Hey guys, did you miss me? I’ve been on sabbatical for the holidays and my birthday, but after an evening spent trolling Teabillies, my batteries are fully charged and I’m ready to play. Today, though, I’m going to deviate a bit from protocol; rather than the usual rant full of cynicism and vitriol, I’m going to try and educate you, dear reader.
By this point, you’ve undoubtedly already heard about the federal case being proposed against good old Mr. 47%, Mitt Romney. While it doesn’t surprise me that a businessman – let’s not forget he was always a CEO first and politician second – would be guilty of racketeering, what I found while looking into it did. See, I was originally just going to do a rant on how his love of money shows a distinct disconnect from his coveted religion, and it shows the kind of two-faced individual he really is, but then something odd happened; I looked into his political history. Now this has turned into something bigger that, to me, shows something a lot of people might not have noticed (I sure as hell didn’t) about him, and the republican party as a whole, amidst ramblings on the joys of Randian capitalism.
Nowadays, good old Mitten is adamantly pro-life, with the exception of incest/rape and medically necessary abortions (a damn near liberal stance for a republican), and wants the same views put into law, but back in the day – 1994 to be exact – he had a more central stance befitting someone who once lost a member of his extended family due to a back alley abortion. Hell, he even went so far as to advocate for proper sex education (here meaning that abstinence-only education would be banned and replaced with something actually teaching kids about sex) and emergency contraception by 2002. The Mormon faith has actually emphasized the importance of the nuclear family in deciding contraception since at least 1992, which not only makes much more sense than the “traditional” Catholic view infecting the new GOP, but actually makes a lot of sense for someone who’s so devout to his faith he doesn’t even drink caffeinated beverages. Get on him all you want for believing life begins at conception, but at least he tried to stay true to his faith.
Come 2012, having teamed up with America’s favorite man-child Paul Ryan, Suddenly he’s toeing the party line, with plans to defund Planned Parenthood, the biggest provider of emergency contraception (and, to be fair, abortions do get performed as well, with 5% of the total budget going to performing them). In addition, he’s against embryonic stem cell research being performed on those fetuses aborted, saying “I have a wife that has a serious disease that could be affected by stem cell research and others. But I will not create new embryos through cloning or through embryo farming, because that will be creating life for the purpose of destroying it.“ Oh, and while we’re on the topic, that previous link also mentions that he would attempt to repeal Roe v. Wade, granting the ability to enact pro-life legislation on a state level. Given how the states have reacted to the gutting of the Voter’s Rights Act, with numerous lovely little acts of discrimination, you can imagine how such a repeal would have affected the country.
Let’s move on to economics and look at some of the bigger turnabouts we witnessed. A big talking point was the expiring Bush-era tax cuts, which are considered instrumental in causing the economic collapse we all lived through. During the years where Dubya thought he was a cowboy, and Old Man Cheney was busy making his friend take it in the face, Mitt refused to take a stance, but a few years later, when he was vying for the nomination, he was suddenly for expanding them; quite honestly, this seems much more likely given he was head of a company (possibly) named after a Batman villain. On top of that, while he wasn’t dumb enough to deny climate change, he thinks it is inappropriate for us to spend billions/trillions on fighting CO2 emissions.
Now, I just spent 600+ words pointing out how Mr. Romney flips more often than a pancake – hilariously enough, he even flip-flopped on flip-flopping – and at this point you might be wondering why. Well, a while back, Justin wrote a little on how Conservativism has become a cult; before that, his lovely colleague at Addicting Info, Julie Driscoll, wrote an article explaining the similarities between the GOP and an abusive partner. I read both articles when they were published, and again while writing this article, and they hit it on the head both times.
I used to think that the way the GOP has changed since being infected with a terminal case of Camellia sinensitis (Tea Party Disease, for those of us not caught up on latin) is like something out of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. After writing this article, I see it’s closer to Romero’s Of the Dead series; a mindless, shambling mass of limbs and hungry, parasitic mouths, spreading their disease to anyone who gets too close. Hell, look at Mr. Mitten; he was never a great man, but at least at some point he had convictions, and as soon as he was vying for the support of the GOP, all that went out the door. He went from being someone with somewhat strong convictions to someone who would say or do anything to get supporters, knowing that if he stopped toeing the line for even a second, he was done for because he had chosen to align himself with a party grown fanatical.
Warren Ellis created a character in his Cyberpunk epic Transmetropolitan known as The Beast: a politician who’s seemingly an amalgamation of Reagan and Nixon’s worst parts. For the first half of the series, The Beast is built up to be the villain to end villains, only to find out that he had been driven to that point by his party, and at this point in his career was only worried about “getting through the day.” He was the kind of president who would do the bare minimum of work to keep the country functioning properly and the bare minimum population safe and (relatively) happy. I believe that, if the election would have gone the other way, President Romney would have become The Beast (if you don’t believe me, check out the comic; I first read it over a decade after the series was conceived and it was a little scary how everything synched up). In the end, the country would be in shambles, with the person in power a figurehead, the control having long ago been usurped by corporate interests.
Oscar Wilde once said, in his 1889 essay The Decay of Lying, ”Life imitates art,” but, the sad thing is, sometimes I think he was right.
(Alright guys, I have an assignment for you. I’ll be splitting my time between writing here and my new freelancing gig with Pride Media, as well as my personal site. You fine folks must be coming here for something, so I want you guys to suggest what I should write on next, and if I can, I’ll write on anything you suggest. Leave me good ideas in the comments!)