The analysts will be too kind. Sorry.
The re-election of George Bush showed just how stupid our country had gotten. The election of Barack Obama in 2008 showed the world that America had its fill of stupidity. The re-election of Barack Obama has re-affirmed that attitude ...
With George Bush, we had the world's greatest diplomatic dimwit: reading the expression on his face as he descended from Air Force One, you had the distinct impression that he didn't have a clue as to where he was. His presidency was a diplomatic void so vast that everyone and their mother screamed to him in his last year "Legacy, can you spell legacy?" And after years of blood shed in Iraq, then Afghanistan - blood shed essentially for Bush's ego - other countries were wondering if they would be next, and Bush's last year was a feeble attempt to make him look like a statesman for peace.
By contrast, Mitt Romney's forays into foreign policy were prize-winning blunders that showcased his ineptitude against the Nobel Prize-winning Obama. And while Romney didn't talk with his mouth full of turkey sandwich to heads of state, he did have his foot in his mouth most of the time.
Comparisons in stupidity, however, may stop there since Romney and his campaign seemed to have a stupidity uniquely its own.
Worse Than George?
The possibility that Mitt Romney might be a mental lightweight surfaced early on in his campaign: no intelligent official refuses to be transparent when it comes to tax returns, then states that there could not possibly be anything incriminating in them. And the Bain debacle: Dick Cheney may have convinced the public that he had absolutely no ties to Halliburton, but that was before Halliburton got the most lucrative of all Iraq War no-bid contracts - and behind closed doors. Romney's convoluted non-explanations of his exit from Bain did nothing to keep liberals from scratching their heads. Then there followed "I'm not concerned about the poor", "47%", "Eastwooding"*, "Obama screwed up Lybia," "I shop at Costco," "Fire Big Bird," "Binders full of women," and, by extension, the idiocy of Paul Ryan's tax returns (less than 2.4% to the charities he told everyone would "pick up the slack" from his budget hatchet job), gym photos and "cleaning clean pots."
Image Problem? What Image Problem?
Molly Ivins' uncovering of the Bush Texas Ranger shenanigans did not dent the image of George Bush: he was a spoiled brat-turned-wheeler-dealer, but somehow his innate "good ole boy" oafishness covered him. That image, indeed, served him well afterward when people were disbelieving of the fact that he held 100,000 acres in non-extradictable Paraguay (for a quick and easy get-away should the "war crimes" heat get too much). Romney' attempts at an image change were, by contrast, pathetic and useless (e.g., the best joke to come out of the Hurricane Sandy disaster: "Romney's Hurricane Sandy Tip: 'Upon approach of the hurricane, evacuate to your second or third home.").** He seemed clueless as to how he presented himself to the public, thinking that they would like him no matter what he said - or how he lied. He couldn't put his past governorship of Massachusetts in the light enough to obscure the fact that he was a rich Gordon Gecko playing at being a politician.
The Real Problem
Throughout it all, however, the most glaringly stupid thing about Romney's campaign is that people actually dismissed the idiocies: they dismissed the lies, the foreign policy ineptitude, the image blunders, the feigned concern for all Americans. Almost HALF of America.
Maybe the same people who voted for Bush twice. They're still with us. Scary.
Deferrment Of Stupidity, But Not Of Anger
re-election of Barack Obama may have deferred the onslaught of stupidity in
terms of campaigning and policies, but it will not quell the anger of the
Right. Consider the other people who won/lost: Akin and Mourdoch lost, while
Tammy Baldwin and Elizabeth Warren won.