… It is not possible to run for president as a Republican these days without at some level having to become a parody of yourself. Running within a radicalized, self-contained universe with its own private, physical laws and its own private history, with its own vocabulary and syntax that has to be learned from scratch almost daily, requires an ongoing manic re-invention that can do nothing but make the candidate look ridiculous to people outside that universe.
This is how we get Mitt Romney, with his $290 million, telling an audience that he doesn’t “try to define who is rich and who is not rich.” Here’s a hint, Mitt. You’re rich. You’re filthy, stinking rich. You reek of money. You belong on a card in a Monopoly set, okay? Buy a damn monocle already…
(Since he took his act national, Mitt’s finest moment may well have been telling Brian Mooney of The Boston Globe that, when he was doing his Mormon mission in France, he really wanted to be fighting in Vietnam. In other words, rather than pestering wine-growers in Provence, Mitt really wanted to be humping the pig across the Central Highlands. This is so stupefyingly fraudulent as to be goddamn close to immortal.)
It is possible — although certainly debatable — that Mitt Romney would be less of a phony if the Republican primary process were not controlled by the gibbering loon faction of the party. Unfortunately, as demonstrated clearly by the events in Florida just now, that remains the case. The obvious story of the whole weekend is that the party’s base is for the moment running utterly amuck. It screamed to be covered. A Republican may well get elected president next year. But, whoever that is, first has to answer, constantly, to the voices in the party’s head. It’s exhausting work. It’s already eaten Bachmann alive, and Herman Cain is next on the menu. Which is probably why so much energy seems to be going into the promotion of candidates who are not running. Right now, the non-candidate du jour is Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, who replaced Governor Mitch Daniels of Indiana, who replaced Governor Rick Perry of Texas, who made the capital mistake of actually running, and who already has flummoxed and disappointed Bill Kristol, maker of public men and truly unnecessary wars.
Kristol, of course, is the yeast behind the intellectual ferment that has produced, in order, Dan Quayle, George W. Bush, and Sarah Palin. A sane country party would be wondering at this point about a party that takes this person seriously as a political thinker and a public intellectual. If Bill Kristol went to the track, he’d bet on the fucking starting gate. Nevertheless, he is what passes for a wise man in a party that has surrendered utterly to its intellectual Id…
Much, much more at the link. Enjoy!