Not A Joke

“Jump out of your seat and you want to rush down to the stage and take a swing at  him. But you know you can’t do that because, well, first  because there’s a lot of Secret Service between you and him, but also because  that’s the nature of the process.”
Tagg Romney, when asked what it felt like to hear President Obama call his dad a “liar” during the debate

Of course, Tagg was “just joking” when he made that comment during a radio interview Wednesday.  I, for one, do not find the humor in his comment.  I understand that he was giving a passionate defense of his dad, and he is a good son for it.

But in no way is it a “joke” to say you wanted to take a swing at the President because of something he said during the debate.  Tagg, your dad signed up to run for the Oval Office, and part of the campaign, sadly, has been that both candidates have stooped to seemingly new lows in attacking the other.  You, sir, come off as nothing more than a bully in your attempt at humor.

Tagg, if you cannot stand that the President called your dad out, there are other ways to defend him without resorting to violence.  You talked a big game about “wanting to take a swing at him,” will your actions back you up?  Are you willing to take the opportunity, or will you sit and blame the presence of the Secret Service for you not following through on your threat?  And, you can say it was a joke all you want, but it was a threat, and not even a thinly veiled threat.  I believe you when you say you want to take a swing at President Obama, and don’t let the Secret Service stand in the way of you staying true to your word.  The Secret Service should treat what you said like they would treat any other credible threat made against the President, and act accordingly.  After all, there is a transcript of what you said, and audio of what you said, so you cannot conveniently blame the “liberal media” for twisting your words.  You can chuckle uncomfortably all you want when you make your threats, but a threat is a threat.

I was part of an at-work discussion about the debate yesterday morning, and we agreed on a few things, Tagg.  One is that your dad should actually show some respect for the President.  I say this about your dad because he is the challenger, and I would say it about any challenger to an incumbent President, no matter the party.  There is a certain level of respect due the President of the United States, and your dad wants the job and would expect to be respected as well.  That is not to say people cannot disagree with or argue with the President, but there is a respectful way to do so; maybe growing up with the privilege you did makes you think you are immune to having to respect people.  We also agreed that President Obama should conduct himself in a more dignified manner.  The President should be above petty pot-shots.

No doubt about it, the debate was contentious and edgy.  The average American can deduce that Mitt Romney and Barack Obama have a mutual disdain for the other that extends further than party platform.  What should not be a part of the process, is people like Tagg Romney trying to be the playground bully because he did not like something said about his dad.


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