Okay, when did Romney start running? Two years ago, maybe? And, at that time, his being a Mormon and a Republican and a Wall Street playah, etc. –was nothing compared to his fellow GOP hopefuls’ bags of bananas. So all this time the Media is focused on who is ahead in the GOP primary race: Cain, Perry, Gingrich, Jindal, et. al.—their party’s race started out with about ten of them, whittled it down to two or three, and finally, as if forced to swallow cod liver oil, they settle on the only candidate NOT provably crazy, stupid, or scandalous—Mitt.
Republicans were a little embarrassed about Mitt’s Massachusetts gubernatorial health care legislation—purportedly the model for what would become ‘Obama-Care’. And the hyper-evangelicals were not too crazy about his new-fangled Christianity (in spite of the LDS being the only major faith engendered by our great nation, rather than being imported from the Old World).
The Republican party was even more embarrassed by their last president, who left our armed forces mired overseas in multiple theaters of battle; who left our economy going into toxic shock—thus proving right the Democrats whose dire warnings about de-regulation and overdone tax-cuts for the First Estate had, ‘til then, been laughed off; and who left behind ‘No Child Left Behind” Policies that had managed to leave all our kids ‘behind’ (‘except for the rich’—that eternal GOP refrain).
So then, after the primaries, Obama and Mitt go head-to-head in a series of debates. I’m skipping over all the lies and misdirection employed by Mitt’s campaign—it’ll suffice to say that while being accused of being a ‘softy’, Obama had brought down Bin Laden and successfully surged into Afghanistan; while being accused of destroying the economy, Obama had made good headway (better than any of us had a right to expect) on lowering unemployment, preserving and creating jobs, and putting our national commerce back onto an upward incline, out of its free-fall begun under Bush; and while being accused of idleness, Obama had ended DADT, signed the Ledbetter Act, the Dream Act, and restored our reputation and our image in the big world outside of Washington DC. And he sings!—not a politician’s groan (see YouTube videos of Mitt attempting to match this—hilarious) but an actually fine singing voice.
So, having disproved all of Mitt’s and the GOP’s charges against him, Obama went to the first debate. Wasn’t he surprised to hear Mitt try to say that Obama’s policies were ruinous—while simultaneously avowing an administration almost identical to Obama’s (just without Obama—apparently the only thing that is really wrong about our present administration). The fact-checking added by the Media indicated that Mitt hadn’t said a word that wasn’t perpendicular to every word he had said publicly up until the debate. The Media also pointed out that while Mitt definitely ‘won’ the debate—he did it by mostly telling lies.
I understand that ‘massaging’ the truth is part and parcel of modern campaigning—I’m not even saying that the Democratic ticket is above giving back as good as they get. But the President’s party is different from the GOP in one very important way—it is the ‘intellectual’ party. The Democrats scruple at telling bald-faced lies because they know their constituency won’t put up with the kind of ignorance the GOP inspires—so they are far more limited in the amount of bull-puckey they can get away with slinging. A Democratic voter is the kind of person who would still vote for a candidate who admitted to atheism, or polio, or having an African father.
The GOP never falters at embracing the zealously Christian, the greedy Rich, the misogynistic, and the bullies, commercial or ethical. Their campaign doesn’t even deserve the name—it has been a treasonous rally, begun on the day of Obama’s inauguration and continued for the full length of Obama’s first term. It has been a flood of scandal-mongering, legislative stonewalling, and thinly veiled bigotry.
So the question I’m troubled by, what totally stumps me, is—why would Mitt Romney be so eager to take the presidency away from a man who has performed so valiantly, so effectively, and so in the spirit of what America means to the vast majority of us? Why would he take on the daunting task of a presidential campaign, when he clearly has no better ideas to offer us than Obama’s ideas? How could he imagine that the Presidency of the United States would be something he’d be comfortable with? He hasn’t the smarts. He hasn’t the charisma. He doesn’t have the ability to truly relate with average Americans. In spite of his claims to the contrary, I think this country could not be in greater danger than it is in right now.
I believe that because Mitt says he ‘knows business’. He says he knows how to help his country with its financial woes in a business-like way, rather than in the way of the former community organizer with no business experience. Well, I have two comments on that score—first, our country has given Obama a four-year intensive course in governmental finance—and, so far, he has aced his tests in nearly every category.
Second, the United States is not a business—it is a great experiment, a 200-year-old dream of humanity’s fulfillment—and the last thing it (or We) need right now is a Gordon Gecko having a fire sale on our social services—in the name of ‘small government’, no less—and a wheeler-dealer trying to lead us into a prosperous future (well, maybe not ALL of us).
And let me just say this about ‘small government’. Are you stupid, or just ignorant?! The USA is the richest, most powerful nation on Earth. The USA is home to over 300-million people. The USA is comprised of fifty sovereign states and a few territories. The USA leads the world in invention, research, space exploration, higher educational systems, and lots of other stuff. It’s huge, it’s important, it’s constantly under threat from terrorists and megalomaniacs, and let’s not forget—it is the year 2012—you know, the 21st century? Any idiot that suggests we run it all using town hall meetings and flyers and sunbeams of goodness—well, they will be disappointed, that’s all I’m saying.
What drives the Republican party? Well, my parents voted Democratic until they made their first million—then they started voting Republican. Its reputation for protecting the wealthy from taxes is its biggest draw in metropolitan areas. Its cozening up to evangelicals is its biggest draw in the rural areas. So, basically, it’s about greed and religious extremism—a strange choice for a Mormon—the LDS has a history of being driven away from our entire Eastern Seaboard, all the way to Utah, by God-fearing Christians.
And how can my fellow voters think a businessman is going to improve their country, or their living conditions? Corporate deregulation and runaway spending made the financial swamp we’ve been mired in this last decade-and-a-half. Raising our kids the best we can—that is bad business. After all, it’s all expense, with no revenue—of course we want to cut education during the lean years! But wait—maybe it’s bad for business, but we still want a good education for our kids. Hmmm. I wonder if that may also be true of medicine? –of law-enforcement?
Maybe running this country like a business is a bad idea. Maybe a president that understands the importance of both business and social services would be a better pick. Who knows, right? Being President is a big job—you know, I’m almost as scared for Mitt, should he win the election, as I am for myself and everybody else.
Romney’s own motivation, since he’s already made his bundle and appears to have no real ideological core other than loyalty to his class, is no doubt ego. (It’s interesting, but perhaps futile, to speculate as to what degree he is motivated by his father’s failure to achieve the presidency, just as Shrub no doubt thought he was vindicating his father, who was unceremoniously chucked after his first term in office.) As to the Republicans, it’s all about money. We have 300 million citizens, more or less, and a GNP in the trillions; the opportunities for profit are immense enough to support a whole class of lobbyists and professional political operatives. The Koch brothers and their peers — the barons of neofeudalism — are not spending their money recklessly; they’re making a rational investment, from which they expect a handsome return. All the rest, the racists and fundamentalists who make up the bulk of the hardcore GOP flock, are pandered to and bought off by the GOP hierarchy, which learned during the Civil Rights Era that there was political hay to be made from the split between liberal Democrats and the traditional segregationist faction in the South. The Republicans have purged social moderates from their ranks, and in return the rank-and-file agree to march into the voting booth and support candidates whose only real masters are the wealthy. The fact that GOP policies will in fact harm the economic interests of many of those who so enthusiastically support the party is conveniently ignored (abetted by the smokescreen thrown up by Fox and the like), as is the fact that Romney (unlike the supposed crypto-Moslem Obama) professes belief in a religion that is theologically anathema to fundamentalist Christians. (Whether Romney actually believes any of the Mormon claptrap is questionable, but irrelevant.) In a little more than a week we’ll find out who wins this round, but the struggle will continue. In spite of all the efforts that so many people have made to move this country in a progressive direction, we have never truly been able to overcome our original sin, which is that this country was not born not just in liberty but also in slavery, war, exploitation, and genocide. We’re still dealing with the consequences, and with the fact that millions of Americans still feel that they have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.
Thanks for that, Chris. Ego had occurred to me, but you gotta be talking one big, honking ego–who knows what lurks behind those mealy-mouthed non-statements he’s so fond of.
And I love the new moniker for Shrub–why didn’t anyone think of that over the eight years of clown-control?
The “Status Quo” begs the question–do we speak of the SQ as in the queasy economy? Or do we mean the SQ of our nation’s ideals? Liberals like myself could claim a SQ of change and progressive social reforms. Then there are the so-taken-for -granted-we-don’t-bother-to-mention-them, such as the war on terror and the war on drugs and the war on religion (with religion?, about religion?, separation of church and state?, pick a posture)…
And does our brave new world of i-phones, social tweeting, drones, and computer-trading truly have a ‘Status Quo’? Is the disappearance of any form of SQ a symptom of our accelerated cultural changes? And, is it part of the problem or part of the solution?
I can’t take credit for “Shrub”: I think it may have been Molly Ivins who coined that.