Saturday, November 10, 2012

Schadenfrude Claus

If the Mitt Romney nomination and the political campaign that followed it demonstrates any one thing with crystal clarity, it is the deeply held belief on the part of the Republican Party's uppermost hierarchy that all they have to do to win an election is nominate a good looking, smooth talking white guy.

On some level, at least some of them (not Rush, but Karl Rove, probably) are aware that a good looking, smooth talking white guy will piss some people off, if that's all that's there... especially if the smooth talk is almost entirely smoke and bullshit. As it absolutely was with Romney, and generally is with any Republican candidate to a great extent ("morning in America", "family values", "compassionate conservatism"... what the fuck does any of that even MEAN? Republicans are masters of emotionally loaded phrases that, upon any kind of semantic analysis, have absolutely no real meaning at all).

But while they realize that there is a part of the electorate that will not be fooled by slick sounding bullshit, and will not be automatically charmed by a big toothy grin plastered all over a good looking Caucasian face, they have not yet fully grasped that that part of the electorate is now large enough to actually elect someone else. They simply cannot comprehend that we now live in an America where your candidate (lying thieving not particularly bright scumbag that he was) can snatch up 60% of the white male vote... and STILL FUCKING LOSE.

It's like these guys have watched so many episodes of MAD MEN that they no longer really dig that it's a period piece... and, you know, fictional. Because by God, they ran Don Draper for President, and 60% of American white guys voted for him... and he LOST. WTF, America?

But they have a genuine quandary. The Tea Party originally intended to be a third party, and Karl Rove ran from one end of the country to another passing out candy and handjobs to keep them inside the Republican tent. So there they are... and they've absolutely poisoned the well. Republican candidates for ANYthing are now faced with a horrible dilemma... they can appease the Tea Party and get past the primary... but then they'll lose the election, because the Tea Party is nuts. Or, they can try to take some kind of sane, reasonable position on the issues people really care about... and have the Tea Party denounce them as heretics, which will destroy them in Republican politics.

The Repubs HAVE to let the Tea Party go; they're crazy and they're no longer even remotely helping. But if they lose that 12%, they have no way to make it up with moderates and undecideds... unless they substantively revamp most of their policies. Which they really don't want to do.

I say, Christmas came early and Santa was packing a big bag of schadenfrude.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

The way things ought to be

Having a discussion with the Romney supporter in the cubicle across from me.

"What do you know about disaster relief?" he asks me.

"I know your boy wants to privatize it completely," I respond. "Private disaster relief means a lot of rescued rich people."

He shakes that off. "Yeah, I don't think disaster relief should be privatized," he says.

"Maybe not," I say, "but that's what you're voting for. Plus, no gay marriage."

He shakes that off, too. "I don't care about that stuff." He then explains to me that marriage should simply be a religious ceremony, but anyone should be able to enter into a civil contract.

I tell him "Okay, I agree, basically, but whatever you think, you are voting against marriage equality for non heterosexuals."

He shrugs. "No, I'm voting against Obama's economic policies. I don't think we can afford another four years of them."

When I asked what policies he means, he shrugs again. "When I ask myself, 'am I better off now than I was four years ago', I have to say, 'no'."

I hear this argument all the time, and it infuriates me, since it is generally coming from someone on the right, and on the right, everyone claims to be patriotic... except when it comes time to vote against the darkie, in which case, it's all about them, and Are You Better Off Now Than You Were Then.

I ask him if he's a patriot, if he believes in the greater good of the United States of America. He says of course. I say, "And you honestly believe that a guy who made millions of dollars buying American companies, putting their assets in his own pocket, shutting them down, and sending those jobs overseas, is the best guy to run our country?"

He blinks, but he's not fazed. "That's not how it would be," he says. "Look... we just can't afford for more years of Obama's economic policies. What's he done about the federeal bureaucracy?"

"The federal bureaucracy?" I ask him. "Like FEMA?"

"No, no," he says. "It's these public worker unions. They're ridiculous."

"Oh my god," I say. "First it's Obama's economic policies, and then it's the public unions. Just tick on down that list of Fox talking points. Look, dude... if your'e voting for Romney and you make at least six figures, I get it. You're evil and selfish, but I got you. But you're poor, like me. If you're voting for Romney, you're just..." and I substituted, not saying 'stupid' at the last second... "misinformed. Badly misinformed. And you ARE voting for privatization of disaster relief, and continued legalized bias against non heterosexuals. "

He shrugged.