Friday, January 13, 2012

A pivot?

God may or may not play dice with the universe, but She is clearly watching out for Barack Obama. (Or, conversely, our president cut a really good deal with Beelzebub.) Whatever the agency for the way events are rolling out, he/she/it is making sure that O'll cross the finish line first a year hence. The whole thing feels like "The Truman Show" (before Jim Carrey's epiphany -- when everyone in town was scrambling to construct a nice world around him).

Consider his likely opposition, and the basket case GOP that is shooting itself in the forehead around him. If David Axelrod had gone to sleep and dreamed of a foil as perfect as Mitt Romney has turned out to be... and if he had then drifted into a reverie in which the entire phalanx of Romney's wingnut opponents would brand him indelibly as a hybrid of Freddy Kruger and Gordon Gekko... Axelrod wouldn't have dared to write it down when he woke up -- it's that outlandish.

I can't think of anything comparable in my lifetime of watching politics. When the Left turned on LBJ and by extension Hubert Humphrey, at least they were criticizing them for not being left enough. For Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry to use their dying campaigns to brand Romney as the Bain of the working class... it's as though Noam Chomsky had bought time on the Super Bowl to eviscerate Hillary Clinton as a raging socialist.

Of course, the hypocrisy is jaw-dropping. So much so that one is tempted to wonder whether "Newt Gingrich" and "Rick Perry" were planted as Manchurian candibots 60 years ago -- by, you know, the Trilateral Masons.

Anyway, whatever it says about them, I think the branding of Mitt will stick -- its sources are ideologically impeccable, and it lights up exactly Romney's Achilles heel. Romney, of course, is reinforcing this branding with his every excuse and clueless metaphor. He's George H.W. Bush at the checkout counter on steroids.

I watched "When Mitt Romney Came to Town" tonight, and I have to say, it feels to me as though this moment is a pivot, if not to the left, then at least away from the right. When Krugman and Brooks walk into that same room through different doors for the same edition of the paper, maybe something's up. And the irony of ironies is that its beneficiary will be the phantom Democrat now in the White House, the Luck Child of modern global politics.

One can only hope there's a Truman Show-style awakening on tap for this show's second season.

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