TEE SHIRT message briefly ahead of me on the Trail today: "When the going gets Tough, the Tough go to Jesus". The Meek shall inherit the earth, but the Brutish will have all the bandwidth tied up.
Shorter Dave Weigel: The fact that Mitt Romney is an idiot is no reason to think he's an asshole.
Really, that's his fucking argument: Romney did not "gaffe" [sic] because he really thinks like that.
So let's have a principled discussion of the issues, on those terms, America, and quit beating up Poor Mittens.
Let's begin, as always, with tangents. "Gaffe" is not a verb. Period. Putting it in "joke quotes" does not absolve you, unless you're directly quoting someone, or the damned thing's become as prevalent as horseshit on the campaign trail. Anyone who thinks otherwise should be gaffed.
Second, whatever has become of the search for opponent's misstatements--if it's somehow more gawdawfuler now, in 2012 (it ain't)--you have your own party to blame. The fucking Republican party has been one long Snopesworthy email scam since Mike Dukakis put on that helmet. It cannot go below Zero credibility, though God knows it tries.
Which does not excuse making "Silly Putty" a verb. Stop it. Now that you've told the world everything you learned about Prog Rock by growing up after it was a punchline (so that you could, all Slate double reverse contrarian-like, tell us all that there might've been a baby tossed with the bathwater), please just go read a real book. Just once.
Finally, the fact that Mitt Romney has, over the course of a particularly dispiriting seven-year campaign, learned to mouth pro-Israel, make that "pro-Israel", inanities about the Middle East, the better to infuse an important part of the Republican coalition--"scripturally and historically-mazed Armaggasmists"--and put it in a book--does not make those ideas, well, ideas. It's too much to ask that either major party candidate actually lay down some actual history of the Middle East, or underline the distinction between mythical Israelites and modern Israelis. A distinction, one adds, which gets more play in Israel than it does in the Freest Nation on Earth. What we can ask for, beg and plead for, even pray for, if we're in the mood, is that the American voter not manage to elect another Jebus-mazed Second-Cummer like George W. Bush. You remember George W., don't you Dave?
Although, and we'll finish with this in a moment, acting as if "gaffing" has somehow transmogrified itself into something stupid and pro-forma and non-sensical just in this election cycle is pretty much to've forgotten everything that ever happened before the poor, benighted Dubya took his boots off the Oval Office desk and returned to stuporizing. Private stuporizing, I mean.
An American Presidential candidate who waves his Glorious Imaginary Sword at crowds in I-o-way convinced he's hastening the culmination of Inerrant Scripture is not, simply is not, fit or safe to be President. I don't care that Mitt Romney tried to make hay of this situation. Fair's fair; it'd be nice if our Commentariat took that to heart, too. That he wound up eating a shitburger is unquestioned; the fact that it was judged as such, and immediately, is all the proof one needs, or can ever obtain. It was a colossal mistake on Romney's part. Not to turn events into a political weapon in the late days of a campaign, but to be such an idiot about deadly serious matters in the first place. Mitt Romney made a mistake on the Campaign Trail? Dog bites Man. But you might at least have the decency to admit it, rather than pretend he's been error-free and packed with substance like a jelly doughnut to this point. Romney's a flying-saucer-level religious nut who managed to hide that successfully enough to cram his pockets full of cash. Which argument, of course, assumes "flying-saucer-level religious nut" is an actual drawback in economic circles. If he's more than that, please tell us. And tell the multi-million-dollar team of his, too. Romney's Yet Another Republican pledging to do Lukudnik business given the chance. And Romney--who has pretty much answered the question of whether his intelligence quotient exceeds that of the last two governors to run on Republican tickets--the answer is No, by the way--has managed to evince no underlying grasp of the realities which might allow us to chalk his stance up to simple Republican politicking. The real gaffe is that Mitt Romney makes less sense when he says what he means than when he channels Moroni.