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

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
July 22, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Good as Goldman: Hillary and Wall Street
Joseph E. Lowndes
From Silent Majority to White-Hot Rage: Observations from Cleveland
Paul Street
Political Correctness: Handle with Care
Richard Moser
Actions Express Priorities: 40 Years of Failed Lesser Evil Voting
Eric Draitser
Hillary and Tim Kaine: a Match Made on Wall Street
Conn Hallinan
The Big Boom: Nukes And NATO
Ron Jacobs
Exacerbate the Split in the Ruling Class
Jill Stein
After US Airstrikes Kill 73 in Syria, It’s Time to End Military Assaults that Breed Terrorism
Jack Rasmus
Trump, Trade and Working Class Discontent
John Feffer
Could a Military Coup Happen Here?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Late Night, Wine-Soaked Thoughts on Trump’s Jeremiad
Andrew Levine
Vice Presidents: What Are They Good For?
Michael Lukas
Law, Order, and the Disciplining of Black Bodies at the Republican National Convention
David Swanson
Top 10 Reasons Why It’s Just Fine for U.S. to Blow Up Children
Victor Grossman
Horror News, This Time From Munich
Margaret Kimberley
Gavin Long’s Last Words
Mark Weisbrot
Confidence and the Degradation of Brazil
Brian Cloughley
Boris Johnson: Britain’s Lying Buffoon
Lawrence Reichard
A Global Crossroad
Kevin Schwartz
Beyond 28 Pages: Saudi Arabia and the West
Charles Pierson
The Courage of Kalyn Chapman James
Michael Brenner
Terrorism Redux
Bruce Lerro
Being Inconvenienced While Minding My Own Business: Liberals and the Social Contract Theory of Violence
Mark Dunbar
The Politics of Jeremy Corbyn
Binoy Kampmark
Laura Ingraham and Trumpism
Uri Avnery
The Great Rift
Nicholas Buccola
What’s the Matter with What Ted Said?
Aidan O'Brien
Thank Allah for Western Democracy, Despondency and Defeat
Joseph Natoli
The Politics of Crazy and Stupid
Sher Ali Khan
Empirocracy
Nauman Sadiq
A House Divided: Turkey’s Failed Coup Plot
Franklin Lamb
A Roadmap for Lebanon to Grant Civil Rights for Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon
Colin Todhunter
Power and the Bomb: Conducting International Relations with the Threat of Mass Murder
Michael Barker
UK Labour’s Rightwing Select Corporate Lobbyist to Oppose Jeremy Corbyn
Graham Peebles
Brexit, Trump and Lots of Anger
Anhvinh Doanvo
Civilian Deaths, Iraq, Syria, ISIS and Drones
Christopher Brauchli
Kansas and the Phantom Voters
Peter Lee
Gavin Long’s Manifesto and the Politics of “Terrorism”
Missy Comley Beattie
An Alarmingly Ignorant Fuck
Robert Koehler
Volatile America
Adam Vogal
Why Black Lives Matter To Me
Raouf Halaby
It Is Not Plagiarism, Y’all
Rev. Jeff Hood
Deliver Us From Babel
Frances Madeson
Juvenile Life Without Parole, Captured in ‘Natural Life’
Charles R. Larson
Review: Han Kang’s “The Vegetarian”
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail