybody.”

Then, as if determined to prove that what happened in London was no fluke, Romney proceeded to alienate most of the Muslim world when, during his next stop in Israel, he suggested that Israelis enjoy a better standard of living than Palestinians because they have a superior culture and enjoy the “hand of providence.”

The remarks understandably infuriated Palestinians, who accused Romney of racism and not taking into account the fact that Israel has established a military occupation of the West Bank and a naval blockade of Gaza, which have devastated the Palestinian economy. The consensus opinion of international economists, including the IMF and World Bank, is that the Palestinian economy will remain depressed until Israel ends restrictions on imports, exports and the movement of goods.

But that was not the end of Romney’s blunders. During a speech delivered later in the day, he said, “It’s a deeply moving experience to be in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel.” The problem, of course, is that Israel has already wrested around 80 percent of the land of Palestine from the native population by force, hook and crook. If Israel claims all Jerusalem, the Palestinians will have no hope of a viable state of their own. So Israel claiming all Jerusalem with the backing of its superpower patron could inspire another intifada, more acts of terrorism like 9/11 and perhaps even World War III.

Later, Romney spoke of moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, something saner world leaders have wisely refused to do. At times Sheldon Adelson, the Jewish-American billionaire casino magnate who has contributed millions to Newt Gingrich’s and Romney’s presidential campaigns, sat next to Mr. Inappropriate. It seems obvious to me that Adelson is making massive contributions to American politicians in return for them agreeing to support an American embassy in Jerusalem. But that could be seen as an act of war by people who demand independence from Israeli tyranny and oppression for Palestinians.

“We condemn his statements. Those who speak about the two-state solution should know that there can be no Palestinian state without East Jerusalem,” chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told Reuters. “What this man is doing here is just promoting extremism, violence and hatred, and this is absolutely unacceptable. His statements are just rewarding the occupation and aggression.”

Romney has criticized Barack Obama, alleging that the president had “thrown Israel under a bus” by pushing for a two-state solution. But the man most responsible for defending Israel, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, made it clear that the Obama administration has given “unprecedented backing to Israel’s security” and has “done a lot to maintain Israel’s qualitative [military] advantage” in the region.

So it seems that even Israeli Jews and Palestinians who agree about nothing else can agree about one thing: Mr. Inappropriate has no business trying to lead the free world.

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

226 Comments on this post:

By: gdiafante on 8/10/12 at 7:57

What the hell is a cyncis?

By: Captain Nemo on 8/10/12 at 8:17

A cyncis is the missing part of Rasputins soul.

By: yogiman on 8/10/12 at 8:17

I imagine he made a simple error like the rest of us, gdiafarte, and possibly misspelled cynics.

I'm sure you know the definition of that word. If you don't, look it up.

By: bfra on 8/10/12 at 8:22

I figured that was the way an underling, trying to be an upperling spells.:-)

And yogi doesn't know any better, either.

By: Captain Nemo on 8/10/12 at 8:31

Change your diaper yogi you're starting to smell.

By: gdiafante on 8/10/12 at 8:36

Yogi, this banter is way over your head, so don't try. Just sit there like a good little idiot and let the adults talk.

By: yogiman on 8/10/12 at 8:59

What are you "saying", gdiafarti. I simply stated Rasputin72, reversed the "i" and "c" in his word. Like it or not, everyone on this site makes the same error... often and regularly.

The definition of that word means: "One who believes that human conduct is motivated wholly by self-interest".

I believe you and your fellow posters fit that category very well.

By: Captain Nemo on 8/10/12 at 9:29

I fine this funny that the old fool in defending Rasputin. This must be such an insult for Rasputin to have the twits protection.

By: gdiafante on 8/10/12 at 9:31

Daily question: Which has the greater density...a black hole or yogi?

By: Captain Nemo on 8/10/12 at 9:31

I got to meet Ben Vereen yesterday and had my picture taken with him.

By: Captain Nemo on 8/10/12 at 9:38

That is hard to say, but there is movement in a Black Hole. There no movement at all in yodi.

By: yogiman on 8/10/12 at 10:15

Is that hole in your skull called your black hole, gdiafarte because it's so empty?

By: gdiafante on 8/10/12 at 11:30



By: gdiafante on 8/10/12 at 11:57

Question: What's the difference between the vacuum of space and the area between Yogi's ears?

Answer: the vacuum of space isn't empty.

By: Captain Nemo on 8/10/12 at 2:18

Great come back you got there yogi. Get some education about Black Holes before making a fool of yourself

By: Captain Nemo on 8/10/12 at 2:18

Great come back you got there yogi. Get some education about Black Holes before making a fool of yourself

By: Captain Nemo on 8/11/12 at 8:11

I would likt to introduce the Prisident of the United States of America Paul Rand.

Mitt Romney

By: Ask01 on 8/12/12 at 4:32

Let us continue this thread, as Willard, ever ready with the political gaffe, has provided even more fodder for the masses.

First, he introduced his running mate, (funny how the anti-gay GOP hasn't reacted violently to that term) as "the next president of the United States."

While clearly yet another example of engaging the mouth before the brain is in gear, I wonder if some ominous foreshadowing will be read into that flub by future generations.

In the unlikely event Willard wins, and, God forbid, some misfortune should befall him, then Mr. Ryan would obviously take over. The other possibility, equally distasteful, is Mr. Ryan actually winning the Oval Office following President Obama's completion a successful second term. He would be, if not 'the next' president, at least one of the next.

I saw a news report, I believe with an AP byline, which detailed how Willard required potential running mates to make available several years of tax returns, I suppose to be sure no surprises lurked in the shadows. The scenario of a sitting president being sent to prison for income tax irregularities, would be hilarious enough, but for the vice-president succeeding him to be likewise sent away would be off the laugh-o-meter scale.

Another report, also by AP, outlined how Willard is trying to distance himself from Mr. Ryan's budget ideas, declaring that he would be steering the ship of state, not Mr. Ryan.

The impression I am left with is Mr. Ryan's budget plans are so odious and contemptable, there is concern he could frighten away voters, particulalry the elderly who would be impacted by him ideas dealing with medicare and social security.

This is the best their party could present for the upcoming elections?

I believe I detect indications of panic beginning to radiate from the platform of the Republican party.

The upside is comedians will have a field day with the Dubious Duo in the coming months.

I can hardly wait for the circus to begin.

By: yogiman on 8/13/12 at 1:38

I hate to disappoint you, Ask01, but Romney made the boo boo introduction like Barry. So you might say they both screwed up. Or was he copying Barry's boo boo on purpose?

I hope Ryan never has to take over, but I sure don't think we need Joe Biden as President.

It's funny, right off the bat Barry started insisting Mitt Romney shows 11 years of his income tax records, yet he refuses to show anything that would identify himself.

Maybe he should offer to show his legitimate birth certificate, explain where he got his SSN and his college papers.

Ask01, I also hate to disappoint you by stating if Barry was a natural born citizen, he lost that citizenship when he was adopted by his Indonesian stepfather.

Doesn't it make sense, and don't you think Barry would save millions by simply proving he is in that office legally? Could it possibly be because he isn't?

By: bfra on 8/13/12 at 3:47

Doesn't it make sense & don't you think yogi, by now, would know that everybody laughs at how stupid he is? Could it possibly be that he is so stupid, he doesn't know it?

By: Ask01 on 8/13/12 at 4:13

A very distinct possibility, bfra.

On the other hand, the demented ramblings, possibly the result of an advanced degenerative disorder presenting in the final stages, do provide some oft needed comic relief.

Heed the frequently repeated admonitions about not feeding, in this case, responding to, the trolls. To do so only encourages them to rant further.

By: bfra on 8/13/12 at 4:30

Ask01 - So true, however, sometimes his repeated phrases & inane comments are like a pesky gnat that just begs to be swatted.:-)

By: Ask01 on 8/13/12 at 5:12

One quick note before I head out to work.

I noticed Mr. Ryan has announced he will be emulating Willard and only making two years of tax returns.

Willard, as you might recall, has released one year and promised to release this years, presumably meaning for tax year 2011, when they are ready. Curiously, my return, and those of everyone I know were ready by last April 15th.

How much more complicated, or better said, convoluted could Willard's be?

Mr. Ryan had to produce several years return, although Willard's people won't say exactly how many years.

Mr. Ryan, showing how connected he is to the working people he claims to identify with, said something to the effect 'the people don't care about tax returns.'

I'm sorry, first wrong answer. I do care about the tax returns of a rich 1 percenter wanting to run the country.

I am part of the hiring committee known as "the voters."

Have a wonderful day. "I owe, I owe, so off to work I go."

By: Ask01 on 8/13/12 at 5:14

I'm, running late, but cannot resist.

bfra, would you say he isn't smarter than the average bear?

By: gdiafante on 8/13/12 at 5:24

I can only assume that Romney has decided that he doesn't need the senior vote.

So, in summary, he's lost African-Americans, Hispanics, women and now seniors. Who's left? Oh yeah, the white male. Interesting...

I noticed that the Romney team is already trying to change the message...that Obama, not Ryan, is ending Medicare as we know it...Ryan is a reluctant budget cutter...poor guy.

So, their message is that Obama is a Socialist who wants to expand government by eliminating Medicare...and they wonder why people think they're stupid...lol

Let the free-for-all begin (That's your queue, Ben).

By: gdiafante on 8/13/12 at 5:25