By Kathleen Parker
WASHINGTON – One thing we’ve learned since the Republican primary season began: There’s an awful lot of pious baloney out there.
The vast majority of it is on the plate of the man who coined the phrase – Newt Gingrich. Not that he’s dining alone. Gingrich first tossed the holy lunchmeat on the counter during one of the New Hampshire debates after Mitt Romney tried to aver that he never set out to be a career politician. He was a businessman first, he said, who found his way to politics.
Gingrich, who has declared war on Romney, all but called the former Massachusetts governor a liar, and not for the first time. Fast forward a few days, and Romney’s rivals have seized the baloney and slathered it with holy hoo-hah.
To recap: Romney was speaking to an audience about health care and the necessity of being able to select one’s own insurance company. His complete quote went as follows:
“I want individuals to have their own insurance. That means the insurance company will have an incentive to keep you healthy. It also means that if you don’t like what they do, you can fire them. I like being able to fire people who provide services to me. You know, if someone doesn’t give me the good service I need, I want to say, ‘You know, I’m going to go get somebody else to provide that service to me.’”
That’s plain enough, right? Not if you’re Jon Huntsman or Rick Perry, both of whom are trying to capitalize on the idea that Romney likes to fire people.
At least Gingrich, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum have declined to join the club of Mr. Sillys.
But the job-killing idea has picked up additional sauce, sticking as we are with the baloney theme, with criticism that Romney’s leadership of Bain Capital also resulted in some people losing their jobs. Well and indeed they did. That’s what happens sometimes when companies are purchased, salvaged from poor management, revamped and, assuming competence at the top, made profitable.
Sometimes people need to be fired and sometimes they shouldn’t be hired at all. That’s reality. The further, obvious reality is that several of those who do not deserve to have the jobs they seek are running for president of the United States.
Kathleen Parker’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. She writesfor The Washington Post Writers Group.