Monthly Archives: May 2012

A Draperesque Vision of America

MittRomney as Don DraperCan an anti-woman, anti-black, anti-senior, anti-sick, anti-worker, anti-unemployed, anti-poor, anti-immigrant, anti-gay, anti-Muslim, anti-education, anti-union, anti-peace, anti-environment, anti-science, anti-Wall-Street-reform, anti-Geneva-Convention, anti-world presidential candidate win?*

That seems unfair. Let me re-phrase it. Can a candidate wishing to robo-sign teapublican legislation to return us to some mythological Don Draperesque vision of America win against this incumbent president?**

Man, those early sixties were good times. When everyone was happy, white, middle class and smoked. The women were valium-laced and the men were drunk. And why not? The bomb was going to kill us anyway.

There were some good things. Not so many people or cars. Neighborhoods were safe for kids to play. People visited each other. Phone calls were important and brief. Photos were special. The air was clean. The difference between a poor man and one well-to-do was only a thousand dollars. The store on the corner was owned by the person who worked in the store on the corner. We believed what people said on television.

And then we found out. What they said on television was not true. Everyone wasn’t happy. Nor white. And certainly not middle class. Our schools were not equal. Our society wasn’t fair. Each small town was a fiefdom of power, corruption and meanness. Smoking was an addiction that killed you and they sold it to us anyway. Diet drugs didn’t keep you skinny. Booze didn’t help anything. Our parents loved in the American way, but mostly saved the good stuff for themselves. And the war just went on and on and on. And people kept dying.

With all do respect to Beaver, Opie and Willard, I’d rather we didn’t go back. Every step forward was measured in somebody’s blood. And really, we haven’t gone that far.

The 1959 Rambler with MittThe Rambler candidate of the old establishment Republican party, Willard Mitt Romney, appears to be the nominee – it is his turn. It took Romney more than $100 million to beat Santorum, Gingrich, Bachmann, Perry, Huntsman, Cain and Paul. When Santorum dropped out, Romney had only won four primaries by 50% or more – Massachusetts; Virginia (only Paul and Romney were on the ballot); Puerto Rico; and Washington, DC. Hardly a mandate. People don’t seem to like him. Must take after his dad.

You can’t pick up a paper or watch the news these days without learning of a new poll that makes this race seem close. How can that be? You have an unpopular candidate surrounded by the same advisors spewing the same talking points on policy that got us into the biggest mess of our lifetimes. Over and over again we are promised that we need to have more faith. We need to believe in the markets. We need to set the markets free. That the corporations know best. The bigger they are the more they know and we couldn’t possibly understand. That is why the government shouldn’t regulate them. The markets will take care us just like they always have. But first the corporate owners, the unimaginably wealthy, need a little more money. Just lower the tax rates a bit more. The poor would just waste it and the middle class don’t know they don’t have it. Another tax break and the rich will quit being scared, come out of their vast mansions and trickle on us.

Have enough people forgotten what it was like to live during the Bush years and what they did to us to give them four more years? The same advisors, the same talking points, the same sabres rattled, the same promise of trickling on us. How can a any voter expect the outcome to be different?

These people lied to us for war. They used our love for this country to enrich their friends, squander our wealth, waste a generation and kill many tens of thousands of people.

Have the Republicans found enough people to vote against their interests or is it possible there are that many voters who are just unwilling to admit how wrong they have been all along?

Sounds implausable, doesn’t it? It was less than four years ago that a one-term senator named Barack Hussein Obama took the nomination from Hillary Clinton and went on to beat John McCain. Of course, people like Barack Obama.

 


 

* For simplicity, the most recent candidate Mitt Romney was used. Were all versions of candidate Mitt Romney used, a more accurate lede would be: “Can a candidate who goes both ways on old women, working or unemployed, regardless of immigration status, country of origin, ethnic background, or religion; science, torture, war, banking regulation and or the future of the world, win the presidential election?” And that shouldn’t be correct.

As to the specific positions that the most recent candidate Mitt Romney takes:

  • He is not anti-woman. Along with the trees in Michigan, he reportedly likes women. He simply believes they should work unpaid in their homes and should not have control over their bodies – instead, asking their husbands. In the case of a single woman, they should ask their church for guidance about body issues and such.
  • Nor is he anti-black. He just believes people of color should trust their state and local government to protect their rights and that businesses and schools should be colorblind. If there’s discrimination, anyone should fix that in the voting booth.
  • Nor is he anti-senior. He just believes that all of us should work more years before we get to become seniors and then be ready to live on less, while paying more, a lot more, for healthcare.
  • Nor is he anti-sick. In fact, he really would like more sick people. That will make the free market work more efficiently and bring the cost of healthcare way down. Until then, sick people should save their money and be more responsible.
  • Nor is he anti-worker. He just likes to fire people. And he doesn’t think we need a living wage – the markets can determine that much better.
  • Nor is he anti-unemployed. He just thinks they should get a job and unemployment benefits are keeping them from finding one (they should have saved their money). And that we don’t need another government program that gets people back to work. That won’t create permanent jobs. The best thing for our economy would be for it to hit bottom. That’s when the free market will work best. Once we lower the tax rate for the rich, raise the bottom tax rate and get rid of all the regulations, everyone will be working and working and working. Once everyone has been foreclosed on, housing will take off again.
  • Nor is he anti-poor. He knows they are taken care of. That there are government programs for the poor and if those programs don’t work, he’ll fix them.
  • Nor is he anti-immigrant. He just thinks it is better for them to come here legally, unless they were fleeing Castro. And that anyone here without documents should have their property seized and be deported. If they have children who speak English and are willing to fight in our wars and survive, those children should be allowed to apply for citizenship.
  • Nor is he anti-gay. Not since prep school. He even had a gay person on his staff for a while. He just doesn’t believe they should have rights protected under the Constitution.
  • Nor is he anti-Muslim. He just wouldn’t hire a Muslim to work in a Romney administration because there are not enough Muslims in the US to worry about pissing off.
  • Nor is he anti-education. He just would get rid of the Department of Education and let the states take care of teaching our children. They know best.
  • Nor is he anti-union. Oops. Yes, he is. He believes that workers shouldn’t be allowed to organize and he recommends companies with union workers use bankruptcy to reduce their obligations for pensions and wages.
  • Nor is he anti-peace. He just thinks we should go back into Iraq. Stay in Afghanistan. Help in Syria. Keep Iran for nukes by any means necessary. Ditto North Korea. The “Soviet Union” is our biggest enemy. And that Jesus is coming back to Missouri.
  • Nor is he anti-environment. He just believes that the free markets will protect our air and water from pollution. That we should open more federal lands, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the Outer Continental Shelf to drilling but wind farms off the Cape is bad. That oil companies can self-regulate.
  • Nor is he anti-science. Except that he is against Newt’s moon base plans, he just believes the typical Republican evolution is a theory, no proof we caused the climate change, etc.
  • Nor is he anti-Wall-Street-reform. Oops, again. Yes he is.
  • Nor is he anti-Geneva-Convention. Ditto.
  • Nor is he anti-world. He does like Israel and Canada.

One footnote on the footnote, once I subtracted registered voters of each alienated group, all that was left for Romney was .01%, which may just be enough to win.

** Romney’s vision does not include the progressive and higher taxes on the wealth, or the regulated financial industry we had during the sixties. Not to suggest this is a Goldwater vs. Kennedy rematch. Paraphrasing Lloyd Bentsen: Mitt Romney is no Barry Goldwater.