None of Your Beeswax


Earth to Mitt Romney:  When you’ve lost Bill Kristol, George Will, and Haley Barbour, you’ve lost America.  Admittedly, these aren’t admirable men, quite the opposite, but that’s precisely the point.  Each one would run over their grandmothers, ala Chuck Colson, to see that Socialist darky run out of office and a proper Republican installed in his place, as God intended.  Yet all three are quite understandably gobsmacked at Romney’s flat refusal to release any more of his foot-tall tax returns.  Kristol even called it “crazy,” and he knows a thing or two about teh crazy.

But it isn’t crazy; it’s worse.  As Charlie Pierce put it:

This isn’t stubbornness. That’s often an acquired trait. What this is, fundamentally, is contempt. Contempt for the process, and contempt for the people who make their living in that process, and contempt for the people whose lives depend on that process. There are rules for The Help with which Willard Romney never has had to abide, and he has no intention of starting now. My dear young fellow, this simply is not done.

That’s it in a nutshell; Romney’s gilded life has been an unending pageant of accolades, honors, and sweetheart deals, populated by legions of fawning sycophants, so he naturally assumes running for President should be no different.  This character defect, which would be annoying enough in happier times, is downright revolting in a grinding recession, from a guy who thinks the only thing currently wrong with America is that the rich aren’t rich enough, and the poor, poor enough.  That, and we aren’t in enough wars.

While such peculiar notions are all but universal among today’s Republican Party, Romney doesn’t even respect the process enough to come out and say so.  Even his policy proposals are simply nobody’s business but his own.  Don’t like it?  He’s got a car (or eight) to strap you to the top of.  I never thought I’d say this, but Romney’s candidacy makes me almost nostalgic for George W. Bush.  Bush clearly shared Romney’s contempt for the lower orders, but he was careful not to reveal this during the 2000 campaign.  At least he had the decency to lie about who, exactly, would benefit from his tax cuts.  Romney, who lies every time he opens his mouth, for once is startlingly honest on that score: no more “free stuff” for you peasants; henceforth government largesse will be strictly reserved for corporations and the wealthiest.

Bush also saw the political liability of being a privileged dauphin infamous for upward failure; you may have been no more convinced than I was by his fake-folksy demeanor and mangled syntax, but both did effectively paper over his Yale/Harvard/Kennebunkport pedigree for the trailer park set.  In short, he may not have had ordinary Americans’ best interests at heart, but he labored mightily not to come off as Little Lord Fauntleroy’s evil twin, which would have kind of given away the game. Romney shows no such reticence.

Both candidates made their fortunes through a combination of being born rich and taking full advantage of the crony capitalism such high birth affords, but Bush, bless his heart, still wasn’t very good at it, and at least baseball was involved.  Romney, on the other hand, was a little too good at it: he didn’t just fleece a few Texas taxpayers and some indulgent investors, he turned Bain Capital into a Ronco Fleece-a-Matic that picked innocent pockets on a global scale, and continues to do so with ruthless efficiency.

Bush famously played up his many imperfections, from poor grades and excessive drinking to simplemindedness and lack of impulse control, and to that sort of American inclined to vote Republican, it humanized him.  Romney not only plays up, but revels in, his lack of imperfections; to his mind his perfect family, obscene wealth, Ken doll looks, La Jolla mansion, multiple Cadillacs, dressage horses, and on and on are prima facie evidence of his innate superiority and entitlement to lead. He still seems mystified that so many Americans are too danged dimwitted to get on board, and his strategy reflects that arrogant delusion.

I guess if you believe in Magic Underwear, you’ll believe just about anything.

16 Comments

  1. Annice says:

    It’s not his fault he was successful at being an idiot!

  2. cocktailhag says:

    No, but it is his fault that he thinks the rest of us are idiots.

  3. nswfm says:

    Beautifully written, as usual.

  4. dirigo says:

    Don’t know how you say scuttlebutt in Italian, but some has it that Silvio Berlusconi may make a move to retake the prime ministership of that fair land.

    Can you imagine, with a Romney presidency, high level talks between Mitt and Sil – over renewing American basing rights in Aviano, or, trade pacts involving olive oil and any American food product Italians might actually eat (like, say, corn dogs?), or, cultural exchanges between Americans seeking discreet knowledge about bunga-bunga and Italians looking for thrills at an American agricultural exhibit in Iowa? Or clog dancing?

    Sil might be able to arrange a quiet side trip for Mitt to meet Vlad Putin at a bear hunt near the Black Sea. Mitt, while looking into Vlad’s good heart and inquiring into Sil’s winning tryst techniques, might finally find some closure about Seamus the dog during a long walk in the woods with these two dudes.

    I think our world would improve immensely if this happened. Sadly, more opportunities for the American middle class might remain out of reach, but that’s a price worth paying since we’d know there was a real man in the White House once again – a man among men in what James Brown said was a man’s world after all.

    That’s all that matters to me.

    Cayman, Shmayman …

    • cocktailhag says:

      Mitt, Silvio, and Vlady…. That’s a vivid thought.

      • dirigo says:

        We desperately need vivid. The times demand it, and I’m about settling into my villa. I’m putting in for retroactive retirement (never thought of that before!) to watch the show in my Bark-a-lounger – and just in time to enjoy the return of John Sunununununu during the dog days of August.

        • dirigo says:

          Great line from Charles Blow about John Sunununununu:

          “As we say in the South: ‘Put the hay down so the goats can get it.’ ”

          Source: The Last Word, MSNBC

          • cocktailhag says:

            It’s pretty unbelievable that this is his tactic; running the general as though it were a primary.
            Good luck with that.

          • meremark says:

            dirigo, all, it ain’t MSNBC no more. Divorce, estrangement, or conspiracy, whatever.

            Now it’s NBCNews and Microsome is softwhere else.
            According to Media Matters .org today

            … or was it my version of NYT.AP ?

          • dirigo says:

            There’s no one available to change all the logos; they’re all in London, trying to navigate the clogged underground, laying cables for the Olympics.

  5. Ché Pasa says:

    Compared to today’s Republicans — including WoodenMan — Bush II was folksy and quite generous with The Help. I’m not nostalgic in the least for a return to his misrule, but even now, he seems far less the monster than the current crop of Republican predators and wastrels.

    If the Rs actually thought through the notion of throwing the 2008 election by putting up Gramps and Herself against Obama, the question arises what they could possibly be thinking by putting up KenDoll and his so far unnamed familiar.

    I won’t take it for granted that they are trying to lose in the fall — it’s a long time between now and then after all, and Mittens has shown a capacity for “learning” in the rote sense, something like an AI device. And too, there seems to be a growing number of Ds who are so disappointed/furious with Obama they intend to cast a revenge vote for Romney. But the more he flaps his gums and waves his arms, the less appealing he becomes, and it wouldn’t surprise me if long-suffering Ann decides she’s finally had enough, divorces his privileged ass, and runs away with the chauffeur or something. After November. Win or lose.

    On the other hand, Obama shows himself to be a consummate politician, and still capable not only of managing the masses (which he was hired for in the first place) but conducting wars both foreign and domestic with relish and even a bit of panache. An R could never get away with it.

    • cocktailhag says:

      It’s weird, how Republicans hardly try anymore; if nothing else, at least the whole exercise lightens a bunch of too-fat wallets.
      Like you, I’m mystified by the anti-Obama fervor; what, pray tell, are these fat cats so het up about?

      • mikeinportc says:

        They’ve lied so convincingly , they believe it themselves. Had one about a week ago. I was explaining why another load (plants)from Oregon was unlikely ( the $3000+ freight bill) , so no, we’re not likely to get that again, this year, at that price , when she piped up with the vote/pray for Romney line . I managed not to laugh out loud at the characterization of The Continuity Kid as some kind anti-business, anti-energy, Socialist hippie.

        Unfortunately, my coworker is a believer too. Just then a pickup driven by a drill-baby-drill type, went by with a sign that read Drill a gas well- Bring a soldier home .” With some pro-gas, anti-Obama comment scrawled below. It became apparent in subsequent discussion that all concerned know that any more gas produced is going to China, but that’d be different with the Hippyama out of there. The honesty in the acknowledgement that our wars are for oil was refreshing , but the rest is delusional.

  6. mikeinportc says:

    Arrrgh! Missing keystroke again (“/”) . This (comment box )is annoying . ;)

    • cocktailhag says:

      It’s nuts, but in a bad economy and when the President is not just a Democrat but a, you know, anything goes. Clinton faced the same thing, but it only rarely got this crazy.
      It’s going to be a long summer.