The Presidential campaign: an update


I don’t write about politics very often. It doesn’t win me many friends. The people who agree with me still agree with me, and the people who disagree – well, they can just shut their pieholes.



But I cannot resist commenting on the past week’s Presidential-campaign events, which have been truly delicious.



The overture was Mitt Romney’s speech to the NAACP. “ROMNEY IN THE LION’S DEN!” trumpeted any number of commentators. See? Mitt is the prophet Daniel, and the NAACP were the lions, or the Persians, or the Assyrians, or something. Anyway, it didn’t take long to see that Mitt was using this as an opportunity to show his (white) supporters that he isn’t going to take any backtalk from any (nonwhite) minority groups when he becomes President. It reminded me of those wonderful moments in professional wrestling when the villain grabs the microphone from the scrawny announcer and begins to berate the audience. He knows they hate him. That’s what it’s all about.



This is an interesting campaign strategy, trying to win the Presidency with not a single minority vote. (Mitt might still pick a ringer for VP, like Marco Rubio, but I doubt it; it’ll be a whitey like him and me, like Pawlenty or Ryan (well, Ryan sounds Irish, so I don’t know), or that guy from Ohio that no one’s ever heard of. Absolutely not a woman. Not Sarah Palin, and not Condi Rice. She’s pro-choice! She’s been on “30 Rock”! She’s black!)



Then there was the call for Mitt to release his tax returns. He will not, will not, do it. (Do you wonder what’s in them? So do I. I’m not normally eager to read other people’s tax returns, but these I’ll take a glance at.) Speculation is running wild. Were there years in which he paid no tax at all? Quite possible. Would the itemizations yield up interesting facts about the Romney fortune? Also quite possible.



There was a day or two of Mitt looking strangled and hopeless over this issue. Then the GOP figured out its riposte: OBAMA ISN’T AN AMERICAN!



Yes, you heard me.



Mitt called his policies “foreign” in a speech a day or two ago. John Sununu said that he wished “Obama would learn how to be an American.” (John Sununu, by the way, is an Arab-American. You would think – wouldn’t you? – that an Arab-American would realize that this kind of rhetoric can be inflammatory.  Apparently not.) Sununu said lots of other unkind things. Obama’s team are “liars” (because the Obama campaign has said – with perfect reasonableness, and in the absence of any extenuating evidence – that, if Romney lied about his status at Bain on his tax returns, it might have been a felony. Naturally this can be disproven if Romney were to release his returns.). Also: Obama has “demonized success.” (Not at all. Would that we could all be as wealthy as Mitt Romney! Of course, he inherited part of his fortune, and his handsome sons will inherit even more, from all those fat Swiss / Cayman bank accounts.)



Most deliciously: Rush Limbaugh has decried the new Batman movie, because the villain’s name is Bane. Obviously this is a reference to Bain Capital. (One Tumblr wit pointed out that, since the Batman villain Bane is a fat drug user who was popular in the 1990s, you’d think that Rush would like him.)



Oh, it’s all pretty funny.



So why am I not laughing?



About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to

5 Responses to The Presidential campaign: an update

  1. starproms says:

    I am new to your politics Loren, but I’m listening. I’m English. I’m an Obama supporter. I feel sorry for him. Seems to me that everything he’s tried to do has been blocked. Please God he gets in again and manages to carry out some of his great ideas.

    • I hope we get a second term too. If Romney wins, he’s going to try to roll back even the modest advances Obama has put forward.

      • starproms says:

        or else the Republicans are going to implement all Obama’s ideas as if they were their own!
        I have first hand experience of the National Health Scheme in England. I am very proud of it. Yes, it has its flaws, but the worst problem for us here is the same as everywhere and that is that people are living too long and becoming a drain on the system! We are victims of our own success these days. There is no doubt about it, you need a health system over there which is available to everybody, whether or not they can afford their medication. It is only right that those with the most money should help those with nothing.
        I have lived in America and had experience of the system over there. I suppose I should do a post about it soon. Briefly, I found it to be ‘overkill’. The drugs prescribed are too strong and too many of them. It all goes to feed the doctors and insurance companies’ wallets!

  2. What I love is the way the GOP keeps trying to dirty up Obama by claiming he is relying on “Chicago style politics” to get re-elected and to try to get his programs through Congress, and that the “Chicago-style” hardball he learned here is influencing his political style as president.

    As a Chicagoan, I can attest that here in the city, “Politics ain’t beanbag,” as that Boss Hinky-Dink Kenna used to say, and that there are plenty of dirty tricks and back room deals going on.

    But through a broad stroke of good luck, Obama was able to jump right from the minor leagues of the statehouse to the grand stage of the US Senate, and never had to earn his stripes in the ditches of Chicago politics. Everything he achieved, he won on his own, without the power of a political machine behind him.

    • I’m not a Chicagoan, but I agree: Obama has never struck me as a Daley-style Chicago pol. If he’d wanted to play dirty, he could have done so many times over the past four years, and he has not done it.

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