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Ultimately the fact that Mitt Romney was lying through his teeth on debate night, while another nail in the coffin of his legitimacy - and in the credibility of pundits who swooned over his ghoulish style despite acknowledging his absolute mendacity - is less important than the bigger picture.  The fact is he only avoided ending the last hopes of his campaign by insisting that he won't cut rich people's taxes - when doing so is really the only purpose of his campaign, and the sole economic plank of the Republican Party.  It's one thing when Republicans hedge and hide behind rhetoric, but when they have to come out and explicitly deny what they've heretofore insisted is an absolute economic imperative, we need to appreciate what just happened: Mitt Romney killed Ronald Reagan.

Now, conservatives don't care what their candidate says on the debate platform as as long as it looks like "strength" to them - and behaving like an emotionally disturbed 15-year-old tweaking on five Red Bulls probably does look that way to such people.  They don't care what he says because lying is something conservatives accept and understand as a tool of making everyone else do what they want, and they don't care what people who mean nothing to them think as long as it results in behavior they find advantageous.  This is fundamental to the authoritarian heart of conservatism - when they speak to you, they're not trying to communicate: They're trying to pull strings and push buttons so you'll give them money, serve their interests, and obey their commands.  That's who/what they are, and that will never change - they're bad people who cost society more than they put back, and unlike those who have no choice, they sponge off of society just out of spite and selfishness.

Fortunately, conservatives are also not the brightest of bulbs.  They may have tactical instincts for what lies to tell, but they never appreciate the long-term strategic price they'll have to pay - everything is just a predatory maneuver with them, and they never understand the kind of traps they can be led into by people who are neither like them nor willing to play the role of their prey.  Romney did not think he had a choice in the matter: He had to deny an intention to cut rich people's taxes.  Well, since that's all Republicans ever do, and all they care about, how potent a weapon did this self-serving idiot just hand us?  We can keep him on the defensive the whole rest of the election trying to prove he's not what he is, has always been, and constantly demonstrates himself to be, and furthermore involve his entire Party in the noose.  Southern/Red bloc voters don't want to cut rich people's taxes - they've just been mindfucked into seeing the issue in totally different terms.

Romney didn't create this shift in frame, but he has acknowledged it - shown it to be obvious enough that his tactical sensibilities as a predator have taken it into account.  The single, overriding reason for the existence of the Republican Party; its one enduring source of funding, and the economic basis of its propaganda machinery in the media; the one purpose it exists to serve as a repository of power - to make rich people richer at the public expense - is no longer viable in the public eye, even as a matter of suspicion.  With that simple, laughable lie - "I will not reduce the taxes paid by high-income Americans" - Mitt Romney plunged a dagger into the heart of his Zombie Reagan master, thinking to absorb St. Ronnie's power and become invincible.  And yet all he did was evaporate the spell that has allowed the Dark Tower of the Republican Party to stand for thirty years.  

Why won't he cut taxes for rich people?  The whole damn Republican Party - including Mitt Romney - insists that is the sole, absolute, and infallible path to all things desirable: An infinite supply of bribes to the wealthy to thank them for permitting us peons the privilege of working for them and making them rich, at the low, low price of eviscerating our public education, healthcare, and transportation systems.  They say it over and over, openly, ubiquitously in all their corrupted news media, and it's all they do or have ever done in politics since Newt Gingrich fashioned the Reagan Jihad into a permanent institution.  So why would he be willing to tell such a preposterous and easily-debunked lie about his own policies, when the whole of conservative politics orbits around cutting rich people's taxes?  Because it's over.  

Don't get me wrong, corruption is never over.  Lies are never over.  Republicans, including Mitt Romney, will continue to do everything in their power to cut rich people's taxes.  The difference is they can no longer even tolerate the impression that they favor such a thing, let alone campaign on it, and Mitt Romney just declared as much - to survive just a few weeks more, so the media can pretend he is a viable candidate for Presidency, he just threw the whole of the conservative movement under the bus in no uncertain terms.  And conservatives will retroactively interpret his defeat as being because he did so - despite their own enthusiastic support for his lying when they thought it would work - rather than because conservatism is simply radioactive in America.  

Mitt Romney is truly a man without a country, thinking it makes him strong that he will throw away anyone and anything to benefit himself.  But really all it means is that his political career makes the perfect epitaph to a movement born in hate, raised in greed, and finally put to rest in a corporate cipher's nihilistic delusions of adequacy.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (12+ / 0-)

    Everything there is to know about the GOP: They're the Bad Guys.

    by Troubadour on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 03:57:28 PM PDT

  •  fantastic analysis (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Troubadour, satrap, Hatrax

    The Republican Party really is just a front for greed.

  •  There is nothing conservative about mean (6+ / 0-)

    and stingy humanoids. Mingies is what they are. I think we have to retire the c word. It was a euphemism anyway.

    We organize governments to provide benefits and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 04:14:20 PM PDT

    •  There are states short of hate and greed (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hatrax, 4CasandChlo, hannah

      that fit the "classical" definition of conservatism, but it all has the same root: Fear-based thinking and self-involvement, on one level or another.  There is no rational reason for even the classical version - no reason to consider old ideas preferable to new ones, no reason to prefer social conformity over dynamism, etc. etc.  It's all just superficial people being afraid of their shadows.

      Everything there is to know about the GOP: They're the Bad Guys.

      by Troubadour on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 04:23:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I was just reading a summary (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wskytngo, Troubadour, Hatrax, kurt

    of Mitt's interview tonight w Blitzer and it struck me, once again, when he said (to paraphrase) "I'm not going to list the loopholes and exemptions I'm going to close because that'll be negotiated with Congress...."

    It's weird.  It's like Obama saying "To reduce the deficit, I'm going to be raising the taxes of some people- It'll be up to me and Congress to decide which ones"

    BO should use that in the next debate.

    From Neocon to sane- thanks to Obama- and Kos.

    by satrap on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 04:21:36 PM PDT

    •  His intentions are pretty easy to discern. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      satrap, Hatrax, yella dawg, kurt

      He intends to reduce his own taxes to zero and pretty much raise everyone's else's.  The amount of money he would hand himself would be a great compensation for having only 1 term - assuming he couldn't just buy a second with the money he'd given himself.

      Everything there is to know about the GOP: They're the Bad Guys.

      by Troubadour on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 04:27:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The pace of change is always slower than we wish (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Troubadour, kurt

    but change is inevitable, and the cycles repeat themselves throughout history.  The encouraging thing is humanity has moved forward so far... a snail's pace most of the time, sometimes at a trot, and a few times we've stumbled back a bit.  But forward we go, to a more enlightened future.  That's what I tell myself all the time, and that's what the evidence suggests.  It doesn't make it any easier living through the interesting times, though...

    Great diary, and beautiful analysis, Troubadour.

    •  In a way, even Reagan represented (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hatrax, a2nite, highacidity, kurt, hannah

      a Pyrrhic victory of sorts for conservatives, because his "free market" ideology sowed the seeds of the destruction of social conservatism.  They can have capitalist anarchy or they can have an authoritarian state that forces people to accept a certain point of view, but they can't have both - and that dilemma has undermined everything they've ever tried to do.  

      Everything there is to know about the GOP: They're the Bad Guys.

      by Troubadour on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 04:46:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Wow. You're right! (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Troubadour, highacidity, kurt, hannah

        I read this and had a lightbulb moment.  It's so hard to see because we're in the middle of the crap pile, but you're right!  

        Not to mention the fact that social conservatism can't have any long-term cohesion because they are, by definition, exclusive.  If you gave them a world to live in all their own, they would keep doing what they do- whittling those that don't conform off the outside, thinner and thinner, until they're groups of one.  

  •  Perhaps we can conclude that the bad (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    actor, Ronald, was undone by the bad-actor, Willard.

    We organize governments to provide benefits and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Wed Oct 10, 2012 at 03:33:41 AM PDT

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