Wednesday, September 26, 2012

"Stench!" -- the musical

Update: For a minute, I had planned to delete this post. But I am going to let it stand, as proof that ye olde leg-puller (as evidenced by my works of April 1, 2006-2012) also possesses yankable legs. Truth be told, I learned of the originating column -- by Roger Simon of Politico -- only through the work of a fellow blogger, who also took it at face value. Simon's piece, as it turns out, has a note at the very end (after the cyber-jump) which makes a reference to Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal.

That said, my main point here is valid. Ryan, not Romney, is the one dragging down the partnership. In his illustrious career, Romney has proven that he is little more than an absorbent towel; Ryan is the smelly stuff which he has absorbed.

And now, with some crimson in cheek, I present today's original post...

* * *

This whole Romney/Ryan "stench" thing is pretty freaking hilarious, but it's also ominous. If the reports we're seeing are true -- and the revelations come to us by way of Politico, not Kos -- then the level of insubordination is appalling:
Though Ryan had already decided to distance himself from the floundering Romney campaign, he now feels totally uninhibited. Reportedly, he has been marching around his campaign bus, saying things like, “If Stench calls, take a message” and “Tell Stench I’m having finger sandwiches with Peggy Noonan and will text him later.”
When Team Romney complained that Ryan had gone off script, Ryan reportedly responded: “Let Ryan be Ryan and let the Stench be the Stench.”

In fact, and against much conventional wisdom, I would argue that it is Ryan, not Romney, who is fuming up this ticket. I speak not of Paul Ryan the human being (a term one must use with a certain irony) but Ryan the idea. Ryanism. Or, to put the matter more objectively, objectivism.

Ayn's Big Idea is the stenchiest philosophy ever conceived by the mind of man.

The "Shruggers" simply cannot reconcile themselves to the fact that we live in a democracy. Democracy is a popularity contest. Past a point, all of that John Galt shit simply is not popular.

Mitt Romney suffers because the odor of Ayn now perfumes everyone in his party -- including Mitt himself. Hence his expressed belief that those who work 40-plus hours lifting heavy objects at Wal-Mart haven't "taken responsibility" for their lives. That stenchy thought is pure Ayn.

(Perhaps we should say that it's pure Aleister Crowley. Philosophically speaking, Uncle Al got there first when he wrote The Book of the Law in 1904: "Mercy let be off; damn them who pity!" "We have nothing with the outcast and the unfit: let them die in their misery. For they feel not. Compassion is the vice of kings: stamp down the wretched & the weak: this is the law of the strong: this is our law and the joy of the world." The book goes on and on like that. It's the quintessence of stenchiness.)

The old Romney -- the one who created Romneycare -- wouldn't have said such reeky words, even in a private confab with his fellow aristos. But the Mitt Romney now trolling for votes and donations just couldn't help himself. In recent years, Ayn-inflected verbiage has dominated Republican discourse. If you're in that party, you can't help having such thoughts, even if your thought patterns were different just a few years ago.

In short and in sum: Mitt Romney is losing what should be a very winnable election because he has Paul Ryan's stench on him.

Y'know who else suffers from that Ryanesque stench? Tommy Thompson of Wisconsin. For the longest time, that guy looked like a sure winner, but in recent days, his popularity has plummeted. New video has emerged of Thompson telling the teabaggers that he hopes to do away with Medicare and Medicaid.

If Romney loses, many Republicans will draw the wrong lesson. They will argue that Mitt's big problem was that he didn't have a strong enough Ryan/Rand reek. And so, after a few purification rituals, the Stenchies will take over. They will become the true Party of Stench.

Here's the ominous part. When the hard-core Stenchies finally realize that StenchThink will never be popular, will never win elections, they may lose all tolerance for democracy. They may try to attain power in some other way.
I agree, Joe. As soon as I heard the 'stench' remark, I thought of Ryan. He can strut his stuff now but if the GOP thinks the Ryan's of the world are the winning ingredient, they will consistently lose elections. The American public simply isn't buying what they're selling.

Romney shot himself in the foot when he bowed to the fringe element. He's not a natural politician to begin with, not in an era where 'likeability" is given so such weight. But I don't think the moderate Romney believes half the stuff he's spouting for the peanut gallery. And so, his spiel comes off as totally manufactured and false.

The whole carnival is playing itself out in the polls. The Republicans are losing, badly. Romney had his best moment at the Clinton Initiative Conference yesterday. He was relaxed, made a self-deprecating comment about the 'Clinton bounce,' and actually made some remarkably reasonable comments.

The GOP is unleashing the wrong guy [Ryan]. Only the party is too ideologically blind to see it. What are they doing instead? Rewriting the poll numbers. Talk about magical thinking!

I have no love for Obama and I hate the rightward swing of the Democratic Party. But the Republicans? They're dead. They just don't know it yet. Zombies on parade.

Peggy Sue
If the republicans lose in November but keep the House I suspect we will see another witch hunt ala Bill Clinton/Ken Starr.
Did you read this note at the end of that Politico article? (ps you're not alone ... Lawrence on MSNBC took it seriously too.)

Ryan Fever. Catch it!

[Author’s note: Jonathan Swift did not really want Irish people to sell their children for food in 1791; George Orwell did not really want the clocks to strike thirteen in 1984; Paul Ryan, I am sure, calls Mitt Romney something more dignified than “Stench” and Microsoft did not invent PowerPoint as a means to euthanize cattle. At least I am pretty sure Microsoft didn’t.

Roger Simon is POLITICO’s chief political columnist.

Even if the Politico story about "Stench" was written as satire, the Romney-Ryan campaign is starting to unravel like a '79
AMC Pacer with 90,000 miles on it.
People who have never heard of Ayn Rand are learning that Ryan isn't kidding about destroying social safety nets. Add that to the fact that Romney sounds and smells like WWIII and they're dead, barring a steal.
The "satire" note wasn't added until much later, when it became fairly clear that Roger Simon does not understand what satire is, or how to write it.
Actually, Tiro, the problem is that all of the "tells" in Simon's piece came after the jump. And the money quotes were SO GOOD that a lot of people rushed to be the first blogger on the block to include them.

Also, Memeorandum clearly took it first.
Comic hyperbole and sarcasm, by themselves, do not mandate satire. Someone making a few quips in the body of their text, does not automatically call into question the validity of assertions made elsewhere in the text.

Further, satire requires a subject. Who or what, exactly, would have been the subject of that little piece? The press? Got me. I still maintain that it was a hack attempt.
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