Sunday, October 09, 2011

They're Really Not Into You, Mitt

Chris Christie has broken their hearts. Rick Perry, in whom much of the right has vested its hope to derail unreliable Mitt Romney, has proven to be a far worse candidate than expected, probably incapable of gaining the GOP nomination and otherwise, probably incapable of beating President Obama.

This week it was Chris Christie's turn to break the hearts of those unconvinced that a President Romney would singlemindedly set out to destroy public and private unions and widen the gap between the wealthy and the middle class. The New Jersey governor disappointed Home Depot founder Kenneth G. Langone; hedge fund magnate Paul E. Singer; personal investment titan Charles R. Schwab; financier Stanley F. Druckenmiller; hedge fund managers David Tepper and Daniel S. Loeb; and, most important of all, owners of the nation's second largest privately held company and 4th and 5th richest Americans, Charles and David Koch.

It's not only the nation's corporate superstructure pining for an alternative to the former Massachusetts governor. Romney has been slammed by several right-wing talk radio heavyweights, including Mark Levin, Michael Savage, and Neal Boortz.

And Rush Limbaugh. In early June, Limbaugh (in)famously panned Romney's admission that human activity plays a role in climate change. "Bye-bye, nomination,” he said. “Another one down. We’re in the midst here of discovering that this is all a hoax. The last year has established that the whole premise of man-made global warming is a hoax, and we still have presidential candidates that want to buy into it.” As The Young Turks' Cenk Uygur describes (video below, though Uygur later noted the 99.97% of scientists is 97%), Romney apparently doesn't want to do anything about it- but for the far right, even an acknowledgment of reality is disturbing.

It didn't end there, as Rush last week asserted "I can tell you this, who are trying to convince others, since Bill Kristol struck out on Chris Christie, they're throwing in the towel, and they're running around and they're trying to get everybody, "Okay, can we pick Mitt now, everybody unify, we gotta unify, we gotta pick somebody, do it now, do it early and get behind them a hundred percent." He declared, further, "I think, folks, the regime wants to run against Mitt Romney.

Limbaugh's skepticism about Romney may have its germ in the show host's characterization in 2009 of soldiers who returned from Iraq and decried U.S. involvement there as "phony soldiers." Romney's then-spokesman retorted "Governor Romney would disagree with the negative characterization of those men and women who serve with honor and distinction in the United States Military."

Now Romney, appearing at the right-wing Values Voters Summit, has criticized indirectly anti-gay, anti-Muslim, anti-ethnic minority Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association, who was to speak after the former governor. Romney stated "Our values ennoble the citizen, and they strengthen the nation. We should remember that decency and civility are values too. One of the speakers who will follow me today, has crossed that line I think...."

That can only increase the suspicion on the far right of the GOP's leading presidential candidate. But Limbaugh and most of the right, especially those in the corporate sector whom Rush fronts for, are interested in cultural conservatives ("values voters") only insofar as they can suck voters into the Republican orbit. Langone, the Koch brothers, and their like-minded billionaires seek to undermine Romney before he can win primaries or caucuses in the early-voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina, and Florida.

Health care, global warming, the unpredictability of a politician who commonly has been on both sides of the same issue, or fear of anyone who doesn't consider science the enemy. Whatever the reason(s), for many of the economic royalists who run this country, There's Something About Mitt they just don't like.

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