- Important: All passwords were reset on 06/15/11. Old passwords will no longer work. Click here to retrieve your password.
- Subscribe to Our Free Dewsletter
We are non-commercial, all volunteer and supported by our readers. Please help sustain the Dew by making a donation.
Sequestration and the Great Mitt Redux
The joke going around now asks how much would you donate to save the entire U.S. Congress if it were held hostage by terrorists demanding $100 million and threatening to douse them all with gas and set them on fire. As a man going from car to car collecting donations in a long traffic jam tells one driver who wonders what everyone on average is giving: “Roughly a gallon.”
Even with the price of gas going up, I’d give two.
With the “sequestration” (can anyone think of an uglier word coined by some pretty unsavory characters?) kicking in now, polls currently reflect a contempt of Congress that is solidly in the “utter” range.
In the midst of our ongoing–how long is forever?–farce of negotiations over taxes and budget cuts, who again should be riding in to add to the comedy? If you don’t know, it’s Mitt Romney himself, perhaps on his wife’s dressage horse Rafalca, to save the day. I found this news quite startling, since I thought even the Republicans didn’t want to see his smiling face again any time soon.
It’s the buzz about town that the former candidate and his wife will be on Fox News Sunday where we will get the opportunity to hear him again lay out his master plan to fix all the ills of the country and to show his incredible leadership skills. While doing so, of course, he won’t miss the chance to criticize President Obama for “flying around the country and berating Republicans and blaming and pointing.”
According to an advance press release, the Mittster said Washington is letting a “golden moment just slip away with politics,” as he described watching the unfurling fiasco over the sequester. He described it as the “hardest” part about losing in November.
Romney said the automatic spending cuts which have now taken effect should be seen as an “opportunity” to finally solve America’s fiscal problems — by coming together on a “long-term fiscal” package.
“I mean I see this as this huge opportunity and it’s being squandered by politics, by — by people who are more interested in a political victory than they are in doing what’s right for the country. And it’s very frustrating, I have to tell you,” he said. “The hardest thing about losing is watching this — this critical moment, this golden moment just slip away with politics.”
Gee, I wonder who he’s talking about?
By coincidence, I just finished reading Calvin Trillin’s new book Dogfight in which he reviews last year’s election campaign. What is amazing is that his book is almost entirely in verse. As he told Charlie Rose recently during an interview, he’s been walking around for the past year speaking in iambic pentameter.
Although the campaign was “only” last year, it seems so long ago. I had almost recovered from the Mitt and all the anxiety the campaign churned up as the Republicans paraded a colorful host of crazies en route to their assault on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. But things never settle down. Now we have the “sequestration” and the looming budget debt ceiling fight coming up at the end of March.
Fortunately, we also have Mitt–rested, well tanned and at the ready–who undoubtedly would bring fresh clarity and deep wisdom to the fray if given the chance. With all this gravitas, perhaps we may even get a bit of comedy thrown in to lighten things up.
Trillin sets the comedic stage for Mitt redux in his book by questioning which man last year would prove the best candidate, which would have enough fight in him to defeat the other. In the preface, he writes,
Mitt Romney put Seamus on top of the car.
(“He liked it up there, and we weren’t going far.”)
Obama, in boyhood, while in Indonesia,
Once swallowed some dog meat without
Though dog lovers wouldn’t be either man’s
A dogfight seemed what was in store for their
And people were saying, “We wonder which
Emerge as the pit bull, and which as the
During last year’s campaign, the political journalism organization Politico revealed that, except for Romney, all the non-office-holding contenders for the Republican Party nomination were on the Fox News payroll. With this first interview following his defeat, is Mitt perhaps testing the waters for some new form of post-Bain employment? We can only imagine a program featuring Mitt and Karl Rove debating strategy.
As Trillin comments about last year’s search for the ideal Republican candidate,
The far right looked for someone who’d
The ticket–that is, someone not named
But someone who could strongly lead
Without the faintest whiff of
The Mittster reportedly will tell his Fox interviewer this Sunday that the president is simply grandstanding and posturing when pointing the finger at the Republicans for their unwillingness to compromise:
“It’s politics. It’s, ‘okay, how do we do something that will get a headline that will make it look like those terrible Republicans aren’t willing to come together?’”
I’m just disappointed that Romney didn’t pick up on Obama’s reference this week that he can’t perform a “Jedi mind meld” on the GOP, an apparent conflation of Star Wars and Star Trek. The referees could have barked out, “Let the biting begin” as the two circle one another again in the pit, snarling over whether it really mattered if the correct wording should have been a Jedi mind trick and Vulcan mind meld! Meanwhile, government workers face furloughs, FAA controllers will be grounded, border agents will sit at home, and food inspectors will go vegan. And who knows what a sequestered kick in the groin will do to make the slowly recovering economy wince anew.
In this current contretemps, what must Newt Gingrich now be thinking about Mitt? Just last year, as captured by Trillin,
“It’s pious baloney.” Yes, pious baloney.
What Mitt speaks, Newt says, is remarkably phony:
His outsider citizen pose is all hooey;
He’s hungered for office like Thomas E.
And what he had done all those years
spent at Bain
Was not create jobs but cause working
While Newt coves Mitt’s smooth
exterior with blotches,
Obama’s campaign staff just carefully
So however we finally emerge, if ever, from this self-inflicted budgetary “sequestering” wound, we probably won’t have Mitt to kick around much longer. In the interview, Ann Romney describes the “adjustment” she and her husband made after the November elections, going from being surrounding by crowds and Secret Service agents to just being by themselves again. She concluded: “But the good news is fortunately we like each other.”
In the verse of Trillin:
What voters saw in Romney was, all told,
That at his warmest he was rather cold.
They couldn’t really feel enthusiastic
About a man who might be made of plastic…
…His profile’s divine,
His shoes have a shine;
They’re almost as shined as his hair.
And voters ignore
That seeking Mitt’s core
Has failed because nothing is there.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to watch the full interview on Sunday. I’d even give up on Downton Abbey for this show!….Not.
- Image: Mitt Romney - Caricature by DonkeyHotey via his flickr photo stream and used under creative commons license.
Worthy of Comment
Also on the Dew
My beloved colleagues in Teh Media sure get on my last damn nerve. Most of the time it's just from sloppy work or jumping on whatever bandwagon is rolling by at the time, something along the lines of a pet peeve. Like when my Twitter list of political reporters blows up with some hashtag meme instead of actual reporting. Today it's #Obamacareinthreewords, launched by that icon of credibility, Rep. Darrell Issa. It's the second time around for that one -- Rep. Kevin McCarthy launched it the first time last June. (@WhiteHouse even got in on it, tweeting "It's.The.Law." Republicans responded with "arrogance Read on →
For some reason, a letter from the lobbying arm of the Heritage Foundation was characterized as having been received by NBC News, as if it were some sort of privileged communication. In fact, the thing was a press release and rather obviously designed to change the conversation about the Heritage Foundation from trying to defend the indefensible "study" of Hispanic intellectual insufficiency to food stamps, a real two-fer issue. Two-fer in the sense of being offensive on two fronts since the dollars doled out represent a subsidy to industrial agriculture, even as they serve to remind the indigent that, if they're Read on →
I had an interesting morning yesterday at the Free Clinic. Once a week I’m a Spanish interpreter in an organization supported by over 400 volunteers who give a few hours a week of their particular expertise in a smoothly run team. We cater for patients with chronic conditions needing regular medication, having no access to health insurance. Yesterday we met a new patient who is deaf and mute since birth. We took her through her eligibility interview with a social worker, then a nurse took her health history, followed by a doctor's consultation and a laboratory test. In the seven years I Read on →
U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey isn’t the first nationally acclaimed wordsmith to make her home in Decatur, Ga. Between 1892 and 1916, Charles W. Hubner (1835-1929), the “Poet Laureate of the South,” lived at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Gordon Street in the city’s southwest quadrant. After a couple of decades in Atlanta, Hubner had a home built in the fashionable East End subdivision, one of the Atlanta Suburban Land Company’s residential ventures in unincorporated DeKalb County along the streetcar line linking Decatur and Atlanta. The Baltimore, Md., native served as a Confederate telegraph officer in the Civil War. After the war, H Read on →