Indeed, I thought and still think that he is a complete and utter idiot. His grasp of history and the underpinnings of our society are less than adequate, and his ability to picture the scope of events is unparalleledly nonexistent.
And therein lies the reason for this post.
If Santorum had won the nomination, he would have been far easier to defeat in November than Mitt Romney. Every time Santorum opened his mouth, he shoved his foot into it harder and deeper. He reminded me of "The Igli," a character Robert A. Heinlein wrote in Glory Road who had both of his feet fed to him until he disappeared.
Now it is obvious that barring assassination or being caught in a compromising situation with a young child, Mitt Romney is going to be the Republican presidential nominee.
It is scary because, unlike Gingrich, Santorum, Perry, et al., Romney appears as if he will run to the right, but govern to the center. He seems to have done that to some extent in Massachusetts as Governor. The difference, of course, was that the Massachusetts Legislature is and was Democrat controlled, and he needed to govern at least to the center if he wanted to get anything done.
In most scenarios, a Romney win will be accompanied by a Republican takeover of the Senate, and maintaining control of the House. Most of the newly elected, in both the Senate and the House, will be of the Tea Party wing of the Republican party. In order to get along with "his own" party, Romney will have to govern even more to the right than he will have to run.
So we will have a right wing President, and a right wing controlled Congress.
Romney, if elected, will have the opportunity to appoint at least two Supreme Court Justices, thus giving the right wing control of the judiciary for the next 30 years or more. Considering the expected makeup of Congress should he win, the appointees will be further to the right than if he was facing confirmation of those nominees in a Democrat-controlled Senate.
And given the likelihood that the Supremes will strike down the Affordable Health Care Act (I refuse to call it Obamacare) as unconstitutional on the grounds that citizens cannot be forced to buy insurance, we will have a visitation from the Unintended Consequences Squad.
Senior Citizens Take Note
By most estimations, if the Supremes say that nobody can be forced to buy insurance, Medicare is by definition also unconstitutional, as is Social Security. Why? We are forced to buy annuities (pay into the plans) whether we want to or not. That is the same as being forced to buy health insurance BEFORE we become 65.
The thousands of elderly and soon to be elderly who are so violently opposed to the Affordable Health Care Act are going to be deeply surprised and distressed when the Republicans go right ahead with what they have been suggesting for years: the "privatization" of Social Security and Medicare...on the grounds that the enabling legislation for each is now seen to be unconstitutional.
Of course, the Unintended Consequences Squad can take joy in the huge number of class actions against the Federal Government demanding return of all the premiums paid into both plans that are certain to be filed...
Rollbacks aren't just for Wal-Mart, they are for women and minorities too
And then there is the movement to roll back equal opportunity legislation for minorities and women. Okay, in deference to several of my friends, including Sarah A. Hoyt, I won't call it "the Republican war on women." Yes, women have it far better in the United States than, oh, Somalia for instance, or Afghanistan.
So freakin' what?
The reason people come here to live and be citizens is because we strive as hard as we do to level the playing field. When you have Republican idiots like Wisconsin State Senator Glenn Grothman saying, "Money is more important to men than it is to women," because women stay home and have kids, and the Wisconsin governor quietly repealed Wisconsin's equal pay law, and with dozens of other assaults on the rights of women and minorities, it is hard to not call it a war. Sure, nobody is shooting women or blacks or hispanics or gay people very much here, but the tide will turn, and as Pastor Niemoller famously said,
First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.
Sure, there's some hyperbole in this post, but based on the rhetoric of the right wing that has stolen the Republican party from us centrists and made it uniquely their own, I honestly can't say I know how much hyperbole there is.
The German upper class and the middle class made the fatal mistake of thinking they could "do business with Hitler," because he seemed to them so reasonable. I am NOT equating Mitt Romney with Hitler (Mussolini, maybe) but what about the right wingers who follow him?