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Sat Nov 10, 2012, 02:40 AM

Fantasyland - Frank Rich

Fantasyland
Denial has poisoned the GOP and threatens the rest of the country too.
By Frank Rich - Published Nov 9, 2012

Mitt Romney is already slithering into the mists of history, or at least La Jolla, gone and soon to be forgotten. A weightless figure unloved and distrusted by even his own supporters, he was always destined, win or lose, to be a transitory front man for a radical-right GOP intent on barreling full-speed down the Randian path laid out by its true 2012 standard-bearer, Paul Ryan. But as was said of another unsuccessful salesman who worked the New England territory, attention must be paid to Mitt as the door slams behind him in the aftermath of Barack Obama’s brilliant victory. Though Romney leaves no political heirs in his own party or elsewhere, he does leave a cultural legacy of sorts. He raised Truthiness to a level of chutzpah beyond Stephen Colbert’s fertile imagination, and on the grandest scale. That a presidential hopeful so cavalierly mendacious could get so close to the White House, winning some 48 percent of the popular vote, is no small accomplishment. The American weakness that Romney both apotheosized and exploited in achieving this feat—our post-fact syndrome where anyone on the public stage can make up anything and usually get away with it—won’t disappear with him. A slicker liar could have won, and still might.

All politicians lie, and some of them, as Bob Kerrey famously said of Bill Clinton in 1996, are “unusually good” at it. Every campaign (certainly including Obama’s) puts up ads that stretch or obliterate the truth. But Romney’s record was exceptional by any standard. The blogger Steve Benen, who painstakingly curated and documented Mitt’s false statements during 2012, clocked a total of 917 as Election Day arrived. Those lies, which reached a crescendo with the last-ditch ads accusing a bailed-out Chrysler of planning to ship American jobs to China, are not to be confused with the Romney flip-flops. The Etch-a-Sketches were a phenomenon of their own; if the left and right agreed about anything this year, it was that trying to pin down where Mitt “really” stood on any subject was a fool’s errand. His biography was no less Jell-O-like: There were the still-opaque dealings at Bain, and those Olympics, and a single (disowned) term in public service, and his churchgoing—and what else had he been up to for 65 years? We never did see those tax returns. We never did learn the numbers that might validate the Romney-Ryan budget. Given that Romney had about as much of a human touch with voters as an ATM, it sometimes seemed as if a hologram were running for president. Yet some 57 million Americans took him seriously enough to drag themselves to the polls and vote for a duplicitous cipher. Not all of this can be attributed to the unhinged Obama hatred typified by Mary Matalin’s post-election characterization of the president as “a political narcissistic sociopath.”

http://nymag.com/news/frank-rich/gop-denial-2012-11/

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Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
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Arrow 12 replies Author Time Post
Reply Fantasyland - Frank Rich (Original post)
MattSh Nov 2012 OP
SamKnause Nov 2012 #1
coldbeer Nov 2012 #2
Danmel Nov 2012 #3
Berlum Nov 2012 #4
underpants Nov 2012 #5
quaker bill Nov 2012 #6
SHRED Nov 2012 #7
Honeycombe8 Nov 2012 #8
cali Nov 2012 #9
lindysalsagal Nov 2012 #10
WillyT Nov 2012 #11
underpants Nov 2012 #12

Response to MattSh (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 05:18 AM

1. Frank Rich

Thanks for posting.

Excellent analogy of the situation.

Fox News and right wing hate radio is poisoning the minds of millions.

This is sad and very dangerous.

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Response to MattSh (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 05:39 AM

2. Romney had about as much of a human touch with voters as an ATM

That was a gem! Thanks Frank Rich.
I enjoy him on talk-shows!

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Response to MattSh (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 06:35 AM

3. i miss his columns in the Times

And Bob Herbert's too.

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Response to MattSh (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 07:15 AM

4. Excellent. Rich is thoughtful and adroit, as always

Thanks for posting...

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Response to MattSh (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 07:54 AM

5. Marking for a later read

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Response to MattSh (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 08:09 AM

6. I love the Noonan bit about yard signs

Something she did not get, but I did. It was very hard to find an Obama/Biden sign here. There was only one place in town that had them and you had to donate $15 to get one up until the final weeks of the campaign. The campaign simply decided not to spend their money on signs. They instead spent it on GOTV.

Republicans on the other hand had two "neighborhood headquarters" within easy walking distance from my house, where you could get all the R/R signs you wanted for free. Given this and that I live in a white enclave, I was surprised just how close to level the yard sign playing field turned out. Some Obama folks simply ordered them from OFA on-line and were happy to pay for printing and shipping. If the same had been true for R/R, I am pretty sure there would not have been as many out there.

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Response to MattSh (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 08:39 AM

7. succinct and to the point

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Response to MattSh (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 08:44 AM

8. Hologram. That's it. That's what he was. He wasn't real.

He had no past at Bain. He had an alleged past of creating jobs, which was never shown. He had no tax returns, except the ones he filed in preparation of knowing he would be running for President and would release to the public. He had not been governor of Massachusetts. He was not a resident of several states, despite owning homes there. He thought it was funny to joke about him being unemployed, too, much like a robot would. He walked stiffly, talked stiffly. He changed what he said to suit the audience he was speaking to.

He was a hologram. Perfect.

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Response to MattSh (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 08:50 AM

9. Bravo, Frank. Just a fantastic piece.

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Response to MattSh (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 09:27 AM

10. As always, the common denominator that underlies all political discussion: Denial

Beautiful. Not to be missed.

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Response to MattSh (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 12:49 PM

11. K & R !!!


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Response to MattSh (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 07:52 PM

12. A fantastic read

Rich, as usual, understands the stage-craft of the illusion that is theater....or in this case the off-off-off-off-Broadway Republican party

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