Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Mitt Romney to Retroactively Select VP Running Mate?

NOW THAT WE KNOW—according to leading GOP political strategist Ed Gillespie—that Mitt Romney has the power to “retroactively retire” from Bain Capital, let’s talk about Mr. Romney’s choices for vice-presidential running mate.

Clearly, his magical abilities, allowing him to travel back in time and alter reality, open up all kinds of possibilities. We already know, for example, that this retroactive power, or “RP,” allows Romney to forget past opinions. A woman’s right to an abortion?

For it once. Now, retroactively, against it.

The health care mandate? Great idea in the past. Terrible idea in the present.

Tax returns? The Governor has retroactively forgotten where he hid his.

What else can Mitt forget? With his special gifts, pretty much anything. We know that Romney’s RP power allows him to draw a total blank when asked about an incident in high school where he led a gang of boys in an attack on a gay classmate. Just “pranks,” Mitt says today. He doesn’t remember holding the victim down in a hallway, cutting off the poor kid’s hair with a pair of scissors. “What a senseless, stupid, idiotic thing to do.” “It was vicious,” said Philip Maxwell, a few months ago, he being one of the others involved, admitting his shame decades later.

Mitt? Mitt took the RP machine for a spin.

Regardless, the search for a running mate is heating up along with the summer weather. Last week someone in the Romney camp floated the name “Condoleeza Rice.” That idea was blown to bits inside 24 hours, because “Condoleeza” reminded too many voters of nutty claims involving weapons of mass destruction, of wrong wars, fought in wrong places, at wrong times. “Rice” conjured up images of 40,000 real American heroes, killed and wounded in Iraq, all for nothing.

So, Ms. Rice is out. This week the national media is engaged in a frenzied game of guessing whom Mitt will pick. Tim Pawlenty, possibly? The poor man has all the charisma of a toaster. Marco Rubio? Bobby Jindal? The problem with both of these choices might be that far-right tendency to go crazy whenever they see dark-skinned individuals and start demanding their birth certificates and immigration papers.

We know, of course, that the Romney crowd would love to pick almost any woman (well, not counting a gay one), to shore up their candidate’s weakness with female voters. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has been mentioned. And what the hell! There’s always Sarah Palin! The woman has had four more years to finally read a book or a newspaper.

Maybe she’s ready.

Truly, Palin would be a bold choice, but if Mr. Romney has the true RP gift, why not use it? So far, he hasn’t exactly been coming across in this campaign as bold. More like milk-soppy Mormon—nice man—with good hair and good teeth. So playing the RP card could help. Go retro, in other words, Governor.

No, not Dick Cheney. Not crazy.

BOLD! WE’RE TALKING TIME-TRAVEL! We’re talking Spiro Agnew. That man was master of political put downs, once labeling Democratic foes “pusillanimous pussyfooters,” blasting media types as “nattering nabobs of negativism,” and pillorying liberals as “hopeless, hysterical hypochondriacs of history.”

Imagine Tea Party crowds going wild, as the ghost of Vice-Presidents Past attacked Mr. Obama and his college-educated supporters as “an effete corps of impudent snobs who characterize themselves as intellectuals.”

On a close reading of the U. S. Constitution, we find, technically, that there is no clause which might preclude the choice of a deceased running mate. Agnew would offer other powerful advantages. He was impeached for tax evasion. So he could advise Mitt on what he should hide in his returns (pretty much everything) and what he should not hide (pretty much nothing), when it comes to releasing information.

Another solid RP choice? Why not Schuyler Colfax, who backed up President Ulysses S. Grant? (Wasn’t he the very first Republican to take the Grover Norquist pledge?) Colfax understood job creation, presiding as Speaker of the House, before he ran with Grant, at a time when the first transcontinental railroad was being constructed. Colfax could offer Romney advice on illegal immigration, too, since most of the building was done by Irish and Chinese workers.

A Romney/Colfax ticket would fire up the base. It would remind the Tea Party faithful of the kind of “good old days” they think they remember. American workers wanting to join unions and go on strike during the 1870s? Just call in a few private company guards and shoot a few strikers dead and blacklist the survivors. That African American vote which buoys Obama? In those days the GOP actually benefited. Well: not counting voting down South, where the Ku Klux Klan was leading a campaign to lynch enough black people to convince the rest to stay home on election day.

A time, if you listen to the right-wing fringe now, when they would argue that “America was still great.”

Colfax had warm ties with business, just like today, with the modern GOP in the pockets not of Robber Barons, but Sheldon Adelson, the Koch brothers and the Big Bankers of Wall Street. The only blemish: Colfax’s involvement with a bribe scandal involving the big railroad companies.

Maybe that means Colfax is out.

What about Aaron Burr, a man totally lacking in scruples, making him a perfect pairing with Romney, who can’t remember having any? Think of the political imagery:

Romney/Burr 2012 

Take Back America 
Shoot Your Foes in Duels—Safeguard the Second Amendment. 

It would be catnip for crazy right-wingers.

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