Andrew Sullivan and Newsweek whacked the proverbial hornet's nest with a cover story that asks the question "Why are Obama's Critics So Dumb".
In true cerebral fashion, progressive reaction has been muted and will likely be more introspective. On the other hand, any web search on the subject will reveal that conservatives are having a conniption fit over the article that I find quite entertaining. Even as their presidential candidates prove every day just how stupid they are - Turkey doesn't get any foreign aid from us Governor Perry - I can't help but wonder if they are naught but a reflection of the Americans who put them into their positions. If I were a Texan, I would not have admitted voting for Perry. To be sure, there are a handful of people in the republican presidential field who are decidedly not dumb. But they are incredibly dangerous, which leads me to wonder if Americans are going to be so dumb that they put one of those malevolent men into office.
For all of his professorial smarts, big ideas and elocution, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is petulant, capricious and vindictive. He was as the most divisive speaker in modern history and literally taught republicans how to cynically employ the language of hatred in the exercise of government. Ron Paul would unilaterally disengage the United States from the rest of the world and Rick Santorum would institute a uniquely American version of Sharia Law and, like Gingrich, engages in calumnious rhetoric for the consumption of racists and bigots. None of those men are dumb, but neither are they worthy and the likelihood that 35 - 40% of us are going to vote for them is alarming enough. I focus special attention and alarm, however, toward the presumptive leader of the motley republican crew, Mitt Romney. I note a fatalistic acceptance of the notion of Romney as the republican nominee. Not only is it evidently his turn, conservatives who acknowledge that Romney has the best chance of beating President Obama clearly recognize how far out of the mainstream they are. What they don't acknowledge is how for many of them, much of their acceptance of - if not enthusiasm for - Romney is motivated by a palpable personal hatred for the President, a blinding hatred that squashes all reason. The real question, however, is will the rest of us be so stupid as to put this man into the White House.
We are treated time and time again to the callousness in Romney's character just below the blow-dried, stump-speeching, patrician Ken-doll, surface and the transparency of his priority on money and power. While we might be inclined to ignore the occasional gaffe, there is no avoiding the Dorian Grey-like portrait that emerges when anyone with a normally functioning brain begins to connect the dots. The picture of him and his colleagues with money falling out of their teeth and pockets should say enough. The arrogant mendacity to call himself a job creator when his profession had nothing whatsoever to do with creating jobs should say enough. His argument that questioning the stripping of companies is tantamount to attacking capitalism should say enough. His assertion of envy as the motivation for questioning the value of vulture capitalism should say enough. His view that $374,000 is small potatoes should say enough. His assertion that corporations are people too should say enough. His affinity for firing people should say enough. The cavalier manner in which he would bet $10,000 should say enough. But putting the data points together, we must come to the unavoidable conclusion that Mr. Romney is at best a flat-out jerk who gives less than a damn about anyone whose income is measured on a W-2 statement, particularly if it is below six figures.
Is anyone really surprised that someone with the above profile would be in favor of a plan that lowers his taxes and raises them for the bottom 40% of Americans? Is anyone really surprised that such a person would be in favor of neutering an already flaccid regulatory construct? By the way, the next President will pick at least two Supreme Court justices. Wanna bet $10,000 what happens to reproductive choice, personal liberty and consumer protections if Mr. Citizens United is picking those justices.
In spite of President Obama's supposed shortcomings, dumb would be the most charitable word to describe the American electorate if it were to put Mitt Romney into the White House.