Madly Spinning

With the emphasis on madly…

Charles Krauthammer has gotten a lot of press for his comment to Sean Hannity that Obama is trying to provoke a “civil war” in the GOP.

Now pretend that Bush is president, that the Dems control the House, and that the GOP has a majority in the Senate, but not a filibuster-proof one.

What would Krauthammer say if Bush was trying to keep us from going over the cliff?

He wouldn’t say Bush was trying to provoke a civil war among Dems, he’d praise him for trying to reach out to what he’d call the “reasonable” Dems, who weren’t “crazy, far-left types with San Francisco values.”

Bush would be heroically trying to save the country, while the Kenyan Muslim Socialist is heinously trying to destroy it.

We need intelligent policy debates about the right level of taxing and spending, but all we’re getting is stupid personality attacks.

They Are All Randians Now

The chattering classes all along the political spectrum have been saying that the GOP is in an identity crisis, that they know they want to run from Bush 43, but haven’t yet figured out exactly what they’re running to.

The chattering classes are wrong — the GOP has definitively chosen a new identity:  they may give lip service to Ronald Reagan, but they’re really kissing the behind of another dead person — Ayn Rand.  They are all Randians now.

Nixon famously said we are all Keynesians now, and that was true.  The Dems had a leftist take on Keynes, and the GOP had a rightist take on him, but everybody believed that when the economy was bad, as during a garden-variety recession let alone a Great Recession, the government should spend to make up for the lack of private sector demand.  The difference was that when things were good and humming along, the Dems wanted more government spending than the GOP did.  It was a difference of degree, not of fundamental ideology.

Ayn Rand is a different ideology.  This is not the GOP of Nixon, Ford, Reagan, either Bush, or McCain.

Republicans, Independents, and the teeny, tiny sliver of Dems who are voting for Mitt need to think long and hard about this — are they really Randians?  Is this what they believe?  It’s not just that this isn’t your father’s GOP, this isn’t even the GOP of 2008.  Reagan famously said that he didn’t leave the Democratic party, it left him.  Well, now the Republican party has left him as well.   Everyone who is voting for Mitt should stop and reflect if the party has left them as well.

Mitt himself isn’t really a Randian, he’s an empty vessel, but he picked Paul Ryan because Mitt recognizes that Rand has filled the vacuum Bush left, and Ryan is her deaf, dumb, blind disciple — Paul “Tommy” Ryan.

The “Other” threatening our country isn’t a fictional Kenyan Muslim Socialist, it’s a Russian atheist who wrote fiction.

This Time Around, Mitt Is “The Other”

In the 2008 campaign, the GOP sought to portray Barack Hussein Obama as The Other.   He was a Kenyan Muslim socialist.  He didn’t understand this country, he didn’t love this country, on and on.  They’ve continued this garbage all through his first term and into the 2012 campaign, falsely accusing him of apologizing for America, of weakening our defenses, of imposing socialism.

But the tables have turned.  We like Obama, but we don’t like Mitt Romney.  More than that, we see Mitt as The Other.  We can’t identify with Mitt because he clearly can’t identify with us.  He lacks warmth, he lacks compassion, he is aloof and aristocratic and entitled.  He has no clue what it’s like to struggle, to worry about paying the rent or buying groceries or heating oil.

Some of his being viewed as The Other is because he’s a Mormon, particularly among Evangelicals.  But I believe a Mormon who comes across as a “regular guy” could win the presidency, I don’t believe it’s disqualifying.

What’s disqualifying about Mitt is not his religion, it’s him — his personality, his demeanor, his cluelessness, his lack of conviction, his heartlessness and ruthlessness.  We want to vote for someone we believe cares about us, since the job requires him to care for us.  Our lives are in his hands.

A winning presidential candidate comes across as ambitious for us — he wants to make us better educated, healthier, more prosperous, safer.  Mitt comes across as ambitious for himself.

The Republicans warned us not to vote for The Other — and this time they’re nominating him.

Karl Rove Pathetically Projects onto David Axelrod

Karl Rove wrote a childish piece for the WSJ, “Channeling David Axelrod,” that pretends to tell us Axelrod’s private thoughts.  The column concludes:

“Our job, as we say around here, is to savage the GOP nominee, grind him to dust, turn him into a freak.  I’m ready.  After all, it’s the Chicago Way.”

You don’t have to be Freud to see that Rove is projecting here.  This is exactly what the GOP tried to do to Obama in the 2008 election (savage, grind, and turn) and still tries to do every day by painting him as a Kenyan Muslim Socialist, who wants to destroy our free market economic system and our superpower status.

What a sad and sorry excuse for a human being Rove is.  I wonder if he will have a deathbed conversion like Lee Atwater and regret the harm he’s caused the country he pretends to love.