When I was in 5th grade, there was a kid named John Heffington who lived down the street, and he was a bit of a bully. I was afraid of him. One day, he stood on the block wall that separated our front yard from our neighbor’s, and proceeded to call me out to come and fight. I hid in our dining room, peering out the window. This went on for several minutes, until my big brother saw what was going on, and urged me to go out there and fight. I politely declined. Several times. Finally, my brother, clearly exasperated, threatened to beat me up if I did not go and silence this kid. I was afraid of John Heffington, but I was terrified at the thought of my brother whipping my ass. So, reluctantly, I went outside, put up my dukes, and wrestled with that kid until he gave up.
In the 7th grade, I was walking home with my friend, Bill Lyons, when a kid named Richie Fuentes kept taunting me about God knows what. Again, Richie was known for being a bully, and again, I was afraid of him. There were some girls watching, so I finally decided to fight. As I was removing my jacket, Richie landed two punches to my jaw. I was shocked that it didn’t hurt very much. I was furious at this unsportsmanlike behavior, and nearly beat Richie to death. My friend Bill had to stop me from dragging him out into traffic in my rage.
The first fight taught me that I could wrestle a bigger kid into submission, the second one that I could take a punch. Important lessons, those. Since the 7th grade, there have been dozens of fistfights, some won, some lost, but I truly cannot remember starting any of them. (Though, I should note that when I was younger, a shot or two of scotch whiskey started my mouth running. In fact, it was my brother who dragged me out of a mob-owned bar in New Jersey before my mouth got me “disappeared.” Thanks, Bro.)
I mention all of this because I keep reading how “non-confrontational” our President is, and that he is unsure how to react when someone steps to him, as the kids say. I call bullshit. He has said it himself…he’s a skinny guy with a funny sounding name. You mean to tell me he never had to fight coming up? Impossible. A skinny black kid with a white mom AND who lives with his grandparents is a prime target in every neighborhood on the planet.
Now, it is a bit of a stretch to equate a debate to a fist fight, but still, there are similarities. If you engage in a half-hearted manner, you are going to get your ass kicked. Even in fights I knew I would lose, I went with the mindset that the other guy was going to miss a day or two of work afterward. I never won a fight by NOT throwing a punch.
Well, Sir, this is now a fight. You spent the summer mocking and belittling Mitt Romney, and for awhile it worked. But you and your team have picked all of the low hanging fruit. Car elevators, 47 percent, and Big Bird are not going to cut it anymore. Your debate performance ensured that. Now it is time to stand up, defend your record, and make clear that there are HUGE differences between you and Mr. Romney. Because there are, and there is much at stake. Please, I beg you…do not start out any sentence with the words “this is an area in which me and Mr. Romney agree”. Don’t. Do. That.
Like it or not, you are vulnerable on Benghazi. Be ready for that. If your administration dropped the ball, say so, and then outline what steps you have taken to make sure it doesn’t happen again. If you did all that you could, again, say so. You’ve got some serious Foreign Policy street cred. Know what the most dangerous job on the planet is? Number Two man on the Al Qaeda organizational chart. Bin Laden was not an easy call, ensconced as he was in a bedroom community in Pakistan. Had that gone wrong, Darryl Issa would have moved to immediately impeach. Do not. Do not. DO NOT let Mr. Romney pontificate about what he would have done. We’ve suffered terribly fighting two wars that were poorly planned, not to mention unnecessary from the jump. Tie Mr. Romney to those that would have us embark on a third.
There is nothing left to protect. You can’t run for another term. Stand up for the millions of Americans who voted for you in 2008. It’s that simple.
Do I have to send my brother over there?