Burch: White House or Waffle House?

Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 10:05pm
By Michael R. Burch

It can be trying (not to mention embarrassing) to live in Tennessee, when bigots periodically come out of the woodwork, using the Bible to prove that — take your pick — God wants white Christians to own slaves, or that it is the “Manifest Destiny” of white Christians to ethnically cleanse Native Americans, or that despite such insanity, Christianity is a “true religion” while Islam is either a “false religion” or “not really a religion.”

A good case in point is the recent “Chick-fil-A appreciation day,” which had Tennesseans standing in long lines to support homophobia. Elsewhere, right-wing twits like Michelle Bachmann were tweeting, urging their followers to support a company whose owners, the Cathys, publicly damn homosexuals while allegedly donating millions of dollars to groups that actively seek legislation against gay marriage.

Bachmann even released a video in which she smiles and waves a Chick-fil-A bag while crowing, “We are standing with the Cathys, who stand with the family.” However, the Cathys are not really “standing with the family” but demanding preference for purely heterosexual families, the way Bible believers of the past once demanded preference for purely white families.

It is no surprise that Sarah Palin quickly boarded the bigotry bandwagon, praising the Cathys while deriding President Obama for “flip flops” designed to “shore up” his “homosexual voter base.”

Such bastions of conservatism are completely tone deaf to equality and justice. If there’s a silver lining, it’s that they are no longer a few steps from the presidency. But what about the one conservative who still remains in serious contention for the White House?

Here’s what Mitt Romney once said while running for senate in gay-friendly Massachusetts: “... as we seek to establish full equality for America’s gay and lesbian citizens, I will provide more effective leadership than my opponent.” Romney wrote this in a 1994 letter to a gay Republican group, the Log Cabin Republicans. His opponent was Ted Kennedy, who of course staunchly supported fully equal rights for gays, including marriage.

But Romney has more flip-flops than Daytona Beach and recently chickened out on the Chick-fil-A versus gay marriage affair, so it’s hard to say what he really believes. He now favors a constitutional amendment forbidding gay marriage and says that he opposes even civil unions between gays. But when asked to comment on Chick-fil-A-gate, he declined. Is that leadership? Don’t Americans deserve to know what he would do as president? Why not take bold action now, rather than leaving millions of Americans up in the air, guessing?

Romney is no stranger to the chicken coop. In a commencement address to Liberty University, an evangelical Christian school, Romney praised Truett Cathy, whose stance against gay marriage is well known. So Romney has all the information he needs to speak, if he so chooses.

But Romney’s 1994 promise, his contradictory comments made before conservative audiences, and his failure to address the larger American public combine to suggest that Romney either lacks firm convictions or refuses to make them known if doing so may cost him votes. In either case, his flip-flopping on gay rights seems to confirm that Romney would turn the White House into the Waffle House.

When it comes to strong, honestly stated personal convictions, Romney is no Ronald Reagan, and he falls far short of George W. Bush, Rick Santorum, Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann, who will at least say what they really believe, however bigoted that makes them seem to people with more liberal views.

The more I learn about Mitt Romney, the more he seems to combine the dishonesty of a Richard Nixon with the lack of acumen of a George W. Bush. That’s obviously a very dangerous combination, especially in a president. Romney is wrong on virtually every plank of his platform, whether favoring the 1 percent over the 99 percent; preserving tax cuts for the super rich while the middle- and lower-income classes sink deeper in debt; advocating war with Iran, when attacking Iran would duplicate and compound the error of attacking Iraq; opposing fully equal rights for non-heterosexuals; returning women’s reproductive rights to the Dark Ages; etc.

How can we make progress in better directions if our president has the wrong goals? How can we trust his goals if we can’t possibly know them, because he constantly waffles and flip-flops in search of votes?

Will Tennesseans help Romney turn the White House into the Waffle House, by voting for a man who is either a bigot too cowardly to publicly confess his bigotry, or such a shyster that he pretends to be a bigot in order to amass votes when speaking to conservatives, then pretends to be more enlightened when speaking to liberals?

Michael R. Burch is a Nashville-based editor and publisher of Holocaust poetry and other “things literary” at www.thehypertexts.com.

Filed under: City Voices

120 Comments on this post:

By: gdiafante on 8/17/12 at 9:07

"Are you better off today than you were four years ago"

Yep. But I understand many aren't. I don't vote according to that criteria. I look generally at the direction we're headed. That's why I'm not very enthused about this election.

Neither side desires to get their hands dirty and do what's necessary to solve long-term problems. Neither party intends to work with the other. In other words, the status quo will be maintained, and so will our decline.

By: Ummm... on 8/17/12 at 9:08

Etch-A-Sketch Romney is a man with ambition but no principles. He will sing whatever tune he thinks will bring him closer to his objective. I seriously doubt that the American electorate is stupid enough to elect this person (although Tennessee rednecks certainly are).

By: dargent7 on 8/17/12 at 9:13

Big Mike:
I grew up in Detroit, a suburb known as Birmingham/ Bloomfield Hills.
Think Belle Meade.
Romney went to Cranbrook H.S., a very prestigious private school, costing $30,000 a year back in the 70's. Now it's around $75,000.
Oh, and all white, maybe 2 blacks that did the lawn cutting and gardening.
See Ann (Lovey's) lips quiver when she was challenged about their tax returns?
Mormon, sphmoron...
These two have something to hide and I just hope America doesn't fall for it.

By: govskeptic on 8/17/12 at 9:22

Mike's statements on the Romney tax returns reminds me of a statement
by the famous Poet T.S. Eliot: " Immature poets imitate-Mature poets steal".
Fascist, warmonger, Nazi, Hitler, what a bunch of BS from a supposedly
professional and bitter businessman want to be!

By: jvh2b on 8/17/12 at 9:26

jwt8341 -

1.) I live here too, have all my life and love this state. Yet I'm ashamed of how stupid it's inhabitants are...to go with the typical right wing cop of of move - is horse manure. If you love a place you stay and try to change it for the better.
2.) Yes...I am better off...and I'm about as middle class as it gets. The reason why I'm better off? I didn't buy a house I couldn't afford...even if the banks were willing to finance it. Personal responsibility...go figure.
3.) Trying to say it's a freedom of speech issue is foolish. People said they would boycott it because they don't like the fact that the place donated to a group who SUPPORTS Uganda's killing the gays law (amongst many other anti-equality measures). The uproar came when their CEO was like yup...screw you guys. No one ever said he didn't have the right to that opinion. In response the right wing nut jobs went to their tired battle cry of oh whoa is us the oppressed majority. Subsequently all their sheeple whet thinking it was a freedom of speech issue and gave lots and lots of money to an orginization that will donate much of that money to a hate group.

By: BenDover on 8/17/12 at 9:35

It's interesting that the election supposedly hinges on sanctifying a perversion of a small minority of the population rather than the fact that Obama blew almost a half trillion in TARP repayments and then went on to run up deficits a trillion dollars a year over the early deficit trend line to no economic avail. This election shouldn't be over attacks on Chik-Fil-A owners for holding the exact same view Obama did 6 months ago. It should be based on a failed Keynesian ideology that has saddled our grandchildren's grandchildren with a 50% increase in national debt that weakens America to its ideological foes in the world.

At the very least Obama should be held to a standard of $5+ Trillion in wasteful incompetence as none of his plans and promises have turned the economy around and any recovery has been despite his actions, not because of them. His jobs and economic record for the extra $5+ trillion in debt is abysmal. I want my money back.

By: gdiafante on 8/17/12 at 9:37

You'll get your money back for that when I get mine back for the stupid wars.

By: gdiafante on 8/17/12 at 9:44

He can't turn the economy around by continuing the Bush Tax Cuts. Fact.

That's why it won't get any better regardless of who wins in November.

By: BenDover on 8/17/12 at 9:45

Hey... talk to Hillary, Reid, Kerry and all the other war mongers about the war, gd. At least W had the stones to see it through and not turn Iraq into another Killing Fields.

By: gdiafante on 8/17/12 at 9:49

Right Ben. I forgot you're a Bush apologist...blame everyone but the dipsh!t that got into them. Gotcha.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/17/12 at 9:55

Rasp, I believe the "class warfare" thing has been around a lot longer than Obama. Yes, he has played that card but the reason why it plays so well is because there is some truth to the matter. It is a delicate balance to provide a safety net (which needs to exist if you want to have a middle class and to support a democracy you must have a middle class) yet at the same time not provide programs and run them so loosely that they can be gamed by the n'er do wells.

By: jvh2b on 8/17/12 at 9:56

Calling BS on Obama holding the same opinion as Chicken dude Ben - Obama thought marriage was one man one woman - fine (and last I checked he thought civil unions were fine even at that point).
CEO thinks we are a bunch of cockroaches (no pun intended!) that deserve to be squashed...at least thats what I gather considering his full support of donantions to an orginization that advocates killing the gays...

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/17/12 at 9:59

We have an environment now where it is so much harder (close to impossible) to rise above poverty - not that it was ever an easy task. People have to have access to decent education and there needs to be access to a path that can realistically be obtained - providing a carrot, so to say. That doesn't exist right now. Higher education let alone decent public schools is becoming harder and harder to obtain. Big business gets so many tax cuts and inside deals that it is hard to be an entrepreneur.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/17/12 at 10:01

We need to have access to healthcare for everyone. Another reason why people are hesitant to start their own business is that if they leave their regular day job, how can they afford insurance for their families? Something's got to give. And right now we have an ineffective congress where no one on either side is willing to compromise and we are the ones paying for it.

By: MusicCity615 on 8/17/12 at 10:08


Comparing Romney to Hitler. Really? you're crazy.

Funny how chicago is making a bust for Barrack and Michelle's first kiss, which was in a Baskin Robbins, which Romney's Bain capital saved!!!

$16 TRILLION in debt and counting. Obama's solution? KEEP SPENDING.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/17/12 at 10:10

MusicCity, there is a difference between investment spending and consumption spending.

By: MusicCity615 on 8/17/12 at 10:12


If Nobama is reelected, and we are exactly where we are today, or worse ($19 Trillion in debt, UE over 8%), who will Obama have left to blame?

Who will you have left to blame?

By: MusicCity615 on 8/17/12 at 11:05


There is a difference between being a first term senator, and then being president.

By: MusicCity615 on 8/17/12 at 11:07

Mike Burch-

You say you "own and operate your own business"

I will quote Barrack Obama and say "YOU DIDN'T BUILD THAT"

I however, disagree with Barrack Obama, and so does Romney.

By: Moonglow1 on 8/17/12 at 11:15

Moonglow1: Everyone, what is this obsession and focus on Romney creating jobs?

How will Romney bring manufacturing back from China?

How will Romney bring back well paying jobs when he hates labor and views people as slaves (yes in chains) to slave away for multinationals?

How will he maintain a consumer-driven society while gutting the middle class? (He intends to build up China and India's middle class to increase the consumer base for greedy multinationals).

How does he intend to fix the tax code to "create jobs. "

How does he intend to get banks to lend to small businesses.

Romney (aka Adelsen) has no intention or plan to "create jobs. "

How many jobs has "trickle down" created. I'll tell you how many. Trickle down created the 1 percent. Trickle down off shored jobs to China? Trickle down caused a global financial crisis to prepare for a new world order controlled by the billionaire flakes.

By: MusicCity615 on 8/17/12 at 11:22


How has Obama done creating jobs? This recovery is the worst recovery in history!! How does that record deserve reelection??

By: Moonglow1 on 8/17/12 at 11:26

Moonglow1: Romney's Business Model

Source for a company

Outbid other competitors

Reprice (or go back on your word) and offer to pay a low price for the company

Make the purchase at low bid with borrowed money

Take your profit by saddling the company with debt to pay yourself millions

Then squeeze out more dollars by firing long time American workers

Off shore the jobs to China

Bankrupt company

Romney grabs his "take" and hides the profit in off shore accounts.

Oh yes, America, the land of opportunity.

What happened to the value of creating an actual product? It went to Communist China.

By: Moonglow1 on 8/17/12 at 11:34

Moonglow1: Dear MusicCity: I believe Obama had his hands full with trying to keep America afloat. We easily forget that even Paulson said the USA was on the brink of complete collapse. Obama tried TARP-got hit at every turn from teas. He tried giving funds for trains, etc. He overhauled healthcare which will also create jobs.

My understanding is while teas including Ryan bashed TARP in public, they begged and received funding for their districts. In letters they cited the benefits of investment in infrastructure.

By: yogiman on 8/17/12 at 11:36

Just wondering: How did Romney do as governor in Massachusetts compared to how Obama has done as president of the US? Which one has had the best economy?

By: Moonglow1 on 8/17/12 at 11:42

Moonglow1: Romney is running for his life against his record in Mass.

By: MusicCity615 on 8/17/12 at 11:46


You think obamacare will create jobs? face palm.....

Your response to how Obama has done creating jobs and you sourced Obama SPENDING money!!!

Spending money to create jobs is the Greece model!! It's great to spend $4 billion on a train and create 500 jobs, but when the train is built and we're $4 billion more in debt, what does Obama do then? SPEND MORE MONEY.

Obama is NOT the answer to the economy.

By: Captain Nemo on 8/17/12 at 12:05

Mike, evil is spreading through out America by Christians. I don’t mean every Christian, but by the ones distorting the meaning of love, tolerance and understand. By the so-call Christians who are called Birthers, Corporations, Investors, Bankers and a long list of people willing to follow this propaganda, because it is easier just to go along with powerful people, than to think for themselves.

Romney will do what it takes to get these Christians vote and if it means going back on everything he has said before, then he will do it.

Corporations are not run like a Democracy, they are a dictatorship.

By: Captain Nemo on 8/17/12 at 12:06

By: yogiman on 8/17/12 at 3:55
It's amazing, Mike. You seen (sic) to be able to make so many negative comments about Mitt Romney because you know so much about him.

The only way yogi can accomplished being more idiotic is to repeat his self over and over 15,000 and counting.

Hay old fool if you had anything you would be TV and not on this form spreading your lies. All you want is attention, which obvious is lacking in your life.

By: Captain Nemo on 8/17/12 at 12:08

By: yogiman on 8/17/12 at 8:11
Kosh III,
Who are you "talking" about,Obama or Romney? I dare you to find a bigger liar than Barack Obama. Every thing (sic) he opens his mouth 4 (sic) lies come out.

By: yogiman on 8/17/12 at 9:07
I think for myself, Moonglow1.

Folks meet the BIGGER LIAR. lol

By: Captain Nemo on 8/17/12 at 12:08

By: gdiafante on 8/17/12 at 9:27
We have a Dem ticket with Joseph Stalin at the head and Daffy Duck in the #2 spot.
Stalin was a mass murderer. You're either the dumbest wingnut this side of yogi for not knowing or a complete troll. Take your pick...

Frodo must have been drinking some bad Joelton home made wine.

By: Captain Nemo on 8/17/12 at 12:09

By: jwt8341 on 8/17/12 at 9:58
If you are so embarrassed to live in Tennessee I suggest you move.

I heard craps like this in the 50’s 60’s and even into the 70’s. We know where jwt8341 gets his / hers thinking abilities.

By: Captain Nemo on 8/17/12 at 12:24

Spot on jvh2b your 10:26 post.

By: Captain Nemo on 8/17/12 at 12:25

By: BenDover on 8/17/12 at 10:45
Hey... talk to Hillary, Reid, Kerry and all the other war mongers about the war, gd. At least W had the stones to see it through and not turn Iraq into another Killing Fields.

Ben returns to his old cop-out. Really Ben everyone now knows that was a lie and if you didn’t vote fore it at that time, you would be call a traitor. I suppose you would still vote for now?

By: Captain Nemo on 8/17/12 at 12:47

Rasputin, did you know a young back in your old neighborhood name Danny Sewell I think was his name? It has been 45 or 50 yrs ago now, but I remember him having long reddish hair and an artificial leg. His family was dirt poor, but Danny tried to get out of that place. I like Danny and it hurt me very much to hear that he had killed himself. Maybe that was his only way of getting out.

If what you have been saying about your life is true then I appreciate your ability for making a better life, but not the pompous attitude you display on this board. You paint with wide sweeping strokes of lower income people. You come across as if someone whom makes less than you,are of a lower class.

I suppose with that kind of thinking the people with more money than you must consider you with distain for being a lower class life form.

By: yogiman on 8/17/12 at 1:01

I'm getting so much attention from you, dumbo. I don't need any more. I feel good with your attention.

The sad part of it is your weak mind expedition. I wish you was smarter so I could understand your idiocy better.

By: Captain Nemo on 8/17/12 at 1:04

Great come back yogi, for such a little head.

By: dargent7 on 8/17/12 at 1:15

"...at least W. had the stones to see (the war) through..."
This is why America is in the toilet. Numbskulls like this idiot who are too ignorant, blind, and stupid to know that the reasons for the "war in Iraq" was fabricated.
Operation: Iraqi Freedom? What moron would think Bush I & II gives a shit about the Iraqi people? Anyone with an IQ over 65 knows they lied.
And punctuate that with their b.s. that OIL had nothing to do with it.
Two "oil men" from Texas, and Cheney, Halliburton's CEO, didn't let the 2nd largest oil field on planet Earth cloud their judgement.
The only reason they didn't bomb Saudi Arabia after 9/11 was that the Bush's wouldn't have a shiek's johnson left to suck.

By: pswindle on 8/17/12 at 1:23

Mitt Romney is not a chrisitan, but a member of a cult. Read his Bible, The Book of Mormons. It was written in 1883 by a common man. I'm not sure what Paul Ryan is because he has a love affair with the writings of Ayn Rand. She was an Atheist and Ryan said that he and all of his staff are required to read her writings. Scary stuff! Some of you guys have to listen to other sources than Rush and Fox in order to get the whole picture.

By: yogiman on 8/17/12 at 1:38

I'll admit, dumbo,

My head isn't as big as yours because It has to be so large to support your ego. I'm satisfied with a normal sized head because it'll carry my brain very well.

By: Captain Nemo on 8/17/12 at 2:04

Good point pswindle. Mormons are not Christians, but that does not mean they don’t believe in God. Paul Ryan maybe a Christian, but lapping in the lap of Ayn Rand does bring doubts about his true makeup. Is he Christian enough for the conservative right?

By: Captain Nemo on 8/17/12 at 2:11

By: yogiman on 8/17/12 at 2:01
I'm getting so much attention from you, dumbo. I don't need any more. I feel good with your attention.

Thanks yogi you proved my point. You have no real reason to keep re-posting your crap over and over, except for attention, now do you? And don’t bother with one of your useless response because we heard it all. Nothing new from you is normal.

By: Captain Nemo on 8/17/12 at 2:15

By: yogiman on 8/17/12 at 2:38
I'll admit, dumbo,
My head isn't as big as yours because It has to be so large to support your ego. I'm satisfied with a normal sized head because it'll carry my brain very well.

I’m not the one so desperate for attention yogi. I have friend and family and I get out of my house and see the world.
Now I have wasted enough time on a useless old fool.

By: Captain Nemo on 8/17/12 at 2:18

To the people that matter, I wish you a good week end.

By: Moonglow1 on 8/17/12 at 2:24

Moonglow1: MusicCity, if deficits were so awful for the economy we would be experiencing hyper-inflation, but instead we have deflation and contraction in some sectors if multinationals refuse to bring jobs back from China, and if banks refuse to lend to small business, then yes stimulus money is the answer in the short term.

The Greek economy was caused by the banks. Greece and all of Europe had a nice life for many years until the Euro combined with a housing and banking crisis.

By: MusicCity615 on 8/17/12 at 2:57


How in the world "$16 TRILLION in debt and obama's plan for the economy is to SPEND MORE" doesn't frighten you, I don't know what will.

Blame republicans, blame bankers all you want, we have to cut spending. Romney will do that, Obama will not.

By: Mike Burch on 8/17/12 at 2:57


Romney is being disingenuous. If he made $10 million, only declared 100K, then paid 13%, his effective tax rate would be 1.3% ... so the real question is not what percentage he paid, but how much of his earnings he never paid a penny on.

My educated guess is that he probably paid closer to 1.3% than 13%, because he sheltered most of his earning from taxes in Bermuda and Cayman Island "IRAs."

Normally, people put a few thousand dollars per year in their IRAs, which are kept in US investments. But it seems Romney put entire Bain companies in his "IRAs."

The guy thinks he's some sort of business genius, but anyone can figure out how to make more money than other people by breaking or skirting the law.


By: Rasputin72 on 8/17/12 at 3:38

Captain Nemo.......I did not know a Danny Sewell.

I had absolutely no problem with being accepted into the social group of MY CHOOSING. I think college wiped out a lot the stigma of being from a different world than the "born into crowd" Most of the people I know with money made it themselves. There are a few trust fund families but even they contribute to society in their own way. I doubt that any of my friends at any club I belong from Nashville to Florida to the Mountains of North Carolina have asked me about my financial status as a child in the last 50 years. To bring this up would open themselves up to questions/

By the way I know you consider me a pompous ass and I would expect you to feel that way. We are miles apart on philosophy of life. I would venture to say that of the people that I associate with and do business with that I would be considered quite normal in my thinking.

I just enjoy trying to find out what other people with different needs and thoughts are thinking. I have a huge and I mean huge wage with a friend of mine that Obama will be re-elected and much easier than almost anyone thinks.

It is reading these posts and comments from people like you with whom I have no contact but represent a large section of the United States that has made me so confident of Obamas victory.

Whether or not your views make any sense to us whatsoever is not important. It is the sheer numbers of your world that count.

Blanketnazi........The middle class is no more. They have been driven into a lower class with not much hope. It took our political leaders both democrat and republican from 1945 to 1995 to destroy the middle class. Without the midddle class the United States is a broken democracy.

By: dargent7 on 8/17/12 at 4:00

re: Romney.
He, as well as his wife, aren't honest.
We got this dimwit GW Bush in the W.H. because the country got tired of Clinton's affairs, sexual exploits, denials, and Gore's lying.
Do we really want "The Romney's" in there?
5 sons, non of whom volunteered for the military, two paying for surrogate wives...the whole clan is a Mormon cult and scary.
Watch. He won't divulge his tax returns or talk about his "religion".
He's hoping and praying America is so dumb, he can fool them into the Presidency.
He's just that good looking.
Maybe, so.

By: Captain Nemo on 8/17/12 at 4:26

Rasputin I don't recall calling you a pompous ass, I reserve that title for yogi. If I did I retract it. However you do come across as one, when talk about how better off you are. Makes me wonder if you realy are or just trying to convince your self that you are. I'm glade that you did not remain in your old world.

By: yogiman on 8/17/12 at 4:39


Isn't it interesting Harry Reid will argue Mitt Romney should show 11 years of his returns when the laws only require 12, yet Harry thinks it's okay for him to refuse to show any of his. Where did he earn it? Working in Congress can make you a multimillionaire?

Give Barry credit, he's only asking for 5 years.... but Barry doesn't think he should show any of his papers.

Hell, that's fair, ain't it? You show me yours, but I'm not showing you mine.