Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Just What I Was Thinking

Matt Taibbi is out this week taking notice as are many other writers and pundits of Mittens Romney's steady erosion of support in the polls. You can't be surprised at this what with the incredible ineptness he's displayed in just about any forum in which he has appeared. The surreptitiously taped slam on half the population of the country--the infamous 47-percent recording--is just the latest. But Taibbi is wondering why this race, even given Romney's laughable campaign, is in any way close. Fact is, Obama is just now pulling away, and depending on the margin of error and what poll you're looking at, the lead ranges from 5-10 points, including leads in practically all of the key contested states.

Here's part of what he writes: 
The Times, meanwhile, ran a house editorial blaming Romney's general obliqueness, his willingness to stretch the truth and his inability to connect with ordinary people for his fall. David Brooks ran a column suggesting that Romney's overreliance on a message of strict market conservatism, ignoring the values message of "traditional" conservatism, was what killed him in the end.

All of these points of view have merit, I guess, but to me they're mostly irrelevant. The mere fact that Mitt Romney is even within striking distance of winning this election is an incredible testament to two things: a) the rank incompetence of the Democratic Party, which would have this and every other election for the next half century sewn up if they were a little less money-hungry and tried just a little harder to represent their ostensible constituents, and b) the power of our propaganda machine, which has conditioned all of us to accept the idea that the American population, ideologically speaking, is naturally split down the middle, whereas the real fault lines are a lot closer to the 99-1 ratio the Occupy movement has been talking about since last year.

Think about it. Four years ago, we had an economic crash that wiped out somewhere between a quarter to 40% of the world's wealth, depending on whom you believe. The crash was caused by an utterly disgusting and irresponsible class of Wall Street paper-pushers who loaded the world up with deadly leverage in pursuit of their own bonuses, then ran screaming to the government for a handout (and got it) the instant it all went south.

These people represent everything that ordinarily repels the American voter. They mostly come from privileged backgrounds. Few of them have ever worked with their hands, or done anything like hard work. They not only don't oppose the offshoring of American manufacturing jobs, they enthusiastically support it, financing the construction of new factories in places like China and India.
They've relentlessly lobbied the government to give themselves tax holidays and shelters, and have succeeded at turning the graduated income tax idea on its head by getting the IRS to accept a sprawling buffet of absurd semantic precepts, like the notions that "capital gains" and "carried interest" are somehow not the same as "income."

The people in this group inevitably support every war that America has even the slimmest chance of involving itself in, but neither they nor their children ever fight in these conflicts. They are largely irreligious and incidentally they do massive amounts of drugs, from cocaine on down, but almost never suffer any kind of criminal penalty for their behavior.
 Further in the article, Taibbi speculates that the press also contributes to the closeness of the race in its lust for ratings. As usual, Taibbi is worth the read.

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