Thursday, November 22, 2012

Mitt Romney's own 47 percent

From Indecision Forever:
Everybody made so fun fun of Mitt Romney for claiming that there was one presidential candidate who would receive 47 percent of the vote no matter what a bad politician he was, simply because his voters just wanted a bunch of free stuff.

Well, it turns out he was right
When all the votes are counted, could Mitt Romney really end up achieving perfect poetic justice by finishing with 47 percent of the national vote? Yup. Dave Wasserman of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report says new votes in from Maryland put Romney at 47.56 percent. He predicts with certainty that with all of New York and California counted, Romney will end up below 47.5 percent of the vote.

Rounded, of course, that would put the final tally at 51-47.

Funny, isn't it? That's a quote from Greg Sargent, who continues with this:
At risk of piling on, a 47 percent finish would represent a perfect conclusion to the Romney political saga. If Romney ran a campaign of unprecedented dishonesty and lack of transparency, virtually all of it was geared towards misleading people about the true nature of his — and his party’s — actual beliefs and governing agenda. This was the case on multiple fronts, from Romney’s dissembling about the size of the tax cut he’d give to the rich, to his evasions about the overhaul he and Paul Ryan planned for the safety net, to the obscuring of the massive upward redistribution of wealth represented by the Ryan agenda — the GOP’s central governing blueprint for nation’s fiscal and economic future.

It was fitting that Romney himself unmasked his own apparent beliefs and the broader ideological implications of the larger GOP agenda and the ideas driving it — in private remarks to those who would likely benefit from his policies most. As Jonathan Chait put it at the time:
This is not a random gaffe, a joke gone bad, or even a terrible brain freeze. It is Romney exposed for espousing a worldview that is at the heart of his party’s mania. The idea he summed up at that fund-raiser was a combination of right-wing fever dreams ...the Ayn Randism, the fact-free class warfare, the frantic rage at a changing America. The Republican Party is going down because its candidate was seen advocating exactly the beliefs that make the party so dangerous and repellant.

Romney’s widely criticized post-election remarks — in which he claimed Obama won by giving core Dem constituencies “gifts” — were essentially a reprise of the 47 percent remarks. Romney reiterated in overly blunt terms what many Republicans and conservatives have been saying for years — and got disemboweled by his own party after detailing these views out loud [my emphasis], a fitting coda to his candidacy.

Please note that Republicans haven't abandoned that agenda, either. They didn't abandon it after it failed so badly in the George W. Bush years, and they're certainly not going to abandon it now. They're faith-based, not evidence-based.

However, they are looking for ways to repackage their party, to re-brand it, wrapping the turd in tinfoil and glitter, with a nice bow on top. If they can, they'll back off on the culture war stuff. But I'm not sure they can.

Make no mistake, the GOP leadership cares only about tax cuts for the rich (and other ways to funnel money to the top). But they have to keep the GOP base happy, and that base was conceived by their 'Southern strategy' of deliberately appealing to white racists, then weaned on Fox 'News' fear-mongering.

That worked just fine to get Republican leaders what they wanted during the Bush years - to disastrous effect on America and Americans - but that crazy base has started to throw its weight around. They're willing enough to go along with the Republican economic agenda - after all, they're faith-based, too - but will they be willing to abandon those culture war issues that wooed them into the party in the first place?

I hope not, but in our two-party system, they don't have anywhere else to go. And Republicans tend to be cynical enough to go along with anything, as long as they know it's just pretend. After all, Romney and Ryan spent the entire campaign lying about such things. In the GOP, that's just considered good politics.

They're currently looking to reposition themselves, but they haven't abandoned any of their wacky beliefs. They're just trying to find more effective ways of lying. Will we be gullible enough to buy it? Again, I hope not.

But keep in mind that the media desperately want a horse race. It's not to their financial advantage that one party crush the other, since elections are a gold mine for them. They'll bend over backward to give Republicans every benefit of the doubt. And certainly Fox 'News' will push whatever Republican strategy that looks as if it might work.

Well, that's the way it is in politics. That's the way it is in history. Heck, that's the way it is in life. Sure, our own lives will end, but life will go on. There is no end to this fight, although the battles will change. Win or lose, there's always the next battle.

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