YAFB’s 2012 Rumproast Roundup, Part 3
Part 3 of my roundup, after the fold, spans the “Good grief, is Mitt really relying on the Breitbartlets to win this thing for him?!” of early July to the plaintive “Are we there yet?” whimper of the end of September.
For her first post of the month, Betty couldn’t resist joining YAFB in boggling at the Romney campaign’s fusion with the Breitbartlet/Fox News Borg in its ongoing efforts to appease the dreaded base. And speaking of base, there could be none baser than Medicare fraudster FL Gov. Rick “Voldemort” Scott, who took time out from his drive to disenfranchise Democratic voters to vow not to implement Obamacare. Healthcare was still on the menu on the eve of Independence Day, when Betty expressed severe skepticism about Mittens’ supposed “ceasefire” in the War On Health:
Cease fire my ass. We haven’t even begun to hear the lies and demagoguery yet, is my guess.
It just so happened that YAFB reported the very next day on Mitt’s latest round of flipfloppery, joining the throng to dig up some footage from the old days when, be it a “tax” or a “penalty,” Mitt couldn’t have been more enthusiastic about the personal mandate. Sidestepping Betty‘s brief account of Ann Romney’s whining that her Mitt was being sorely misrepresented and was in fact as approachable as one could wish any shifty patrician multi-multi-millionaire automaton to be, marindenver zeroed in on ... whatever the hell it was David Brooks was babbling about now in his quest to replace Obamacare with Romneycare II and Medicare with Ryancare so that the poors could have “some skin in the game.” The game being to see how many of them could be killed off in how short a period, presumably. Vixen turned her attention to the panic among Republicans about Mittens’ lackluster campaign, and it was Bill Kristol’s turn to play seer:
Without a course correction, Kristol posited, Romney would suffer the same fate as the last two presidential nominees from Massachusetts, Michael Dukakis and John F. Kerry, both Democrats.
The sole course corrections proposed ended up being to hire even more grifters and enlist hoary old campaign surrogates to wharrgarblebomb the media. We’d have to wait and see how that played out. A couple of posts followed where Vixen and YAFB took a look at two poles of Mitt’s base, YAFB rounding up the chortling online reactions to the untimely death of Ohioan Josephine “Ann” Harris shortly after President Obama’s visit to her restaurant, and Vixen driven to break out the pitchforks and torches by a Romney mega-donor’s dismissal of the hoi polloi as barely qualified to carry her bags, let alone vote. Betty examined the latest ridiculous wingnut chain email to plop unbidden into her mailbox, while Vixen reported that Mitt was miffed at being labeled an outsourcer when he was really an off-shorer, dammit, and that the campaign’s grand plan from here on in was to call President Obama a lying liar at every opportunity, and label him an outsourcer, to boot. YAFB, meanwhile, covered Mitt’s appearance at the NAACP Convention, where he calculatedly excited boos from the gobsmacked few who hadn’t been bussed in by his campaign to hear him by insisting that among the freebies that wouldn’t be on offer from a Romney administration, he’d repeal Obamacare, and that if they just accepted that he alone knew what was best for them, the blahs would vote for him in droves. This was followed by Vixen and YAFB tag-teaming to cover Mitt’s bragging to yet another fundraiser crowd—a preview of the major gamechanger of the whole election—about how he’d told those blahs who just wanted free stuff what was what, yessiree. After a brief interlude pondering whether we’d ever find out exactly when Mitt quit mismanaging Bain, Vixen covered Mitt’s whining for an apology from Obama for having the audacity to talk about Mitt’s Bain career, as if that were anybody’s business, and his vow that he would only release two years’ tax returns. (As it turned out, we didn’t even get to see one, but hey, who needs math?) Betty was knee-deep in breathless irony as Dick Cheney opined on who would be best qualified to lead America through another 9/11—hint, it wasn’t President Obama. Marindenver reported on the continuing clamor for Mitt’s tax returns, the secrecy surrounding his donors, and the desperate quest to find somebody—anybody—to serve as
a human shield running mate, to take the heat off the Mittster before his campaign totally imploded. Disgraced grifter John Sununu may now be a dim and distant fond memory from those halcyon summer days, but in July he was on fire, as YAFB related, first berating President Obama for being “dumb and stupid,” “corrupt,” flagrantly furrin, a youthful dopehead, and even worse, a one-time community organizer, then later in the day walking this back to explain that he hadn’t meant to imply that Obama was un-American, just that he warn’t from these parts and didn’t understand America. This segued into a brief mention of the new wilfully miscontrued meme on the block—“You didn’t build that”—which was to form the backbone of much of Mitt’s campaign and the GOP Convention. YAFB was grateful to go back to ignoring Sununu in favor of the latest declaration from John McCain, no great Romney fan, who delighted many and annoyed many others by revealing that no, he hadn’t dismissed Mitt as a potential running mate because he’d been utterly apalled by what he’d seen in the two decades’ worth of tax returns Mitt submitted, but just because Sarah Palin was “a better candidate.” Oof. Mitt shrugged this off and, as marindenver reported, continued to lie his way sensationally around the states, whooping his new campaign theme rebuttal of the zombie meme “You didn’t build that,” before YAFB found Mitt’s anonymous campaign advisers muttering darkly that they’d had enough of that uppity Obama talking smack about the boss and the gloves were going to come off and they were going to envetten the President like he’d never been envettened before, or at least not since 2008, when it worked out so well. Thankfully, Mittens wasn’t the only news during this period, and marindenver berated the Boy Scouts of America for their continuing institutional homophobia, while Vixen got to grips with nutty Joe Arpaio’s latest lucrative birthery brainfart. The Romneys just wouldn’t shut up, though, as marindenver reported Queen Ann’s forthright declaration, “We’ve given all you people need to know and understand about our financial situation and how we live our life,” and pondered in what bizarro universe anyone could consider her a campaign asset. Meanwhile, presumably figuring that just because Mitt didn’t want to talk about anything specific to do with his past, that didn’t mean the rest of us had to follow suit, Vixen continued her retrospective on Mitt’s stewardship of the Salt Lake City Olympics, which largely consisted of channeling guvmint free stuff to, erm, “causes” dear to his tiny tinny heart. Mid-July was jarringly marked by the Aurora movie theater shootings, to which Vixen reacted by observing:
The US is a country where we have school shootings, mall shootings, post office shootings, and so help us, now movie theater shootings. One in five of our citizens suffers from mental illness and we all have access to all the guns we can manage and more besides. A small, but insistent, chorus, would like to have us believe that the remedy to our violence is more guns, and a larger, but cowed group murmurs that less guns might do even better. A member of our oldest established criminal class, and a man apparently fashioned of chewed gum and a small portion of hair, whose assignment on Capitol Hill is no doubt so the people of his district can watch their village dunce operating at a safe distance away from them, insists that these things wouldn’t happen if we loved God more, notwithstanding that many of our historical shooters thought themselves in good standing with the deity of their choice, and that most people’s immediate response to the terror is to offer prayer.
Marindenver, who was closer to the tragedy than most, pulled no punches:
President Obama, your position on gay marriage “evolved” (to your great credit). Isn’t it about fucking time that your position on gun control showed similar evolution? These are innocent young people who died. And they aren’t the only ones. We’ve had enough of these tragedies. It’s time for you to stand up.
Of course, sadly, this wouldn’t be the last time in 2012 that we’d see similar sentiments expressed. If we all needed cheering up, well, there was some good news on the horizon—the return of StrangeAppar8us to blogging! And so it came to pass, as StrangeAppar8us (aided by his faithful amanuensis Mrs. Polly) revealed what had led to his hiatus, and the long road to recovery he still faced. This coincided with Mitt’s Grand Tour of Yoorp and Israel, which was YAFB’s cue to pick up the pace and pen a multi-parter to cover the jollity. The first, a lengthy backgrounder, could be summarized baldly as “What could possibly go wrong?” YAFB had the crystal ball out again:
He can largely get away with spinning his own web of reality from others’ words in America, but the rest of the world can sometimes set more exacting standards.
Well, yeah. The second instalment proved his point, as Mitt spawned the hashtag #RomneyShambles by pratfalling his way through London’s diplomatic minefields, earning scorn from even the fickle Daily Mail and the Telegraph. It was satisfying to contrast this reception with the joy that greeted FLOTUS’s appearance at the games, garnering extremely positive press from even right-leaning UK media outlets that had hitherto taken every opportunity to pillory her and her husband, and dumbfounding The Borg, who up to that point usually parroted every hunk of dirt the Mail and Telegraph hacked up. Detouring via the tangled web of the Saga of the Churchill Bust, whose dual provenance was finally explained and which would never again be mentioned by the Romney campaign, YAFB‘s final roundup revealed just what a PR disaster and waste of valuable campaign time and resources the whole trip had been, but his co-bloggers hadn’t been idle, Vixen continuing her scrutiny of Mitt’s SLC Olympics, while Betty covered British expat dickhead Piers Morgan’s interview with the Romneys, and Vixen—by now, like so many, desperate to read and write about anything at all but Mitt—reporting on the Palins’ grinning photo-op at gaybashing poultry offal outlet Chick-fil-A. Would we make it through August at this rate?
Headline of the Month Nominee
Refreshed by her Palin diversion, Vixen marked the beginning of August with a coda on Mitt’s foreign adventures, which she reckoned were aimed more at his base at home than those he was actually visiting and insulting. Marindenver followed up with a couple of posts focusing on Mitt and money, the first on the hypothetical Romneynomics boom that his election and inevitable tax breaks for the 1% would provoke, and the second on his Five Point Plan to produce exactly as many jobs as if he did precisely nothing from the day he took office, which boiled down to Drill, Baby, Drill! and the usual winger wet-dream grab-bag of austerity for the majority, deregulation, union-busting, repeal of Obamacare, and a seasoning of well-aimed tax cuts, obviously. YAFB boggled at the fact that the Romney campaign had less regard for the truth than Hot Air and Fox News in its claim that the Obama campaign was suing Ohio to try to restrict military voting, leading him to observe:
I think he’s making the rest of the GOP and the outlets that should offer him unconditional support nervous. It’s not that Mitt’s a constant liar, it’s that he’s such a bad one that he’s giving the game away.
Betty looked forward to the GOP Convention, where, confounding expectations, Gov. Rick Scott was slated to speak—a spectacle which a small matter of meteorology ended up depriving us of—and Vixen was deep in the weeds of responsibly speculating about what exactly Mittens was trying so hard to hide about his taxes and his seemingly boundless tenure at Bain. Betty covered Mitt’s latest lie—that President Obama wanted the jobless poors to get welfare without having to look or train for work—then moved on to wonder what it was about pizza chain magnates that made them so wingnutty. YAFB, too, was looking forward to the GOP Convention, amping up the speculation about what exactly the “very, very major” thing The Donald was going to do at it might be, while marindenver was more taken with Romney spokething Andrea Saul’s response to a pro-Obama PAC ad about a laid-off steelworker’s wife who died for lack of healthcare—“That woman would have had health care under Romneycare”—exciting even more tantrums from Asshole Assholeson and Rush Limbaugh. A similar hardball Obama campaign ad caught Vixen‘s attention, as she pondered the success of the drive to define Mitt negatively in the public eye before he’d had the chance—or indeed the will or the wit—to assert his own public identity. And then Lo! The morn of August 11 dawned with Betty jubilant at the prospect that—flagrantly ignoring all Vixen’s research and advice—Mitt was about to announce that Paul Ryan would be his co-pilot on the Hindenberg, spawning our category “Vulture/Voucher 2012.” Her prediction?
Yes, the Villagers will swoon over the Very Serious Dreamboat, at least for a week or two, and possibly right on through Election Day. But in sewing up a wingnut base that had nowhere else to go, Romney just pissed away Florida.
After the announcement, it was Game On! Marindenver was the first to examine the tensions the Ryan pick introduced into the already indescribably shaky Romney campaign, which would continue to insist that whatever the hell Mitt’s mysterious budget plan might be, it wasn’t Ryan’s. Vixen caught John McCain stepping up as the latest whiner about the fact that the Obama campaign was being mean to Mitt and longing for the days when Democrats just sat there and took it when shite was being flung in their direction, while YAFB was cock-a-hoop at the platter of fresh meat Mitt had just served up to snarkists everywhere, focusing on the unlikely insistence from some in The Borg that “Paul Ryan is kind of hot,” which redoubled into the meme that he was “the hottest vice presidential candidate ever,” and he’d dug up some pics to bear this out. By YAFB’s next post, Ryan had morphed into Hottie McMunster, his stump prowess wowing those Iowa State Fairgoers he hadn’t had security drag away. Vixen sought sanctuary in the arms of Joe the Plumber, still obnoxious after all these years, then Rand Paul, who was terrified into an uncharacteristic burst of gun control fever by the news that the National Weather Service had allegedly just ordered 46,000 hollow-point bullets with his name on them. YAFB barely had time to point and laugh at Mitt’s latest outbreak of butthurt and his entreaty to “Sign the petition if you agree President Obama should take his campaign of division and anger and hate back to Chicago” before it was revealed there was a new Rumper on the block—Bette Noir! It didn’t take Bette long to find her stride, her next post taking on Mitt’s long-lived lie that Obama’d stolen $716 billion from Medicare just to spite the olds because he was too impatient to wait for the death panels to kick in, and revealing that Mitt’s proposed remedy would in fact bankrupt the program by 2016. Meanwhile, the question of Mitt’s taxes wasn’t going away, as marindenver flexed her CPA and Masters of Taxation muscles to delve deep into the details. Bette highlighted the emergence of CNN’s Soledad O’Brien as an interviewer to be reckoned with, but YAFB just couldn’t leave poor Paul Ryan alone, this time drawing parallels between his subordination to the dictates of his presidential candidate’s campaign and that of Sarah Palin before him. Puerile as ever, YAFB dug up more embarrassing pics of Ryan, in particular one featuring a debatably dubious shading on his pants, which prompted Big Bad Bald Bastard to exclaim, “Gadzooks, how could it come to this? Parsing Paul Ryan crotch shots?”, which last four words led to a surprising, if not downright disturbing, number of visits from disappointed Googlers over the next few months. Bette averted her eyes toward Newt, who was grifting again to cover his campaign losses, this time offering “public policy workshops” at the GOP Convention, while Vixen was all over Todd Akin’s infamous anatomical ignorance and the wingnuts who backed him up in it, before Bette followed up by looking more closely at the fallout from the debacle, revealing that Paul Ryan’s stance on “forcible rape” and abortion legislation was indistinguishable from Akin’s, though he chose his words more carefully. YAFB chose to counter The Borg’s well-meaning advice that Joe Biden should stand down in favor of Hillary Clinton by showing a YouTube that demonstrated his communication skills and capacity for empathy, Vixen reported that Joe Arpaio would be among the fringe attractions at the GOP Convention, then there was the welcome reappearance of Mrs. Polly, who couldn’t resist the opportunity to skewer Ryan and the VoucherCare proposals. Bette was on a roll, covering the contortions and machinations the Republicans were going through in an effort to disappear Todd Akin and again highlighting how close Paul Ryan’s views and record were to Akin’s, echoed later by YAFB‘s examination of how the Romney campaign was turning Ryan into as much of a flipflopper as his boss on this issue, before she turned to the Republicans’ quandary over marriage equality and the tension between fully coming to terms with the twentieth century and placating their social conservative base, then dug deeper into the roots of the Akin rape-as-a-method-of-contraception myth. Vixen asked why she should be expected to respect Mitt’s right to keep his tithing/tax arrangements between himself and his church when the Republicans didn’t respect women’s right to keep their decisions about what they did with their bodies between themselves and their consciences. In a post that has resonances with current events, Bette covered Paul Ryan’s flipflop (he was getting the hang of it by now) over who was responsible for that sequestration bill he’d been so proud of before he was running for VP, while YAFB was gleeful at the Romney camp’s declaration of Mittmentum! based on a poll that showed greater GOP voter enthusiasm in three swing states, ignoring the fact that the same poll put Obama in the lead in those states. Vixen detoured to deal with Mitt’s birtheresque stump “joke” that “Nobody ever has to see my birth certificate. They know this is the place where I was born and raised”:
The crowd laughed because it’s true; people don’t ask to see Romney’s birth certificate, they just ask to see his product registration and warranty.
The GOP Convention was now upon us, and YAFB looked forward to the best laid plans of the party faithful being disrupted by the incoming Tropical Storm Isaac and the comparable force of nature that was the Paulmas, just in time to add the news that the convention’s Monday romp had been canceled due to the weather. Bette filled the time by casting the GOP’s current policies toward Native Americans in historical perspective, then examined the panoply of loons gathering and the floor fights brewing at the convention, which didn’t just involve the Paulmas. Vixen covered the belated start of the convention, offering an immortal quote from a Romney staffer that summed up the whole election, let alone this gathering: “We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers.” We had happy news ourselves, as Big Bad Bald Bastard completed the 2012 complement of Roasters and hit the front page. YAFB ended up chest-deep in convention confetti, from Ann Romney’s stirring speech to the 150-foot Cayman Island-flagged yacht on which the Romney Victory Council cavorted with various apparatchiks and Romneys. The name of the yacht? “Cracker Bay.” Bette took a more serious in-depth look at some of the social problems in the state that was hosting the convention, clarifying what was at stake in the election, and Big Bad Bald Bastard gave Chris Christie’s self-serving convention speech the mother of all fiskings. It was Paul Ryan’s speech that Bette focused on, and young Paul had obviously learned well at the feet of his master, Bette citing a columnist’s summation that it was “an apparent attempt to set the world record for the greatest number of blatant lies and misrepresentations slipped into a single political speech.” Where was that observation published? Why, Fox News, of course. And we still had Mitt’s own speech to look forward to. In the end, YAFB and the other co-bloggers were too gobsmacked by what happened to post about it at the time, let alone liveblog it, and in any case it was bumped and all but totally eclipsed by the legendary Dadaist Clint Eastwood Scolding An Empty Chair performance that preceded it and overran, as Vixen recounted. The month, and our convention coverage, ended fittingly with a dispatch by Betty from Tampa, which was locked down to the point of near-immobility by the security measures in place, though there were some all too familiar faces in the crowds.
Headline of the Month Nominee
Big Bad Bald Bastard‘s first post of the month originally featured a mysterious snippet of video allegedly showing Mittens addressing a fundraising gathering that nobody had been able to verify yet, but which would prove to be significant in a few weeks’ time, which served as a springboard for an examination of Mitt’s concept of charity as revealed in the “humanizing” tales of past generosity his campaign was spreading. YAFB was still catching his breath after the GOP Convention and looking forward to the DNC in Charlotte, which The Borg were already declaring a big fat fail, while Big Bad Bald Bastard marked the demise of Sun Myung Moon with an obituary featuring Moon’s remarkable meditation on “Man’s convex love organ.” Bette was growing impatient at Mitt’s vagueness about what he actually intended to do in office as his campaign was still trying to convince the electorate that he wasn’t “heartless, scary or extreme.” She attributed this coyness to the fact that the advisers he’d gathered gave the impression that he was likely to end up being Bush III. YAFB was amused again by The Borg’s continuing obsession with misinterpreting polls in Mitt’s favor, citing National Review’s Doug Ross’s prediction, “That Roar You Hear in the Distance May Be a Tidal Wave Building,” which ended up being ironic given Hurricane Sandy’s eventual timing, whereas Bette picked on Chuck and Gena Norris’s video putting the fear of Obama into evangelical Christians with the threat of “socialism or something much worse.” As it turned out, it looks like they preferred that prospect to the alternative. YAFB marked day one of the DNC by fisking a fisking of Michelle Obama’s speech by WaPo’s Stephen Stromberg, who’d for some reason landed up on Fox Nation, where his high-minded criticism of “ugly attacks” by Democrats on poor old blameless Mitt was greeted in the Fox Nation comments (now deleted) with: “I can not wait for this DispicableCunt and her Clan to be out of our White House.” The star turn at the DNC was undoubtedly Bill “Explainer-in-Chief” Clinton’s nomination speech, which tickled Vixen‘s arithmeticogenenous zones, but gravely disappointed The Borg because he confounded their predictions by failing to take the opportunity to knife Obama in the back in vengeance for whatever, so they resorted to their fallback position that he’d deliberately given a great speech to upstage Obama. At least he didn’t lecture the furniture. Betty contrasted the lockdown of Tampa with the relatively free and easy atmosphere at Charlotte, which was unmarred by Bette‘s revelation that Mitt had dispatched 50 operatives to troll the fringes of the DNC, and set up a Black Leadership Council headed by Allen West, who is indeed black, but apparently no leader, as both the BLC and his political career are now history. Most Republicans seemed to want to forget all about both conventions as quickly as possible, so YAFB went Memeorandum-baiting yet again as he examined Politico’s claim—echoed unquestioningly by The Borg and some of our more gullible pundits—that “Obama and his top campaign aides have engaged far more frequently in character attacks and personal insults than the Romney campaign,” and Mrs. Polly had real problems deciding whether the lede that the “New Obama slogan has long ties to Marxism, socialism” came from The Onion or the Washington Times. The slogan? “Forward,” which led our commenters to rummage round the intertubes unearthing evidence of Marxism, socialism among the likes of the Ronald Reagan Society, numerous Republican Party organizations, and arch-Maoist Maggie Thatcher. It wouldn’t be the last time that Poe’s Law would be invoked before the election. Vixen caught Mitt declaring his deep man lurv for Steve King, one of the few Republicans supporting and even trying to outdo Todd Akin with his statement that “he hasn’t heard of instances in which young victims of statutory rape or incest become pregnant,” who claimed in turn that he would be a close adviser of Mitt and Ryan once they got through the trivial formalities of that voting thing. Bette was busy, as it was Values Voters Summit time again, and once she started in on the background of some of the speakers ... well ... wow, as was Vixen, who took her turn to catalog the latest instalment in the War On Women from Joe Walsh, who was whacking the Sandra Fluke piñata yet again, before Bette tried to unravel Mitt’s plan to repeal Obamacare, by which he seemed to mean rename it and keep all the good bits through some unfathomable Congress-fu without any clue about how he intended to pay for it all. The major surprise was that he didn’t fire himself for mentioning RomneyCare in public. Public Policy Polling had been periodically trolling Republicans throughout the campaign by planting tricky test questions in some of its polls, the latest of which led Bette to reveal that on the subject of the Bin Laden raid, “a full 15 percent of Ohio Republicans surveyed said Romney deserved more credit than the president. Another 47 percent said they were ‘unsure.’” By this point, that was probably one 47% Mitt was part of, along with Dick Cheney, who marked the anniversary of 9/11 by crawling out from under his rock to annoy YAFB by spouting the Borg meme that Obama didn’t regularly attend intelligence briefings, so Bin Laden wasn’t actually dead. (I’m not clear on that last part, but I think that’s how it goes.) New Yorker Big Bad Bald Bastard commemorated the anniversary in an altogether more heartfelt way:
Give it up, right wingers, 9/11 happened on your watch, and you failed to get the main plotter behind the attacks. You blew it, the entire failure of our national security apparatus is your fault. To compound your failure, you blocked the act which would have provided health care for the first responders you love to be photographed with. Don’t try to use 9/11 as a political cudgel against liberals, you lost any credibility long ago. ... Oh, and people in the Heartland, enough of the 9/11 kitsch. Sure, we know you mean well, but knock it off. The real tragedy if 9/11 is ongoing- it manifests itself in empty seats at tables, cancer-stricken cops, firefighters, construction workers, EMT’s, orphaned children, widowed spouses, familiar voices silenced. Please, come and visit, but be sober and reflective.
Another tragedy marked the anniversary, of course, and Bette and Mrs. Polly covered Mitt’s smugly opportunistic press conference and the widespread bipartisan criticism it provoked. You’d think that and the “Smirking Mitt Walking Away From Things” meme that accompanied it would have taught him a lesson before the presidential debates .... But it seems Mitt was never quick to learn from experience, as Bette explained in a devastating post that checked out the reality behind his claim to qualification for presidency through the executive experience that he was so reluctant to do more than mention in passing and examined his evident shortcomings in the context of Eric Jackson’s article “The Seven Habits of Spectacularly Unsuccessful Executives.” YAFB couldn’t hope to top that tour de force, so he focused instead on SuperMitt!, whose abilities to warp causality and project a Mittopian future through sheer force of wishful thinking were documented in the hashtag #Romneystrength. As Bette noted, those powers apparently didn’t extend to coping with a presser without The Borg boarding the fainting couches en masse at the revelation that the press talked to each other in order to make the most of their scant opportunities to try to wring out of the candidate any details about what he’d do if elected. Those couches were getting pretty crowded, as Vixen reported old flame Rick Santorum telling the Values Voters Summit, “We will never have the elite, smart people on our side,” and Big Bad Bald Bastard revealed that Mittens was coming for folks’ porn:
As an aside, given Mitt’s notorious flip-flopping, this probably means he has a stack of porn that can be seen from space.
This allegation might be scurrilous, but the fact that Mitt had been a major pornographer at one point in his career was a matter of public record. Which wasn’t an agenda topic at the Values Voters Summit, which we were thankful to Bette for summarizing for us:
The number one takeaway from this year’s VVS is that God is extraordinarily pissed with America for electing a Muslim black Marxist community organizer from Chicago to lead us astray and we had all better clean up our act—as of yesterday. (God isn’t wild about the prospect of a Mormon, either, but it’s a step in the RIGHT direction from the “foreign” extremis that we currently find ourselves in).
With 50 looooong days to go to the election, this and pretty much everything else in the universe were overshadowed at this point by David Corn’s release of the “47% tape,” Vixen and marindenver covering the initial reactions and identifying who that 47% might include—quite a few potential Mitt voters, as it turned out—while Mrs. Polly offered subtitles for Mitt’s uncharacteristically sheepish post-vid press conference. Bette wasn’t above kicking this particular guy when he was down, mixing in an account of his Vietnam draft-dodging and subsequent flipfloppery on the issue with this summation:
... it’s very hard to imagine anyone, by now, actually wanting to vote for Romney to be our President. He has divided his campaign team, his political party and has now effectively divided American society into a false dichotomy of “makers and takers.” All the while accusing his opponent of diviseness. He has declared that he doesn’t give a rat’s ass about half of the population based on a made up distinction that a high school Econ student could make short work of. So the man is either really, really dumb, really mendacious or just plain creepy. None of which seem very presidential to me.
The possibility that he might be all three was something we’d have a couple more months to explore. Vixen (another of our co-bloggers with some expertise in accountancy) capped this by revealing that Mitt’s campaign was now experiencing cash flow problems and was having to juggle funds to stay airborne, and Bette reveled in the irony of the party that hates taxes scorning people for not paying enough of them. As more of the tape was released, YAFB reported that half The Borg (47% + rounding), closely followed by the Romney campaign itself, were desperately trying to find a way to discredit certain aspects of it by claiming it had been deceptively edited or “taken out of context,” while the other half were heartily cheering him on for doubling down on speaking truth to the powerless. Mitt wasn’t done with talking at minorities, and Vixen observed that he’d taken his theory that “he’d have an easier time getting elected if he really did have Mexican heritage” just a little too far by attending the Univision forum disguised as a hash brown (not to be confused with a hash brownie). Betty was perhaps a teeny bit premature when she invited us to elaborate “How dead is Romney’s campaign?” as there was a modicum of bounce left in the cat, despite Tim Pawlenty bailing the next day, as YAFB revealed yet another example of historic gamechanging Mittfloppery, when Mitt snided about Obama, “he says he can’t change [Washington] from the inside. Well, I will,” which prompted the chorus, “No you won’t.” Bette found Mitt’s claim to be qualified to change Washington from the inside “pathetically laughable”:
Mitt Romney simply didn’t have the internal fortitude, conviction or stamina to run as himself and to transform his party, which is badly in need of transformation. Instead he transformed his ideals. Those are the reasons that I believe Mitt Romney is losing and will continue to lose the 2012 Presidential election and my guess is that he knows that and wishes it were over, already.
This all led into Betty‘s boggling at the $200,000 in bonuses Mitt had doled out to his senior staffers, and Vixen segued from Paul Ryan being booed at the AARP Convention to Herman Cain (remember him?), adamant that if he’d been nominee he’d be wiping the floor with Obama by this stage since “I have some depth to my ideas,” to Mitt’s shifty Friday dump of a still sketchy summary of his tax affairs and his campaign’s bald admission that he’d finagled 2011’s return to pay more taxes than he had to, for PR purposes. As Big Bad Bald Bastard rounded up, it had been quite a week for the Romneys: it was supposed to see a campaign reboot, but that had been derailed by the release of the verified 47% video, the partial tax return dump had satisfied no one, especially Mrs. Mitt, who after convincing nobody with her plaint that “Mitt doesn’t disdain the poor,” had been driven to chide Republican critics by declaring that they should be so lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky to have Mitt as a candidate and campaignin’ was hard, so quit whining dammit, then flouncing from public view for a while. Vixen revisited Mitt’s Univision forum appearance, where it turned out that Mitt had shipped in rabid supporters to swell his sparse crowd and demanded a re-do when his first entrance was a disaster. Bette was hacking through the weeds of Mitt’s seven-page housing policy “white paper,” dumped on the media that Friday, shortly after his tax summary, and largely ripped off from Obama’s current policies, but with less empathy: So what if some folks lose their house? Surely they’ve got a couple more they can go live in? Meanwhile, Vixen was checking out the Elizabeth Warren/Scott Brown Senate contest in Massachusetts, where Brown had decided to go all-in on smearing Warren for claiming Cherokee ancestry, and YAFB followed up by illustrating that some of Brown’s staffers thought it was hiiiii-larious to greet mentions of Warren’s name at rallies with “war whoops” and “tomahawk chops,” while Mrs. Polly chimed in on the same issue, and proved that she’s not called Queen of the Blingees for nothing. If campaign fatigue was setting in toward the end of the month, Bette let us know that help was on its way in the form of the uninventably skewed Dean Chambers, who’d found empirical reality so unpalatable that he’d knitted his own, and had been joined there by a surprising number of rubes, from the Breitbartlets to ... well, cue spooky music again, as Bette predicted:
Something tells me there might be a job with Team Romney for an “unskewed” dude with the magic calculator.
I think we were all a bit punchy at this stage, the end of the month seeing a romp through Vixen’s accounts of the need for voters to apply outside pressure to Washington by kicking “the useless and unstable, dissembling and deluded, conniving and contemptuous out of office,” Mitt’s shameful, bullying attitudes toward teachers, Betty‘s invention of a new genre, Roadkill Art, YAFB‘s ruminations, spurred by a widely misread satirical piece by Politico’s Roger Simon, on how the hell folks were meant to reliably unravel snark from reality given the loons we were dealing with, Bette‘s stellar tit-for-tat photoshops of the Mecklenburg GOP in action, and marindenver‘s reaction to Newt’s latest dogfoghorning about President Obama:
Has rhythm. Check. Twice!
You guys may see a few I missed.
Bette zeroed in on Paul Ryan‘s “brassy” seizing on the Borg meme that protests in the Middle East showed that Obama wasn’t cleaning up yet another of the Republicans’ messes quickly enough for their tastes, then looked forward to the Presidential Debates, where Mitt proposed to aggressively factcheck Obama on the fly and give no quarter. Hmmm. That just might work. Once .... YAFB was more taken with the advice from certain pundits that Mitt should capitalize on his legendary gift for humor and ZING! Obama into submission. Big Bad Bald Bastard was bowled over by Mrs. Mitt’s continuing attempts to humanize her husbot, this time with the revelation that she was afeared for her worse half’s “mental wellbeing.” Maybe this being human business wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. Bette covered the Romney campaign’s sudden mystifying focus, in greater policy detail than any other issue to date, on combating Lyme disease in Virginia (which ended up being spurred by the preoccupation of a wealthy donor rather that a sudden concern for public health), then YAFB drew the month to a close with an eyewatering, if not stomach-turning, photoshop of a 2008 photoshop to accompany Ryan’s completion of his transformation into Palin-channeling Hottie McStudMunster, who was looking forward with some trepidation to his debate with Joe Biden while shamelessly humping the leg of the NRA. Just over a month to go to the election. It looked like we were going to have to pace ourselves.
Headline of the Month Nominee