Someone better check on the Koch Brothers, Reince Priebus, Sheldon Adelson, and Rush Limbaugh. It seems like their prized dressage pony of a candidate finally pissed off one caterer too many and found himself doing a set of “rich asshole comedy jam” in front of a concealed camera. I guess it can also finally be said that the internet serves a greater purpose than distributing porn and cat videos- as this one hour of digital goodness is going to torpedo what was left of the Romney campaign.
First of all, thank the merciful jester gods that Mother Jones Magazine still exists and still employs BAMF’ers like David Corn to do actual investigative reporting. There is a stark difference between this video and the dishonest crap produced date-rapist jerks like James O’Keefe and the clowns over at Breitbart, and it’s finally nice for the larger media outlets to acknowledge this. However this video tells us so much more about the state of the Republican Party and the ethos for which it represents.
Let’s understand how we came to this point shall we?
Throughout the entirety of my lifetime (plus four years), the Republican party’s entire existence within the electorate has depended on continually beating the drum of angry resentment on a variety of important “wedge issues”. Working class white men were told that the blacks and the illegals done stole their jobs, or conversely are stealing their tax money in order to spend it on t-bone steaks and Cadillacs. Religious voters were told that the rampaging sodomites and abortin’ whores (who were also using whore pills) were going to ruin this Christian Nation and fuck up the glorious end times for us all. The rest of us were scared shitless at the prospect of the scary
communists muslims who were coming to kill us all, and therefore defense spending (especially the kind that goes to support contracted workers) should always be increased exponentially, even if it means that our highways and public school systems fall apart in the process.
Employing the politics of resentment, hatred, and fear have proven to be extremely powerful and successful weapons for the right wing in the last thirty years. However something (the Bush Administration) changed this carefully constructed plan. Suddenly the damage that this plan inflicted on the tattered remains of the social contract meant that the market was unable to keep people just wealthy enough not to care about the poors. Before you know it, people started to realize the fraudulent nature of this political theory. All of a sudden we as a society actually started to ask that the wealthiest members of our society to again contribute to our common good, and the downtrodden supposedly progressive party finally started to campaign on the idea the that the government has a responsibility to protect the welfare of all of its citizens.
This sort of political development of course placed the Republicans at a disadvantage. It is hard to maintain a coalition built on the hate and disdain towards the poor when more and more people are losing their livelihoods in an increasingly insecure economic environment. To make things even worse for the aristocracy, the tradition of celebrating the rich as people who “made the right decisions” became increasingly impossible as the masters of the universe were exposed as hi-tech and high classed grifters and thieves instead of the magnanimous (and mythical) industrialists of yore.
The response from the wealthy benefactors of the Republican party basically focused on furthering the idea of the rich person as some sort of god-king to heights of cognitive dissonance that they would not have dared to repeat just ten years ago. Ayn Rand and her inanity were pulled out of the attic again, and before you know it handsome little sociopaths like Paul Ryan were being considered as serious intellectuals by the hosts of the Sunday talk shows. Compassionate conservatism was disregarded entirely, in place of a more definitive and simple “FUCK THE POOR” slogan -which provided for some success (especially when it was combined with the old-school hatred of minorities and independent women)
However in becoming even more obvious in their distaste for those in the country who were not to the manor born, the Republicans were challenged like never before to strictly define whom their supporters were supposed to hate. The simplistic ethos of the post-Goldwater conservative movement requires a strict separation of “us” and “them” in order to progress with a successful continuation of the politics of resentment. As more and more groups of people were cast aside into the “other” category, defending this idiotic style of governance required an increasingly complex and nastier form of messaging. Before you know it, almost half the country could now be considered the enemy.
What Mitt Romney has done in one fail swoop is force people in all sectors of the diverse American political community to realize the encompassing nature of government assistance in all of our lives, while confirming every half-hearted psychoanalysis of the Republican candidate and his abhorrence of people who do not have a line of credit at Brooks Brothers. By displaying his rather obvious contempt for the lessers (whose vote he needs in November) Romney has finally exposed the big lie that lead to every single conservative victory in the last generation. Romney and his class do not “feel our pain”, they do not want “equal opportunity”, nor do they “value our work”. Rather these people see us all as simply the annoying and ungrateful peasants, regardless of our skin color, religion, or reason for having less money than the Vatican.
This sort of speech could (and probably will) cost Romney the election, but the long and short term effects of this sort of ideology being exposed to the masses may not be so fantastic for this country. Reflexively conservative commentators are already defending the substance of Romney’s speech, and many people are taking this as a sign for Romney to “take off the gloves” and fight Obama using this sort of language. This this sort of strategy will prove to be a failure electorally, but the Republican party has also spent the better part of the last thirty years engaged in the most disgusting forms of eliminationist rhetoric imaginable to describe the groups that opposed them. Romney’s campaign might leave the conservative movement in a less influential place politically, but this group has also openly celebrated “second amendment remedies” and succession as legitimate forms of opposition against the “national nightmare” of our current centrist President. After a loss as bad and thorough as this one is shaping to be, I frankly am afraid of what their aggrieved supporters will do in response.
Those at the Romney dinner however, should feel free to “go Galt”. No one is going to miss them.