On paper, Obama fans should be ecstatic, taking on a tin-ear, gaffe-prone, flip-flopping, bromide-driven, predatory casino capitalist who fudges, lies, and distorts the destructive downsides to his great business prowess. Here's a brash politician who shrinks from his single public office -- recoiling from his most celebrated success, the horror of state health reform. Throw in his massive financial spoils, flush with secret, offshore holdings and tax dodges, and recollections of a personal reign of terror against his pet dog and one fellow student pinned down and victimized for seeming gay. Does this ultimate, fabricated Republican nominee not already pale next to the post-primary John McCain?
This week's self-inflicted wounds reinforce a veritable emblem of the unfeeling, plutocratic, opportunistic hustler, repeatedly revealing his core belief system: the end (profit, fame, election) justifies any means. It's not pretty. For once, why not trust the quip last year from that Irascible-Ideologue, Anne Coulter: if Romney gets the nomination, he "will lose to Obama"? So, why the gloom, Democrats, why the virtual polling dead heat in battlegrounds like FL, which Romney has to win but Obama can lose? Why does a still "likeable" incumbent, with bragging rights from a half dozen arguable wins, look so vulnerable. Is there some national cognitive dissonance here, or what? Has the vast rightwing hate machine truly managed to poison the well?
Reason itself stands mute when under-employed, or prospect-less jobless milliona, however socially conservative, embrace a quarter billionaire who can't keep his stories, positions, staff comments or past on the same page. Will more sound-and-fury-driven politics (as in 2010) drive the fear-baited, rightwing masses to betray core job interests? Will enough voters violate logic and conclude recessions end sooner without government stimulus or with shrunken safety nets, exacerbated by even greater budget-busting tax breaks? And yet to be factored in: Mitt's cultish Mormonism, his zero federal experience, and the personal charm of a glum bean-counter.
Weaker than McCain?
Though he's likely to win more electoral votes than McCain, Romney is rapidly losing leverage to keep focus on the mediocre Obama presidency rather than his own mean-spirited career as venture (or is it, vulture) capitalist (thanks, Gov. Perry). Were Obama forces able to align this chief Bainster with the worst Wall Street banksters, Romney stays on perpetual defense -- lacking the prestige of an old war-horse, reputed maverick or campaign reformer like McCain. If Romney doesn't come up with some signature programs to break his own policy log jam, namely, his primary void, soon tested is a trusted truism, "you can't beat someone with nothing," whatever your war chest.
Compare the shadow Romney with pitchable true believers, whether W., or Dick Cheney, even Sarah Palin, Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich, and he comes up short -- a devotee to decadent, bloodless expediency, also known as winning at any cost, casualties and truth be damned. Week by week, Romney morphs into the perfectly plaint, Karl Rove Republican candidate -- all sizzle and no steak -- and now that sizzle burns with hypocrisy. Take Mitt's latest laugher, following his NAACP shout-down: "That's O.K, I want people to know what I stand for and if I don't stand for what they want, go vote for someone else, that's just fine."
And, pray tell, what Delphic oracle confirms what "he stands for," other than Etch-a-Sketch reflexes? Joe Biden's summary of Romney, "Bush on steroids" separates this empty shell from the great hustlers of our time, like Sarah Palin, beloved by followers for peerless "sincerity" plus delivering entertainment with the con job. Romney isn't just not loveable, per Speaker Beohner, he's worse: boring, not fun. I note that Palin never stopped being fun yet still dragged down McCain.
Lesser of Two Weasels