Friday, September 14, 2012

A Culture of Failure

One thing I've always wondered about Mitt Romney is "Why?" Not just why he says the things he does or why an established moderate like him would want to represent a histrionic doomsday cult - but why in the hell should I ever vote for him?

"Stop laughing at me! You're all fired!"

The most common reason I here is "Because Obama!" Not being a slack-jawed racist, that doesn't do much to convince me. Yes, Obama is far from progressive and his economic policies are as tepid as it gets, but that's not a surprise if you were paying attention in 2008. I was, so I voted for Cynthia McKinney.

At least he's been damned good on defense, which is about all we can hope for from a president anymore. But, as John Dolan's most preferred pen name pointed out this week, being good at war doesn't count nearly as much in America as being loud about it.

Democrats of the post-war period have been universally better than their Republican counterparts when it comes to managing our imperial forces - with the notable exception of Mister Peanut in '79. But there continues in this culture a brainwave that Democrats are actually weak on defense while the GOP is the serious war party. This delusion is probably one of the reasons Democrats kick so much ass - always having to prove themselves and all - but it's much more reflective of an even more frequent brainwave in America.

Rewarding failure.

And as near as I can tell, that's the only reason Mitt has for pursuing the presidency. His latest pants-soiling move over the embassy attacks is just another in a long line of screw-ups for the Mormonbot - from his utter lack of charisma across two campaigns all the way back to his vulture days at Bain, making tons of money regardless of how well companies performed or how much he delivered to his own investors. Mitt's life has been one of grand rewards for not doing a damned thing and that's the real American way.

We've even seen it once already in the White House. George W. Bush the family screw-up, a chronic failure but one with connections to keep propelling him upwards. Others - Patreus, McChrystal, Trump, that petty tyrant boss of yours - all terrible at their chosen professions and all succeeding because results stopped mattering in this country long ago.

And that's why Mitt can still win. Even alienating half his own party and the State Department, even cravenly politicizing a national tragedy, he's still just enough of a loser to be president.

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