As with McCain’s run four years ago, the Repugnican party is delivering huge entertainment value again, in a meta sort of way. By which I mean that if you can suspend your disbelief and any concern with the very deleterious implications of a Romney win, you can enjoy the basic incredibility of his candidacy.
Let’s see: he’s a Mormon, with obviously a rather thin skin, who is not only pretty tone-deaf to politics but arrives with the potentially deadly baggage of Swiss bank accounts, off-shore tax havens, magically inflatable 401ks, tax-deductible dressage horses, a successful health-plan implementation while governor of Massachusetts which is indistinguishable from the one his party loathes, the challenge of defending tax cuts for the uber-rich from his position of, well, actual expertise in that particular matter—and the list goes one. What Were They Thinking?
He has two things going for him. One is the amazing level of fear among an apparently right-wing population (which is suffering equally to anyone else in this economic mess) that some kind of socialism is going to come along and take from them whatever it is they don’t have but imagine that they could have in some parallel universe. The other thing going for him is racism, which has a long and hallowed tradition here in the USA.
A lot of the racism has been dog-whistled up by the same ignorant zealots who have inculcated the fear. While the election of Obama, who is identified as a black person, certainly proves that some things have changed, it has also given the backward elements of our citizenry a way to carry on their race hatred, which can now display itself in the guise of ’normal’ opposition to a national political figure.
Romney is already left with only these very negative angles from which to unseat the president. He and his handlers have to hope that they can keep people sufficiently fearful through the election to have a chance of winning, and that our deep native racism sustains them through November.