Friday, January 20

Purity Of Essence

SHORTER David Brooks: "Sure, Mitt Romney's character has been shaped by piratical capitalism and kooky theology. But only the good parts."

Okay, for starters: the issue with Bain isn't whether Mitt Romney obeyed the law, and it's certainly not whether we can find right-wing mouthpieces willing to defend him in public by spouting some blather about the American "system"; it's whether one can do everything up to the letter of the law and thereby claim to have been ethical, even moral, beyond question. It's whether there are different rules for the rich guys who make the rules than for the poor schlubs who keep imagining, against all evidence, that they are voting for honest men. And it's about just how much plutocracy Republican shills will defend without losing their self-appointed status as spokesmen for the Real America.

There's no sacred text of Alexander Hamilton which consecrates what was done at Bain. There's no shrine to unfettered rapine honored in every American household. What Bain did--what Willard Mitt Romney and his two hard-scrabbled Hahvahd degrees did--was take every advantage of a gamed system, a gamed system we can call, not for want of a better term but because there is no better term, the Reagan Revolution.

Faced with a troubled, stagnant economy which was in trouble, and had stagnated, largely because its multinational colossi did not want to be bothered adapting to a changing world--one in which energy wasn't plentiful and cheap, one in which the United States did not stand as the only global player, one in which consumers had begun to take their rightful place in the endless merry-go-round of merchantilism--in other words, the world of the 21st century, the one we're failing to adapt to today--unless their built-in advantages were preserved. So the Reagan administration, and the Western-Southern alliance in the Congress, defanged and dismantled the legislative safeguards which had for two generations somewhat leveled the playing field, and protected the vulnerable public from the worst of Boom and Bust. Which allowed the "visionaries" and "tenacious achievers" to bleed the system, to convert assets into cash. Meanwhile destroying the assets.

Fooled plenty of people. Made Reagan look like an Economic Miracle Worker, provided you didn't look too closely or ask why he simultaneously had the worst jobs creation record of any post-war President. Until his successor inherited the snake oil inventory.

That's what Romney did; his tireless efforts were designed to prove that any idiot with money can make more money, provided making more money is the only thing he cares about.

Mitt Romney is running for President of the United States, not the CEO of Citicorp. I know, GOP shills aren't supposed to recognize any difference. But the rest of us do, and we haven't had any choice in the matter since 2007. Romney chose money over morality; now that choice has bitten him in the ass. If it was all so innocent--heroic, even--in the first place there'd be no need for all the hoop-jumping going on in its defense.

Speaking of which, Dave, I know it's tough to come up with 800 words defending the inexcusable, but turning 600 of the over to a recapitulation of some guy's book about the Pioneer Mormon Romneys? And, you should pardon the expression, fer chrissakes:
It is a story of relentless effort, of recovery and of being despised (in their eyes) because of their own success. Romney himself experienced none of this hardship, of course, but Jews who didn’t live through the Exodus are still shaped by it.

Only if they ignore the clear historical record that nothing like the Exodus happened, since nothing like the Egyptian Captivity happened. Modern Jews, of course, are entirely justified in being shaped by the Holocaust, but you didn't wanna go there, right? Especially since the victims of Hitler's genocide are all now unwitting Mormons. And while Romney's progenitors certainly faced an armed and bigoted populace, that was nothing compared to what African-Americans faced, so I glad you skipped that too, Dave. So, I'm sure, is the rest of the Mormon hierarchy, which finally got around to making colored boys into men in 1978. When Willard Mitt was thirty-one.

I'm sorry. Was that a cheap shot? Is it unfair, since "Mitt Romney can’t talk about his family history on the campaign trail. Mormonism is an uncomfortable subject." ? Y'all sure expected Barack Obama to explain Jeremiah Wright.


KWillow said...

Rmoney can't talk about "uncomfortable" Mormonism? Or maybe he knows most Americans are bug-eyed outraged and offended by Mormonism?

Newt can't talk about his 3 marriages either. Ron Paul can't talk about his blatant racism: the subjects are soooo "uncomfortable". Rick Perry couldn't talk about his abject stupidity, which was not only "uncomfortable", but unapparent to him. He thinks he's smart.

prairie curmudgeon said...

For us continuing strivers out here, just show us the fucking tax returns. And I wanna see the payroll tax returns too, you asshole god wannabe. Jeez, like the rest of us don't share 1000s of generations of ancestral survivors. We just don't claim the chosen status or the special status that brings big money or that big money brings.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Re: Your last comment, KWillow.

Southern California, along with the rest of the Southwest, needs to get their water from other places. Could get dicey...

harmfulguy said...

Mitt Romney's "character" is something he has to keep looking up on a piece of paper because he can't remember his saving throws or attack bonus.

satch said...

Whaddya mean, the Exodus never happened? Cecil B. DeMille and Charlton Heston SAID it did, and that's good enough for Brooksie.

Helmut Monotreme said...

Mitt doesn't want to talk about family history, because after a big meal, his father would often crap out better presidential candidates than Mitt.

Anonymous said...

I really begin to think that Brooks is just fucking with us all. I flipped on the News Hour briefly yesterday, and there was ole reliable; fluffing Romney and discounting anything the President was going to say at the SOTU. I say bring it on; Obama hit it out of the park (rhetorically, at least) when speaking of the fact that Bin Laden is "no longer a threat." Yeah, that's right, because he's dead. Thanks, President Bush...oh, wait a moment. As far as romanticizing the "Mormon Exodus," please see "Under the Banner of Heaven," by Jon Krakauer. It will open your eyes about the true beliefs of these "Latter Day Saints."