The Oklahoman, on behalf of the Heartland, endorses Mitt Romney for president.
11:30 AM EST on December 19, 2011
In a 1,500 word editorial in yesterday’s paper, The Oklahoman officially endorsed former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney for president. The endorsement isn't that big of a surprise. The Oklahoman has always leaned more towards the wealthy Chamber of Commerce Republican mainstream (a.k.a. the big business, anti-middle class hypocrites) rather than the Tea Party fringe (the social conservative wackos).
I guess what’s surprising is that the endorsement came on December 18th. At last check, the Oklahoma primaries occur in mid-March. That’s three months away. Can’t things suddenly change during that time span? For example, what if something crazy happened like Mitt Romney suddenly converting to Mormonism or documents being leaked to the press that he showed once supported government-enforced health insurance mandates and gay rights?
Wait. Mitt Romney has already admitted to those socialist, un-American beliefs and activities. Why in the world then would The Oklahoman endorse him? Well, because according to The Oklahoman, Romney is a self-made man, actually took the time to meet with their mysterious editorial board, and best of all:
“Mitt Romney is the man — the only man — who can beat Barack Obama.”
Yeah, who cares about his political views, accomplishments or the minor fact that nobody in his own political party really likes him, Romney is the only Republican with a decent chance to defeat Obama in the general election. Therefore, Oklahomans should vote for him.
If that argument seems like a pretty weak excuse to endorse someone for president, well, it is. Just ask any Democrat who voted for John Kerry in 2004. In a primary, you should vote for the candidate that you feel would be the best president, not the one who the media and polls thinks has the best shot to defeat an incumbent.
I think deep down The Oklahoman editorial board feels the same way. That’s why they went out of their way to avoid mentioning Romney in the editorial that endorses him. Instead, they turned the piece into a cliché, anti-Obama rallying cry for some mysterious place called the Heartland.
Just look at their choice of words. “Obama” is used 16 times, while “Romney” is used 19. If you’re going to write a 1,500 word endorsement for a Newt Gingrich-trailing Mitt Romney, shouldn’t his name be mentioned a whole lot more than Barack Obama? Seems logical to me.
Also, the column is obsessed with the word “Heartland.” In fact, “Heartland” (nine uses) is used more than “Oklahoma” or “Oklahoman” (six uses combined). They even named some new political section of NewsOK as “Voice of the Heartland.”
To me, that’s all very odd and tacky. When I hear the word “Heartland,” I think of the Murrah Building Bombing. After that brutal act of domestic terrorism, virtually every media outlet and person (except for Connie Chung) referred to it as the “Tragedy in the Heartland.” I’m pretty sure Governor Keating even made some law requiring every Oklahoma to own a t-shirt or bumper sticker with the phrase “Helping Hands in the Heartland” on it.
You see, the Heartland represented a group of kind, caring people who stood together and helped one another during an epic tragedy. It didn’t, doesn’t, and shouldn’t ever represent some Republican utopia where the traffic lights turn Red, White and Blue, stock certificates fall from trees and little black boys and little black girls join hands with little white boys and little white girls and sing songs about guns, God and capitalism.
That being said, I don’t think the Oklahoman editorial board meant to offend anyone. I just think they’re out-of-touch journalists. Hell, their editorial writer is Mel Bracht. Yes, that Mel Bracht...the guy who writes about the sports media and blesses the world with his five top sporting events to watch. Of course, my opinion may change if the editorial board designates “The Lightning Crashes” as the song of their Heartland. That wouldn’t surprise me.
Anyway, Clark Matthews will have a complete breakdown of the editorial this Wednesday. He’ll examine its holes, hypocrisies and fallacies. Hopefully you, as an armed member of The Heartland, will enjoy it. In the meantime, if you actually read the Oklahoman editorial or this hastily written piece, leave a comment. As a member of the Heartland, I implore you to do so.