Friday, November 2, 2012

Fear turns to loathing

Obama and hurricane survivorI’m sitting here with my foot elevated, because like an idiot I wasn’t paying attention to what I was doing today, and missed an entire step going out into the garage. I seem to have given myself a mild ankle sprain. It hurts like a mother, and I’m doing my best to make sure I can handle some walking tomorrow, because we have a chance to see Notre Dame go 9-0 by beating Pitt! So I’ve iced, wrapped, elevated, and Advil’d, and I’m hoping that it will be okay enough that I can handle the walking tomorrow. Maybe we need to buy a little wagon, and Ken can pull me behind him! I just laughed at that mental image.

Anyway, this is a good time to do an update. This could very well be the last one I make before the election, so I’ll try to make it a good one. I’ll warn you that I am pissed, so proceed at your own risk.

Before I get to that, let me say that I’m thinking of the people on the East Coast, and sending special thoughts for several friends who have had to deal with Sandy and her aftermath. Our good friend Raquel, in particular, is having a rough time of it, as she lives in the Village and has been without power since the storm hit. She’s been able to go on walkabout to charge her phone and find wifi, so has let us all know that she and her Mom are okay. She has also maintained her sense of humor, and I don’t feel ashamed to say that she embodies all that I love about New York and New Yorkers: tough, but with a heart of gold. Love you, Raquel, and I hope they’re right about you getting your power back TONIGHT!

Having said that, I’ll segue into why I’m pissed. While President Obama was busy getting shit done, looking all presidential and junk, and meeting with his new BFF New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Romney was left twiddling his thumbs. Out of decency, he canceled his campaign events. Well...sort of. He decided to go ahead with a rally in the quaint little village of Kettering, Ohio, but changed it from a campaign rally to a “victory rally.” Ostensibly, it was to help raise supplies and funds for hurricane victims. A couple of things, though. A) The Red Cross specifically says on their website to NOT send food or clothing. It takes up too many of their resources to sort and catalog the items, and a monetary donation is absolutely the best way to help the organization and the people it is trying to assist. But ol’ Mittens is like the honey badger. He doesn’t give a shit. So he collected items and talked about how they were going to box them all up and drive them to a donation site. And 2) because this was a last-minute shift in focus, they wanted to make sure it looked like they were rolling in item donations, so the campaign went to Walmart and spent five grand buying supplies to stack on tables. When people were told that they needed an item to donate in order to gain admittance to the rally and said they hadn’t brought anything, they were told to “grab something off the table” and then present it as their donation.

I honestly don’t know when I’ve seen such crass opportunism as Romney and his campaign are displaying. This even trumps (HA! Get it??) the Paul Ryan “I’m barging into this soup kitchen and washing clean dishes whether you like it or not” moment. As I’ve written before, I’ve got a super duper double viper Bullshit-O-Meter, and this entire campaign reeks of bullshittery.

But THAT isn’t what pissed me off the most, believe it or not! What really did it for me, and sent me from fearing what Romney’s policies would do to our country and the economy and actively disliking his  persona into the realm of genuinely loathing the man is another Ohio-related incident.

He told the crowd at a rally in northern Ohio that he “saw a story” about how Chrysler is thinking of moving all Jeep production to China. This, in a state that relies heavily on the auto industry. GM and Chrysler spokespeople immediately responded saying that that couldn’t be further from the truth; what they ARE thinking about doing is expanding production in China, which indicates a sign of health for the companies. They are not closing any U.S. production facilities. Even the Chrysler CEO had to weigh in and say no, this is completely untrue.

But Mitt the Honey Badger don’t care. He released TV and radio ads repeating the exact same BIG FAT LIE. This, despite immediate and forceful refutation from the companies themselves.

So what was it about that that pissed me off so much? He needlessly scared people. Panicked workers were calling into their workplaces wondering if they were still going to have a job. In a state where the auto industry means so much—and unemployment is lower than the national average, thanks to the auto bailout—he was purposefully trying to frighten people. What kind of an asshole does that?? These are people who are worried about their families and their livelihood, and he’s scaring the bejeebus out of them in order to score cheap political points.

All those people who think he’s an honorable man? Do you want to change your answer? To me, an honorable person doesn’t pull such a cynical, asshole move on people who are scared. An honorable person does their best to reassure those who are hurting and scared, and works his ass off to get them the help that they need (please scroll up to see that picture again).

Well, if there is any sort of redeeming aspect to this, it is that his actions and words speak of desperation. I am not taking anything for granted, but these are not the tactics of someone who is winning. They are those of someone who is losing.

As well as the tactics of someone who is a Loser. Capital L Loser.

For a little comic relief, please enjoy this clip from “The Daily Show” that had both me and Ken laughing out loud...especially the end!