FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Art of Political Suicide

by BINOY KAMPMARK

Now we will be stuck with him [Obama] for another four years because Mitt the unfit can’t get his shit together.

Anonymous GOP strategist, Capitol Hill Blue, Sep 18, 2012

Electoral suicide is a skill, mastered through the ages with a degree of diligence one can admire.  Monarchical states had it right without perhaps knowing it – one doesn’t take a regime to an election for fear of finding something worse.  The politics of the vote is the politics of the knife – candidates fed by party machines, stumbling into the abyss, not realising they have made a blunder until it is too late.  Did you watch that capacious mouth of yours, dear candidate?  Hopefuls flounder only to perish because they misread the shrivelled tea leaves.

Mitt Romney, amusing political creation that he is, is demonstrating why he is making the venerable Japanese ceremony of seppuku more attractive by the day.  Not liked within his own ranks, endorsed by anti-Obama necessity, he is fast moving towards the deadly ravine.  “God, this guy is a loser,” claimed an unnamed GOP strategist on Capitol Hill Blue (Sep 18).  “We just lurch from one disaster to another.”  Inner sniping is beginning to gather pace with tribal force, and the sounds of the cutting can be heard from across the country.

There is much one can forgive a running candidate for, provided he is blind, oblivious and lost.  Romney’s spectacular effort of not caring “about 47 percent of voters” was a confession that power is something that he would wish other people to have.  Yes, it wasn’t vetted with the GOP wizards and maladjusted astrologists, but shot by a hidden camera at a session where he was caught off guard.  Shockingly, the professional mendacity of the GOP is starting to rust.  If one is to lie, one better well be damn good at it.

The resumes of these unfortunates are, for Romney, inglorious, spanning those “who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to healthcare, to food, to housing, to you-name-it.  That’s an entitlement.  And the government should give it to them… These are people who pay no income tax.”  Electoral death, it seems, by video, is something of an entitlement.

This is, of course, to the good, if you are backing the other side, but hardly desirable for your punters, who are channelling funds into your campaign hoping for a first class finish.  Romney is fast moving into the zone of caricature, the clown of political challenges.  His finish may well be a fatal second.

Not that it really matters, but America’s grand aircraft carrier – Her Majesty’s Great Britain – is not particularly keen that Romney move into the White House.  That’s if you believe the enthusiastic confessor Harvey Weinstein.  “I witnessed [the British] Prime Minister saying to a group of people, myself included, that Mitt Romney had that unique distinction of uniting all England against him with various remarks.  On behalf of my love of England, I have to support the President [Barack Obama] who is anything but making faux-pas” (Telegraph, Sep 16).  One vacuous fool, it seems, about another.

One doesn’t win elections mocking very large blocs, be there the entitlement crowd, or any other set even if such comments were, in the candidate’s words, “not elegantly stated.”  There is even a case at times that elections are not won by denigrating a small group of individuals, be they wrapped in disentitling clover.  The Obama campaign has done no favours turning the screws on the Romney crew by taking the negative low ground, showing that they are fresh out of ideas.  Romney has kindly responded by suggesting that he is one step down, a man of even lesser imagination.

His defeat is only conjecture till it takes place, as is the suggestion that an Obama victory is inevitable. Romney may sneak into the White House with sheer dumb luck, or rather, crawl in with surprising blessings.  That won’t be because of the efforts of his chief strategist Stuart Stevens, who is now being blamed for not being a suitably influential, and vicious, juju man.  Should Romney win, it will be one of this century’s more miraculous events.

Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge.  He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne.  Email: bkampmark@gmail.com

 

Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge. He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. Email: bkampmark@gmail.com

May 02, 2016
Michael Hudson – Gordon Long
Wall Street Has Taken Over the Economy and is Draining It
Paul Street
The Bernie Fade Begins
Ron Jacobs
On the Frontlines of Peace: the Life of Daniel Berrigan
Louis Yako
Dubai Transit
Bill Quigley
Teacher, Union Leader, Labor Lawyer: Profile of Chris Williams Social Justice Advocate
Patrick Cockburn
Into the Green Zone: Iraq’s Disintegrating Political System
Lawrence Ware
Trump is the Presidential Candidate the Republicans Deserve
Ron Forthofer
Just Say No to Corporate Rule
Ralph Nader
The Long-Distance Rebound of Bernie Sanders
Ken Butigan
Remembering Daniel Berrigan, with Gratitude
Nicolas J S Davies
Escalating U.S. Air Strikes Kill Hundreds of Civilians in Mosul, Iraq
Binoy Kampmark
Class, Football, and Blame: the Hillsborough Disaster Inquest
George Wuerthner
The Economic Value of Yellowstone National Park
Rivera Sun
Celebrating Mother Jones
Nyla Ali Khan
Kashmir and Postcolonialism
Mairead Maguire
Drop the Just War Theory
Weekend Edition
April 29, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
What is the Democratic Party Good For? Absolutely Nothing
Roberto J. González – David Price
Anthropologists Marshalling History: the American Anthropological Association’s Vote on the Academic Boycott of Israeli Institutions
Robert Jacobs
Hanford, Not Fukushima, is the Big Radiological Threat to the West Coast
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
US Presidential Election: Beyond Lesser Evilism
Dave Lindorff
The Push to Make Sanders the Green Party’s Candidate
Peter Linebaugh
Marymount, Haymarket, Marikana: a Brief Note Towards ‘Completing’ May Day
Ian Fairlie
Chernobyl’s Ongoing Toll: 40,000 More Cancer Deaths?
Pete Dolack
Verizon Sticks it to its Workers Because $45 Billion isn’t Enough
Moshe Adler
May Day: a Trade Agreement to Unite Third World and American Workers
Margaret Kimberley
Dishonoring Harriet Tubman
Deepak Tripathi
The United States, Britain and the European Union
Eva Golinger
My Country, My Love: a Conversation with Gerardo and Adriana of the Cuban Five
Richard Falk
If Obama Visits Hiroshima
Vijay Prashad
Political Violence in Honduras
Paul Krane
Where Gun Control Ought to Start: Disarming the Police
David Anderson
Al Jazeera America: Goodbye to All That Jazz
Rob Hager
Platform Perversity: More From the Campaign That Can’t Strategize
Pat Williams
FDR in Montana
Dave Marsh
Every Day I Read the Book (the Best Music Books of the Last Year)
David Rosen
Job Satisfaction Under Perpetual Stagnation
John Feffer
Big Oil isn’t Going Down Without a Fight
Murray Dobbin
The Canadian / Saudi Arms Deal: More Than Meets the Eye?
Gary Engler
The Devil Capitalism
Brian Cloughley
Is Washington Preparing for War Against Russia?
Manuel E. Yepe
The Big Lies and the Small Lies
Robert Fantina
Vice Presidents, Candidates and History
Mel Gurtov
Sanctions and Defiance in North Korea
Howard Lisnoff
Still the Litmus Test of Worth
Dean Baker
Big Business and the Overtime Rule: Irrational Complaints
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail