Wednesday, January 11, 2012

What stump speeches say beneath the hood

You can tell who a party's voters are by listening to the presidential candidates' speeches.

I was listening to Mitt Romney's vistory speech in New Hampshire, about how he was for freedom and--between the lines--Obama was for slavery.

Romney seems irony-blind.

The things he said were stuff I'm prettysure he knows aren't true, but they did make for a neat, simple, straightforward narrative, banging on the idea that Obama is foreign.

No, he didn't question Obama's nationality. He just did the same thing Bush II did to convince his followers that Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11: association. He put Saddam's name into every sentence about 9/11 and his followers connected the fake dots. Now Romney is putting Obama's name next to "European" and "Socialism."

Which is less likely to work on educated, cosmopolitan people.

But it works like a charm on white guys without a college degree.

So the real deal with the GOP is not a "clash of civilizations" between  the two parties. It's a war of words--words aimed at the inner insecurities of white men living in a browning country run by a guy who doesn't look like them. It's too simple to call this racism, though of course that's a factor with many--but not with many others. However, even with those others, there's a sense of unease, of a willingness to believe the worst of Obama...a willingness to construct rational-seeming arguments on top of that unease so they don't have to be looked at, so the many who actually don't want to be racist can tell themselves they aren't.

They just don't like "European socialism."

Funny that the "European socialism" of Northern European countries like Germany is doing great, making capitalist money hand over fist, providing medical care for everybody in an export-centric economy that's more resilient than ours, and in which a poor but ambitious, hardworking person has more social mobility than he would here.

It you want a reality check on my speculations, look at and's research on the truthiness of Romney's attacks on Obama.

One more Big Lie--the one about how Obama didn't fix the economy. Um, he isn't king. He isn't even the Prime Minister presiding over a government united behind him.

The current American system enables an opposition party with a House majority and a Senate minority to throw enough grit in the gears to keep nearly everything from happening. It's not a "do nothing" Congress at all. It's a "block everything" Congress.

Which means Romney's arguing to let the foxes get back in charge of the henhouse. And the Layoff King is the First Fox.

Interestingly, I came across this conservative LDS website that details his adjustment of his beliefs to suit the circumstances.

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