YAFB’s 2012 Rumproast Roundup, Part 4
The penultimate part of my stream-of-consciousness romp through the past year on Rumproast takes us from the suspense of the eve of the first Presidential Debate to the glorious GOP recriminations and infighting of the end of November. Part 5—December—will follow tomorrow (Sunday).
With the first Presidential Debate just a couple of days away, Betty began the month by wading into the perennial party purity wars, comparing current calls from a baggery few to vote third party (or even not at all) with her own salutary experience during the 2000 election in Florida, which Vixen followed up with her own experience of needing to re-register to safeguard her vote against Republican anti-“voter fraud” measures. Bette took another look at Mitt’s latest foray into explaining his neocon advisers’ foreign policy, which even had Jennifer Rubin facepalming, then turned to George Will’s assertion that Obama was doing better in the polls than he should be just because voters didn’t want to be mean to the first African American president, whereas Bette found a clearer explanation in the Republicans’ strategy to date, which she boiled down to:
1) brand the president a Kenyan, Marxist, community organizer
2) times are tough, keep ‘em tough by obstructing everything that might help the country
3) field a pack of whackadoo candidates and a boring white capitalista who could win (this time)
4) don’t offer a single new idea
5) show the world what right-wing extremism really looks like
6) make up a lot of stuff (budgets, voting records, facts)
7) sit back and let it happen, we’ll win!
Mrs. Polly hadn’t finished pummeling Todd Akin, whose latest brainfart was to reduce pregnant women to providers of “food and climate control” for their embryos. YAFB was knee-deep in The Borg again, this time Tucker Carlson’s desperate resurrection of a five-year-old video where Obama was critical of the Hurricane Katrina response—“well it hasn’t been reported, and I know, because I reported on it the first time”—which even Allen West and Newt thought was no big deal, and which was seen by some GOP consultants as an unwelcome distraction from The Economy, which was obviously all Mitt wanted to talk about all the time. Betty piled in on the same theme, since another video, this time from 2002, had been “unearthed” from plain sight. In this one, Obama focused on the rich and the effects of the Enron scandal. Why any of Mitt’s allies would want to invite such obvious comparisons with his own legendary brand of vulture capitalism at this stage in the campaign remains a mystery. And with that, the first debate was upon us, and we reinstated a Rumproast tradition by liveblogging the heck out of it. The main takeways were that if Mitt got elected, Big Bird was toast, and that the American media loves them a horserace, the low-key performance from Obama contrasting wildly with a truly manic one from Mitt and giving scribblers and bloviators everywhere just the chance they’d been waiting for to declare the night a GAMECHANGER!!!! with Ben Smith of BuzzFeed leading the pack by awarding Romney the win out of sheer boredom halfway through. Big Bad Bald Bastard led off the post mortems, noting Mitt’s habitual avoidance of policy specifics (not to mention the truth) except Death To Big Bird, which didn’t seem a great votewinner. YAFB covered Romney’s appearance on Hannity, where Mitt confounded the erstwhile wildly cheering Borg by trying to walk back that 47% thing—“In this case I said something that’s just completely wrong”—which translates as: “In this case I said something that looks like it’ll completely screw up my chances of election. Please delete your memory banks and download this here shiny new reality.” Mrs. Polly continued to light the ‘Roast up with spangly Blingees and prose, with one post to celebrate yet more “helpful,” humanizing revelations from the Romney clan about the dadbot and the soft coup that saw the incompetents running Mitt’s campaign ousted in influence by some equally incompetent characters who at least happened to be related to him, and another to mark the unemployment rate dipping below the magic 8% mark, to Jack Welch’s abiding annoyance and incredulity and Mitt’s utter disappointment. A further theme emerged over the next few posts, Betty marveling at Georgia Rep. Phil Gingrey’s bald statement to Soledad O’Brien that “‘lying’ and ‘campaigning’ are basically interchangeable terms since of course you must tell each audience what it wants to hear to get elected,” and Bette meditating on the role of lies and the lying liars who tell them in politics. The dust from that first debate took quite a while to settle, but a week later Bette caught Mitt flipping his floppy thang again, this time on contraception and abortion, about which he said, “There’s no legislation with regards to abortion that I’m familiar with that would become part of my agenda,” which inevitably sent his campaign staff scrambling within two hours to reassure the base that Mitt “would of course support legislation aimed at providing greater protections for life,” as long as it was still firmly wedged in the womb. As for any details on his tax plan?—You know how to whistle, don’tcha? YAFB then began a series of posts about the Romney campaign’s attempts to exploit the 9/11 Libya embassy/consulate attacks, the first focusing on Mitt’s newfangled tactic of tearing up floridly on the stump when claiming he *sob* knew Glen Doherty, one of those killed, whereas a friend of Doherty revealed: “[Glen] said it was pathetic and comical to have the same person come up to you within only a half hour, have this person reintroduce himself to you, having absolutely no idea whatsoever that he just did this 20 minutes ago, and did not even recognize Glen’s face.” In a rare show of sensibility, challenged by Doherty’s mother and friends for politicizing his death, the Romney campaign said Mitt would cut it out from now on. Mrs. Polly had a revitalized taste for liveblogging by now, so we shared the fun of the third Scott Brown—Elizabeth Warren debate (in which Ms. Warren soundly out-hottied Hottie McAwesome, in our humble opinions—would the electorate agree ...?). It was Vixen‘s turn to add to the list of Mitt’s flipflops on reproductive issues etc., which everybody, including his base, was getting used to, to the point of abject boredom by now:
Well, it seems like conservatives at this point have accepted that Mitt will say whatever it takes to get elected—it’s a feature, not a bug.
Big Bad Bald Bastard brought to our attention a Romney-supporting PAC’s ad, “Democrat Manipulation,” of which he observed;
in the context of an ad which claims that Democrats use words to manipulate the public into voting for them, the ad actually uses the Frank Luntz tested neologism “Democrat Party”. Tellingly, the ad only references three examples of “tested” words- “extremists”, “hope”, and “change”. Meanwhile, the Republicans have brought us such terms as “death tax, “death panels”, “job creators”, and “religious freedom”. Once again, it’s all about projection with these wingnuts.
It fell to Bette to cover Darrell Issa’s latest masterstroke, when he convened his “House Witch-hunt Committee” in open session to rake over the still-warm coals of the budding Benghazigate, only to hastily deconvene it when, “Unfortunately, in their wild-eyed exuberance to finish off Obama, they managed to ‘out’ an entire CIA operation in Benghazi.” But we had bigger fish to fry, for the Vice Presidential Debate was nigh, and yes, we liveblogged the whole thing, and it’s still as amazing in retrospect as it was at the time, as Joe Biden—long widely ridiculed by The Borg as a gaffe-prone old fart who’d be reduced to a blob of quivering hairplug-studded jelly by the awesomeness of Paul Ryan—proceeded to wipe not only the floor, but the ceiling, behind the couch, the bathroom, that grotty corner behind the fridge, and indeed the entire neighborhood with the young pretender in one of the legendarily standout performances of the entire campaign, if not Joe’s career to date. Now that‘s what I call a gamechanger! The squawking from The Borg was deafening, as Mrs. Polly and Bette reported, the cries of “INCIVILITY!” “DISRESPECTFUL!!!!” failing to drown out the widespread laughter at the young pretender’s comeuppance, Mrs. Polly reveling:
Goodness knows he takes himself seriously, enough to object to TIME’s effort to embarrass him by publishing the wonderfully ludicrous photos he posed for, demand that Biden Call Him Mister, and whine that Biden interrupted his stream of falsehoods, and what’s more, couldn’t keep a straight face while Mr. Paul Ryan was talking!
YAFB, never one to pass up kicking a wingnut when he’s down, poured salt in the wounds by relating an unlikely electoral scenario that might see Biden serve as Mitt’s VP in the case of a 50-50 electoral vote split and baited prime Biden underrater Jim “Fortunately, Biden wears Depends Or else there could’ve been an embarrassing scene when he heard the news [of the Ryan pick]” Treacher into putting in a cameo appearance, his crooning in the comments of “You’ll be okay, dear. There’s always 2016,” proving beyond doubt that he is the political Nostradumbass of our times. Meanwhile, Mitt’s threat to Big Bird and PBS hadn’t been forgotten, as Bette trailed The Million Muppet March, which may not have changed the course of history, but can’t have hurt. The butthurt about the VP debate, on the other hand, still hadn’t subsided, as Mrs. Polly informed us that Charles Krauthammer was not amused by Joe Biden’s shocking and awing incivility, which led us nicely into Vixen‘s look “behind the irony curtain” at the run-up to the VP debate, where a TV vox pop interviewee asserted that Obama was “not an American,” and was “a Communist,” and when invited to explain what she meant by that, coined a late-campaign catchphrase with: “All you have to is study it out, just study it out and you’ll see.” Vixen did so, and came up with:
1) Anything not conservative (Republican) is communist.
2) Communism is Un-American.
3) If it’s not American, it’s crap.
4) I don’t want to be crap.
5) So I should continue hating Communists to earn valuable points.
6) Useful against cognitive dissonance, challenged authoritah, or teh ghey. Wherever American values are sold!
The Republican efforts to drum up Benghazigate into a full-blown scandal before the election continued, and Lindsay Graham was determined to ride shotgun on the cortege to the gravedance, as Bette covered, and YAFB followed up with the next in his series about the affair, this time finding Romney surrogate Rudy Juliani (who’d never wring all he could out of a tragedy for personal political gain), when challenged about whether Mitt was just trying to exploit the tragedy, opining: “He should be, he should be exploiting it. I mean, there is real chance, there is a cover-up here.” This was all too much for YAFB, who took refuge in pointing and laughing at NRO’s Jim Geraghty, the latest rightwing pundit to melt down in his efforts to spin random current polling in Mitt’s favor, and reminded himself that Mitt was running out of time to reveal his fabled tax returns. Tax was also on marindenver‘s mind, as she applied herself to sifting through what little Mitt had grudgingly revealed about his tax plans, leading Mrs. Polly in the comments to fantasize about exchanges in the next Presidential Debate:
Moderator (or, please Dog, Barack): Governor Romney, those “studies” aren’t studies, are they?
Mittbot: They are completely independent studies supporting my tax pl—
Barack: Two of them are blog posts, one is an op-ed by a member of your staff—
Mittbot: but completely independently written! We had no idea he was writing that op-ed—
Barack:—and one study is just a lipstick print on a cocktail napkin.
Mittbot: You are mischaracterizing a very fine piece of work that happened to be printed on recycled paper—
Barack:—with the same shade of lip gloss Mrs. Romney’s wearing.
YAFB was back on the Benghazigate beat with the next in his series of posts, this one using Mitt’s promise to his donors in his “47% video,” yearning for a repeat of the Carter Iran hostage standoff, that “if something of that nature presents itself, I will work to find a way to take advantage of the opportunity” to fisk a timeline of how Mitt was shamelessly doing precisely that. At least that was one promise he kept. Bette, meanwhile, reprised her critique of the myth of Romney as ace CEO by zeroing in on his adaptation of financial tricks forged at Bain to his malarkey with “Medicaid Money Laundering” during his term as governor (among other things, claiming federal money supposedly to help poorer people, then diverting it to general state funds), and what this might foretell for his stewardship of the US economy if he were to win the election. We soon got a chance to see whether Mrs. Polly’s presidential debate fantasy would be fulfilled as the second debate liveblog arrived. On the night, this was a radically different President Obama than the first debate, but much the same old Mitt, and this time ... well, things didn’t work out so well for him, from the lameass first reply to a young jobseeker who wanted to know what precisely Mitt’d do to help him—“I want you to be able to get a job. I know what it takes to get this economy going. Less debt, more jobs”—to the epic fail of Candy Crowley’s utterly deflating instant factcheck about whether President Obama had used the word “terrorism,” to Obama’s closing invocation of the “47%,” “behind closed doors,” allowing Mitt no opportunity for rebuttal nor apology nor flip nor flop. This time it was Charles Blow who declared Obama the winner halfway through. The aftermath saw the rise of a new wingnut phenomenon, the Transcript Truthers, as YAFB related in his final Benghazigate post. It also spawned a bunch of other memes, among them the “binders full of women” that Mrs. Polly skewered in her inimitable fashion. Vixen took another look at things Mitt says behind closed doors, specifically his encouragement of small business owners to “make it very clear” to their employees how they should vote if they knew what was good for them, which they obviously didn’t, so they’d have to be led by the nose by their betters. Big Bad Bald Bastard revealed that Mitt’s latest swerve toward the center consisted of adding arch-birther and all-round say-anything winger loon Jerome Corsi to his press corps, while Mrs. Polly reported that Paul Ryan’s soup kitchen photo-op stunt and the bad press that resulted from it had cost the organization dearly as Republican donors snapped their checkbooks shut:
And the hungry people did marvel, for lo, Kid Malarkey had turned soup into whine.
It was Mrs. Polly, too, who told us about Mitt’s comedic turn at the Al Smith Dinner, where he put the ass in class, and Bette who covered the reemergence of Mrs. Mitt, grilled on The View about her family’s attitudes to military service, which was evidently for the little people, not Mormon gentry, and the media beat continued with a gleeful post from Mrs. Polly about hack propagandist Dinesh D’Souza’s embarrassment and subsequent sacking from his Christian college post over his preemptive bigamy with delightful fiancé Denise Odie Joseph II, a.k.a. the “Smart Girl” of the now conveniently defunct Smart Girl Politics blog. Benghazigate was going so well and The Borg had absolutely nothing but a clutch of hope for change and a bundle of threadbare lies at this stage, so marindenver discovered that the Transcript Truthers were still humping away at that chicken, while Mrs. Polly was probably less than surprised that Darrell Issa had compounded his earlier outing of CIA activities in Libya by going full Assange with a document dump that endangered the lives of Libyans working with the US government. Darrell, never go full Assange. Then Bette revealed that the Salt Lake City Tribune had issued a remarkable presidential endorsement—of Obama, not Mitt, of whom it said;
... it was Romney’s singular role in rescuing Utah’s organization of the 2002 Olympics from a cesspool of scandal, and his oversight of the most successful Winter Games on record, that make him the Beehive State’s favorite adopted son. ...
In short, this is the Mitt Romney we knew, or thought we knew, as one of us.
Sadly, it is not the only Romney, as his campaign for the White House has made abundantly clear, first in his servile courtship of the tea party in order to win the nomination, and now as the party’s shape-shifting nominee. From his embrace of the party’s radical right wing, to subsequent portrayals of himself as a moderate champion of the middle class, Romney has raised the most frequently asked question of the campaign: “Who is this guy, really, and what in the world does he truly believe?”
The evidence suggests no clear answer, or at least one that would survive Romney’s next speech or sound bite. Politicians routinely tailor their words to suit an audience. Romney, though, is shameless, lavishing vastly diverse audiences with words, any words, they would trade their votes to hear.
It was crystal ball-polishing time again, as YAFB pondered how much of an effect the Republican superPACs’ money was having on the course of the election, and all the evidence pointed to some unexpected results, if surveys Qualtrics and Evolving Strategies were to be believed. One AFP pro-Romney ad not only had no effect on the overall vote, it turned women voters even more against Romney, though it did firm up his one-time McCain-voting male base. The pro-Obama ads were found to be more effective. Xecky Gilchrist in the comments:
If there’s ever an audit done, which seems really unlikely, I bet they’ll find that the Republican political dollar was really poorly spent. I’ve seen speculation on other sites that CU PACs are being used purely as money laundering schemes, which is plausible, but my guess would be that they’re just stupid and greedy and turned loose like kids on an easter egg hunt.
Again, these were not mutually exclusive possibilities. Bette noticed that for some reason Mitt’s campaign felt now was a good time to own up to the fact that he’d once been governor of Massachusetts and trumpet his achievements, though his actual record revealed him to be an elitist, high-spending, tax-hiking, veto-happy, absentee klutz who didn’t play well with others, couldn’t run a campaign for toffee, and largely owed his secret signature achievement, Romneycare, to the influence of Ted Kennedy. Maybe the fact that the final Presidential Debate was nigh had something to do with it, and boy, did we liveblog it. By this stage Mitt, having fallen for his campaign’s polling, apparently thought all he had to do was turn up and look presidentialish and the gig was his. If that was all he’d done, things might have gone better for him. Mitt steered clear of Benghazi for the duration, strategically expressing approval for most aspects of Obama’s foreign policy except for the apology tour thing, which he seemed to take as a personal insult, inviting the inevitable comeback, “If we’re going to talk about trips we have taken ...,” and Obama was well on form, though not all his lines met with universal approval, Ann Coulter covering Mitt’s embarrassment with, “I highly approve of Romney’s decision to be kind and gentle to the retard,” and Bob McDonnell tweeting surreally, “President Obama’s comment about ‘horses and bayonets’ was an insult to every sailor who has put his or her life on the line for our country.” Nevertheless, Mitt’s ineffectual blustering and Obama’s zingers, like “You want to import the foreign policies of the 1980s, the social policies of the 1950s and the economic policies of the 1920s,” swayed the instapolls and most pundits heavily in his favor, with the exception of the infallible Jennifer Rubin (“Romney nails Obama on apology tour, education, Iran. Obama major gaffe on navy. Romney sails on”) and her ilk. Every math has its after, and the next few days were taken up with The Borg furiously defending the essential roles of horses and bayonets in modern warfare, as marindenver noted. Meanwhile, as Mrs. Polly informed us, the War on Women raged on, and it was Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock’s turn to step into the breach with his assertion that God totally intends women to be raped, so why not just lie back and think of America, yo? Mrs. Polly also covered the bid by slushy old blog flame Snowflake Snooki to rekindle some relevance by quaintly dropping the phrase “shuck and jive” into her latest burblings about Benghazi, who she’d probably thought was Sue Ghazi’s brother until a few weeks ago, but the bloom was no longer on the rose by now and plenty of others were clamoring for Polly brickbats, like John McCain, uncharacteristically incensed by Colin Powell’s endorsement of Obama. Once might be considered a misjudgment, but twice looked like carelessness. Bette took a look at who was contributing to the candidates, the least surprising insight being that big bankers favored Mitt by a large margin. Lest it be thought that all the brickbatting was one-way, Vixen reported that The Borg had found a new punchbag, and fancy that! she had ladyparts—Lena Dunham, whose “Your First Time” GOTV campaign ad earned the ire of sensitive soul Asshole Assholeson, who, in no way overreacting, raised himself from his fainting couch to tweet, “We do indeed live in a fallen, depraved world destined for the fire.” We’d all been wondering where this year’s October Surprise was, or if whether we’d blinked and missed it. Bette located one attempt to fill the void—a video purporting to show the birth of Obama that was jam-packed with corny anachronistic clues to its bogosity, accompanied by its producer’s hopeful pitch, “Mr. Trump said he has like 5 million bucks to give out. And obviously Obama would never publish his college records and passport application, like Mr. Trump wants. So, the way I see it, that $5 million will go to waste. Maybe he’s willing to give it to me, to buy the video in its entirety.” However, this was outdone in the absurdity stakes by the reappearance of Dean “Unskew You!” Chambers, who provoked many a spit-take with his observation, “many conservatives look to former Clinton political consultant Dick Morris to understand the polls and political surveys on the elections,” and took the high road in his attempt to gin up a feud with Nate Silver with comments like, “Nate Silver is a man of very small stature, a thin and effeminate man with a soft-sounding voice that sounds almost exactly like the ‘Mr. New Castrati’ voice used by Rush Limbaugh on his program.” Neither of these fit the bill. Mother Nature was going to provide the October Surprise, as Vixen let us know, while Bette compared Mitt’s publicly declared desire to privatize disaster relief, while gathering together paltry, useless “emergency supplies” for yet another campaign stunt, with President Obama’s efforts to run with what he had and actually offer some advice and help, Mitt’s own disastrous response contrasting tellingly with that of Chris Christie. Everybody in the path of Hurricane Sandy hunkered down as best they could as the rest of us looked on helplessly, and Vixen cataloged some of the less helpful reactions from the righthand side of the aisle:
Let’s start with the obvious—Romney’s Campaign is not suspended. You can tell, because they are still lying about stuff.
Barring any more cataclysms, we were within queuing distance of election day. Phew.
Headline of the Month Nominee
It was Big Bad Bald Bastard‘s turn to lead off the month, directly affected by Hurricane Sandy, and extremely unimpressed with Mitt’s plan to totally devolve disaster reponse to the states and ideally privatize it in the name of fiscal probity. Vixen took the opportunity to boggle at the The Donald’s continuing role as a Romney surrogate, asking:
Why does Romney want to embrace the success of tehstoopid? Is this the signal that “willfully dumb” is the new Republican smart? Is that why Unskewed Polls is so popular? And does anyone on that side suspect this is the sort of thing that even makes smart Republicans think of endorsing Obama because of odd factors like functional government and acceptance of science?
Meanwhile, Betty covered Karl Rove’s apparent preemptive attempt to spin an upcoming loss—“If you hadn’t had the storm ...”—and once again pondered the effectiveness of Republican superPaCs’ spending, wondering, with Krugman, whether their 2:1 spending advantage was just a cover for one big grift:
And yet it looks like there’s a pretty decent chance that they’ll not only fail to unseat President Obama, the Dems will retain narrow control over the Senate and pick up some seats in the House. ... If this scenario comes to pass, the biggest losers, of course, will be the billionaires who have spent astonishing sums to purchase our democracy fair and square—with bupkis to show for it on November 7. Sheldon Adelson and family will be out $53.69 million. The Koch Bros. will be $36.66 (number of the devil!) lighter. They’re businessmen. Maybe they’ll conclude it would have been cheaper to just pony the fuck up on their taxes? Hahahaha!
Heh. Indeedy. StrangeAppar8us was diligently scouring YouTube for reflections on the state of the race with five days to go, YAFB rallied after taking some time out, to dwell on, among other things like a little storm damage and the risks of a Brit dabbling too freely in US electoral politics, Paul Ryan’s declared intention to reincarnate Dick Cheney if elected VP, and Vixen examined what a Romney presidency might bring and what on earth might lead groups like the Log Cabin Republicans to endorse him given the mystery surrounding his policy positions, and his flipfloppy record. Finally, election day arrived, and from Florida Betty reported:
The Pinellas County, FL (St. Pete, Clearwater, etc.) Supervisor of Elections accidentally sent out a robocall this morning to hundreds—possibly thousands—of voters informing them that they have until 7 PM tomorrow to vote.
“Accidentally,” in this instance, in the same sense that Hannibal Lector accidentally popped that bottle of chianti before tucking in his napkin. YAFB was in a mood to tempt fate, having found “a team of GOP techies” launching their oasis of skewed hope, the website “Nate Silver Wrong!”—which, as expected, proved an exceptionally shortlived initiative, its URL nowadays hijacked by a hack that triggers my AV software, and its accompanying Facebook and Twitter presence disappeared whence they came before the night was out, unlike Dean “Butch” Chambers’s authoritative:
Final Projection: Romney 275 electoral votes to Obama 263 electoral votes.
Yup. It’s always about projection with these boys. The rest of us were lining up our snacks, tipple of choice, and favored communication media for the inevitable 2012 Rumproast Election Liveblog, which began with Dick Morris tweeting that he was “‘worried’ about Florida,” continued with snippets of gossip that revealed what was to become a decisive landslide, whooped it up at the news that it was all over bar the tweeting and drinking and hugging by just after midnight, and ended in the early (actually, not so early) hours of the morning with a relieved, jubilant, wired, and distinctly wobbly rump waiting bleary-eyed to find out whether, among other notable events and losers of the night, Michele Bachmann was going to join Allen West in the toastrack (close but no cigar, as it turned out), punctuated by a blast from the past:
DancesWithPumas 11.06.12 at 9:35 pm
I’m following the results on a Spanish speaking station. Do I speak Spanish? No.
That’s what makes it less anxiety producing.
The next few weeks were taken up with bathing in a heady cocktail of triumph and schadenfreude, kicked off by YAFB, raring to go despite the hangover, with Bette the first Statesider to surface, her faith in humanity and America and hope and change restored, followed by Betty counting the advances in LGBT equality the election had secured. and Vixen looking forward in the context of the Republicans’ widespread but backfiring attempts at disenfranchisement and the deployment of wedge issues, and the prospects for both major parties and their supporters in the aftermath, the lame duck session, and 2014:
Boehner and McConnell can fold that noise up into all sharp corners and sit on it until 2014. If they want to continue to be obstructionist, that’s fine—but the next referendum is on them. And voting is the best revenge.
Bette joined the throng of those offering helpful post-election advice to the Republicans, Big Bad Bald Bastard observed the predicable cries from the Republican base that the election had been lost because Mitt was “not conservative enough,” and offered his surefire solution, the radical “Norris/Nugent 2016!” ticket. Bette contrasted Mitt and Obama’s leadership styles, as reflected in their post-election treatment of their campaign staff, and YAFB took the lid off the trashcan of fail that had been Mitt’s high-tech (circa 2001) election campaign, along with the flailing and recriminations among The Borg and wider Republican grifterati. encapsulated by a post at RedState:
They say that the truth is the consultants essentially used the Romney campaign as a money making scheme, forcing employees to spin false data as truth in order to paint a rosy picture of a successful campaign as a form of job security.
Zac Moffatt, Digital Director for the Romney campaign, was specifically named as having “built a nest egg for himself and co-founder of Targeted Victory, Mike Beach,” and that they “didn’t get social” media and ignored objections from other consultants and staffers in the campaign.
Zac just went off the rails a lot and made the Romney campaign a marketing vehicle for himself.”
According to all the sources I spoke to, the breakdown of the campaign can be traced to the primaries. One source saying “they looked at the guy who could raise the most money in history as a ride” adding that “money no longer matters. That’s the problem,” also referring to the campaign overall as “the biggest political flim flam of all time.”
YAFB felt the urge to gloat, “told ya so,” but there was a long, long queue, not least of our own co-bloggers and commenters. Betty was preoccupied with Rick Scott and Florida, where delays in the voting lines in key precincts were matched by those in tallying the votes. Vixen covered David Petraeus’s resignation, while Bette wasn’t done with the eulogies to the GOP yet, plumbing the wave of denial the GOP was riding as Mitt blamed his defeat on the electorate’s addiction to “free stuff,” the vanguard led by Mary Matalin, who described twice-elected president Obama as a “political narcissistic sociopath [who] leveraged fear and ignorance with a campaign marked by mendacity and malice rather than a mandate for resurgence and reform.” Betty noted that Rick Scott had belatedly realized that his disenfranchisement efforts weren’t doing his own standing in Florida any good, and Bette was still at the post mortem well, marveling at the infight to identify the fallguys who were responsible for cruelly kidding poor old Mitt that he was in with a serious chance of winning:
Today, for instance, we have the highly amusing spectacle of the circular firing squad setting their sights on the “conservative media” for leading us all down the garden path about Romney’s real prospects.
She wasn’t exactly looking forward to the tax cuts battle to come, but saw few ways Republicans in Congress could emerge from it as winners. Big Bad Bald Bastard turned his attention to the wealthy “job creators” who were exacting revenge on the electorate by threatening layoffs and other Galtian tantrums, while Bette considered the Republican “War On Hispanics” and the party’s post-election crocodile remorse in response to its drubbing:
All of a sudden, Hispanic immigrants have gone from being opportunistic job suckers, uneducated, unskilled parasites, criminal predators, and drug and gun runners to the “salt of the Earth,” a perfect fit with the GOP’s God and family traditional values. Or, as Peter Beinart of The Daily Beast put it, the GOP is beginning to see “Hispanics as Tea Partiers with visa problems.”
At this point, the Petraeus scandal was preoccupying the media, and Betty chimed in to express her mystification at the conspiracy theory that Obama was blackmailing Petraeus for fear that he’d spill whatever beans were bubbling about Benghazigate. Meanwhile, Susan Rice was being hounded for her own supposed role in the matter, as Bette reported, with John McCain bidding for alpha male status by peeing on everything in sight. Bette found Charles Krauthammer also trundling along excitedly on the Benghazigate trail, taking a breather to offer his own election post mortem that everything had gone swimmingly except the results, which it was safe to ignore, and that the glitch of defeat was down to those misguided “natural Republicans” the amorphous Hispanics. Big Bad Bald Bastard revisited the “Penetraeus” affair to laud Eric Cantor’s backstabbing skills, of which we might see further evidence in the not too distant future. Betty returned to the neo-Galtian wave among petulant disappointed rich bastards, this time focusing on Papa John CEO John Metz, and Bette took a look at the Georgia GOP’s workshop on Agenda 21, an initiative that, depending who you listened to, was either the latest instalment in tyrant Obama’s bid for perpetual dictatorship at the head of the New World Order, or a 20-year-old worldwide initiative to put food on families. Vixen found John McCain still chewing walnuts in his attempt to shine some relevance into the twilight of his career on the back of American deaths in Benghazi, and Bette extended this scrutiny to long-time McCain sidekick Lindsey Graham and ever-reliable wingut CA Rep. Dana Rohrabacher. Vixen offered a Requiem for the Twinkie (which I’ve yet to figure whether it was animal, vegetable, or mineral), raking over Hostess’s management’s attempt to blame workforce trade unionism for the company’s demise while having paid itself a series of generous raises. John McCain was still at it, and Bette wasn’t about to ignore the suspicion that his continued targeting of Susan Rice over Benghazigate stemmed from continuing resentment at his 2008 defeat and the fact that this more recent smear campaign had failed to swing the 2012 election. Bette returned to the financial battlefield, where Ohio’s Rob Portman, whose résumé as a key Bush II apparatchik, including a spell as Budget Director, made him uniquely qualified to opine on fiscal probity, continued to flourish the GOP standard for “tax cuts for the wealthy creating jobs.” Bette and Vixen marked Thanksgiving by tag-teaming to take on Pat Robertson, Bette focusing on Robertson’s ass-covering over his mishearing of the Almighty’s muttered dark predictions about Obama’s political demise, and his continued injection of fundamentalist insanity into the national discourse via the distended veins of Fox News, and Vixen driven to celebrate Black Friday with musings on the spirit of charity and the fast-looming festive season. The GOP were still licking their by now granulating, if not suppurating, wounds and trying to figure out what went so inexplicably wrong, and Bette offered one explanation in the century-old “the masses are asses” ideology which she saw underpinning Republican dogma, along with the tendency to cultism and the uneasy marriage of elitism and populism in opposition to “the Other” that was such a hard habit for them to break. Yes, OK, OK, they’d lost, but that obviously wasn’t their fault—it was the electorate’s. The bastards. One Republican seemingly unchastened by electoral defeat—something he’s never experienced personally, of course—was Grover Norquist, still humping the tax cut chicken, whose clinical obsession Vixen attributed to unresolved childhood trauma and the usual daddy issues. Still living with the effects of Hurricane Sandy, Big Bad Bald Bastard summarized some of the climate and weather science behind it. Bette revisited the lame duck session’s prime focus, the “debt crisis,” in particular drawing on her business experience to illuminate the thinking and priorities underlying the CEO “Fix the Debt” strategy, which unsurprisingly consisted of extended tax breaks for them and social austerity for everybody else who’d generously helped to bail so many of them out. StrangeAppar8us distracted us from these tawdry issues with a revelation about his earlier career as a somewhat famous artist’s model, then Bette turned to the “113th Congress’ House Lobbyist Windfall Sweepstakes,” and particularly the demographic makeup of Boehner’s committee chair appointments. following this up with more scrutiny of the CEO “Fix the Debt” movement and their keenness to gut the social safety net while minimizing their tax bills to the point of nonexistence. Bette’s next post riffled through some of the GOP intelligentsia’s finest minds, finding Fox News legal analyst Peter Johnson Jr. bereft at the thought that gay marriage would change society for ever, would-be rebel without a cause Louie Gohmert berating John Boohoohooner for his lack of cat-herding skills, Charles Krauthammer, who, ever the historical scholar, “compared the White House’s opening proposal in the fiscal cliff negotiations to the surrender terms offered General Robert E. Lee at Appomattox Court House to conclude the Civil War,” and RI Governor Lincoln “Holiday Tree” Chaffee offering a seasonal pantsing to Bill “War On Christmas” O’Reilly. It was marindenver who drew the month to a close in grand style with the latest bulletins from the Romney campaign post mortem, currently elbow-deep in who was responsible for the wildly wrong polling that left Mitt and Ann and many of their supporters with egg all over their eveningwear, Karl Rove in conniptions, and a volley of fireworks that didn’t even fizzle out into damp squibs. Her signoff:
And we never did see his tax returns, did we?
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