…all those who stand against him are not merely mistaken, they are deliberately and willfully evil. 

 

The Obama campaign’s attack on Romney’s Bain Capital years makes me wonder.  Do we care when Romney actually “left” Bain?  Obama says we do, because Bain “outsourced” jobs.  Wow.

Watching the Obama campaign demand that Romney release all of his tax return data really, really makes me wonder.

Regarding Bain, it seems to me the more anyone focuses on Bain, the more they will Find that Romney was a highly competent executive, and that Bain did a remarkably good job of rescuing broken companies.   Whoa!  What about all the people who got fired?  Yup, that’s what happens to failing companies.  People get fired.  What about all those jobs that went overseas?  People overseas did those jobs cheaper and better.  Get over it.  No company will survive paying above-market wages to incompetents and dead weight.

And what about all those companies that Bain did in fact rescue?  And all those jobs?  They don’t count?

Tax returns.  Can a president whose past is shrouded in deliberate mystery — and whose “autobiography” is in fact a work people with fictional characters — credibly accuse his opponent of hiding something when he has already complied with all disclosure requirements?  Is this the same president whose birth certificate we still cannot see, and whose school transcripts have achieved national security status?  The same president who promised us the most transparent administration in history, and gave us the most secretive?

Does any of this in fact matter?

No.

The true believers shriek with joy each time that the Obama campaign jabs at taxes, or Bain, because it delights them to hear the President assert that Romney is the face of evil.  But undecided voters, I think, pay little heed.

It’s July.  Can the president keep banging these twin gongs until November?  Doubtful.  Sooner or later, people will get tired of hearing about Bain, and Romney will then point out that he was a very popular governor of a large and populous state, during a very prosperous period for that state.  Obama will not want Romney to focus on his record in Massachusetts, but, at the end of the day, there can be no denying that Romney’s successes as a chief executive stand in rather sharp contrast to Obama’s dreary litany of failure.

Still, the president seems intent on pursuing his standard message:  that all those who stand against him are not merely mistaken, they are deliberately and willfully evil.  Can you hear Obama making this concession speech?

“Well, the voters have spoken, and I am saddened by the result.  I have done my best to warn the people that my opponent is a cruel and heartless man.  I have described his wanton disregard and callous distaste for the working people.  I have pointed out how diligently he attempted to minimize his tax bills, unlike all those honest citizens who pay their fair share.  I have described how he shamelessly exploited weak and failing companies for his own profit.  And I told you what he did to his dog.  His dog.  His dog.

“And yet, in spite of all this, the American people have seen fit to elect this pitiless monster — this man who supports ripping the food from the mouths of the poor and their starving children, and who will condemn millions and millions of people to a life without medical care, a future without high-speed light rail and a planet ravaged by the fossil fuel addiction that dooms us all.

“Well, don’t say I didn’t warn you.  Now, you get what you selected.  I weep for those who made the wiser, if less popular choice, as they, the blameless, must now endure the same misery and hardship as those who have elected this self-inflicted wound.  And with that, I retire to Oahu to write my next autobiography, with a wonderful cast of characters drawn from real life.”

No, he’s not going to say that.  He’s going to wish the new President luck, congratulate him on a hard campaign well-fought and on his victory, assure him of his support, and have his picture taken with him at every available future opportunity.  And since I know that Obama is not going to claim that Romney is a monster in November, why should I pay any attention to him when he tries to sell me that idea now?

At the end of the day, Romney will most likely release the tax returns, sigh as the inevitable wave of rage issues from the claques of the righteous (“Look!  He paid as little as possible in taxes!  What kind of American is he?) and then get on with it.  Those who hate the rich for being rich will vote for Obama.  Those who want to get rich?  I don’t know.  But the Obama message of “Let’s all be happy little proles” is unlikely to resonate with an electorate tired of endless volleys of empty rhetoric, hungry for real solutions to steadily-mounting problems, and possibly disillusioned with someone whose bright promise turned out to be just that — a promise, and nothing more.  And we all know what happens to political promises.