Friday, September 21, 2012

Gaffes, Lies and Expectations

The year started with high expectations for Republicans. After their gains in 2010, they expected 2012 would be another good a year for GOP candidates. Emboldened by the continuing gloomy forecasts about the economy, they expected to capture both the U.S. Senate and the White House.

Then came the cold weather primaries with too many debates. Every other week Mitt Romney, the frontrunner, was assailed by his opponents. Although Romney survived the primary process, owing greatly to his war chest, as spring bloomed it became clear that he was not the first choice for at least two-thirds of his own party.

After crushing each of his fellow clown-car occupants, one by one, then came Romney’s summertime campaign, with him driving said car. That became a slow motion disaster, based largely on torturing the truth, and marked repeatedly by gaffes.

To finish off the season, the GOP staged its convention in Tampa. That confab will be remembered mostly for having a theme based on yet another out-of-context prevarication -- We Built It -- and the Eastwood empty chair skit, which was so strange it created a whole new category of campaign blundering.

What happened to the Republicans' sure thing in 2012?

Could it be that the public has noticed that when it comes to politics, the shape-shifting Romney seems to have no scruples or core beliefs? Could it be that voters in several states have noticed that their Republican-controlled legislatures have been pursuing a coordinated war on women, unions, seniors, students, gays, immigrants and the environment?

With a little over five weeks until Election Day, Romney’s campaign appears to be in the early wide turns of a death spiral. This trend seems to be affecting the races in the states, too.

Although it is still possible for something to come along and change that momentum, because in politics almost anything is possible, at this writing it’s an understatement to say that Republicans have stepped on their own dangling hubris and inflicted injuries upon themselves.

Speaking of expectations, could it be that in 2012 dark money can’t necessarily buy a presidency?    

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