What the Kittens Lost

Willard, that’s not a sauna; it’s a toilet bowl

©Bryan Zepp Jamieson

September 23rd, 2012

….and I’m back.

I needed a break from writing essays, partly because after fifteen years I needed a good long break, and partly so I could sit down and write a novel. Well, the novel is written, and going through the copy edit and beta reader process now, and I’ll have more to say about that in future writings, but for now, let’s look at…surprise! The 2012 Presidential campaign!


Have you seen anything like this? I’ve been following US presidential campaigns since 1960. Granted, that first one was a bit vague; I knew a guy named Kennedy was running against a guy named Nixon for the American premiership or whatever, and I was hoping Nixon would win because his name rhymed with George Dixon, a football hero of mine. Scoff if you will, but I suspect that I made as informed a choice in 1960 as 30% of adult American voters do today. And the Alouettes lost the Grey Cup anyway.

Maybe in the end, Romney will lose because there are no sports heroes he can rhyme his name with. But he seems intent on losing the support of voters who CAN make informed decisions first.

I’ve never seen a campaign as chaotic as this one. For a guy who likes to fire people, Romney sure seems intent on keeping his campaign staff, no matter how inept and flat-out damaging they are.

The latest thing is the Univision interview. He had his face painted brown, to the extent that if he and Obama stood side by side, Obama might have appeared the lighter of the two. Romney likes to brag about his Mexican roots, but that was ridiculous.

Worse, his make-up person forgot to paint his left ear, which fluttered, bright and white, next to his face like an albatross hovering beside a walnut tree.

It didn’t help that it got out that he insisted on stocking the audience with friendlies. That type of political theater has become a routine among politicians who like to pretend they are meeting with the people when they are actually doing nothing of the sort, but it’s rare for a TV network other than Faux News to go along with something like that. The interview didn’t exactly cover Univision in glory.

Now, a couple of months ago he gave a speech to the NAACP, which people thought was a strange choice. He has next to no support amongst African-Americans (one poll actually had him at 0%, plus or minus 3 for MoE) and his speech did little to cultivate support. The crowd booed him.

There have been racist undertones to the Romney campaign right along and the message here was clear: Romney wanted his dull-eyed hick demographic, the 47% who are useless in Romney’s eyes but who can vote, to know that African Americans didn’t like Romney, and Romney didn’t give a shit about African Americans.

Was he doing the same thing in the Univision interview?

No. That was just good old fashioned ineptness and incompetence. It’s the same tone-deaf stupidity that his campaign has shown over and over. If you had told me that a candidate would sail to the city hosting his nominating convention in a luxury yacht borrowed from some other plutocrat, with a name that included a term considered derogatory to the local population and flying under a foreign flag, and moor the yacht there for the duration of the convention, I would have given you an uncertain grin and inquired as to the state of your mental health. But that’s what he did, arriving in “The Cracker Bay” and flying the flag of the Cayman Islands.

Romney himself needs to duct-tape his mouth shut. The Republicans had been hoping to make a big issue of Joe Biden’s gaffes, but just as they were really getting that geared up, Romney went to London to watch his wife’s dancing horse in the Olympics, and insulted his hosts, questioning their ability to put on the Olympics. Biden, at his worst, might make people roll their eyes. He doesn’t piss off entire countries, especially ones that are America’s closest allies.

Then there was the Libyan embassy tragedy. In a way, Romney was an honest victim of bad timing; when he gave his nasty and absurd news conference about Obama “apologizing” for that disgraceful anti-Moslem You Tube video, the mob hadn’t yet attacked the US embassy in Libya and killed the ambassador and three of his staff. But he still covered himself lavishly in manure doing it.

First off, he lied. Obama didn’t apologize. Nobody did. The Egyptian embassy issued a statement condemning the movie and saying the US had nothing to do with it. Then there was the nasty little smirk of Romney as he walked away from the podium. It was the smirk of the schoolyard bully who has just convinced the playground monitor that the blame lay, not with him, but his victim.

That’s perhaps the most disturbing thing about Romney. He’s a liar, and he doesn’t give a shit who knows it. He can sell it, and fuck the truth, or for that matter, the country. He just doesn’t care.

Most of what are called flip-flops aren’t even that. He didn’t change his mind; he just says whatever is expedient with utter disregard for truth, or how close it lays to his actually inner beliefs, if any.

A lot of his support comes from people who support him simply because he’s a) Republican and b) not Obama. Except that’s not certain.

What’s Romney’s stance on Obamacare? Remember, he INVENTED it, and it was hailed by Republicans before Obama managed to get the exact same thing through Congress. Then they were against it, and so Romney was against it.

Except that now that some of the provisions are in effect and proving popular with the general population, he’s for keeping those provisions: the 80% limitation on insurance company revenues, the banning of pre-existing conditions, et cetera. He just doesn’t want to pay for them.

Not paying for it is a typically Republican stance, but isn’t getting rid of all things Obama their core principle? Especially Obamacare?

The speech in which he decried the 47% wasn’t a gaffe, and may actually come closer to what the man really thinks. That the GOP is run by elitist parasites with an overdeveloped sense of entitlement who regard much of the country as their property isn’t new. Some of us felt they were going that way back in the 1980s, and there was little room for doubt by the time George W. Bush came along. Remember his response to 9/11? Cut taxes for the rich first!

Yeah, that’s how you fight terrorism.

A lot of people have been having fun pointing out the types of people who qualify for that 47%, the “luckie duckies” who pay no federal income tax. It’s just so unfair: if Romney can pay two million in federal taxes, then a single mother with two kids making $30,000 a year should pay $2 million in taxes too! That’s fair, isn’t it?

About a third of Romney’s voter support comes from that 47%, particularly amongst the military and retirees. These are people he thinks lack ambition and need to take responsibility for their lives.

It’s just more of the candy-coated Ayn Rand fascism we’ve been seeing for years.

Romney himself may be in that 47%. During one of the faux-debates the GOP had, Romney attacked Newt Gingrich for advocating zeroing out the capital gains tax (Romney is for that this week). He said that if he had been zeroed out over the past two years, Romney would have paid no federal taxes at all!

Which means he paid capital gains, but, like every other unemployed parasite in the country, paid no federal income taxes.

Late Friday afternoon last, he released his 2011 tax returns (and in a splendid contradiction, understated his charitable contributions in order to raise his tax burden above 14% whilst simultaneously saying that anyone who paid more in taxes then they actually owed had no business running for the Presidency) along with a curiously worded notarized statement giving a vague overview of his tax status over the past twenty years. It read like it had been put together by a committee of tax lawyers, and I have no doubt that each statement, TAKEN BY ITSELF, is accurate.

It reminded me of the Watergate scandal, when Nixon (not Dixon) released transcripts of the tapes. Remember ‘expletive deleted’ and the 18 ½ minute gap? Rose Marie showing how she might have erased the tape by mistake? And of course, later, we learned what the tapes really said, and bye-bye, Nixon, your rushing career is over.

Line to line, Romney’s tax overview jumps around, talking about federal taxes, federal income taxes, taxes owed, taxes paid. It keeps changing, and creates an impression that I’m quite sure does not reflect his actual tax status in the least. He’s hiding something, and he’s hiding it HARD. There’s something in there so bad that even all the other crap he’s pulled this campaign fades into nothingness in comparison.

It is something that would piss the American people off, and given what a tiresome travesty this campaign has been, they are long overdue to become pissed off.


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