Friday, January 27, 2012

The Fall Guy

It appears the latest Republican “Flavor of the Month,” Newt the Odious, is most probably going sour about as fast as I am typing this. I mean, really, when you are so despicable even members of your own party don’t want you as a candidate, you should gracefully withdraw. It is unlikely Newt will withdraw, of course, as he has his Sugar Daddy billionaire in Las Vegas supporting him. Sheldon Addelson and his wife have together so far donated 10 million to Newt’s campaign. This seems to me to be betting on a long shot, the possibility that if Newt could become President he will look out for Addelson’s financial problems and also move the Israeli capital from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem (the worst possible thing that could happen in that troubled part of the world). Of course with a billion or more at your disposal betting on long shots is not really much of a risk.

Gingrich has had his moments of glory, three different times he has claimed he will be the Republican candidate, and has also now claimed that at the end of his second term (as President) we will have a permanent space station of the moon and, I guess, have claimed outer space for our own. If people have not figured out by now that Newt is nothing more than a bloated pontificating blowhard I think we should start to worry. Romney seems to have recaptured the polls in Florida and I suspect will win there. I cannot see how Gingrich can possibly resurrect himself once more even with the help of the Addelsons. Billionaires trying to buy elections are not too popular these days.

But Romney, unfortunately, is almost as flawed a candidate as Gingrich, although for different reasons. As a result of the attacks by the other candidates Romney has been damaged even more than he was to begin with. As a Mormon he has already forfeited probably 20% of the vote as Evangelicals will apparently not vote for him under any circumstances, believing Mormonism is a “cult.” But worse than that for Mr. Romney now, is the fact he has been identified as the personification of the 1%, this, at a time when inequality has become perhaps the single most important theme of the campaign. His handling of his taxes has certainly not helped him. What will prove to be even worse, however, is the fact that although he makes $57,000 a day he still wants more of a tax break for himself and his peers. Poor little rich boy, he just doesn’t get it.

All of this leads me to the conclusion that Romney will end up being the “Fall Guy” for the dismal performance of the Republican Party in the past few years, the sacrificial candidate allowing them to mark time for the 2016 election. There is talk of a brokered convention and another candidate such as Pawlenty, Christie, Daniels, or even Jeb Bush, but I cannot see this happening, and even if it did Obama would already have an almost insurmountable head start. Most everyone seems to think it will be a very close election with Obama winning by a slim margin. I’m not convinced. I suspect Romney will be the candidate and Obama will win by a substantial margin. This is because I cannot see a Republican getting the Black vote, the Hispanic vote, the Women’s vote, the elderly vote, the youth vote, the Evangelical vote, or the Muslim vote, leaving at best perhaps the Jewish vote and that of the extreme far rightists. This is what I think should happen, but I confess to being the worst predictor of Presidential elections ever. I think out of the last ten elections I can remember I probably have a batting average of no more than .200. If Newt the Odious should somehow pull off a victory in Florida I would like to say I’d eat my hat, but given my past failures that is too risky even for me.

When compared with Gingrich, Willard Mitt is as pure as the first snowfall of winter. He just happens to be the poster boy for the worst kind of capitalism the world has ever seen. He can’t help being rich, he was born that way, but being oblivious to the realities of life for the not rich, lacking empathy, seeing himself as merely an object of envy, and pretending to be someone he is not is unforgiveable. We have had many wealthy Presidents but none as divorced from reality as Romney would be. He is not only divorced from the 99%, he is also divorced from the rest of the world when it comes to foreign policy and the place of the United States in world affairs. I’m pretty sure we will bite the bullet once again and vote for our current President, as they say, “warts and all.” Think how great he might have been given even a tiny bit of cooperation from Republicans who, having stymied him repeatedly, now want to blame him for the mess they have created.

The key to being a good manager is keeping the people who hate me away from those who are still undecided.

Casey Stengel

1 comment:

Bubblehead said...

I sure you meant that Gingrich would move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem; the Israelis already consider Jerusalem their capital.