The more that I think about the events of this past Monday wherein Mitt Romney basically unloaded on anyone who, in his mind, is getting a free ride by not paying any federal income tax, the more I’m convinced that the election was just decided in favor of President Obama.
Throughout the duration of the campaign, Republicans have said that if we would only let Mitt be Mitt, we’d see his appeal, and the national dialogue would begin to shift in his favor. And they’ve had a point. Romney faced a very grueling primary campaign, during the course of which he combined political contortions the likes of which we regular folk could only begin to get our heads around. Then, once the primary was settled, he had the added task of perpetually throwing out read meat to the far right base of the party. Demographically speaking, in today’s America, when you’re dealing with the right of the political spectrum, we’re dealing with a binary situation. You can have either the far right, or the center. Not both. They are, by outlook and constitution, incompatible. In attempting this impossible balancing act, we never got a sense of who Mitt Romney was, either in terms of policy (he’s frankly pretty thin on them) or his personal convictions (in which he also seems lacking).
At some point after the Republican National Convention, the Romney campaign made a gambit to shore up what they viewed as flagging support: they opted to pander to the conservative base of the party. And in so doing, the picture of rich guy Romney holding a $50,000 a plate fundraiser at one of his hedge fund buddie’s swank compounds sets the scene for him to start speaking about how he really feels. He spoke off the cuff and honestly due to one fact, and one fact alone, I believe: he didn’t think he was being recorded. When you’re preaching to the choir, you don’t have to worry about what the sinners think of the sermon, so you can get as fundamentalist as you’d like, and in this case, he did.
We finally got a sense of who Mitt Romney is this past Monday. The country doesn’t like it one bit, and yesterday’s news cycle was dominated by discussions of Romney’s sentiment. Romney committed another political blunder wherein he held a press conference, said that he had spoken ‘inartfully’ but didn’t disagree with his original sentiments. Republicans have rushed to distance themselves from his comments in droves, and only Romney, out of some stubborn, misplaced concept of consistency, clings to his original, damning statements.
Put it on your calendar folks. Barring a catastrophe for our country, the election was decided on September 17th, 2012, not November 3rd, as we had anticipated.