Sep 182012
 

As y’all know, I have been posting quite a bit of analysis and opinion about the status of the Presidential race. But with yesterday’s comedic revelation of Little Lord Fauntleroy’s contempt for 47% of the American citizenry, let’s just draw the curtain, shall we?

Between the Keystone Kops announcements of “reboots”, the abortive attempts to hijack tragedy for political gain, and now His Royal Highness’ pooh-poohing of nearly half of the country on tape to his similarly rarefied supporters, I think we can say that the 2012 Presidential is all over but the GOTV.

It isn’t just this latest event, the way the Palin choice doomed any chances McCain might have had. Romney just doesn’t have ANY bright spots. His policy positions—to the degree he has any beyond “Mitt Romney should be President”—are so unpopular he’s had to deliberately obscure them; his supposed business qualifications have been revealed/framed as questionable and morally filthy; the man is personally an awkward, deeply unlikeable, priggish gaffe machine; his running mate is Iago as played by Jim Nabors, and the two of them can’t even come up with a straight story on which of their appalling budget visions they embrace; the foreign trip and his cheerful eagerness to try to score points off the murder of American diplomats has revealed him for the cold-blooded shark he is; his convention combined the excitement of “Waiting for Godot” with the spectacle of Clint Eastwood losing an argument to an empty chair; and his party’s steady pandering to angry, white, low-education males at the expense of all other demographics has left him with a universe too small to win under the best of circumstances…which these are NOT, because despite the best efforts of his party to torpedo the American people’s economic prospects for political gain, it isn’t entirely working.

Meanwhile, they are running against an incumbent with an arm-long record of achievement, against a crew that has a better understanding of how to run a national campaign using today’s tools and media context than any other on the planet, and against a guy who has already had every lie, every distortion, every calumny the right has been able to imagine thrown at him for four years, and is still viewed positively by most of the country. A man who beat *both* national party’s machines in 2008. A man who is almost certainly one of the giants in the history of the American Presidency.

And whose policies appear not only to have pulled the country back from the edge of the disaster teed up by Romney’s party, but also to be slowly helping it to recover. While Romney and Ryan offer only more of the same failed policies, on steroids.

We’re seven weeks out as of today. The perceived narrative of the Romney/Ryan campaign is that they are in disarray, panicking, and throwing the kitchen sink. I do not recall any challenger to an incumbent in a widely-watched election EVER to survive that perception so close to the election and win.

There just aren’t any bright spots for Circus Romney. Obama’s narrow edges in the battleground states have begun to solidify and move out of the margins of error. Now it’s all about how much the headliners of the Greedy Obnoxious Party can drag down the chances of their compatriots downticket.

From here through Election Day at the sign of the Green Dragon, I’ll focus on local politics and Congress. I’d be surprised if I feel a need to say much more about the Comeuppance of Mitt Romney…except perhaps to gloat a bit.

At publication, the Dragon was EXPERIENCING SCHADENFREUDE

Is Romney Cursed?

 Posted by at 4:49 pm  National Politics
Aug 212012
 

You kind of have to wonder.

Mitt Romney certain brings a lot of his own disadvantages to the party. He’s unlikeable, demonstrably avaricious, dishonest, and a political “Etch-a-Sketch”, and his track record is littered with juicy bits of ugly testimony to his cold and predatory character. He is so burdened, in fact, that it is only because he was the one candidate that the Plutocratic wing of his party—the gang that really calls the shots—had confidence would do their bidding that he survived the primary campaign.

Now, on the eve of the convention, he is still trying to solidify his base, doing so with the cowardly selection of Paul Ryan as a running mate.

The idea was to change the subject from Romney’s refusal to release his tax returns, with which he was being hammered flat, to Ryan’s radical proposal that the United States government cease to serve its people, but instead become a fully-functioning profit center for the very rich.

That isn’t the spin, of course, but for five minutes, anyway, the gambit worked and the subject was successfully changed. I have argued this is a temporary reprieve, but for a moment, Romney got to enjoy it. He and his new pal Gomer Pyle went to work on confusing the public about their position on Medicare, and it seemed like the road to the White House, though rough, might be navigable.

But what happens? Missouri GOP Senate candidate Todd Akin changes the subject again…to abortion. A divisive and polarizing topic on which the GOP takes a position decidedly out of step with the opinion of a majority of Americans.

To make matters worse, Akin does this with an outrageous claim certain to offend every last American voter who isn’t a right-wing nut: the claim that a “legitimately” raped woman can’t get pregnant.

These are the sorts of vile rationalizations that have circulated among anti-choice conservatives for years, but the wink-and-nudge rule is that you don’t articulate them in public. Having blurted what he and many anti-abortion zealots really think, though, Akin has spotlighted three issues: the GOP’s extremist opposition to choice even in cases of rape, incest, or threat to the health of the mother; the fact that Republicans are trying to assert distinctions over who has “really” been raped; and the sheer looniness of the current state of Republican scientific beliefs.

So now, Two-Faced Mitt is in the spotlight on abortion policy—the last place he wants to focus attention. He must somehow take a position on Akin’s obscene claim that will both keep happy the right-wingers he has only recently mollified, and leave him some chance of gaining the support of voters—particularly women—who are rightfully appalled by Akin’s inadvertent candor.

Today in the midst of this scheissesturm, the Republican Party approved a platform plank which supports banning abortion and makes no exceptions.

Front and center, Mitt.

It isn’t as though Republicans have many strategies that can win them this election. Blanketing the airwaves with falsehoods is about all they’ve got. But they need, at minimum, to make the debate about topics they can win on if they are successful in deceiving voters. Abortion is not such an issue, and it carries with it the association of the Christian right’s deep influence within the Republican Party…a fact with which the American electorate—especially independentshas become increasingly fed up.

Akin’s statement echoes far beyond Missouri; it brings back into high relief the barbarism of Republican policies regarding women’s health and rights. It is a major blow to Republican hopes to take the Senate this year, and will force GOP candidates in every contested seat to navigate the very minefield in which Romney now finds himself.

You could almost—almost—feel sorry for the guy.

At publication, the Dragon was: GIGGLING

Aug 112012
 

It all started with a war on reality.

At root, the Republican strategy for more than 30 years has been a full-on assault against reason, either to promote religious agendas or to undermine the obvious need for certain policies such as health care reform and addressing climate change. Today’s Republican Party has purged its thoughtful moderates, and what remains are the self-interested and the zealots they manipulate and use.

Enter Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan: poster children for these two camps.

Romney is a Plutocrat. He and his deep-pocket backers have done very well by the sharp economic polarization wrought by 30 years of trickle-down policies, and they want more of the same. No mystery there. Gross moral failure, sure, but no surprise.

Ryan, on the other hand, is a True Believer in the policies that serve the Plutocrats, all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding. He’s that annoying guy at your high school who read Atlas Shrugged and concluded that acting like a selfish teenaged jerk wasn’t just a phase–it was a calling.

That’s the Tea Party in a nutshell: contemptuous of compassion, inclusiveness and even the vaguest suggestion of responsibility to the common good, and blithely able and willing to ignore mountains of inconsistencies of its positions with the state of the world.

“Government hands off my Medicare,” indeed.

You can’t be a Tea Party conservative and an informed critical thinker. The two conflict. So while religious evangelicals have waned somewhat in influence within the Republican Party, a new religion has arisen: the faith-based cult of selfishness.

This is the culmination of decades of investment by Plutocrats in promoting the idea that we should all be allowed to smash and grab what we can with impunity, under no obligation to lift a finger for anyone else unless we happen to feel like it. Right-wing fog machines like Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and the Cato Institute, funded by such fine and public-minded fellows as Rupert Murdoch and the Koch brothers, have now managed to make delusional and abhorrent policies rooted in greed and contempt for our fellow humans not only legitimate as policy options, but reflexive articles of faith for millions.

Because Republicans who have not joined this cult–but rather, continue to pay attention to actual facts about the economy, the nature of governance and the effectiveness of various policy approaches–have been purged from the Party, there is no one inside the Tabernacle of Mean Stupid to say that trying to sell this nonsense to a majority of American voters is a fools’ errand. So now, Romney clutches a high priest of this coldhearted faith to his breast, ignoring polling data showing how roundly unpopular the provisions of the Ryan budget are with most voters, and the fact that if he doesn’t carry Florida, he has virtually no way of winning the election.

Given the choice to get real, the GOP has doubled down, electing to paddle the waters of Denial upstream. And here come the rapids.

At publication, the Dragon was GOBSMACKED