Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Money talks in Illinois

The increasingly bizarre GOP nomination narrative utilizes a language not spoken by the rest of us humanoids and, I suspect, not well understood even among those clapping their flippers at Mitt and Rick. But one thing remains clear to any upright mammal still paying attention: put enough money out there, and you grind the opposition into gravel.

The Mitt outspent Santorum 7 to 1 in Illinois and finally managed to beat him while failing to do so the week before in the wastelands of the South. Perhaps the sweater-vested champion of not screwing will rebound in Louisiana, perhaps not. Nonetheless, the battered Repub team eventually will settle on one of this motley crowd for whom they feel no great love.

Once that happens, however, the game will take on an entirely new tone and shape. Who cares about love when you’ve got cash? Once these preliminaries are over, it will be all Obama-hate, all the time, and the money they have used to pummel each other will be unleashed against the usurping Negro. It won’t matter much who the not-Obama guy is because Fox Nation doesn’t need to like him. He isn’t there to attract their gentle sentiments but to focus their mean-spirited, embittered and resentful rage. Once that blast of negativity gets turned onto the dopily passive, let’s-hold-hands-and-sing occupant of the White House, this film is going to look quite different.

I’m terrible at predictions of this sort, but I don’t buy the current optimism that the Republicans have gone so far off their inflamed heads that the country will seek some reasonable middle ground come November and opt for Obama again. I think it’s at least as likely that we’re witnessing a creepy replay of 1980 when Jimmy Carter stumbled into his re-election campaign with no popular or populist narrative, imitating the right-wingers unconvincingly and paving the asphalt driveway for the nightmare of the Reagan ‘revolution’, whose nefarious effects are still with us three decades later.

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