Peter Hartcher in the Sydney Morning Herald has a very good article on yesterday’s reaction in Australia to the cafe siege.
When I chanced to walk through Martin Place a little after 11am on Monday, I saw the police clustered closely around the Lindt Cafe. I saw the police cordon as I stood among some hundreds of onlookers.
The police evidently had the situation in hand. The crowd was curious, but might as well have been watching a busker for all the tension in the air. Some onlookers snapped photos. Some left as others arrived. The scene was perfectly calm.
It was only when I turned on the TV an hour or so later that I realised the magnitude of our dimwittedness. We were supposed to be terrified.
The Prime Minister led in shaping our responses. He called a press conference but had no information to offer on the incident except that he had held a meeting to discuss it. He took only one question, to explain that he had no details but that the NSW police did.
“We don’t yet know the motivation of the perpetrator,” he said, then freely speculated that he was politically motivated. It was “very disturbing”.
Indeed, the police operation seemed to me (from my vantage point locked in a building five blocks away) to be exemplary – buildings evacuated, police lines erected, negotiators brought in, calm officers on the television (notably, the exceptional Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn) telling everyone to stay calm and get on with their day, a “steady as she goes, freeing the hostages is our number one priority” press conference to end the day, all with remarkable efficiency.
Even the media did a decent job, even if, by mid afternoon, they had run out of people who might have been in Martin Place if they hadn’t missed their bus to interview, and had moved on to showing news stories about who was reporting what. By 7pm, when I got home, they had all been talking for so long that speech had descended into verbal soup. I swear I heard one newsreader (I’m looking at you ABC24) speak a single sentence that managed to mention international news coverage of the incident, the plight of the hostages, hashtags trending on the internet, ISIS flags, how muslims were mostly nice people who thought terrorism was bad, and Barack Obama’s senior security advisor in no more than thirty words. It was very impressive, but terrifying, so I turned it off and watched Martin and Saga find more dead bodies instead.
By tomorrow morning, most of the media will have started removing their pants in order to inspect each other’s fundaments. Yes, sometime tomorrow some dickhead will say something stupid about jihad, or an even bigger (or perhaps just younger) dickhead will make a big man of himself by making fun of some woman threatening society by doing her shopping in a hijab, and a feeding frenzy will begin. There will be hashtags and counterhashtags and burka videos, for and against. Someone will let Jackie Lambie out of whatever box they had her stashed in today and she will say something dumb and racist. Politicians will have serious press conferences to tell us that terrorism is a terrible thing, and how the answer is another filter or letting Scott Morrison poke brown people with a pointy stick.
The idiot with a gun will get, as Mr Hartcher describes it, the overreaction that is the measure of his success.
Hopefully, God (or more likely the skills of those police negotiators) willing, somewhere amongst all that lot, the hostages will walk out to safety.
Whatever happens, the thing that stands out for me is how today was, as Mr.Trowel described it, “quiet and much like any other day” in my office and, I suspect, thousands of other offices and shops throughout Sydney.
After the flurry of texts and calls to friends and loved one had died away, everyone got on with their day. People wandered into to other people’s offices, just to check they were ok, or took breaks together to find out what was happening. Coffee runs were made. The Partners’ lunch stretched to “everyone grab a plate and one piece of bread only”. I had meetings with a couple of very clever young women, and at about 3pm, when the building reopened, most people quietly went home.
I’m not suggesting that being calm in a serious situation is some special Australian trait.
Whether it’s planes flying into buildings, or tsunamis, or bombs on trains and buses, or just a broken gas main, people, on the whole, just buckle down and get on with it, save what they can, offer what comfort they can, and go home for a drink.
Tomorrow, come good or bad news, the media and political circus begins in earnest.
If only we could just leave them to it – get on with our day, be nice to each other, comfort those who need comfort, and go home for a drink instead.
Let’s just put these out there again, shall we?
We begin with the three words everyone writing about the election must say: Nobody knows anything. Everyone’s guessing. I spent Sunday morning in Washington with journalists and political hands, one of whom said she feels it’s Obama, the rest of whom said they don’t know. I think it’s Romney. I think he’s stealing in “like a thief with good tools,” in Walker Percy’s old words. While everyone is looking at the polls and the storm, Romney’s slipping into the presidency. He’s quietly rising, and he’s been rising for a while.
We’re going to win by a landslide. It will be the biggest surprise in recent American political history. It will rekindle a whole question as to why the media played this race as a nail-biter, where in fact I think that Romney is going to win by quite a bit. My own view is that Romney is going to carry 325 electoral votes.
Bottom line: Romney 315, Obama 223. That sounds high for Romney. But he could drop Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and still win the election. Fundamentals.
Brian S. Brown:
Romney wins the Electoral College with room to spare — somewhere around 300 electors. All four marriage votes in the deepest of blue states (Washington, Maryland, Minnesota, and Maine) will be won by traditional-marriage supporters. This will happen even though supporters of same-sex marriage have outspent us by gargantuan amounts.
In a fair and just society, political pundits who got things this fucking wrong would never be listened to again. When their names were mentioned, people would mutter embarrassedly and try to change the subject. If they ever tried again to appear on television or write a column about politics, people would point and laugh at their cluelessness until stuff came out their noses. Children would throw turds at them in the street and pin “Kick Me” signs to their backs. The sheer shame engendered by their own stupidity would trap them at home forever, dressed in the tattered rags of their reputations, wearing only one shoe and constantly revisiting the rotted ruins of a table laid with celebratory cake and Romney/Ryan How to Vote cards.
Why do I do it to myself? The other night, foolish but fortified by several shots of whisky, I set out to read the Corner.
For those of you who may not have heard of it, o lucky souls ye, the Corner is the blog attached to National Review Online, which means that it is the piss-filled kiddie pool of the internet. It’s where Kathryn Jean Lopez takes her ovaries out for a dip and some sun; where you can hear multiple Pulitzer Prize nominated author Jonah Goldberg pontificating upon the jobs figures while he floats around in an inflatable ring, like some unspeakable and undercooked donut hole; and where the finest brains of the right hang out behind the changing rooms and smoke doobies and congratulate each other on their bravery in saying what needs to be said in slightly different ways and swap the occasional blowjob.
Essentially, it’s where you go if you want to know what stupid people think about politics. It’s kind of like Balloon Juice, but without the jokes and the animal pictures.
I read the Corner because it’s important to know what the stupid people are thinking. And so I can point and laugh, but that’s in the way of a bonus. I suffer this for the same reason I receive fifty seven emails every day with titles like “Morning Briefing: Enemy Collaborators” or “American Soil Has Been Attacked”, not to mention at least one email every day from either Marcus or Michele (and often both).
I read them, so you don’t have to. And then promptly ignore most of them – these people are incontinent loons, after all.
Anyway, I set out to read the Corner the other night, foolish and fortified etc., and woke up nine hours later with a mouth like a nun’s nasty, the imprint of a portable keyboard on my face and seven messages from various lawyers asking me not to drunk dial the members of the RNC again. Sadly, my notes of the evening seem to consist of the words “A strong smell of excrement prevails throughout” followed by the word “fuck” typed over and over, so that was a bit of a waste. Smashing scotch though.
Slightly chastened, I ventured over there again last night and this morning to see what they were saying about Mitt’s little video catastrophe as it happened. I’m afraid this post is a little long, and doesn’t really have a point. You have been warned.
Let me take you back to yesterday afternoon. 2.50pm. Michael Walsh writes about how the Politico article about Stuart Stevens is almost too depressing to contemplate, and then notes that:
Meanwhile, it’s a good thing for Romney that absolutely nothing of any interest has been going on in the world this past week, and steady-as-he-goes Mitt can keep reminding the American public, when he bothers to emerge from the foxhole into which the media has driven him, that President Obama’s a nice guy, but by golly he’s in over his head, and gee whiz I saved the Olympics and, dadgummit, a CFO is just what this country needs right now. (Although even that’s not working any more.)
Has anyone — well, since John McCain — ever made a more dispassionate case for himself or his candidacy? Here the anti-Obama commercials practically write themselves, and we’ve all seen the photographs of an American citizen taken into custody by the Thought Police, and yet Romney’s not even a hologram of a candidate at this point.
I think Walsh is a bit disappointed. Is there anyone who likes Mitt? Anywhere? Walsh writes well, I think:
This should be the most winnable election since Reagan crushed Mondale, but it won’t be, and not for any of the reasons Karl Rove and his krack kadre of GOP kampaign konsultants (who, like baseball managers with losing records, continue to be re-hired) think. Contrary to the prevailing wisdom in Boston, this election is not going to be decided strictly on jobs, tax policy, 59-point plans, economic issues, or managerial competence (Romney’s sounding more like Mike Dukakis every day). Unfortunately, it’s clear that Romney thinks it is, and that he’ll have the upper hand in that argument.
It’s not. Instead, it’s about one thing and one thing only: What kind of “America” is this country going to be? The constitutional republic of sovereign states founded by patriots in the 18th century, or the 20th century’s European-imported “progressive” dream of a federal leviathan? A nation of self-reliant yeomen or a country of beggars, supplicants, and bums? The Enlightenment’s dream or the Frankfurt School’s Communist nightmare?
If the “strategists” would pull their heads away from Rove’s chalkboard for a moment, they might see the larger picture, turn the tables on President Hopenchange, and reveal what his “change” was really about all along — the fundamental transformation of the United States of America, with the results we now see all around us. Indeed, that should be the salient issue of the campaign. But Romney doesn’t appear to be the guy who can explain that.
Romney was a well-financed weak candidate in a field of weak candidates, an ’08 retread who successfully exploited his rivals’ vulnerabilities during the primaries, but has since done almost nothing to convince the broader electorate that he ought to be president. It’s as if, having won the nomination, he’s essentially vanished. He’s (so far) squandered the Ryan veep pick and retreated in the face of hostile, partisan media criticism over his Libya statement. Some pushback, properly applied, might have done wonders for his image as a leader, instead of a bloodless McKinsey & Co. efficiency expert, the kind of clipboard-wielding, grinning chap who fired you in an effort to make your company leaner and meaner, just before it went out of business.
Frankly, if you ignore the Ferawferaw School’s Transformationalist nightmare guff, he’s pretty much got Mitt’s problems down, although he immediately descends into full wingnuttery again:
Mitt Romney would make a very competent, Coolidge-like president, and one who would be blissfully absent from America’s airwaves for much of his term as he went about dismantling the odious rules of engagement that currently hamstring America both militarily and economically. He’s clearly a good man and a nice guy — but nice guys finish last.
Yeah. Calvin Coolidge was cool, man, and a hardass.
Then, an update. That video is out there.
UPDATE: The Left apparently thinks this hidden-camera video of Romney speaking candidly is going to hurt him, but more blunt talk like this would only help.
Apparently the answer is for Mitt to go on air and tell the nation they are self-entitled moochers who have been sucking on Mother Liberty’s tit for too long. By 6.09pm, at least, that seems to be the argument that Patrick Brennan is going for.
Even more damning, after the CBO released its report in July about the distribution of federal tax payments and household income, Harvard economics professor (and Romney adviser) Gregory Mankiw did a little back-of-the-envelope math to look at how transfers received by various quintiles compared to the amount people pay in taxes. Below is their net income either received in transfers or paid in taxes, expressed as a percentage of market income earned by each quintile:
Bottom quintile: -301 percent
Second quintile: -42 percent
Middle quintile: -5 percent
Fourth quintile: 10 percent
Highest quintile: 22 percent
That is, looked at as a whole, even the middle quintile of Americans receive more in benefits than they pay in taxes to the federal government. Romney’s comments may still strike many Americans as ill-advised or offensive, but they’re not entirely detached from reality. A disturbingly large share of Americans do rely on government entitlements, and their protectiveness toward them is of immense political importance.
You’re all fucking leeches, essentially, and by 8.42pm John O’Sullivan knows how Mitt should sell this.
If Romney responds to the Mother Jones story by backing off from his basic argument that far too many Americans are dependent upon the government and that this dependency skews their votes, he will weaken his campaign enormously. This audio revelation does not destroy his chance of winning in November, as over-excitable commentators have argued. There are inaccuracies in it, as Patrick Brennan points out, but the basic argument is reasonable. (If over-deterministic — many people receiving welfare and other forms of government aid dislike their situation and would much prefer to be self-reliant.) But Romney cannot make that and other arguments if he begins by withdrawing his remarks or, worse, by apologizing for them. An apology, moreover, would confirm the still-latent suspicion that he is unduly nervous and a flip-flopper.
I like that “many people receiving welfare and other forms of government aid dislike their situation and would much prefer to be self-reliant.” So caring and understanding about the leeches.
So Mr O’Sullivan lays out his 8 point plan for a Mitt press conference. It involves charts, and this magnificent incoherence:
3. Many people receiving benefits are getting back from the government some or all of what they paid in through hidden taxes. But government takes a heavy service charge from us when it circulates our money back and forth to us. [Picture of one of those GSA parties at this point.]
4. Those voters who pull the Democratic lever because of what the government gives them are not just being bribed, they’re being bribed with their own money. Don’t be a sucker — especially not a two-time sucker.
5. Most people receiving tax-funded benefits are the victims of excess government (point 4) or of the Obama economy and large-scale long-term unemployment. What they want is not a life on the dole but a chance to get a decent job to support their families. Excess government threatens that chance — and Obama believes in excess government.
and ends with this, presumably step 9:
Romney should then leave without taking questions, perhaps issuing a detailed statement of these points later.
A fine plan. Let me know how that works out for you.
9:06pm and Jonah is heard from. I’m only going to quote a little bit of Jonah because his writing can induce seizures and I’m not having any of you bloodsuckers falling off your chairs and trying to sue me.
No, I don’t think this video is good news for Romney. But if Romney showed a little more of the spirit he shows in this video, I’m not sure it wouldn’t help.
10:30 pm EST – Mitt gives a press conference during in which he babbles while looking like he spent the last six hours shouting at people, and then inserted a gerbil just before he went on air.
11.19pm – Daniel Foster is underwhelmed. However, when needed he can call on a great American hero for hope.
Romney doesn’t exactly do it as elegantly (which is why they pay me the big bucks) but he does gesture at some of this. I found the presser not horrible, which is about as much praise as I can muster right now.
I don’t think there is any way to spin the release of this video as a positive for Romney, but I do think — and I said as much on Twitter — that now that it has happened, Romney’s only play is to turn into the approaching torpedoes at flank speed, Marko Ramius style.
In other words, the more fully Romney owns these comments the less the press can report them as a “gaffe.” Romney is now in a position that he has to bring the fight to Obama on the entitlement state. He can’t coast on poor economic indicators. Which, I think, is to the good, since the polls are showing that that is not a guaranteed winner, anyway.
Do you think these men ever read 538 or Mr Wang, or ever play with an election map to see what Romney actually has to do in order to win? Or do they genuinely believe that the election would be a lock if Mitt could only sell the evil of the welfare state to poor welfare trash?
Then, night and silence, a silence broken at 7.11am by Michael ‘Mitt crapped in my weeties” Walsh, who still hates Mitt, but hates everyone else more, particularly anyone named Carter:
Milk-Carton Mitt’s surprise turn upon the stage — did you know he was running for president? — came courtesy of the currently unemployed James Earl Carter IV, son of James Earl Carter III and grandson of the ineffable James Earl Carter, Jr., and a big fan of Barack Hussein Obama II, who found and relayed a surreptitiously recorded video in which Romney sounded remarkably like . . . a real conservative.
He ought to own it.
For sure, even Team Romney knows what’s coming next. The barrage of media criticism. The shrieks of “how dare you?” The tsk-tsking of ostensible friendlies. The constant press corps demands for clarification or, better yet, groveling abnegation. And more video’s on the way — be sure to read this story by David Corn for the full details. It’s going to get very, very ugly very, very quickly.
Walsh makes fun of David Brooks (see, he’s not all bad), and then there is this:
But let’s move on to some Brit or other:
When was the last time a president fighting for re-election was handed such a gift? Remind me, someone: how did the GOP end up with this idiot as their candidate?
Hey, buddy — he’s our idiot, so don’t get this Irish-American started on your idiots, the House of Saxe-Coburg und Gotha, the family of Germans who’ve been ruling your country since Queen Victoria snuggled up with Prince Albert and produced Edward VII and, thanks to a family squabble among Georgie, Willie, and Nicky, drove your country right into World War I — a disaster from which it’s never recovered.
Um. OK. Some unresolved issues there. Moving quietly on.
Well, as Jonah has famously said, the hell with them. This is Mitt’s time, this is his moment. As at the Battle of Gettysburg, neither side was really looking for this fight at this time and in this place, but here it is. And that means going all in.
Sure, Mitt might have phrased things more elegantly — and certainly would have had he known there was a rat in the audience. (Every candidate — hell, everybody — simply must assume henceforth that their every word and email, thanks to technology and the Bush administration’s overwrought defensive reaction to 9/11, is being monitored, taped and weaponized, if need be.)
But now he has a choice — to back away from the implication of his off-the-cuff remarks, and try to blame his sentiments on infelicity, or to embrace the stark dichotomy he laid out and go with it. This chance encounter should be the thing that forces Romney out of his crouch, away from his krack kadre of kampaign konsultants, and fleeing from his over-reliance on conventional wisdom and polls.
When Lee — on his way to Harrisburg or even Philadelphia — collided with Union troops while searching for shoes, he precipitated the biggest battle of the Civil War. It was not a battle he sought, but once started it was a battle he had to win. And he lost. Similarly, Meade — fresh to his command of the Army of the Potomac — was taken by surprise, but organized a skillful defense in the face of the Confederate onslaught and emerged victorious. For three days, the fate of the nation hung in the balance.
Will Romney rise to the occasion and fight? Or will he retreat? Only one path can lead to victory in November.
The fate of his candidacy will hinge on the answer.
Sadly for Mr Walsh, the answer is that Mitt is going to spend the next seven weeks looking like that gerbil has taken up residence in his colon.
Now the rest of the morning on the Corner is a bit of a washout, as they seem to want to talk about anything but Romney. I’d give honorable mentions to Victor Davis Hanson for asking if Obama has been Carterized (duh, yes, but not enough), and to Mark Krikorian for finding evidence of widespread voter fraud:
I saw up close how serious the problem of ballot integrity is just this weekend, when I was out door-knocking with voter-registration lists — at least one of the registered voters listed hadn’t lived at that address for decades.
I need a drink, kiddies, so I will leave you with these last two pieces of pure wingnut word on the Romney, glimmering amongst the dross like rancid fat. First, K-LO, Our Lady of the Tiny Innocent Souls (and I note that this is her post this morning in its entirety:
The only reason the Mother Jones leaks have traction is, of course, because of the “Mittbot” narrative. Ironically though, while we pretend not to know Romney, who does have a record as governor, we still seem to continue ignore the radicalism of Barack Obama and his administration, with now near-four years of a record in the White House.
and Peter Kirsanow with… this, which … I don’t even know what this is:
Obama campaign manager Jim Messina, proclaiming Mitt Romney’s comments “shocking,” states (with a straight face), “It’s hard to serve as president for all Americans when you’ve disdainfully written off half the population.”
Americans who’ve lost their ambition and imagination and willingness to do the things that built the Golden Gate Bridge, American soldiers who just air-raid villages and kill civilians, typical white people, the unpatriotic who don’t pay their fair share, Americans who’ve gotten soft, midwesterners who cling to guns and religion, Catholics, the entire state of Arizona, and delusional businessmen who believe they built their own businesses — to name just a few — apparently add up to less than half the population.
Now, fuck off, you leeches.
In the excitement of yesterday’s big gay leap forward by President Obama, we appear to have missed mentioning Jonah Goldberg’s useful article where Jonah helpfully takes Joe Biden to task for abusing the words “literally” and “figuratively”.
The problem is that Biden insists that he does know what it means. One of his favorite ways to emphasize his seriousness is to say, “and I mean literally, not figuratively,” as if “literally” meant “I’m really serious” and “figuratively” connoted some effeminate lack of conviction. He says JFK’s “call to service literally, not figuratively, still resounds from generation to generation.” He told students in Africa, “You are the keystone to East Africa — literally, not figuratively, you are the keystone.” “The American people are looking for us as Democrats,” he has said. “They’re looking for someone literally, not figuratively, to restore America’s place in the world.”
I think Jonah is doing us all a service here because as we all know there’s literally nothing more annoying than some idiot saying something like “It literally blew my mind” or “He’s literally such a pain in my Oshkosh-Scranton corridor”.
I suspect we could all do with a quick refresher on the difference between “literal” and “figurative”. So here, if you will bear with me, are two illustrative examples:
“Jonah Goldberg was lying when he claimed, on the dustjacket of his latest book, “The Tyranny of Clichés: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas”, and the NRO website, and his publisher’s website, that he had “twice been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize”, when in fact his name had merely been submitted twice by his publisher for consideration.”
“Jonah Goldberg is a lying douchebag with the morals of a badger on crystal meth.”
I suggest that you print this post out, so that if you ever get confused as to the difference you can refer to it and it should clear everything up.
Occasionally I do like to slip on my anti-bacterial floaties and my best Vera Wang one piece, and wade into the piss-scented and vaguely warm kiddie pool that is the Corner.
Currently, Michael Walsh is standing in the shallow end, screaming his lungs out like a toddler who dropped his lollipop in the water and had it land on a turd floater, and doing a fine variation on that old favourite, “Wimmins is not birthin’ enough and we’re all going to die”.
On the one hand — as NRO’s resident demography bore has been tirelessly pointing out — the Western world is facing an unparalleled demographic crisis brought on by a feminist-inspired modern twist on Lysistrata (showering sex but withholding children), while at the same time, the West’s vaunted “safety net” is collapsing because the system has been turned upside-down and a bevy of great-grandparents now coos over a single child.
Surely, this is the ultimate expression of the suicide cult that is the modern Left, a subset of libertine takers that so loathes itself that it will dragoon the makers into underwriting the chalices of tasty hemlock it’s so eager for everybody to quaff in order to put itself out of its misery. If, as long as it doesn’t hurt anybody, it feels good, do it! Alas, it does hurt somebody — it hurts society, by robbing it of its future and burdening those lucky kids who make it through the contraceptive/abortifacient gantlet with an unpayable debt to the very people who tried to get rid of them.
Self-centered Baby Boomer liberalism emerged from the “sexual revolution” of the sixties, and for the past half century Boomers have been trying to escape the consequences of no consequences, which now threaten the underpinnings of the Left’s beloved, bankrupting welfare state. And yet, at the same time, women of child-bearing age demand that somebody — insurance companies, Washington, the pope in Rome — pay for universal contraceptive and abortion services in the name of “women’s health.”
If this is not the definition of a suicide cult — one driven by the leftist insistence that sexual license be, well, licensed by the state, non-judgmentally and consequence-free — it’s hard to know what is. The Shakers had nothing on these people; at least they made furniture. But it’s what comes from treating pregnancy as a preventable disease, and viewing people as carbon-based pollutants instead of beings created in the image and likeness of God.
You left-wing sluts out there are trying to kill us all, with your desperate need to control your own birth cycles, with your libidinous concupiscence and your filthy backroom orgies (often, I am told, involving the wanton use of abortifacients and condoms), and your pathetic reliance upon government handouts because you have failed to produce enough children to look after you when you are old and have been brought low by syphilis and the other deservéd wages of your sin.
The trick will be restoring what, in the days of family-owned farms and small businesses, was once true: that babies are an asset rather than a burden. Imagine a society in which parents get to keep more of the human capital they form by investing in their children. Imagine a society in which the family is no longer just a consumer unit, but a productive enterprise. The society that figures out how to restore the economic foundation of the family will own the future.
“A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.” That was the witticism that passed for cleverness back in the day. Who needs men in the Brave New World? We’re about to find out.
Of course. All you lefty women need to do is stop it with your baby hatred and remember that kids are exploitable labor. If nothing else, you could get good prices on the organ market. Do you know what a baby kidney goes for today in Marrakesh? Imagine how many hip replacements that could pay for. Worst comes to worst, we can always eat the little fuckers. Read the rest of this entry »
My apologies for having been away for so long, dears. I’ve found the thought of writing about politics a little too draining for the last few weeks, but I suspect I’ve got my anger back now.
I’ve also been stone drunk for the last two days celebrating the fact that one of my voodoo dolls finally seems to have worked. I’ve been sticking pins in that fucking thing for months and had all but given up hope. Megan McArdle had better watch her back.
Now, I’m choosing to blame the fact that I’ve consumed Rush Limbaugh’s body weight in vodka in the last week, but I have a disturbing feeling that Erick Assupwardsson has written a column [WARNING: Redstate link] that is not a complete steaming pile of raven poo. I didn’t guffaw or want to claw out my eyes at all when I read it, and I even found myself nodding in agreement several times.
It must be the drink. The alternative is that Ragnarök is upon us, and I’m not nearly drunk enough to cope with that. Read the rest of this entry »
The seemingly endless transition from one Mitt-free alternative to another, and the increasing perception that the great dealmaker can’t close this deal, must be causing some epic hissy fits and the odd bit of alcohol abuse at Romney HQ.
Anne Laurie linked to Ewick, Son of Ewick’s CPAC post, but didn’t quote my favorite bit.
Along the way a funny thing has happened. Romney supporters are starting to be openly critical of him. The business whiz has failed to restructure his own failing organization. His support is a mile wide and an inch deep.
And he has been replaced as front runner by the crowd. They are with Rick Santorum in heart, but also in money and votes. On the horizon looms a brokered convention.
Santorum is the new white. I expect the santorum slurping (which was already (if you will allow me to mix metaphors) bubbling away below the surface) will become unbearable, particularly now that everyone seems to want to talk about vaginas all the time. Every outlier poll which shows Santorum beating Romney or Obama will be touted throughout Wingnuttia.
Sadly, I suspect it will last about two weeks. Ricky will say something even more phenomenally stupid than his usual guff and everyone will finally get in line behind Mitt, the candidate that no one wanted.
I confess that Mitt scares me a little. He is just slick and rich and oily enough to fool the great unwashed into thinking him presidential.
Santorum, on the other hand (never a pleasant experience), is my dream candidate – a sanctimonious, unattractive and lumpish scold, with a face that cries out not only for a fist, but several carefully aimed feet.
See? Truly revolting.
You get his kind at every church. They proclaim their rectitude and their good works to any who will listen, but would snaffle the last cupcake from under the nose of an nun and proclaim it to be for her own good. They let the whole congregation see how much they put on the collection plate, but the muffins they bring to the bake sale are always store-bought and usually two days old. The only thing they value more than idle gossip is the feeling of superiority and outrage they get to enjoy after hearing it. They are, in everything, driven by a pinched anxiety that everyone they meet is either more moral or more sinful than them.
Rick Santorum once came to Shady Pines for morning tea. For a while I managed to avoid him by moving strategically from room to room. Eventually he almost cornered me, so I slipped out onto the garden terrace and hid in the janitor’s closet, only to find I was sharing it with the bishop, two nuns and a disturbingly sticky altar boy, who had also taken refuge in there. We were trapped for fifteen minutes, although happily fortified by the contents of my hipflask (although I did think the bishop offering some of my best scotch to little Billy Fortenberry was unwise).
Afterwards I had Marge Albrectson put one of her pet squirrels up Rick’s coat, so the last I saw of him he was running down the drive and screaming a high, ululating screech of terror, while a rabid ball of fluff tried to eat its way into his brain through his back.
I hope Santorum stays in the race. I hope that his prissy mug is all over that Convention stage ranting about bumsex and rape babies and privileges and inalienable goods.
He is everything I would wish upon the Republicans.