People keep telling me not to jinx it, but look: Romney is going down, and he knows it. His campaign keeps talking about “expanding the map” to Minnesota and Pennsylvania (markets where they’re now, in the last push, running five or six negative ads in every commercial break, which has to have some diminishing returns.) Meanwhile they’re visiting the many swing states they’ve failed to lock down, like Florida and Virginia—where they’ve also been text-spamming with messages about how Obama approves of same-sex marriages and wants your tax dollars to pay for Planned Parenthood abortions. Turns out gay people and parents of thirteen-year-old girls with cell phones don’t take kindly to that sort of tactic!
And that’s all Romney has ever been: tactics, not strategy. There’s been no consistency, not only in his principles, but in the very approach of this six-year bid for the best, most prestigious, corporate executive Fortune 500 job on the planet. That’s the thrust of a Baffler article by consistently astounding authority on American political conservatism Rick Perlstein, which begins like this:
Mitt Romney is a liar. Of course, in some sense, all politicians, even all human beings, are liars. Romney’s lying went so over-the-top extravagant by this summer, though, that the New York Times editorial board did something probably unprecedented in their polite gray precincts: they used the L-word itself. “Mr. Romney’s entire campaign rests on a foundation of short, utterly false sound bites,” they editorialized. He repeats them “so often that millions of Americans believe them to be the truth.” “It is hard to challenge these lies with a well-reasoned-but- overlong speech,” they concluded; and how. Romney’s lying, in fact, was so richly variegated that it can serve as a sort of grammar of mendacity
The essay is a must-read, and terrifying in its bluntness, but luckily it will also somewhat soothe your anxiety about election day. For while half the country would still coronate a sad husk like Mitt Romney, it’s getting harder and harder for them to do so.
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