Sweet Charity

by Jay Nordlinger

In today’s Impromptus, I indulge in some whining, but not untrue whining, I think you’ll agree. Here is a sample whine:

You remember those “ordinary people” at the Republican convention who told about the extraordinary acts of charity Mitt Romney has performed? If Obama had performed those acts, they would be famous. They would be legends, they would have entered the national lore. Schoolchildren would be instructed to sing about them.

Who is the more generous man, Obama or Romney? Who is the more compassionate man? None of us can give the answer, for sure. I would like to think they were tied! But I bet most of the media-academia-entertainment establishment would say Obama.

As time goes on, I get more impatient with people’s generosity, when that generosity is accomplished with other people’s money — i.e., tax money. In many a town, there’s a building with a politician’s name on it. Maybe he has brought home the bacon. And maybe he should have.

But maybe that money would have been better off in other people’s pockets, or spent by their own hands.

I love the fact that one of the buildings at Lincoln Center is called the David H. Koch Theater. Why do I love it? Well, for one thing, I’m glad he gave $100 million. But mainly, I know that most people who work there hate that name on their building. They hate the Koch brothers and everything they stand for (according to what they’ve heard). But, you know? At least the Koch money came from honest and honorable enterprise.

Obama will have his name on Obamacare, forever — unless we repeal it. He will be known as The Father of American Health. (Shouldn’t Justice Roberts be acknowledged for some parentage as well?) Like Clinton and Gore before him, Obama will make zillions on the lecture circuit. I say, let him use some of that dough to build medical clinics, or whatever he likes. He can even put his name on them. Fine with me.

You know what I’m getting at, I’m sure . . .

P.S. More impressive than the checks Romney has written? The time he has given. Actually being there, dealing with people, takes more time than writing a check (nice as that check can be).

P.P.S. Obama worked in community organizing, true! I recall what Susan Sarandon said, after the 2008 election: “He is a community organizer like Jesus was, and now we’re a community and he can organize us.” Yeah, but did Jesus have his own flag? I don’t think so. For that, you needed The One.