Sunday December 2, 2012

RICHMOND

There is one thing that the Republican Party is really good at -- piling on.

Mitt Romney has gone from the party shaft bearer to being shafted in practically no time at all. The media recently jumped on the picture of a somber, slightly disheveled Mitt pumping gas for one of his cars as if it was the un-Rapture finally happening.

You have to admit that Mitt and his handlers brought this on themselves. He appeared each morning as if he had just been taken out of the grooved box where he was recharged every night. His hair was marcelled as if it had been petrified in the 1920s by Francois Marcell himself, his jeans were neat and his shirt seemed to have a built-in bodice. There was a smile on his face and seemingly a song in his heart as he told and retold cheering throngs that he was going to change our destinies, adding 12 million jobs, balancing the budget, reducing the deficit, keeping taxes low, saving Medicare and Social Security and just by changing a few rules, making it so uncomfortable for the Mezzicans that they would return to their homeland voluntarily.

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The Democrats have laid off on Mitt since they walloped him in straight conflict, but the Republicans have taken up the blame game in full cry as they try to explain to themselves how they were so outfoxed and beaten so badly. There are no other explanations except that they were going at everything so wrong that they didn't see the edge of the cliff when they were right there standing on it.


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Right now they still are able to participate in the game because the power of incumbency has given them weight in the House of Representatives, and they are able to keep protecting the inviolate 1 percent who are still willing to drop extra millions of dollars into their Velcro hands.

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Romney had it tough right from the beginning because of the kooks he had to battle in the primaries. When you have to outdo Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Herman Cain all at the same time you have your work cut out for you. And when you're using your own pollsters rather than unbiased compilers, you lose a sense of needed reality. And when your mega-backers like Sheldon Adelson, Foster Friess and the indomitable Koch Brothers give you money, there are strictures that go with every dollar.

So by the time Romney made it through to the finals, all those goals of his benefactors were running through his head all the time. He went before the crowds and lied and lied and lied and either didn't know it or no longer cared. We were all listening to a talking doll.

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The election loss probably hurt Anne Romney as much as anybody. This was something her lover wanted and for the first time she could be a helpmate rather than simply a candidate's adoring wife. Michelle Obama did not have all those business magnate's wife re strictions to complicate her cam paigning. Right from the start she knew what was needed and how she could contrib ute. In 2016, she's the only one who could give Hillary a fight.

So now we can settle down and see what the president will do with his sense of empowerment. His victory speech was inspirational, his handling of Hurricane Sandy a model for the ages and his position extraordinary. If the Repub licans had won, they would now be in the process of tearing things down. Obama's only goal now is to build things up.

I personally feel a sense of reassurance despite all the bombast from House Speaker Boehner, the dwindling chorus of the tea partiers and the hidden menace of Paul Ryan. Now is the time for all of us to help rather than hinder. The devil takes the hindmost.

Milton Bass is a regular Eagle
contributor.