Running the Asylum
It’s impossible to escape the breathless (and brainless) reporting of the sad, sad, spectacle that is the Republican Presidential primary, but what’s most painful, not to mention infuriating, is watching the media treat it as a serious exercise, when it’s anything but.
Last week the New York Times bothered to run a two-page foldout on the preposterous “policy positions” of the candidates, which are, except for Ron Paul, exactly the same. None believe in Climate Change, and all fall over each other endorsing policies that will radically exacerbate it. All would further cut the absurdly low taxes on the rich while cutting programs for everyone else. None would produce anything that approximates a balanced federal budget, though they all risibly claim to be fanatically opposed to runaway “spending.” All are opposed to Obama’s mild and incremental health care reform and see socialism lurking in the pathetically weak Dodd-Frank banking law. All are opposed to environmental protection of any kind, and on social issues, all are somewhere to the right of the Taliban. All, except Paul, are in favor of war with Iran and increasing our destructive support of an increasingly belligerent Israel. All, except Paul again, think torture is the greatest thing since high-fructose corn syrup, of which they naturally are all in favor, too.
In short, every one of these “candidates” is nuttier than a Christmas fruitcake, and yet the media treats them as though they are, well, fit to run for office. Paging David Gregory….. They’re not. Romney, presumed to be the “electable” one, is thought of as such for no reason other than that he is blessed with the backing of the Republican Money Machine; no American has ever admitted to actually liking the guy. It must be dispiriting to be a Fox-addled bible-thumper and come to the dawning realization that your party doesn’t give a rat’s ass about your opinion; vote for Romney or be saddled with the Kenyan commie for four more years.
No wonder they flocked to such buffoons and cretins as Cain, Perry, Bachmann, Trump (!), and on and on. When you’re both frothingly angry and willfully stupid, poor decision making comes with the territory. The latest flavor (heh) is Santorum, the most universally despised and pathetically hopeless of them all. Nonetheless, today the media is treating as worthy of discussion his momentary bounce into third place, as though his 18 point loss, kooky obsession with sex, and creepy stillborn fetus story aren’t inherently disqualifying.
Of course, it is nothing more than the deep conflicts of interests that plague our corporate media that force them to pretend to believe this is some sort of contest; they’re going to be buried in billions of dollars of advertising revenue even as they get to avoid tedious, expensive reporting on anything that actually matters. Romney will, of course, be the nominee, and despite the fact that Obama is a lousy President, he’ll still lose. But he’ll do so by a disturbingly small margin, owing to lazy reporting and the shallow, idiotic “balance” that favors the biggest liar in every race.
Despite the fact that Romney, in the eyes of the media, anyway, is seen as “moderate,” the positions he’s been forced to take in order to appeal to the looney “base” of the Republican party are indistinguishable from any other denizen of the Clown Car, but that is probably not why he’ll lose, unfortunately. Nor will he lose because his tax returns will reveal that he pays less tax than a WalMart greeter, although in a just world, that too would be a deal-breaker. Sadly, Romney will lose because A) He’s a Mormon, and B) He’s a Massachusetts “liberal.” Rush Limbaugh said so.
That’s the bed Republicans, with a healthy assist from a brain-dead media, have made for themselves, and Romney is destined to lie in it. The rest of us will just have to put up with ten months of unadulterated horseshit to get there. Happy New Year.