Great news this week for majority rule: CNN polling reported 63% think Bain Capital exploits make Mitt Romney more likely to "make good decisions handling" the economy over the next four years. What else matters to hardscrabble anguish in towns like Peoria, Illinois? Let's hire a tough, no-nonsense CEO to remake America as Bain remade venture capital -- and none of that feel-good, sentimental socialism.
Moreover, six in ten honorable voters (CBS/NY Times) won't let jaw-dropping Bain revelations "matter to their vote" (so much for predation, outsourcing, job demolition, and tax-avoidance sleaze). Finally, 54% (USA Today/Gallup) affirm Mitt's "personality and leadership qualities" are what a "president should have." Exactly what "qualities," pray tell, other than deviant capitalism a and gaffe-filled, policy-free pageant that glorifies his zealous "elasticity"?
When did we ever nominate, let along elect a slippery, fabulously wealthy corporate raider? Not once. So, why not worsen terrible times with more Reagan-Bush-Cheneyism? Look, do we honor majorities or not, however they tilt to ruthlessness over familiarity, the economics of hard-knocks over mushy Obama rhetoric? Of course, early polling tracks the devil voters don't yet know (really?) vs. the champion, in this corner, of podium populism loved or hated by one and all.
Ruthlessness, devoid of "ruth"
Predictably, more telling Romney assessments are less kind: NBC/WSJ folks confirm he's the first GOP presidential nominee whose unfavorable ratings (40%) continue to surpass favorables (35%). That means a 65% majority isn't charmed by Mitt's compassion-free conservatism and/or weird personality. Could Bain's modus operandi of take-no-prisoners, ruthless pragmatism have no impact? Add that to the GOP's politics of austerity, and let the good times roll from a Romney presidency. Hail, the righteous rich in charge, sanctifying the status quo even beyond that of Obama's miscast, non-job-creating duo, Summers and Geithner? Hail, the self-consuming dogma that socializes corporate risk while privatizing profits.
So, let's not altogether abandon distinctions between the "devoutly non-ideological," ex-liberal Democrat who fudges major campaign promises (but "means well") vs. the plastic Romney eagerly morphed into radical extremist. Brace for hard-knuckled, Republican Ruthlessness with two capital R's and no "ruths" (its word root being "pity"). Romney's like the 17-year locust, muddling along underground for decades, only to emerge with a rock-hard shell and insatiable appetites. Incredibly, the GOP's guy displays more ambition than Obama, the careerist politician who never met a higher office he didn't like better. Romney's locust eyed the White House for at least 17 years, when Obama was neither Muslim nor socialist.
For pragmatic Yanks, Romney's merciless solutions, per Gallup survey, award him the edge vs. Obama in "getting things done." Echoes of Larry the Cable Guy: "Git-R-Done." I wait breathlessly for this era of "fooling some of the people all of the time" to end. If neither centrist voters, labor, elected officials, nor intellectual elites can offset fat cat reactionaries, the public only gets a choice of political fakes, here divided into genuine fakes (W. or Obama) vs. fake fakes (Romney).
Distinction without a Difference?