Among the campaign promises Mitt Romney has made so far is to create jobs. That is certainly music to the ears of the all too many unemployed right now, and to the employed who have seen a decline in property values, erosion of school budgets, less discretionary income, and so many other things related to the down economy. How Romney will accomplish this we don’t know, especially if his record as governor of Massachusetts is an indicator. Romney might even agree with that since he only touts his business experience and never his record as governor. But this I want to give Romney credit for in the making of his promise: I think he is sincere.
I bring this up because Obama made a very similar promise. And I believe he was sincere too. Both promises are what can be call aspirational. They are well intentioned but depend on a lot of moving parts. A president can only do his part and must depend on a lot of others to do theirs. Obama had both Houses of congress when he first came in, but he didn’t have enough votes to overcome the partisanship in the senate. Two years late the House turned over and the Republicans have blocked all of Obama’s attempts to get a jobs bill passed. My point is not to debate the merits or demerits of Obama’s legislation, but to argue that Romney is going to face exactly the same difficulties in getting his legislation passed. I believe that Obama kept his promise to create jobs with the efforts he made. I also give him credit for trying to keep the promise of closing Guantanamo Bay, despite being stopped by both Republicans and Democrats. To those who will vote against Obama largely because he broke these two campaign promises and a few other aspirational promises, I can only wish Romney lots of luck. And to the Romney voters who view these promises the same as, for example, the promise to pay a debt to someone, I have to believe they will always and forever be disappointed.
On a different topic, a number of bloggers have attacked Kevin Foley for his factual statements concerning Mitt Romney’s avoidance of military service during the Vietnam era draft while at the same time openly supporting the war. (Full disclosure: I do not know Foley, and have never spoken or communicated with him in any fashion.) One blogger has pointedly stated that since Foley never served in the military he has no right to comment about Romney’s service. Another raised John Kerry’s service---or lack of service according to his view of it. To anyone who would challenge Foley for opining about how Romney supported the Vietnam war while taking advantage of any and all deferments he could get his hands on just because Foley didn’t serve, leaves me scratching my head. Does that mean that current historians have no legitimate voice to write about prior wars or events when they weren’t even born? How far does one take this illogical argument?
John Kerry is a different story. I did a fair amount of research about him in 2004 when he ran for president. His Silver and Bronze Star medals were earned, and that is actually beyond dispute unless one just hates him enough to make a pointless argument. Among the evidence for the Silver Star was the other officer- in-charge of the Swift Boat that accompanied him on the mission in which the award was earned. He is/was an editor with the Chicago Tribune, and his nationally published narrative of what occurred, which supports the medal, is very compelling. It is interesting that the senior officer that ultimately approved the medal even endorsed Kerry for reelection to the senate in the mid-1990s. Only in 2004 did he jump on board with the Kerry haters and say that he made a mistake. How does anyone defend against accusations that are 35 years old? Imagine someone accusing you 35 years later of not having legitimately earned your college, law or medical degree, that you cheated your way through school. Those who had questions about the Silver Star in 1969 were duty bound to voice them at the time. Anything less is cowardice and unworthy of belief without very serious verifiable evidence.
Lastly, the officer-in-charge of the Swift Boat where Kerry earned the Bronze Star after rescuing the Green Beret who fell overboard, told the world that they were never under fire and that Kerry had made it all up. Only later was it reported that the same officer received the Bronze Star for the same mission, and the citation for his award said that they were under fire during the operation. When confronted with this information the officer could only say that he didn’t write the after action report. Yet most importantly, if this officer thought that neither he nor Kerry merited the Bronze Star, he could have turned it in to the board of corrections that all military branches have. He didn’t. (There are other events that I could cite, but I only wanted to offer up two of the most well known. I have never supported Kerry’s tossing of reproductions of his medals in protest of the war after he came home.)