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Saturday, November 10, 2012


The more that's reported on the last hours of the Romney campaign, the clearer it becomes that laughing at the losers has less to do with partisan schadenfreude than recognizing that hubris--the unearned, self-regarding overconfidence of privileged people devoid of empathy, understanding, or even curiosity regarding life outside their bubble--is funny. Romney, "spent $25,000 for victory fireworks, had already drawn up a list of White House appointments and took it easy on election day when his opponents were still working hard to get out the vote." But they never thought that maybe they test their big get-out-the-vote Election Day operation before it was time for boots to hit the ground. Romney also never bothered to write a concession speech, because he didn't think he'd need one, and had to throw one together long after it became clear that he'd gone down in flames. Paul Ryan had his back on all this; they agreed that there was no way they could lose, because he had the stupid-white-people vote in his pocket. All he had to do to ensure a landslide was scoop up the independents (or stupid-undecided-people vote), and Obama would be left with nothing. The thinking was that Obama had done so well four years earlier thanks to non-whites and idealistic young voters, and, says "a top aide," the thought that black people would get off their couches and go to vote twice in their lifetimes  “just defied logic,” as logic id defined by really dumb rich white people. As for the idealistic young people, surely they'd all soured on politics and joined a local militia group since 2008. The idea that the country might actually have produced some new idealistic young people to take their place since then never occurred to anyone.

Romney and Ryan had access to same polling data that the rest of the country had, but, like neocon chuckleheads disregarding all reliable information about a Middle Eastern tyrant's WMD capability because they want to believe he's better armed than he could possibly be, and there's always someone who'll tell you what you want to hear if there's a hot lunch in it for him, they simply chucked all that ridiculously truthful stuff out, in favor of "unskewed" data that was clearly more accurately accurate, because they liked the sound of it more. Are the ghost of Ward Cleaver and Ayn Rand's forgotten boy capable of appreciating how grateful they should be that they lost, given what they've been saying all year long about what the country really needs? That is, a solid, competent businessman with a good head for numbers and a common-sense ability to face the cold, hard facts and not blink in the face of adversity or challenge? What we know now is that Romney and Ryan are idiots who are incapable do anything right because, like Nelson Muntz, they prefer illusion to despair. This is especially hilarious in the case of Ryan, the GOP genius who used his heightened profile as a presidential running mate to lecture TV interviewers on how he couldn't answer questions about his famous, world-changing budget plan, or attempt to explain it, because it was too complicated for the brains of mere mortals. Is there any reason to think that he might understand budgets any better than he understands poll numbers?

The most surprisingly revelation since Election Night might be the news that Romney the money magnet was hurting for cash all year long, and spent way too much time sucking up to rich donors, all of whom are as dumb as a box of rocks. This is why Romney, who any kindly disposed pundit will happily tell you is a raging moderate who doesn't believe a single goddamn word that came out of his mouth since last fall and the first presidential debate, came on as so "seriously conservative" and took too long to tack back to the middle: it wasn't mouth-breathing rank and file Republicans he was trying to please, it was mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging, "Hoy hoy"-telephone-answering Republican millionaires, who tried to help by spending all their money on TV commercials calculated to insult and/or terrify anyone with a single still-flickering brain cell. That's why Romney the Super-Moderatate spent so much time associating himself with Donald Trump, who Republican strategists view as a double-plus asset: not only is he rich, but the proudly stupid, pointlessly combative, vulgar, tacky, self-promoting cheese ball is thought to be the kind of rich guy that rank and file Republicans admire--as opposed to, say, George Soros or Bill Gates--because he's living the fantasy of how they'd like to live, if the money would just drop into their laps. If this is true, then the most charitable nutshell description of Romney could be that he's someone who spent a good portion of his golden years cozying up to someone he's inclined to find distasteful, because he thought it would impress people he hates.

Now we know just how stupid rich Republicans are, but how venal are they? For rich Republicans, the 2012 equivalent to asserting your liberal Democratic bona fides by promising to leave the country if Bush wins re-election was to announce that, sadly, you'd have to start firing people if Obama is re-elected. So far, only this piece of shit has stepped up to make good on it. Robert Murray is in his seventies; he's old enough to remember Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and for that matter Richard Nixon and George Bush, Sr., so unless he's a racist who's just freaked out over having a black President or incredible devoted to political theater, he genuinely believes that Obama is some kind of Socialist bomb-thrower the likes of which the country has never seen, and also believes that the economy has gotten worse under him than it was when Bush, Jr. strangled it in its crib during a drunken blackout. He may be that stupid, thought it's hard to believe. But it's not much easier to believe that some guy would arbitrarily decide to make the lives of 156 people and their families harder, and drag Jesus into it while he's doing it, just to impress upon the world the towering scale of his post-election pity party.

1 comment:

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