There’s much talk in the media of late about the need for a moment of “self-reflection” on the part of Republicans, owing to the fact that they just lost the popular vote in five out of the last six Presidential elections. The only problem with that otherwise reasonable conclusion seems to be that the mirrors they’ve evidently been using are demonstrably unsuited to the task.
After all, Joe Wilson thought he looked more than usually fetching rebel-yelling “you lie!” during the State of the Union, and Jim DeMint was convinced that killing Obamacare (which he then failed to do) would be Obama’s “Waterloo,” (happy dance to the eponymous ABBA song), and emphasize his rugged jawline, to boot. Grandma Mitch McConnell thought he looked a little like Jeanette MacDonald in San Francisco when he said that the entire goal of his Senate minority would be to deprive the President a second term. (Too bad Granny Mac didn’t have a second goal, as it turned out…).
In short, these guys have mirrors that not only lie to them every day, but are apparently shatter-proof as well. As luck would have it, though, the eyes of the electorate aren’t quite so gauzed over, and they saw them for just what they are. Perhaps worse for them, though, is that they’re so used to living in a beauty pageant where the ugliest girl always wins that they’ve begun to think each other are beautiful, with hilarious (and pleasantly disastrous) results.
In what world except one perpetually bathed in unearned entitlements and accolades could a smarmy dimwit like Romney fancy himself some sort of business genius? Almost to a man (despite the binders, they were naturally all men), the Romney team was a clown car stuffed with stunningly obvious self-dealing grifters who made every mistake in the book, and enough new ones to start the next edition thereof. Although their credit cards were cut off before Romney had finished his concession speech, not a one of them were ever fired for incompetence, when it might have mattered. One was fired for being gay, though, which shows that Romney wasn’t only a poor manager, but a bigoted one, at that.
But the biggest failure of the (supposedly) rigged game was Karl Rove. After having shoehorned Bush into the Presidency twice, only to make him the most discredited political figure since Nixon, he thought that his many “reforms” would make public opinion (not to mention performance in office) irrelevant, and not for nothing. Bush had packed the courts, Citizens United was in the can, gerrymandered districts gave way to more of them, and the dark money was rolling in faster than he could take his 10% cut. What could possibly go wrong? Plenty.
As early as 2003, when Rove bragged that he was one of “history’s actors,” it was evident that the mirrors in his house needed a little Windex. Signs that he might have gone ahead and draped them, like Dorian Grey’s portrait, appeared again in 2006 when he swore on a stack of bibles that his math was “the math,” and Republicans would handily win what turned out to be a historic Democratic landslide. He continued to believe, at least publicly, in fairies through 2008, when he had already lit out for the territories, i.e., the Fox green room and his new life of separating addlepated old rich guys from their money.
In that undeniably worthy endeavor, Rove did pretty OK, but so far there’s no evidence that the rich guys are any too pleased, but too bad for them. These Galtian job creators never questioned why they were paying orders of magnitude more for the same amounts of TV time as was Team Obama, nor did they put on their green eyeshades when Rove decided to flush millions down the toilet at the last minute on hopelessly lost states as a sort of head fake, or something. Never has the idea that the rich are our inherent superiors been so thoroughly put to rest; a Golden Ball coach could have assembled a better team, a kindergarten teacher could have policed it better, and a Girl Scout could have kept a better eye on the money.
But they still have their mirrors, to “reflect” in. That oughtta work.