observations and opinion
If a man will say anything, to anyone at any place at any time – without regard to what he has said months, or even moments before – what sits in the centre of such a man?
Does he believe what comes out of his own mouth, no matter what preceded it? Does he contain such a sense of manifest destiny that he mistakes the melifluous sound of his own voice for that of an infallible deity? Does he think he is God? Could he be such a mad man?
Or is he instead one of the “Mad Men”, the advertising gods, the purveyors of flimflam? Is he a mere mortal who consciously lies, cynically confident that the natural credulity of people will render them unwilling to test him? Or perhaps the man can simply lie faster than other people can fact check?
Mitt Romney seems almost a tragic figure in his desperate willingness to abandon dignity for success. He is the car salesman on January 30th, frantically trying to make the monthly quota by doing and saying anything to make you buy. Dying inside with each failed deal, briefly aglow when the sucker signs up for the undercoating.
Oddly, this hollowness works for Mitt. First, he really can say anything to anyone, as the moment requires. Tonight this formerly bellicose hawk became “the man of peace” who “loves teachers.” It’s awful, but this guy is a good salesman and he knows what sells.
Second, Romney is so irritating that he inspires something dangerous in Obama: contempt. The President oozes disdain for the shabby liar by his side, an understandable reaction but one which alienates people who think Obama should be “nicer.” One fears that the haughty Obama looks like a snob next to the eager-to-please, ever so agreeable Romney. This only hurts the President, unfortunately. That’s why the “bayonets” line, so funny and snarky, might backfire. People don’t like clever, superior types.
No sentient being on earth can think Romney out-performed Obama on content or style; even many Republicans would secretly prefer to have Barack getting that 3 a.m. phone call rather than Mitt. But that’s not necessarily what the audience was looking for. They wanted to see if Mitt barks too much, or might poop on the rug.
I have for some time seen Romney as a dog – drooling, smiling, licking, ready to chase a ball or hump your leg. Obama on the other hand, is one cool cat. He saunters in, nibbles his dinner, claws your sofa and curls up alone somewhere cozy. You live in his universe. Americans like cats, admiring their independence and nonchalance. But Americans LOVE dogs, so long as they don’t ruin the carpets.
Therein, perhaps, rests the fate of the most important nation on the planet. Down, boy!