Friday, November 02, 2012

There won't be blood

It's no secret that the Republicans, and especially Mitt Romney, have some serious problems with reality.  Even a hurricane of historic proportions, powerful enough to change the coastline of the United States, was unable to break through their formidable barriers of privilege, money, and sheer what-the-hell-is-that stupidity.  But sometimes, the cost is higher than they know.

When Sandy struck, Barack Obama got to call for Air Force One and Marine One and look presidential because, you know, he's the President.  Romney hinted he'd love to look over ruined towns in New Jersey, but the governor intimated that he'd be better off taking a flying leap at the International Space Station.  So Romney went back to Ohio and his staff scrambled to acquaint him with the concept of compassion ("Message:  I care.")  They bought thousands of dollars worth of canned goods and had them delivered to a Romney event, where those attending were handed a can of tuna and told to hand it to the grinning candidate while the cameras rolled.  They had Romney pick up some small cartons and ostentatiously carry them to a waiting truck, one at a time (I could have hefted three or four, and I'm pretty arthritic).  They assumed the press were too stupid to figure any of this out, much less report it accurately, and gleefully, to the rest of us.  The press responded to the insult by peppering Mittums with questions about his position on FEMA, which, surprisingly enough, did a 180 on Thursday afternoon.   And then Romney came out with one of his patented parables about voluntarism -- the one about the football field full of litter after a celebration.  How to clean it up?  Well, sir, you just get nineteen buddies and each of you takes one five-yard sliver, and in no time you've demonstrated that nobody needs the government.

After the compassion offensive, it took me a little while to catch my breath.  Over a hundred people dead, millions without electricity from North Carolina to Wisconsin, entire communities scoured from the earth, the country's largest city crippled, infrastructure in ruins, people waiting in the cold for food, water, gasoline...does any sentient being really believe this is going to be like picking up toilet paper and plastic cups on a football field?  A better analogy would be the reconstruction of Germany after the Second World War.  Implacable stupidity  always makes me want to take a nap.  And then, refreshed, I saw where it could have gone right but, thankfully, did not.

Image is everything in politics.  Talking the talk replaced walking the walk as long ago as 1988, when the Veterans of Foreign Wars booed ex-bomber pilot Lloyd Bentsen and cheered ex-National Guardsman Dan Quayle at their annual convention.  Maybe image triumphed even longer ago, when draft dodger John Wayne became synonymous with wartime heroism during the Vietnam escapade.  Looking the part is more important than doing the job, and the mere image of Mitt Romney collecting canned goods was deemed more important than reality, even though -- stay with me -- the last thing the Red Cross wants is a bunch of canned food.  They asked for money, and they asked for blood.  

Mitt Romney missed out on the photo op of a lifetime -- one that might well have changed the election.  If he couldn't tour the disaster, he could lead by example by donating blood.  He could explain to people who are squeamish about the process that it takes about half an hour, it isn't dangerous, it isn't painful, and it actually helps.  In fact, it epitomizes the individual action that he seems to think can take the place of huge government programs.  Agencies can bring in heavy equipment, but they can't give blood.  Only human beings can do that.  A lot of Romney supporters claim to be "pro-life," but on examination this turns out to be a euphemism for "anti-choice."  What could be more honestly pro-life than giving life itself?  Romney at the Red Cross, reclining in a chair -- it could finally erase the memory of the 47 percent speech.

I feel safe in saying this not because nobody in Romneyland reads this blog, but because it's the last thing he would ever do.  Give something away without any hope of personal gain?  This spoiled trust-fund brat whose entire life has been dedicated to self-interest, this conscienceless sociopath who will say anything to achieve power so he can practice self-interest on a global scale comes from a family with a proud tradition of avoiding military service over at least four generations.  Strapping a dog to the top of a car for a long road trip was not the act of a bumbling sitcom dad but a stunning display of complete lack of empathy for a living thing.  Look into those dead eyes -- this is someone who didn't need Ayn Rand to teach him the joys of selfishness.  Mitt Romney would no more donate a unit of blood to a stranger than he would give a kidney to a homeless beggar.  He made his fortune destroying companies and the lives of their employees (if corporations really were people, Bain Capital would be indicted for murder).  And now we must depend on a relative handful of people in Ohio to end him.  Bloodlessly.





Blogger Quacko said...

This should have been on the front page of every newspaper in America. I slept for the first time in weeks after 10:17 pm November 6th.

7:17 AM  
Blogger Quacko said...

This should have been on the front page of every newspaper in America. I slept for the first time in weeks after 10:17 pm November 6th.

7:18 AM  

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