Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Romney will not get rid of "Obama Care"

Mitt Romney got his narrow win in Michigan Tuesday night, and like we at VUI predicted, Romney touted that narrow win as a great win. But, it was some of the words in his so called victory speech that gave us pause. Romney stated that he would repeal "Obama Care" upon taking office. That is just plain nonsense.

Romney is not alone. Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich say the same thing to rally Republican voters. Ron Paul does not, because , frankly, Ron Paul is too honest. Paul knows how Washington works. The others go around beating their chests saying how they will repeal Obama Care, playing to an audience who has no idea that they can not.

Before you get too upset, let's assume Romney beats President Obama and is elected President of the United States. Their are some things to hamper the execution of the Affordable Health Care Act aka Obama Care that then President Romney can do. But repealing it, taking it off the books so to speak, it will not happen.

Here is why. Even if the Republicans have a great year, they get only a narrow control of the United States Senate. If the Republicans walk lock step with a then President Romney to repeal so called Obama Care, they still will not have the votes to stifle a sure filibusterer from the Democrats. All the Democrats need is 40 votes in the Senate to thwart any bill and they will have those votes when it comes to repealing Obama Care. It will be their mantra. They will be ticked at the defeat of Obama, and they will have constituents who demand retribution.

Thus Romney's idea of repealing so called Obama Care is a pipe dream, and an empty campaign promise. It is not going to happen. What will likely happen if Mitt Romney is elected President of the United States is that he will be the "white" Obama. Romney will get the briefings, face the political realities and then act about the same in most things as President Obama, if Romney has the sense of the men who have held the office.

Now before you think we are picking on Romney, remember the rhetoric of Barack Obama in 2008. Then Obama became President. As such he found out Bush was not so stupid on things like GITMO, Iraq and Afghanistan, among other issues. There is something about actually being the President of the United States that makes a man face reality.

As such, if Mitt Romney becomes the President of the United States, he will soon accept so called "Obama Care" because he will realize there is nothing he can really do to repeal it.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Romney is looking for that win in Michigan

It has been almost twenty years that I was a "stringer" for a local newspaper covering high school football. For those who do not what a stringer is, a stringer is a paid for story sports reporter. On a fall night back in 1992, I had the duty to interview then Dixie High School Head Coach Jim Rich. Rich simply told me about his team's close win that night, "A win ain't a loss." That simple statement stuck with me, and I have used that quote more than once since that night.

When it comes to the Republican Presidential Primary in Michigan, that is what Mitt Romney is facing. Romney and his supporting super PAC have spent millions in Michigan, Romney's home state. Romney has enjoyed a huge financial and organizational advantage from the start of the Republican Presidential Primary season, but Republican voters have not warmed up to him. Romney in some ways seems like the guy who courts the girl with the looks, the job, the family ties, all the right things, except the girl is not in love with him. But, marriages are made of guys like that who somehow keep plugging away for affection. Sure, divorce court is filled with them as well, but at least the guy gets the girl for a little while.

And, Romney just wants the girl, that is the GOP nomination, just for this year. With it, and with President Obama's missteps, Romney can do what his old man could not, become President of the the United States. The irony is, the biggest step to getting that nomination is winning Michigan, where the dad that Romney seems to run away from at times, was Governor. It is a story filled with layers and subplots that one could write about for days on end.

But, the bottom line is this. If Romney gets more votes than Rick Santorum in the Michigan Primary, look for him to use the old Coach Rich mantra, "a win is not a loss," to assure the Republican establishment he is a winner and he is their guy. A victory in Michigan, no matter how narrow, will show Romney is the safe bet for the GOP courtship. It will show, though the GOP is not in love with him, Mitt Romney is a stable suitor, with money, that can provide a shot at beating Obama, what the lady that is the Grand Ole Party really wants.

If Romney fails to win Michigan, then all bets on the relationship with the GOP is off. Santorum might then fancy himself the suitor for the hand of the Republican Party, but he might soon find out that with the rich guy so weak others will pursue the hand themselves. The lonely eyes of the GOP might turn to someone, such as Jeb Bush, or Mitch Daniels, not currently in the race, to take on Obama. As another football coach, the late Bo Schembechler once said, it is now about "Michigan, Michigan, Michigan!"

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Thank you Coach John McKissick

Summerville Head Football Coach John McKissick will not be roaming the sidelines in the Fall of 2012. He is retiring from his post after 60 years at it. McKissick was recently named the Don Shula NFL High School Football Coach of the Year Award winner, an award long overdue. McKissick has been already awarded and enshrined in various Halls of Fame, but it was nice to see the NFL honor him during Super Bowl week.
Indeed, a life like McKissicks is hard to measure. First, there is the longevity. For sixty years, McKissick coached Summerville High Football. He started when Harry Truman was in the White House. He coached Summerville through wars, economic downturns and 12 Presidents. Coach McKissick coached the game in the midst of great social changes. He coached Summerville as a small 1-A rural school through its growth to a suburban Big 16 school. He influenced literally thousands of people for the better.

Along the way McKissick won, and won a lot. The record speaks for itself. McKissick went 594-143-13 over his sixty years. No coach, at any level of football, has ever won so many games. McKissick also won ten state championships. He won state championships in five different decades, and led his team to the playoffs to contend for state championships in seven different decades. McKissick won at different divisions as Summerville grew. He won numerous region championships.

But, most importantly, John McKissick won with class. There was never a hint of scandal around his program. He spent sixty years teaching young folks that doing the right things and winning the right way pays off. For that, we at VUI, not only as lovers and coaches of the game of football, but as South Carolinians, say “thank you John McKissick.” You showed that a guy, who graduated from Kingstree High and Presbyterian College, can show the nation that doing the right things can win and can work.

We will miss Coach McKissick this Fall. But, Coach McKissick’s legacy will go on through the players and coaches that worked with him. This state should be proud that John McKissick is from it.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Jerry Peace is in real political trouble

Eighth Circuit Solicitor Jerry Peace has had his detractors over his years in office. WSPA television reported on how Peace’s office moved along DUI cases in a dishonorable way. Various groups have had a problem with how he deals with other crimes. Some even contend that Peace and his office play favorites with clients of certain attorneys in the circuit. There are rumors of law enforcement being disgruntled at how Peace does things.
So, it is no shock that Peace finds himself opposed for re-election. Ben Shealy was the first to step up to run against Jerry Peace for the Republican nomination for Solicitor of the Eighth Judicial Circuit, which includes Abbeville, Greenwood, Laurens, and Newberry counties. But, it was the entrance of David Stumbo that made the race one to watch.
Stumbo, who is a native of the area, is a man with true law enforcement experience, in that he worked for two Attorneys General and for legendary Solicitor Donnie Meyers in Lexington County. Stumbo is not only a man who has put criminals away; he has taught other prosecutors how to do the same.
Stumbo comes across as a man sort of sick of what he sees going on in his home area and willing to move back and stand up to set it right. That takes real guts and a real commitment to do what is right.
That sort of commitment to do what is right, no matter what attorney is offended, seems to have been lost over the last seven years of the reign of Jerry Peace in the Eighth Circuit. The entrance of a guy like Stumbo in the race is refreshing for folks in that area who want someone who prosecutes for justice and knows how to do it.
Indeed, Stumbo’s decision to move back home and challenge the controversial reign of Jerry Peace makes the Eighth Solicitor’s race one to watch. It is a classic race. An entrenched incumbent, beset by rumors of impropriety, is pitted against a man who came back home bent on setting things right. Such a scenario is not a liberal or conservative affair. It is shaping up as a battle of what is right versus what is wrong. And, those in the know know that Mr. Stumbo is on the side of right and that Mr. Peace is the symbol of what is wrong in law enforcement in Abbeville, Greenwood, Laurens and Newberry counties.
Make no mistake, there are very well placed interests who want to keep Peace in his job. But, Stumbo presents a challenge like no other. Though they will not officially say so, there are real people with influence who are tired of Mr. Peace and how Mr. Peace does things. Mr. Stumbo, with his resume and earnest efforts, gives such folks a real choice in the Republican primary. They can either quietly or openly support a candidate who will actually do justice. As such, the antics of Jerry Peace have landed him in real political trouble. It is such a trouble that VUI sees Mr. Stumbo being sworn in as the Solicitor of the Eighth Circuit when all is said and done.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Obama gives the GOP a shot

The Republican Party is killing itself with the Presidential Primary. It has been a nasty affair. So nasty that Republican establishment types in D.C. are gaming Congressional races and more worried about controlling Congress than having one the four fighters to the death beat Obama.

Added to that President Obama has had some good news. Things seem to be turning in the economy. Unemployment actually is going down. The real estate market, based on refinancing, seems to be turning upward. Obama seems a leader more in world affairs. Iran and Syria are actually giving the President a chance to look Presidential. Like it or not, add all that with the fact he is the President who got Bin Laden, and well, you get numbers where Congress is more than twenty points behind President Obama in approval and the President leads every Republican presidential contender head on head. Indeed, Democrats seem to be jumping at the chance for the President to run against Romney.

Thus, it would seem a President with some political sense would just sit and wait, and let the forces at play do their thing to re-elect him. Not President Obama.

After time proved the Tea Party and Birthers sort of nuts, President Obama gave a potential opponent a gift. The Obama Administration decided that Catholic based hospitals and other organizations must offer birth control services to employees and patients. Most Americans might think "whatever."

But, Catholics do not. Northern Catholics are a key Democratic voting block and were essential to Obama winning states like Ohio and Pennsylvania in 2008. They are comparable to Southerners. While a Southern good old boy might like to drink and mess around, he does not want someone to throw it up in his mama's face. A Northern Catholic might vote liberal, live liberal, even use birth control, but he respects his church so much he does not want that thrown up in his church's face. Perhaps to the logical mind it makes little sense. But human beings are not always logical. The fact is, no matter how they live, Catholics do not want the government or a President telling their church it is wrong, even if they believe its wrong.

Put plainly there is a way that Southerners can grasp what is going on here. We Southerners act different when mama or the Preacher is around. We might drink a case of beer and cuss and carry on to high heaven, but when mama or the Preacher is around, we measure ourselves. Northern Catholics are that way. Sure, they might use birth control, but they are not going to go to their parish and brag about it. They surely would not try changing their church's mind on the issue. Like Southerners do with mama and the Preacher, Northern Catholics have too much respect for their church to do such a thing.

When one lives in a logical and legal bubble, as those in the Obama Administration do, simple human characteristics are lost. What that does politically is create incredible damage. First, it alienates a core traditional Democratic voting block in Northern Catholics. Second, it opens President Obama to the notion, which will be exaggerated and forced to the highest degree, that the President is against religion. That gets other groups both fired up and alienated.

In sum, it gives what will likely be a weak Republican nominee the key to victory in November. It is such a politically boneheaded move it will make Democrats long for Jimmy Carter and his killer rabbit if the President does not change course on the issue soon.