Mitt Romney, Florida's Psycho-Killer Superhero of Cash
Charles P. Pierce, Esquire
ere is something else Thomas Paine once said:
"But charters and corporations have a more extensive evil effect than what relates merely to elections. They are sources of endless contentions in the places where they exist, and they lessen the common rights of national society.... This species of feudality is kept up to aggrandise the corporations at the ruin of towns; and the effect is visible."
And here is something else he said:
"Yet here again the burthen does not fall in equal proportions on the aristocracy with the rest of the community. Their residences, whether in town or country, are not mixed with the habitations of the poor. They live apart from distress, and the expense of relieving it."
And, finally, here is something else he said:
"When it shall be said in any country in the world, my poor are happy; neither ignorance nor distress is to be found among them; my jails are empty of prisoners, my streets of beggars; the aged are not in want, the taxes are not oppressive; the rational world is my friend, because I am the friend of its happiness: when these things can be said, then may that country boast its constitution and its government."
At this point, I can take almost anything out of Willard Romney's perfect mouth, out of the perfect teeth through which he so perfectly lies. He won the Inevitability Primary in Florida out-and-out on Tuesday night, and only had to outspend Newt Gingrich five-to-one to do it. So he gets to crow a little. Over the next couple of days, he's going to be bathed in loving analysis from the smart kidz about how he "turned it around" after being outcrackered in South Carolina. But I'm not going to sit there and listen to the cosseted plutocrat son of a millionnaire auto dealer - one who is running on a platform that will make himself and everyone like him richer while warning the rest of us, as he did in his victory speech in Tampa, that "If you're looking for cradle-to-grave help from the government, I'm not your candidate" - go and dragoon into that effort Tom Paine, who would have spat in Willard Romney's face if he'd ever met him. Mitt Romney is someone whose children have a trust fund totaling $100 million. His great-great-grandchildren are not ever going to have to worry about money from their cradles to their graves. Thomas Paine? I'm sorry, but there are levels of bullshit to which I will not agree to descend.
Mitt Romney reclaimed his position as the GOP frontrunner in the Florida primaries. (art: DonkeyHotey/The Politics Blog)
Romney won because he had the most money. And because he had the most money, enough of the Tea Party "base," which was supposed to hate him like gum disease, decided thusly: What the hell? The important thing is to get the Muslim Kenyan Usurper Negro out of the White House, so this is the horse we have to ride. There were something like 13,000 commercials aired in Florida over the past couple of weeks. Ninety-two percent of them were negative, the overwhelming number of which said negative things about N. Leroy Gingrich, Definer of Civilization's Rules and Leader (Perhaps) of the Civilizing Forces, on behalf of the man who told us on Tuesday night that we should follow him into the old America of hope and joy and not bumper stickers. That is how you win the Inevitability Primary. You buy Inevitability. It doesn't come cheaply.
Very early in the evening, the MSNBC embed with the Romney campaign opined that following Romney around the last couple of days, when it became clear that the election was in the bag, was something like watching an episode of Dexter, the TV show about the charming-as-hell serial killer. Even the kindly Doctor Maddow was taken somewhat aback, and I suspect the kid is in for an interesting morning, both from his bosses and from the Romney campaign, but, dammit, he was dead-on and I wish I'd thought of it first. In addition to being a singularly appalling liar, Mitt Romney also has all the basic qualities of a considerable bully. He ruthlessly shoved aside a hapless but nonetheless incumbent Republican governor in order get himself elected in Massachusetts. You've seen him have to rein it in a little on the debate stage. (Believe me, there's more of that to come.) And you saw it on Tuesday night, when Willard accepted victory, and then launched into his usual litany of lies about the president (the president doesn't "want to amass record deficits" - honestly, no, he doesn't) - spiced with just the right amount of upper-crust sneering.
I was particularly amused by this little aside: "Like his colleagues in the faculty lounge who think they know better, President Obama demonizes and denigrates almost every sector of our economy."
Except, one supposes, the auto industry, which Romney suggested we should let fail. But that "faculty lounge" crack is a good one. There was Willard, knocking back a couple at his corner local with the boys, when they said, "You know, you could do as good a job as that smarty-pants up there on the TV." Jesus, what a foof.
And that touching anecdote about talking to "a father who was terrified that this would be the last night he would be able to spend in the only house his son had ever known." Perhaps Willard then explained to this terrified father how much better things would be if we'd just, as he told a newspaper in Las Vegas last October, not tried to "stop the foreclosure process. Let it run its course and hit the bottom." The fellow would have been comforted, I'm sure.
And, of course, there was the inevitable barefaced non-fact about health care, and about how "President Obama wants to put a government bureaucrat between you and your doctor." No more, actually, than you did up here, Willard. I went to my doctor a month ago. I did not trip over an Under-Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services on the way.
(Note to Gingrich surrogate Bill McCollum: Where in the hell did you get the talking point you were spouting on Tuesday that we here in Massachusetts "have to wait 48 days to see a primary-care physician?" I suspect it may have come from the extensive research done by the late Professor Otto Yerass, but I could be wrong.)
But it was how Romney delivered the speech that was so revelatory. This is a rich kid who likes flogging The Help. There were just enough shit-eating, country-club grins as he delivered his rancid material to show you what the guy must have been like in those golden moments when he realized that there was more dough in wrecking a company than in investing in it.
As I said here the other day, the nomination of Willard Mitt Romney is inevitable, so we're all going to have to get used to all of this for a while. But I will not stand for Tom Paine being used in this fashion. I have my limits.
And here's something else he once said:
"I hope we shall... crush in [its] birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations."
No, wait. That was the other Tom. That Jefferson guy. My bad.