Earlier this week, Mitt Romney suggested to a crowd of Latinos that he cared about 100% of Americans, which is devastatingly hilarious. He was bandying about this new percentage to ensure that even though he was caught on tape telling the guests at a $50,000 a plate fundraiser that nearly half of the citizens in this country are freeloaders he isn’t concerned with, what he meant to say was that he cares about everyone.
That he was delivering this message to a Latino audience was particularly laughable, because when you imagine a rich white guy sneakily telling a bunch of his rich friends that he doesn’t care about the millions of freeloaders who are going to vote for a black guy, you think, yeah, this is definitely a guy who cares about the Latino community. But we’re not supposed to bring up race when talking about the policies and political anxieties of the far right, they tell us, the same way we are not supposed to bring up class divisions, because class war is totally off the table, freeloaders.
In Romney, what do his supporters see? People rightfully gave Obama a tremendous amount of crap for vaguely presenting himself as representative of “hope” and “change,” but at least hope and change was theoretically progressive and aspirational, particularly when compared to the prospect of a continuation of Bush-era policies. When people see the out-of-touch opportunist who is willing to write off every moderate-to-progressive position he once stood for in order to say whatever he believes will get him elected, what do his supporters see in him? Hunter Thompson’s criticism of Richard Nixon, who he described as “a monument to all the bad genes and broken chromosomes that have queered the reality of the American Dream,” fits Romney perfectly. The Republican candidate is “the Dorian Gray of our time, the twisted echo of Jay Gatsby,” as Thompson went on to describe the his corrupt predecessor.
Fortunately there are lobbyist firms that pay millions of dollars for the Romney Campers to run to when they feel it’s time to jump ship. Unfortunately for every day Republicans, there is no where to go. A friend of mine, a lifelong Republican, recently told me that the party is in such a state of disarray he has decided against voting this year. He feels so alienated by what the party has become, he can’t bring himself to support any of it. Totally reasonable.
As you might recall, it is not like Mitt Romney was the Republican Party’s only option, it is just that he is candidate they thought best represents what the GOP is all about. Remember back during the debates, back when attendees were literally booing gay soldiers and cheering for death? Recollections of attractive, rational, globally knowledgeable candidates like Jon Huntsman are drowned out by memories of witch hunters and a governor who, no joke, couldn’t name just three of the government departments he so gleefully suggested needed eliminating. Combined with the aforementioned events and personalities, Mitt Romney’s ascension in the party has told the ugliest of truths of what the modern GOP has become.
Mitt Romney is the best the 2012 Republican Party has to offer, “a monument to all the bad genes and broken chromosomes that have queered the reality of the American Dream,” a reptilian liar who will tell his peers that he isn’t concerned with the poor and then tell these people the exact opposite when called on his bullshit. This is the face of your party, my right-leaning friends. This might be a good year to sit this one out.