I don’t know how much of a coincidence this is.  But it is interesting to me that just about the same time as we learn the cruelty of Mitt Romney’s adult life was preceded by teenage cruelty, a video surfaces with Wisconsin governor Scott Walker explicitly promising a wealthy donor that he would use a “divide and conquer” strategy to break the state’s unions.

Even if it’s unsurprising at some level, it is still a bit stunning to see how not just cynicism, but brazen malice is such a large factor in our politics.  Not even a small shred of pretense remains that the welfare of the public is the ultimate goal.

I suppose I should have anticipated this, having written in December that the “festering core” of the GOP base had come to demand that Republican presidential candidates swear “every ounce of [their] body and soul is consumed by primitive tribal loyalties and hatreds.” And in January I added:

You might tie this into George Lakoff’s framing theories and say that these ultra-conservatives are looking for the strongest daddy, someone who’s assertive to the point of being brazen.  You could also theorize that they’re looking for symbolic absolution for their own flaws — someone who proves they don’t have to feel guilt about their own greed, lust, or whichever other deadly sin is their personal favorite.

It’s kind of disturbing any way you look at it, though.

It’s even more disturbing to see it embraced so vividly.