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A Proud Moment
Townhall.com ^ | July 13, 2012 | Mona Charen

Posted on 07/13/2012 5:01:42 AM PDT by Kaslin

Mitt Romney delivered one of the best speeches of the year at the NAACP meeting in Houston. It made me proud to watch him.

Romney was wise to accept the invitation -- though, God knows, the temptation to decline must have been tremendous. The NAACP hasn't exactly covered itself in glory over the past few years. In 2000, the organization ran dishonest and disgraceful television and radio ads suggesting that George W. Bush had been somehow indifferent to the horrible lynching of James Byrd in Texas. More recently, the group -- theoretically dedicated to the best interests of black Americans -- has joined teachers unions in attempting to block charter schools and has condemned the tea party movement as racist.

Still, by attending the conference and describing the invitation as an "honor," Romney demonstrated an important trait in a leader: a readiness to be respectful to everyone -- particularly those with whom you disagree. Romney was graciousness itself when he told the group:

"I can't promise that you and I will agree on every issue. But I do promise that your hospitality to me today will be returned. We will know one another, and work to common purposes. I will seek your counsel. And if I am elected president, and you invite me to next year's convention, I would count it as a privilege, and my answer will be yes."

It also demonstrates a strength of character to address a less than supportive audience -- at least in the way Romney did it. He didn't pull his punches or pander. He was forthright, honest and persuasive.

Naturally, the mainstream press focused on the boos he received after promising to repeal Obamacare (though they hardly mentioned the standing ovation at the end). Leading liberals like Nancy Pelosi and Rachel Maddow even accused Romney of getting booed intentionally. "I think it was a calculated move on his part to get booed at the NAACP convention," the House minority leader told Bloomberg TV. Maddow suggested on MSNBC that "he wanted to wear that around his neck like a badge of courage."

It goes without saying that if any conservative group had booed a liberal speaker, Maddow, Pelosi and the gang would be purple with rage about the "intolerance" and "lack of civility" on the right.

But never mind the liberal claque. Romney's speech was a model of what political discourse should be. Rather than minimize his devotion to free enterprise, Romney embraced it with a fresh and effective image:

"I am also a believer in the free-enterprise system. I believe it can bring change where so many well-meaning government programs have failed. I've never heard anyone look around an impoverished neighborhood and say: 'You know, there's too much free enterprise around here. Too many shops, too many jobs, too many people putting money in the bank.'"

Nice. As with the true story of Romneycare (a subject I addressed in a recent column), Romney had a good story to tell about his record in Massachusetts. Romney had pushed for higher standards, merit pay for outstanding teachers and greater parental choice through expanded charter schools. This provoked the ire of the Massachusetts teachers unions, who were able to get the legislature to pass a moratorium on new charter schools. Romney recalled: "As governor, I vetoed the bill blocking charter schools. But our legislature was 87 percent Democrat, and my veto could have been easily overridden. So I joined with the Black Legislative Caucus, and their votes helped preserve my veto, which meant that new charter schools, including some in urban neighborhoods, would be opened."

In one deft stroke, Romney placed himself on the side of poor kids who deserve better from the education system, while also reminding his somewhat hidebound audience that many African-Americans agree with him.

Finally, while few seemed to notice, Romney mentioned one aspect of his planned reform of entitlements that contradicts the caricature of him as the candidate of the rich. As part of a plan to reduce soaring entitlement spending, he said, he would reform Social Security and Medicare, "in part by means-testing their benefits."

Is this not exactly the sort of straight talk pundits and analysts are forever lamenting the lack of in our politics? Is it not the polar opposite of the interest group chuck wagon President Obama has been driving for months?

It is. And if Romney keeps this up, it will be remembered as a turning point in the campaign.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: freeenterprise; naacp; obamacare

1 posted on 07/13/2012 5:01:51 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

Warning: this thread contains live Rinomona charens. A mildly contagious disease of the forebrain, Rinomona is spread by frequent or sustained contact with infected persons.


2 posted on 07/13/2012 5:16:25 AM PDT by Lady Lucky (If you believe what you're saying, quit making taxable income.)
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To: Kaslin

Screw the views of the white trash MSM........ they are all American enemies devoted to moving Europe west to encompass all of the United States.


3 posted on 07/13/2012 5:19:38 AM PDT by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... Present failure and impending death yield irrational action))
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To: Kaslin

He has guts as we would say as kids.


4 posted on 07/13/2012 5:27:21 AM PDT by yldstrk ( My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: yldstrk

I agree, he took the high ground and it will be interesting to see if that tac will succeed.

Groups conditioned to irresponsible and thuggish candidates can’t be expected to respond readily when they are appealed to as the equivalent of educated and rational adults deserving of honest dealing and dignified leadership.


5 posted on 07/13/2012 5:34:39 AM PDT by SMARTY ("The man who has no inner-life is a slave to his surroundings. "Henri Frederic Amiel)
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To: yldstrk

I agree, he took the high ground and it will be interesting to see if that tac will succeed.

Groups conditioned to irresponsible and thuggish candidates can’t be expected to respond readily when they are appealed to as the equivalent of educated and rational adults deserving of honest dealing and dignified leadership.


6 posted on 07/13/2012 5:34:47 AM PDT by SMARTY ("The man who has no inner-life is a slave to his surroundings. "Henri Frederic Amiel)
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To: yldstrk
He has guts as we would say as kids.

It was a better world when we were kids.

7 posted on 07/13/2012 6:05:06 AM PDT by Tax-chick ("For it is time to seek the LORD, until he come and rain down justice upon you.")
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To: Lady Lucky

Regardless of your views as to the “conservative” status of Romney, it seems apparent that we here at Free Republic need to go all in for Mitt. He showed me something by goiong in front of a leftist bunch of race-grievance mongers, and did not pull any punches nor say what they like to hear. The reactions from the likes of Pelosi and MSNBC tells me Romney did well.

We cannot fail our mission to eject Barack Obama from the White House. We will not fail. We need all hands on deck.


8 posted on 07/13/2012 7:04:16 AM PDT by astounded (Barack Obama is a clear and present danger to the USA)
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To: SMARTY

Glenn Beck praised Romney’s NAACP appearance thusly:

“He went into the lions’ den with steak in his pocket and after smearing himself with raw hamburger.”

Romney did better than Obama in that setting.


9 posted on 07/13/2012 7:08:58 AM PDT by elcid1970 (Nuke Mecca now. Death to Islam means freedom for all mankind. Deus vult!")
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To: astounded
Correct.

Romney could not have handled the situation better than he did.

He didn't kick a$# and he didn't kiss a$#-but they can't say he didn't HONESTLY represent himself and the Conservative position.

He did NOT approach them as if they were victims. From this point on if they CHOOSE to continue THAT charade, they will forfeit their status as co-equals and actual equivalents of EVERY OTHER VOTING AMERICAN!

10 posted on 07/13/2012 7:48:46 AM PDT by SMARTY ("The man who has no inner-life is a slave to his surroundings. "Henri Frederic Amiel)
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To: Tax-chick

It was a better world then. At least you could believe in something


11 posted on 07/13/2012 7:56:44 AM PDT by yldstrk ( My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: SMARTY

“I agree, he took the high ground and it will be interesting to see if that tac will succeed.”

High ground, low ground, makes no difference.

Obama will take 90-93% of “the black vote” this time, in any case. Perhaps even a slightly higher percentage...


12 posted on 07/13/2012 8:05:05 AM PDT by Road Glide
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To: yldstrk

I believe in something now.


13 posted on 07/13/2012 8:32:42 AM PDT by Tax-chick ("For it is time to seek the LORD, until he come and rain down justice upon you.")
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To: Road Glide

Liberals banking on such a high percentage of minority votes is the ‘work around’ which forever faces Conservatives.

I am saying that in view of this, Romney did as well and better than most Conservatives in addressing an audience so inimical to him personally or to Conservatives, generally


14 posted on 07/13/2012 8:50:19 AM PDT by SMARTY ("The man who has no inner-life is a slave to his surroundings. "Henri Frederic Amiel)
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To: Tax-chick

oh good point, yeah I am a Catholic and really what I meant was that the country stood for something. Now people are money grubbers and nothing else


15 posted on 07/13/2012 4:27:14 PM PDT by yldstrk ( My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: yldstrk

I understand. I was thinking, when I read your original post, that when we were young we would say a person has guts, or nerve, or determination, or courage, or discipline. Now they just say “balls.” I hate it.

But I snicker when people use “cajones” as a term of respect, because it means “boxes” or “drawers.”


16 posted on 07/13/2012 7:21:03 PM PDT by Tax-chick ("For it is time to seek the LORD, until he come and rain down justice upon you.")
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To: Tax-chick

oh that is hilarious


17 posted on 07/13/2012 7:23:28 PM PDT by yldstrk ( My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: yldstrk

Back around 1800, they would say a person had “bottom,” in the context where we’re using “guts.” And there’s some language in which one expresses affection by saying, “My liver yearns for you!”


18 posted on 07/13/2012 7:29:45 PM PDT by Tax-chick ("For it is time to seek the LORD, until he come and rain down justice upon you.")
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To: Tax-chick

I have read that in Aramaic, “heart” more literally translates into “liver”


19 posted on 07/13/2012 7:39:20 PM PDT by yldstrk ( My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: yldstrk

The King James Version uses “bowels.” “Bless your bowels, honey!” I sometimes say, when someone has really irritated me.


20 posted on 07/13/2012 7:42:03 PM PDT by Tax-chick ("For it is time to seek the LORD, until he come and rain down justice upon you.")
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To: Tax-chick

ahahahahaha

wow, I guess we could also use “innards”


21 posted on 07/13/2012 7:44:01 PM PDT by yldstrk ( My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: yldstrk

Or “guts,” and then we’re back to start!

Have a good evening, it’s getting late in my time zone, and my little boys are up at dawn no matter how tired I am.


22 posted on 07/13/2012 7:46:29 PM PDT by Tax-chick ("For it is time to seek the LORD, until he come and rain down justice upon you.")
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To: Tax-chick

Have a good night


23 posted on 07/13/2012 9:52:44 PM PDT by yldstrk ( My heroes have always been cowboys)
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