"Rooster” Cogburn for President
My wife does not often make suggestions for what I should write about, but today was an exception. As we watched a Fox News update on the field of Republican hopefuls for the 2012 presidential nomination, she said, “You know what we need to defeat Obama in 2012? We need someone with “true grit,” and we still don’t have a frontrunner who fits that description.” I could not agree more.
According to the official storyline in the movie True Grit, 14-year-old farm girl Mattie Ross arrived in Fort Smith, Arkansas, determined to track down and capture a former hired hand, Tom Chaney, who had murdered her father. To aid in her quest, she hired the roughest, toughest man she could find, a one-eyed U.S. marshal with "true grit" named Reuben J. “Rooster” Cogburn, to track Chaney into Indian Territory and bring him to justice.
Almost every moviegoer over age sixty will remember and appreciate the original version of the movie, starring John Wayne, which opened in movie theaters across the country in June 1969. Wayne won both a Golden Globe and an Academy Award as Best Actor for his portrayal of the one-eyed “Rooster” Cogburn.
But Wayne’s portrayal of the curmudgeonly lawman was typical John Wayne. He swaggered, he cursed, and he swilled a little whiskey, but he came off looking more like a kindly father-figure catering to a strong-willed daughter or granddaughter. It was not until 2011, forty-one and a half years later, when the remake opened in theaters across the country, that moviegoers finally got to see what “true grit” really looks like. That was when actor Jeff Bridges reprised the role of “Rooster” Cogburn.
Thinking back on the Bridges performance, I can fully appreciate that “true grit” is the single most important quality the 2012 Republican candidate must have. “Nice,” “accommodating,” and “bipartisan” simply won’t cut it against a man who compares well to Lucifer himself, so no George H.W. Bush, Bob Dole, George W. Bush, or John McCain lookalikes need apply. And just in case some might be tempted to think that former Florida governor Jeb Bush might be a welcome change of pace, let’s just assume that the further we wade out into the Bush gene pool the shallower it gets. Some may be willing to gamble on a third Bush in the White House, but I’m not.
So if our 2012 job description excludes “nice guys” and candidates who are anxious to “reach across the aisle” to accommodate Democrats, who do we eliminate?
For starters, we can eliminate former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, former Utah governor Jon Huntsman, and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. Each time I see Pawlenty he seems to automatically morph into the children’s TV icon, Mr. Rogers, dressed in his cardigan sweater and singing “Won’t You be My Neighbor.” Barack Obama, the Democrat leadership, and the “Weiner media” would eat him alive.
As for Mitt Romney, he too is a bit too nice, a bit too polished to get “down-and-dirty” with Obama, as conservative voters are going to demand. Besides, after the lame answer he gave in defense of his failed “RomneyCare” plan in Massachusetts, I’m not sure we could ever trust him to adequately espouse conservative values.
After a scathing Wall Street Journal attack on RomneyCare, Romney responded with, “I stand by my successful healthcare plan in Massachusetts, but ObamaCare is a disaster because it does all of the things that RomneyCare does, just on a national level. So, if I am elected president I will give waivers to states so they can repeat my mistakes if they want to, or, if they are smart, they will reject both my approach and Obama’s.”
One wonders who advises Romney on his public statements. As a former speech writer for a presidential candidate, I can’t imagine who might be putting words into his mouth. Could it be Joe Biden? Newt Gingrich? His response was all wrong.
He should have said, “Yes, the Massachusetts healthcare reform plan has not been the panacea that we hoped it would be. But the states are the laboratories of social and economic policy in our federal system and it is the states that must take the lead in trying to solve problems such as the healthcare crisis. Barack Obama and the Democrats in Congress don’t seem to understand that, when it comes to problems as great and as intractable as healthcare, the one-size-fits-all formula that they’re so fond of just won’t work. At least we tried. Now the Congress, the next president, and the other forty-nine states can learn from our experience in Massachusetts.”
But it was in New Hampshire, in announcing his candidacy for the 2012 GOP nomination, that Romney frittered away any chance he had of winning the 2012 nomination. Appearing before a crowd of New Hampshire supporters, he said, “I don’t speak for the scientific community, of course, but I believe the world is getting warmer. I can’t prove that, but I believe, based on what I read, that the world is getting warmer. And number two, I believe that humans contribute to that. I don’t know how much our contribution is to that, because I know that there have been periods of greater heat and warmth in the past but I believe we contribute to that. And so I think it’s important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may well be significant contributors to the climate change and the global warming that you’re seeing.”
Goodbye, Mitt Romney! No Republican candidate who would publicly put those thoughts into words can ever win the party’s nomination for President of the United States.
To name those in the party who do possess “true grit,” we can start with Texas governor Rick Perry; New Jersey governor Chris Christie; Wisconsin governor Scott Walker; Maine governor Paul LePage; Ohio governor John Kasich, South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, Arizona governor Jan Brewer, former Speaker Newt Gingrich; former corporate CEO Herman Cain; former Alaska governor Sarah Palin; Congressman Ron Paul, of Texas, Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann, of Minnesota; and Congressman Allen West, of Florida. It is out of that group of thirteen patriots that Republicans will likely select their 2012 ticket, with the ideal ticket being Governor Rick Perry for president and either Herman Cain or Michele Bachmann for vice president.
Once in office, President Perry will need a “kick-ass” cabinet. He will need Sarah Palin as Secretary of the Interior, Chris Christie as Attorney General, Mitt Romney as Secretary of Commerce, Newt Gingrich as Secretary of Education, Allen West as Secretary of Homeland Security; and Ron Paul as Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. If she is not the first female vice president, Michele Bachmann would make a fine Treasury Secretary. And if Governor Perry fails to select him as his running mate, Herman Cain would provide an invaluable contribution as Chairman of the Republican National Committee where he would serve as a much-needed conservative role model for all black Americans.
As Interior Secretary, Palin would have oil producers drilling wells in the offshore… east coast, west coast, the Gulf of Mexico, and Alaska… in the Baaken range in Montana and the Dakotas, and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). With the sound of all those drilling rigs operating around the clock Americans might find it hard to sleep at night, but within four years the Perry administration would have the U.S. well on its way toward energy independence.
And that natural gas pipeline that Palin got approved as Governor of Alaska? She and President Perry would have that pipeline rerouted, and instead of bringing low-cost, clean-burning natural gas to the non-energy-friendly states of Washington, Oregon, and California, that gas would be going directly to the Dakotas and to the Plains states… along with the heavy crude produced from the Athabasca tar sands in Alberta Province… where business development and job creation are deserved and much appreciated.
Perry would also have our southern border closed to illegal immigration, the economy would be growing at a fast pace, Boeing would be producing airplanes in its new South Carolina assembly plant, the jobless rate would be shrinking toward the 4-5% “full employment” level, and gasoline prices would once again be less than $2 per gallon.
All of these things can be accomplished. All we need is a man or woman with “true grit” in the White House, a filibuster-proof Republican super-majority in the U.S. Senate, and a prohibitive Republican majority in the House of Representatives. And whenever our candidates debate Obama and Biden, let’s send them away feeling as if we’ve dumped a healthy portion of “true grit” into their undershorts.
Obama must not only be defeated in 2012, he and his policies must be totally repudiated in a landslide defeat. We need a “Rooster” Cogburn-style Republican in the White House to undo all the damage Obama and his administration have done to America and get America back on the road to fiscal and social sanity again! So let’s stop thinking about it and talking about it… let’s get it done!
Amen, brothers & sisters!
Paul R. Hollrah is a freelance writer. He is a member of the Civil Engineering Academy of Distinguished Alumni at the University of Missouri - Columbia and a Senior Fellow at the Lincoln Heritage Institute. He currently resides in Tulsa, Oklahoma.