Thursday, January 5, 2012

This Guy?

Then Mitt put his sons on notice: there would be pre-determined stops for gas, and that was it. Tagg was commandeering the way-back of the wagon, keeping his eyes fixed out the rear window, when he glimpsed the first sign of trouble. “Dad!” he yelled. “Gross!” A brown liquid was dripping down the rear window, payback from an Irish setter who’d been riding on the roof in the wind for hours. As the rest of the boys joined in the howls of disgust, Mitt coolly pulled off the highway and into a service station. There he borrowed a hose, washed down Seamus and the car, then hopped back onto the road with the dog still on the roof. It was a preview of a trait he would grow famous for in business: emotion-free crisis management. But the story would trail him years later on the national political stage, where the name Seamus would become shorthand for Romney’s coldly clinical approach to problem solving. (From The Real Romney by Michael Kranish and Scott Helman, as quoted in Vanity Fair)

Dear God. This is the so-called moderate candidate, the alternative to the moderate President we now enjoy, a guy who has pulled the country back from a depression engendered by full-on Republicanism for eight years, a man who entered office during a job-loss event in full swing, and who has had about .001 support from the Republicans who were elected to help govern the country, not stymie every presidential initiative, act or suggestion from the get-go. Watching Romney's preening "acceptance" speech after his Iowa landslide of 8 votes, I told Libby it was like seeing George Bush over again--the arrogant frat-boy rich guy, so glib with his "failed President" talking phrase, so certain that he can roll over any and all opposition, hitting yet another of his life's grand slams from the perfect spot to be born standing--ten feet off third base towards home. Nice work if you can get it. I guess.

And Chris Matthews praises Romney because, unlike his most dangerous challenger, Rick Santorum, Romney isn't quite putting all out war with Iran right into his platform, but only hints at it with a wink and a nod, and perhaps with the nudge to the reluctant that, after all, the Romney is basically "speaking to the base" right now and all his turns of phrase must be taken with some digestively helpful sea salt by those in the non-base who are, for whatever reason, just bored with the guy who turned out not to be up to changing everything but the tide schedule, no matter what he promised in 2008.

After all, as far as we now know, Mr. Romney did not blow up frogs with firecrackers, like young Master Bush. I'll keep saying it here, from time to time. We just get the limited either/or choice in this here land of Liberty. There's the D. There's the R. If you don't turn out, that doesn't mean you can say it ain't your problem. And meanwhile, the selling and framing goes on at every level, all the live-long day, and don't you forget it. While Mitt will use the phrase "failed Presidency" so frequently that by the end of next week, if you watch enough teevee, you're going to be thinking maybe you don't really want to vote for a failure even if he does seem to be a nice Negro with a beautiful family and a great vocabulary, at the same moment you are also being sold quite a few other things. Who can pay conscious attention to all of it? Mostly, it all just goes to shape a point of view that feels entirely "objective", an ordinary 4-square picture of just what's "out there." Consider, for example:

As usual, the deconstruction is brilliant, and even more so because we never even noticed it was there to deconstruct. So, I ask you, is there still a debt crisis? Do you actually want Chevy Chase for President?

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