Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Well, here it comes, as expected:

...In an interview with BuzzFeed, a Romney advisor offered details of the campaign's coming two-front attack, which the campaign expects will be echoed by the Super PAC....

The Pennsylvania Republican will "be defined by two things," the advisor said.

The first is a comparison to Barack Obama: "He's never run anything," said the advisor. The Pennyslvanian's experience is limited to roles as a legislator and legislative staffer. "The biggest thing he ever ran is his Senate office," he siad.

The second is a challenge to Santorum's Washington experience.

"They’re going to hit him very hard on earmarks, lobbying, voting to raise the federal debt limit five times," said the advisor. "The story of Santorum is going to be told over the next few weeks in a big way." ...

Is this going to work? To me it seems like thin gruel, but millions of dollars' worth of thin gruel will fill you up, I guess. When Gingrich was the top anti-Romney, I didn't think Newt's fans were going to care much about ancient ethics charges in Congress (there are Democrats in Congress!), but then I started reading stories about formerly pro-Newt or Newt-curious voters having a Pavlovian response of "Ethics!" when Gingrich's name was mentioned. So I guess it's a pretty effective technique.

This really might clear away the last obstacle standing between Romney and the nomination -- but what's it doing to the Republican Party? And I don't mean merely "Can Republicans stand a bruising primary battle?" I mean what is it doing to the myths right-wingers live by?

After decades of propaganda from talk radio, Regnery, Fox, and Koch, right-wingers believe conservatism is perfect and the emergence of a right-wing savior who kills all the bad guys (us) and gets rid of all the bad laws (everything we support) is actually possible. This is a religious faith, one that's carefully cultivated every day, every hour, via right-wing media.

And now Mitt Romney is laying waste to the belief system.

The faithful can see that he's not their perfect hero. Then, whenever he's challenged by someone they think might be their perfect hero, he floods the airwaves with the message that the apparent knight in shining armor is a fraud -- just like all the earlier knights.

That's why it must suck to be a right-winger these days: your likely standard-bearer's message is that everyone is flawed, everything is compromised and corrupted, and this is the best you're going to do -- a message that debunks every bit of right-wing propaganda you've absorbed over the past twenty years, which posits the existence of Pure Evil and (at least in theory, and certainly in the person of the now departed Saint Reagan) Pure Good.

In this way, Mitt Romney's campaign may be having more of a positive impact than all of the left's media outlets combined. It's repudiating the propaganda. It's destroying the wingnut dream.


c u n d gulag said...

"He's never run anything," said the advisor. The Pennyslvanian's experience is limited to roles as a legislator and legislative staffer. "The biggest thing he ever ran is his Senate office," he said.

Dear "Advisor,"
You might also want to make sure that Mitt doesn't repeat this about Obama instead of Santorum. Mitt's already said the same thing about the President, and it's stupid.
That argument might have made some sense in 2008. But, in case you haven't noticed, and after all you are stupid AND a Republican (but I repeat myself), but a person named Barack Hussein Obama has been POTUS for over 3 years, so, he has indeed, run something larger than his Senate office staff.

Mitt has the money to run all the attack ads he wants.
But will they work?
One of the things about Conservatives - once they get something in their "minds," it's awful hard to dislodge it. And Mitt as a Liberal, and a flip-flopper, seems to be sticking. And once you attack one of their chosen ones, as it now seems Santorum is rapidly becoming, you are attacking all of "Rabid Nation."
Good luck with that. (And no, you're right - I DON'T MEAN IT!).

Tom Hilton said...

Yes, this.

The other facet of their moral absolutism is the authoritarian craving for a Strong Leader. (The cult of Captain Codpiece thrived for years, and while the party line is now "he wasn't a real conservative" I'm fairly certain there are lots of crypto-Codpiecers even today.) And this too takes a huge hit every time a Leader emerges to challenge Romney and gets eviscerated.

c u n d gulag said...

Here’s Santorums latest anti-Romney ad.


I can’t seem to copy the link to the actual video, just go to BJ’s and look for it.

In it, a Romney look-alike is running around with a rifle, shooting what looks like ‘santorum’ (as Savage defined it) at pop-ups of Santorum.

And remember, this is and ad FOR Santorum!
How clue-free can you be?

Steve M. said...

I dunno. I kind of like the ad. (Here it is.)

And Tom, you're right about the Strong Leader thing, which is why what DougJ says is awesome:

I’ve always said that in this primary, Republican voters love the bad boys. Now it’s come down to a guy who wears sweater vests versus a guy who wears magic underwear. Who’s bad?

BH said...

I think The Newt thought (and may still think, if he "thinks" at all) that he'd be the one to tap into the Badass-Leader Lust among the lumpenright. (Note the ineffable Chuck Norris among his prominently-displayed supporters.) Had he possessed even minimal management/planning skills & assembled some kind of durable ground organization, he might well have pulled it off, considering the other dweebs whom DougJ so amusingly delineated.