April 21, 2012
The Keys To A Romney Win

If Mitt Romney becomes president, this is the kind of thinking that will have made it happen:

“We need a president who has a business background, and Mitt Romney’s business background is tremendous,” Michael Larson, 55, a salesman and independent voter from Minneapolis, said Wednesday in a follow-up interview. “He has a vision that will bring the country back to economic strength.”

“I want to give the business guy a chance,” said Craig Lemoine, 47, a Republican from Las Vegas who drives a U.P.S. truck. “No one wants to put the C.E.O. in there. Everyone thinks he’ll just make the rich people richer and the poor people poorer. But how do you know if you don’t give him a chance?”

Well, here’s a suggestion, you might try leafing through his budget proposals to see if President Romney will make rich people richer and poor people poorer, I dunno. I’m no psychic, but I will make the following bold prediction: UPS drivers won’t be getting richer in the Romney years.

This, from a different source, is perhaps even more depressing:

Yesterday Politico broke the news that Mitt Romney’s planned $12 million expansion for his oceanfront property in San Diego, California included “car elevators” for his four-car garage. The news is being used to again portray the Republican Presidential front-runner as being “out of touch” and “unable to connect” with the working man. That’s ridiculous. The truth is the working man probably thinks car elevators are awesome. Because they are. But it’s unfair to say that Romney’s “out of touch” with average folks for wanting a car lift. Frankly, I think most average folks would want a car lift if they had the money to pay for them.

That’s because they’re cool and they give you more room to store cars. I mean, come on — who wouldn’t want more space in their garage?

Who wouldn’t want more space in their garage? Hmmm, maybe people who don’t have garages since their homes were foreclosed on? Maybe people who don’t have homes, cars, garages, or jobs, or anything else since hard working outfits like Bain Capital rolled through town? Just tossing that out there.

The trouble is, the last guy is right. Your average middle-age male shlub won’t put Mitt’s gaudy over-consumption into any meaningful context. He won’t question why a presidential candidate is building a car elevator in his mansion while the country is in a recession and he, our average middle-age shlub, is sinking inexorably into poverty. Instead he’ll be dazzled by the shiny new toy in Mitt’s garage and say, “Cool! I wish I could have one of those.”

I know many, many, many people (and many more after that) who think exactly like those quoted above. Decent, honest, regular blue-collar types who work hard, take care of their kids, play by the rules, and get shit on all of their lives. To the extent that they are political at all, they are reflexively conservative. They will go to their graves thinking that government waste is at the root of our economic problems, government employees are lazy and incompetent parasites, and illegal aliens are stealing our jobs. They may have liberal-ish views on any given topic, but as a general rule Republican rhetoric falls very softly on their ears.

More disturbing, I think, is that it’s impossible to argue them out of any of their positions. Conservative soundbites have become the densely compact sediment at the base of their brains, the bedrock, as it were, that produces all the rough gravel that crumbles out as a result. Nothing you or I can say will change that. Attempting to do so only gives you high blood pressure or, as I’ve learned on a couple of occasions, gets you perilously close to a fist fight (racists don’t want to hear that Mexicans are victims of the system just as much as the rest of us. No, they don’t want to hear that at all).

It’s not an exercise in futility. It is futility, personified and made flesh in all of its gray hopelessness. Let’s knock each other’s teeth out while Mitt Romney goes to the bank and laughs at us both.

These are people at the bottom of the information chain, the people whose views are composed of random, contradictory snatches of information that they’ve picked up through mainstream news sources in ten minute increments. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan know that if they scream about deficits long and loud enough, it will filter down to the peasants, artisans, and servants in exactly the manner they want. It’s the same with tax cuts. The lumbering beast of the people hears the term “tax cuts” and thinks, “Oh, goody, more money for me!” oblivious to the fact that any little pittance of a refund they get is going to be immediately devoured by the bigger players in our economy, and that this is not an accident.

I bring this up because there is a definite movement afoot to make Mitt Romney mainstream, or at least palatable to the mainstream. We’re already hearing, ad nauseam, about the last Gallup poll showing that Mitt and Obama are running in a “statistical dead heat” and that Mitt is “shoring up the base.” The media is going to twist and distort things in any way they can to ensure the election becomes a horse race. Mix that with the thinking of the people mentioned above, and we run the very real risk of having Romney in the White House. That’s another way of saying that we run the very real risk of having plutocracy permanently institutionalized in this country.

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Posted by OHollern at April 21, 2012 12:01 PM
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"In my opinion -- and this is the opinion of a serious, hardworking businessman -- the wrong people are running this country. They all belong to some party or other, and parties are self-serving. Their point of view is one-sided. We need men who stand above the parties, as we businessmen do. We sell our goods to rich and poor alike. Making no distinctions, we'll sell anyone a hundredweight of potatoes, install his electrical wiring, paint his house. Governing the country is a moral task. We have to reach a point where the employers are good employers, the employees good employees -- in short, where the rich are good rich and the poor are good poor. I'm convinced that such a regime will come someday. It will find me among its supporters."

That's Mr. Macheath in the Threepenny Novel, 1934, as quoted by Walter Benjamin. It was satire when Mr. Brecht wrote it.

Posted by: Martha Bridegam on April 21, 2012 2:19 PM

Hmmm... Rich guys are bad guys. Rich guys are not capable of relating to average guy, and as such will not care about average guy.

1. JFK and the whole Camelot thing. The Kennedy's were rich in a way that trumps Mitt entirely. How did JFK get his money? Running a business? Oh, that right, he got it from his father. How did old Joe get his money? Oh yeah, Joe made lots and lots of money illegally. But that's great, right? The average Joe can relate to a bootlegger! He is a good kind of rich guy cuz Hyannis Port is full of average guys. By the way, RFK would have been a great rich guy president too!

2. FDR - now those Roosevelts really knew how to relate to the average guy. Go out to the Gold Coast sometime - there are all sorts of average guys there. I wonder how those neighborhoods stack up with Mitt's neighborhood? No matter, the Roosevelt's dollars were dustier than Mitt's, and as such they could better relate to the average Joe.

3. What about old George Washington? He was perhaps the wealthiest man in the country in his time. Certainly his wealth completely rendered him unable to lead our country, right? That whole "Father of Our Country" thing was BS, cuz everyone knows that rich guys are bad guys.

So, this much we know, rich guys are bad guys. Rich business guys are worse. Rich white business guys are worse still, and everyone knows that rich white business Mormon guys ARE THE WORST!

Yep, hope and change, hope and change, hope and change. I love it cuz it is working out so well for everyone! But what I like even better this time is divide and conquer, divide and conquer, decide and conquer! THAT is what our country really needs - and lots of it! Let's pander and pit the classes against each other. Let's haul out the race baiters and take full advantage of every tragedy. And lest we forget religion, let's unleash as much hate toward faith and those who worship according to the dictates of their conscience. Love it!

Divide and conquer! Nice article!


2.

Posted by: Rocknroad on April 21, 2012 2:30 PM

Rocknroad,

You have some understanding but it is largely fouled up. Our elected officials tend ( not alway) to be well off or rich. Few others, at the national level, can take time off work and still consistently eat or keep a roof over their head. So we are generally stuck with the well to do in DC. This state of affairs has only gotten worse in recent times. Most members of Congress are millionaires. Most Americans are decidedly not.

Be that as it may, not all rich are created or develop equally. Many of your rich guy examples like FDR, RFK & GWash compare favorably with many of today's rich. Your examples had a real sense of being part of a country, being American 1st & foremost. They also had a sense of noblesse oblige. Patronizing or not, they did feel blessed and felt they needed to give back to those who were less fortunate and never got their advantages and chances in life. Not so for today's 1% ers. This current crop look out for number one & give little thought to anyone else. Many of these guys are blinded by arrogance & greed. These guys dont want to pay any fair amount of tax. They want their money and the country be damned. This new crop are not in anything together with the rest of the country. They are not loyal Americans.

As far as divide & conquer, you miss the point again. There is a class war. But its the rich guys and their Republican gophers who are waging it against everyone else. And by any quantatative measure they are winning. It all got started by the patron Saint of plutocracy: St Ronald Reagan. The fact that UPS drivers listen to Rush and don't understand this only goes to prove Barnum correct: " nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public."

Slick marketing is pretty effective too. How many Ups drivers w barely a pot to piss in are railing against the "death" tax? It's originally and more accurately the Estate Tax. But while very few live on estates, all will die. All the better to confuse your average uninformed & unreflective citizen/ voter.

Rocknroad keep your eyes & mind open and read widely. Remember Fox, hanniity, beck, rush & their ilk are for "entertainment" (poor as it maybe) purposes only!!

Posted by: Sean O on April 21, 2012 5:12 PM

As to the article. Very sad and unfortunately so very true. Apparently conditions arent bad enough yet to get folks to pay attention. As off shoring of manufacturing jobs comtinues and soon more and more white collar services follow the same route, people may begin to open their eyes. People may then demand that the country be run for the benefit of all with fairness, decency and moderation as the guiding principles.

I suppose we shall see. We can hope.

Posted by: Sean O on April 21, 2012 5:31 PM

To hear things you won't hear from anyone else, I recommend listening to Professor RD Wolff, the Marxist economics. This guy has been telling so many truths about the American capitalist system, he turns down two speaking engagements for every one he takes. He has even been getting requests from tea party groups. I saw a couple of days ago that he made the Guardian UK and is just getting some traction on the mainstream media. But if you want to hear some real truth and hard numbers to use to persuade people that we need to change our system and way of doing things, I recommend going to his website and listening to his weekly or monthly talks on the economy. I've gotten great statistics from him, for example, if you want to do some convincing try just this one. In 1942 for every dollar a citizen paid in taxes, a corporation paid one dollar and fifty cents. Today, for every dollar a citizen pays, a corporation pays twenty five cents. If you want numbers like that, go to rdwolff.com.

In the meantime, listen to this little talk that's on Youtube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-KqeU8nzn4

Posted by: Buck on April 22, 2012 6:04 PM

All Romney has to do is say if elected "I will give a $300 rebate to every American!" and he wins, because Americans, being the idiots that we are, and who have less than they did 12 years will fall for that scam again.

Serfdom? We're there, baby!

Posted by: Pat In Massachusetts on April 23, 2012 6:14 AM

Rocknroad, like any garden variety wingnut, provides a strawman and then proceeds to attack it ineffectively. Dull stuff. But it does have one redeeming virtue: a trap he lays for the stupider liberals. He should get paid for that. Baiting stupid liberals is God's work, of course, but the divine is always short of ready cash.

Rebuttal is superfluous, but for amusement: wealth per se is not necessarily objectionable, o' wingnut warrior of the comment section. The ways in which wealth is gained and the uses to which it's put almost always are.

Posted by: Jim on April 25, 2012 8:12 PM
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