What a disaster a Mitt Romney presidency, should it happen, will be. It all has to do with the basic criticism that’s been lobbed at the man all along, even by other Republicans: He will say anything and everything to get elected.
This means there is no consistency to what comes out of his mouth. That’s what the Republicans called "waffling" back when Al Gore ran for president.
Let’s just state the plain, obvious fact: Mitt Romney doesn’t believe in anything in the long-term. He only believes what he says at that very moment to the people he’s saying it to.
This was never better accentuated than through his world tour, which ended up making the candidate appear more like Jerry Lewis in a glass house. If it wasn’t broken, Mitt was determined to shatter it in as dynamic a fashion as possible.
There’s no other explanation for a list of embarrassing comments in England, Israel and Poland that had a British government source quoted as calling Romney’s visit a "train wreck," that had Palestinian officials branding him a racist and accusing him of single-handedly sabotaging peace talks, and which resulted in an aide screaming at the press in Poland on camera, and I quote: "Kiss my ass. This is a holy site for the Polish people. Show some respect."
The irony of it aside, that sentence speaks to the attitude inherent in the Romney campaign: "Do what we say now, not what we did
Actually, those games were saved by the $1.5 billion from the United States government -- that is, taxpayers -- and $59 million from the state of Utah -- also, taxpayers -- that was all in place before Romney even arrived on the scene.
It’s really all about context, though. If you don’t see you or your country in context of anything other than you or your country, then Romney’s comments might seem reasonable. History is filled with societies that could not step outside themselves, and they were often punished and wiped out, usually in humiliating ways. Smugness has that effect on things.
Mitt is playing to people who cannot even see context within the very bubble they inhabit. There are bubbles within bubbles in this scenario, and they exist to give you a reason to fool yourself into getting solidly behind a Romney presidency because you hate Obama so much. The fewer facts about your candidate that reveal how far from reality his residence is, the more determined you are to support him rather than the lesser of two evils, which would be Obama in this case.
This disdain for facts and consequences results in our more mundane decisions being totally wrong. Romney is the king of wrong, as evidenced in Romney’s "We Did Build This" events. These were in response to comments from Obama that had to be taken so far out of context in order to be useful for retaliation.
The campaign also had to gloss over the fact that Romney had previously made comments similar to Obama’s and that most of the businesses Romney invited to host the events had actually enjoyed government -- that is, taxpayer -- support, proving correct the very statement the events were in protest of.
Trying to keep track of Romney logic can make your brain hurt. It’s definitely all the proof you need that he may be the perfect candidate for the rapidly disintegrating Republican Party, which is based on the unsustainable model that each generation of voters will be as willing to hide inside bubbles within bubbles within bubbles on into the far-flung future.
As anyone who witnessed ragtime and zoot-suiters and greasers and hippies and punks and hip-hoppers and whatever else can tell you, the bubble eventually exists only to be popped, as does the next one and the one after it. The only reason Mitt and so many other Republicans don’t realize this is because they’ve ensconced themselves inside so many bubbles at once that they have no idea what’s coming at them on the outside.
John Seven is the Transcript’s arts and entertainment editor.