When trying to come up with the ten worst political moments of 2012, one is faced with an embarrassment of richie-riches from the Republican Party. In this contest, the Democrats are at a competitive disadvantage. When it comes to being tone deaf and tone blind and tone dumb, the Repub’s have cornered the market in 2012.
So, with an acknowledgement that making such a list would necessarily omit many worthy moments (hopefully, folks will add in their “faves” in comments below, here we go:
The 10 Worst Political Moments of 2012
10. Mitch McConnell Takes the Phrase, “Go Screw Yourself” literally
Ah, the best laid plans of mice and turtle-faced men often go astray. Senator Mitch McConnell who has made his minority leadership in the Senate solely about playing political games and blocking any progress in America and its recovery to harm President Obama’s re-election chances, outdid himself. President Obama was calling for an end to Congress’ ability to use the debt ceiling to hold the country hostage on an annual basis. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was seeking to find enough votes to take this weapon away from Congress but was coming up short.
Proving that he is only wasting Americans’ time, money and future in the Senate, Mitch McConnell came up with a brilliant plan, propose a vote on this and humiliate Reid and the Dems for not being able to come up with enough votes to support their own President on this and filibuster it instead. Once McConnell called for a vote, instead of filibustering, Harry Reid said, “Sure, let’s vote on it!” because to McConnell’s surprise, he did indeed gather enough votes to pass it. McConnell was so flabbergasted, two of his jowls flabbered uncontrollably while his other four gasted in desperation. McConnell responded to this by doing what has never been done before in the Senate…he blocked his own bill from being voted on or as they call it in DC, autofilibusterio.
9. Karl “SuperPAC” Rove Super Implodes
It was election night and things weren’t happening the way poor old Karl Rove had planned so he was beginning to short circuit. The black people and Latinos were supposed to be prevented from voting in big numbers, Americans were supposed to be discouraged about the failures of President Obama and Republican Borg technology was supposed to convert unsuspecting and under-informed Americans into a mindless army for the top 1%. He and the GOP Elite make reality and the 99% just play the role they’ve written for them, everyone knows that…at least everyone with an offshore bank account. Instead, as the results were pouring in, it became more and more apparent to Rove that his alternate reality was doomed to stay a fiction. Building a big lead, all President Obama needed to be declared re-elected as President was a win in Ohio. Fox News interrupted its coverage to announce that Obama had won in Ohio and Karl Rove lost it, denying gravity, mathematics and Obama’s win in a meltdown of epic proportion. He challenged the Fox News hosts so fervently, they broke down and actually tried to look at facts and numbers to back themselves up, a first for them! It was great entertainment for those who don’t hold Rove and Fox News in high regard and a humiliation for Rove that will never be forgotten.
8. Keeping Private, Ryan
Paul Ryan was supposed to provide the Palin Power to this year’s Republican Presidential ticket and he did…but it was unfortunately, Todd Palin’s power. The hype from the Right was that Ryan would make the election about the issues and the problem for the ticket was that they were right. Ryan’s anti-poor, anti-senior, anti-98% of Americans, Ayn Rand manifesto, The Ryan Budget, instantly became a dead weight around the neck of the Romney campaign, dragging it down throughout the country. The real reason for adding him to the ticket was energizing the hard Right Republican base that was not crazy about Romney but to be chasing after your base after you’ve won the nomination and are in the General Election, at the expense of the middle of the electorate, sure seemed a bit desperate. What had to be amusing is the surprise that Romney and the GOP had when they discovered that most Americans didn’t want to support losing their income and medical care when they got old. “But we have a deficit! And we can’t impose on the job creator! What is it that you don’t get?”
Aside from being seen washing already-clean dishes at a soup kitchen in what must have been one of the worst and most pandering photo op of the season, Paul Ryan was held gagged and bound by the Romney campaign and only allowed to talk to the media if he distanced Romney from Ryan’s “issues”…the same ones that were the only reason for bringing him on the ticket.
7. Running On God’s Plan For Legitimate Rapes
Despite holding the nation hostage over de-funding Planned Parenthood, promoting a Personhood bill that would strip women of control over their own bodies, fighting against contraception, etc., the GOP was “outraged” at Rep. Todd Akin saying that only some rapes are legitimate and in such cases, pregnancy is really rare because their bodies have a way “to shut that whole thing down”. At least they were outraged until they considered how much they really needed Akin to win then funneled money secretly to him.
Richard Mourdock said during his Senate campaign that when a woman is impregnated during a rape “it’s something God intended.” The agenda here and in Akin’s case was apparently to lock up the rapist vote which is small and often ridiculed for its size. Mourdock used the tried and true Tea Party PR shovel to dig a deeper and roomier hole for himself saying, “Anyone who would suggest (what I did) is just sick and twisted. No, that’s not even close to what I said (it’s merely identical).”
Akin and Mourdock lost elections that were virtual slam dunks for them while the women of America saw their defeats as legitimate and something God intended.
6. Republican Enthusiasm Over Democrat Unenthusiasm
The big story in the Mistake Streaming Media and pushed and pumped up by the GOP was that Republicans were very enthusiastic about voting out Obama and Democrats were discouraged by their President’s failures and unmotivated to vote for his re-election. Right Wing pollsters like Gallup and Rasmussen beat this drum incessantly and faced with conflicting polls, the one shouting bad news for Obama were more typically trumpeted in the media while the ones bolstering him were ignored. In this case, the media’s hunger for “the neck and neck horse race” was completely in sync with Republican propaganda so both were aligned in promoting a false reality to the public…or as is known more commonly, business as usual.
A mini-industry grew up around the propping up of this propaganda and trying to defend it from the swords and arrows of outrageous reality, including the setting up of openly Right-skewed polls, Orwellianally titled, “Unskewed Polls”.
One of the dividends of this alternate reality that was being presented and invested in by Republicans was that the GOP and the Romney team became sold on their own lies and came to believe he was going to win the presidency because blacks and Latinos really didn’t matter. Oh, how so many would have wished to have been a fly on the wall in the Romney suite during the election returns to see Romney’s smug sense of entitlement crash to the ground and shatter into a million pieces…that some Latino maid would have to sweep up for him…while hiding a smile.
5. The House Pulls a Boehner…Bill
It was the PR coup of the Fiscal Cliff negotiations! House Majority Leader John Boehner, too impotent to negotiate a deal with President Obama on preventing tax increases on 98% of Americans, instead decided to change his focus to throwing political mud and help himself with being re-elected as Majority Leader. It was killing two birds with one stone, Boehner, you’ve done it again! Turning away from a deal, Boehner concocted a “Plan B” which was to pass a bill in the House decimating 98% of Americans through cuts while agreeing to raise taxes only on those making $1 million or more. It was genius! The House would pass it and then Boehner and the Republicans could whine “Nyah, nyah, you voted against tax cuts for most Americans! You’re a poopy head (copyright Grover Norquist)!”
There was only one small flaw in this plan…the Right Wing Tea Party Republicans in The House refuse to vote for any tax increase no matter how much they might get in return for it and many Republicans who have signed the Norquist No-Tax pledge fear being “primaried” if they voted for a tax increase. So, when Boehner was trying to pass his middle finger flip to Obama, the Republicans flipped him off instead and he didn’t have enough votes to pass it so he pulled it from the floor and it was never voted on.
Boehner’s ploy to burnish his Obama-spite credentials with the base to assure his re-election as Majority Leader instead became stark proof on just how much of a failure and how weak and incompetent Boehner is as a leader. With those traits, he’s ironically a shoe-in to lead his fellow Republicans.
4. The GOP Passes Laws to Make “Voting While Black” Illegal
The Republican line went something like this, “We believe in protecting our democratic elections…from Democratic participation. How do we do this without looking like the anti-democratic? Easy, we make up a problem as a reason to block likely Democrats from voting! Say…er…voter fraud! Yeah, that’s the ticket!” And so the ALEC shaped voter ID laws poured into many statehouses under Republican rule, especially in the most valuable swing states. The obvious racist and anti-democratic nature eventually led to them being struck down but once again, much of our unvaluable media allowed the Republicans to spew their lies about their blatant agenda without pointing out to the public their clear dishonesty.
While there were no proven cases of in-person voter fraud, these Republicans would blather about many other reasons to combat voter fraud…reasons other than that it was happening. This simple exposure of their fraud seemed to escape most media talking heads. And the fact that in being fearful that one or two votes could somehow be made illegally, preventing hundreds of thousands of Americans from voting somehow fit in with genuine concern about democracy?
The blowback on this miscalculation was inspiring. Instead of depressing the vote of minorities, who the white Republican Elite see as inferior, easily crushed and manipulated, minorities were energized not to let their right to vote be stolen from them and turned out in huge numbers. This resulted in the stunned Republicans being knocked back on their heels and as swiftly as it was shocking, suddenly dropping much of their anti-minority rhetoric, echoing each other with the terms of “big tent” and “inclusive”. Though it might be too hopeful to expect that they won’t soon revert to their anti-minority tactics, they sure look to have been exposed as who they really are…that is, they were truly Voter ID’d.
3. Mitt Romney Runs as The Emperor Wearing His New Clothes
In the old fable, The Emperor is misled by crafty, greedy men to believe in a false proposition, that he has the most impressive appearance when dressed in their clothes and that only fools won’t be able to see it. The clothes in fact are just a deception, they have no substance but the Emperor wanted so desperately not to be thought a fool so he convinced himself they were real. And in this recent retelling, it was a majority of Americans that declared, “The would-be emperor has no clothes on!”
As a shallow man with greed and self-aggrandizement as his only apparent “principles” in life, Mitt Romney was as insubstantial as The Emperor’s new clothes. He was unable to display any genuine humanity, any real core to himself. He was a walking personification of the elitist 1%, of the corporation that is a person. And in order to fulfill his greed, he denied his past accomplishments as Governor of Massachusetts, anxious to throw any part of himself away just to pander for the votes that would give him what he wanted.
So, he had only one strategy for winning the election, lie and run as “Not-Obama”. It is hard to recall any election, let alone for President, where the bald face lying had ever been so extreme. Romney would blatantly lie one day then contradict his lie the next day or lie and say he never said the previous lie even though video of him saying it was on YouTube. Has there ever been such an unapologetic liar as Mitt Romney in a political election?
And the second part of his strategy may have seemed clever in 2011 but once it fell apart, he was left with no legitimate strategy. “Vote for me, Mitt Romney, because I’m not Barack Obama and you don’t like him, right?” This approach might strike some thoughtful voters as asinine from the start, the idea of being willing to pour anything down one’s throat, even poison, simply because it wasn’t sour milk. Still, it unfortunately worked far too well in 2010 so Romney had reason for confidence. The problem though with this doomed strategy is that it relies on everything staying the same for an entire year. The economy would have to stay in the red, Obama could not have any accomplishments or leadership moments, Republicans could not have any offensive statements or votes…reality would have to stay cemented in place in a negative way for Obama for an entire year. And that just didn’t happen. So when there was no likeability advantage for Romney…who was in fact far less liked and trusted than Obama, that was the end of any real strategy for Romney and all he had left was to lie bigger and more often which only increased his negatives and undermined his ability to win. Well, at least he can wear his imaginary new clothes in his Emperor’s New White House.
2. The Republican Party Broadcasts its Reality Show, “Here Comes Dummy Boo-Boo”
The Republican Debates were so plentiful, intended to dominate the media and blanket the public with GOP-Think so thoroughly that President Obama would already seem like an ex-President. What could go wrong? Other than the fact that GOP-Think had more in common with the ravings of sociopathic lunatics. With such brilliant debaters and campaigners as Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry and Herman Cain, the Republican debates were destined for history and they very quickly did become history. Herman Cain repeated the number “6” three times to respond to countless questions, Michele Bachmann invoked the Anti-Christ, Rick Perry called Social Security “a Ponzi scheme” and couldn’t remember the agencies he fiercely opposes, Mitt Romney championed “self-deportation” and $10,000 bets, Newt Gingrich proposed Americans moving to moon bases, Rick Santorum called President Obama “a snob” for wanting all Americans to have the opportunity of a college education and Ron Paul promoted Thunderdome from the Road Warrior movies as the perfect model for American society (well…maybe not literally…).
Including forums and staged discussions, there were approximately 31 debates and speaking events for the GOP candidates for President. As a group, these candidates used many of these occasions to be openly racist, homophobic, xenophobic, supportive of class warfare against the lower 99%, etc.. Their audiences displayed many of these traits, booing a soldier in harm’s way for being gay, cheering on death for those who are uninsured and need medical care, etc. The GOP Primaries were like McDonalds making commercials for their food by showing obese people having heart attacks. Fail indeed.
1. 47 is the Loneliest Number
For elitist politicians, honesty is the worst policy, especially when “the little people” get wind of it. There is so much cynical class superiority in the minds of the wealthiest, most people are still surprised that they look at the rest of us as they do. And with this one videotape, made by a bartender at a gathering of wealthy elitists contributing to Mitt Romney who was speaking to them…and only to them…about how they see the “inferior” 98% beneath them as garbage, the truth that most may suspect was shockingly confirmed. What better downfall could there be for an elitist who is “banking” on his and his fellow elitists’ money to drown out the power of the majority to have a nation that works in their best interests?
Mitt Romney will always be associated with the number “47%” which is a badge of shame for the majority of Americans. His spite for working people and the poor will always be remembered no matter how many PR trips he makes to Costco or a laundromat to undo his terrible image. This election was a tipping point for plutocracy to have made huge and probably permanent footholds in our government and Romney’s loss could indeed be seen by historians in the future as such. All because a servant used his cell phone to capture the true disgusting nature of Mitt Romney and the wealthy class. This was certainly the worst moment for the Presidential election for either candidate and the Republican party and it’s one that will continue to resonate as the plutocrats continue their campaign.