Not that it’s needed, but if you’re looking for evidence that this election is not about Mitt Romney for Conservatives, you need look no further than to their (lack of) reaction to his abrupt and almost comical turn to the center in the first presidential debate. For almost two years he’s campaigned Hard Right. He had to. His party itself has shifted so far to the Right that when Congressional members even hint that they’re willing to work with Democrats, they’re put through a primary and threatened with being drummed out of public service entirely. While up against the likes of Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann and Newt Gingrich, Romney had to position himself so far right that he was called out for not being genuine. His own party was saying he’s not a true Conservative. And yet, as he banks back to the middle, we’re not hearing a massive outcry from the Right.
Because as long as Barack Obama is unseated, they’d vote for just about anyone.
Again, we all knew this. The Republicans are running on the 2004 Democratic Strategy of “Anyone But.” As in “Anyone but Bush.” And while we on the Left can rightfully assert that Kerry would have most definitely been a better President, the fact is he lost. If you’ll remember, Kerry won that first election against Bush for many of the reasons Romney beat Obama last week. Though Bush seemed more agitated and angry than Obama did, they both suffered from not looking like they wanted to be there. So when Romney took that chance to just about completely abandon all the harsh Right Wing rhetoric he’d been pumping out for two years, Americans in general decided that was okay, since he looked more “into it” than Obama.
Really though, who’s the party that’s constantly kvetching about a lack of character or morality in politics, and specifically the Left? That’s right; it’s the Conservatives. But I ask you this, what does it say about a movement that accepts a less than optimal candidate, listens to him deliver all the red meat they crave from the primaries through the convention, sees that candidate just about toss away everything he’s said for the last eighteen months and then pivots away from their ideology? I’ll tell you what you can say: they have no scruples, and their sycophantic hatred of Obama has been revealed in all its ugliness.
To be completely fair though, this criticism should also be leveled at any undecided voter who was swayed by Mitt’s pivot, as well as on the news media for openly agreeing (except on Fox News of course) that Romney is either lying about or straight-up denying his previous policy positions in a blatantly obvious attempt to pander to the middle, but that he still “won” the debate. Now, I’m not naive. People cheat. People cheat all the time in everything they do. But how can we honestly say that someone has won anything if they didn’t come by that victory honestly? It’s not like the GOP has run Barry Goldwater up there against Obama. They ran a puppet, an empty shell, up onto the dais and now it looks like that puppet has an even chance to put their party back intooffice.
All Americans, regardless of party affiliation should be completely repulsed by Mitt’s pivot to the center. Hell, within the ranks of Obama supporters there’s a strain of people who are righteously and legitimately angry that the President hasn’t moved far enough away from the Bush doctrine, and has actually used more drone strikes than Dubya did. So it is possible to find fault within your own party. But what Romney’s done is beyond the pale when it comes to pandering. If the abysmal, polarized state our political system is in needed any further proving, Romney’s cynical, mendacious campaign is that proof. It’s the proverbial cherry on the bullshit sundae.
Integrity used to mean something in this country. And while President Obama certainly has not been the model president we all hoped for, he hasn’t just outright flopped on his entire platform. He hasn’t just shaken the Etch-A-Sketch to borrow a phrase. Who the fuck is Mitt Romney? That’s a question that enough Americanssimply are not asking. Who knows? Maybe Obama should have called a pinch hitter up in the debate and sent Bill Clinton out to school the nation on Trickle Down economics again. But some of the consternation seen on Obama’s face during that debate certainly has to be understandable. If integrity and consistency aren’t necessary to win in American politics, how does one compete when they’re at least trying to keep that appearance up?
Undoubtedly the landscape of American politics is not a very genial one at the moment. The hyper-polarization from both sides of the aisle has made it almost impossible to get any real work done. We’re facing a self-imposed fiscal cliff because the two sides couldn’t square away a deal to reduce spending and increasetaxes. But all that is almost irrelevant if Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan wins. Both the Obama and Romney camps have been dinged by fact checkers, but Romney/Ryan has been absolutely eviscerated about their mendacity by the media, non-partisan fact checkers and even former President Bill Clinton. If he’s not lying, Mitt’s transforming into a wholly different person, and strangely people are thinking he’s a man to be trusted.
In the era of Low-Information, is it the one who takes the high road that wins?
Read the original story at the Political Garbage Chute