(Pat Oliphant via GoComics.com)
Remember the endless Republican debate season, when Willard Romney was sold as the Very Serious Moderate in a cavalcade of clowns? Well, nobody joins the circus who won’t play the fool. Gail Collins explains “Mitt’s Major Meltdown” in simple terms for the breakfast reader:
Mitt Romney broke our deal….He could do anything he wanted during this campaign as long as he sent out signals that once he got in the White House he was not likely to be truly crazy…
It didn’t seem to be a lot to ask, but when the crisis in the Middle East flared up, Romney turned out to have no restraining inner core. All the uneasy feelings you got when he went to London and dissed the Olympic organizers can now come into full bloom. Feel free to worry about anything. That he’d declare war on Malta. Lock himself in a nuclear missile silo and refuse to come out until there’s a tax cut. Hand the country over to space aliens..
A few social conservatives did unveil a hitherto-unnoticed passion for the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom to make fun of religion. “It was disheartening to hear the administration condemn Americans engaging in free speech that hurt the feelings of Muslims,” said Senator Jim DeMint.
And, let’s see, who else. Donald Rumsfeld tweeted support. Party chairman Reince Priebus chimed in: “Obama sympathizes with attackers in Egypt. Sad and pathetic.” Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona said the embassy’s comment “is like the judge telling the woman that got raped, ‘You asked for it because of the way you dressed.’ That’s the same thing.”
On this side: Mitt Romney, a totally disgraced former secretary of defense, a person named Reince Priebus, and a new Republican rape comment.
Two months to go and we’re rethinking our presumption that the Republican primary voters picked the most stable option.
Meanwhile, Professor Krugman drags out inconvenient historical memory to explain “Why the Vileness Matters”:
… I’ve seen some comparisons between Mitt Romney’s position right now and that of George W. Bush after the Democratic convention in 2000, and by the numbers there is some resemblance. But what really happened in the final months of that election? The answer — not a popular one with journalists, but very obviously true to anyone who lived through it — was that the press took sides. Reporters liked Bush and didn’t like Gore, and as a result they treated Bush with kid gloves while gleefully passing on every smear against his opponent (“Gore says he invented the internet!” No, he never did).
That probably wasn’t going to happen this time in any case. But now Romney has really ensured that everyone in the news media, the GOP propaganda organs aside, is going to view him with distaste and alarm — as well they should.
Romney could still win, but he has just made it even harder for anyone to consider him suitable for the job.
Apart from watching the clown show, what’s on the day’s agenda?