Watching Romney’s antics these last few days gives me some appreciation for what the man faces. It’s not that I feel sorry for him, but I sympathize with his plight. Romney isn’t so much an etch-a-sketch as he is a shattered man, broken into conflicting mini Romneys that can’t easily fit back together, thanks to the crazy swinging inconsistent demands of the GOP apparatus.
Healthcare is a great example. Mittens championed and sold a conservative based market solution to healthcare in Massachusetts. Like it or not, conservatives could have held it out as a national solution, an alterrnative to the hated socialized medicine, but they can’t for one simple reason: it’s centerpiece of the hated Affordable Healthcare Act passed under Obama. So all Republicans must now unite against their own idea, with nothing at all left to replace it, thus Mittens is boxed in, forced to run full tilt away from that singular success and pretend he never said all the great things he said about it.
It’s the same story on Roe v Wade, on women’s rights, on Osama bin Laden, on the auto bailout. Again and again, Mittens is left with no plan of his own and forced to criticize his past solutions or try to deny he ever backed those ideas – despite miles of footage and recent op-eds galore documenting that he did exactly that.
Romney is torn to pieces by his own base’s hatred for all things Obama, he can’t even talk about any real plans of action for any major policy issue, other than mouthing the same vague spell about cutting taxes on zillionaires, fucking over the underprivileged and middle class, and deregulating Wall Street. None of which would play great for anyone, let alone a stiff, wooden former corporate raider with a dozen palatial mansions who grew up in the lap of luxury at the earliest age while the nation is still crawling out of the deep black pit dug by the last conservative rounds of tax cuts and deregulation.
Consider that if the roles were reversed right now, if a Republican president had ordered the hit on bin Laden while his chief democratic opponent was on record waffling about violating the borders of the Muslim nation sheltering the killer, the 2012 election would be over. The only thing keeping all these conflicting versions of Romney in the game at all is the great conservative investment in mass deception that took decades to build. Because of the huge double standard the GOP enjoys, he could still win despite being sliced and diced into a million pieces. But it remains to be seen if all the Koch’s money and all Fox’s men can put a shattered Mitt Romney back together again.