Hi, I’m Mitt Romney, and I’m running for president.
I’m running because I have a track record of doing things pretty well without alienating everybody. I was elected as a Republican in Massachusetts, which should tell you all you need to know about my electability.
These days, we Republicans might be looking at Obama’s favorability ratings and thinking, “Aw, heck, we could run anyone and win.” Well, no. The polls show that Obama beats us in the states that matter, even at his lowest ebb on popularity. Give him one debate, and he’ll be miles ahead of us.
Why? Because, frankly, Americans don’t care too much for us, either.
The Palin-Bachmann-Tea Party crew took its shot at government in the 2010 midterms. They won a few House races but lost easily winnable Senate races in Delaware and Nevada.
And as it turns out, the decline of Obama’s popularity has NOT been caused by a bunch of people saying, “Oh, hey! These fire-breathing Republicans have a point after all!”
I see many of you are surprised by what I’m saying. “But Mitt,” you say, “everybody knows we just need to stand up to those socialists and keep them from raising taxes on their way to building an Islamofascist state!”
Turns out that “everybody” isn’t a particularly big group. It may seem so on Fox News Channel and on Internet message boards. But you’re just preaching to the converted. And we saw with Glenn Beck that even the converted will walk out after a while.
I myself have been guilty of pandering to this audience. Well, that stops now.
People are actually angry at all of us, Democrats and Republicans, for failing to solve anything. We’re treating our fellow Americans as enemies and pumping out propaganda with all the fervor of a shadowy World War II agency.
In the real world – the one outside the Internet and cable universe – people would rather be able to go about their daily business. They’re not interested in being soldiers in the most pointless ideological war since the clones fought the droids or whatever the heck the Star Wars prequels were supposed to be about.
They also aren’t buying the propaganda. People aren’t that stupid. They know we’re aren’t fighting “socialism” – we’re just fighting to keep the upper crust’s tax rates at the lowest point in decades. They know those tax cuts aren’t producing jobs – companies are sitting on big piles of money, and you can’t simultaneously call the rich “job creators” and peddle investments in gold instead of the stock market, where it would actually help American businesses. They know climate change is real – if they don’t, they’ll figure it out.
And creationism? You do realize people are still applying to college in huge numbers, right? You can fool people in high schools, but they’ll eventually learn the truth.
These religious fantasies aren’t going to work. Kids today are growing up with a diverse group of friends, and they’re generally not interested in trying to persuade everyone else to be just like them.
(Are people honestly peddling some sort of “Hooray, let’s pave the way for the End Times” theology and then simultaneously worrying that I can’t get elected because I’m a Mormon? You do realize there’s a giant Mormon temple just outside the Beltway in the bad old liberal Maryland suburbs, right? They use it as a landmark on traffic reports. I think they can deal with it. So can the South – remember Dale Murphy?)
Even if you take out the religion and go with the pseudo-libertarian stuff, it won’t fly. People are used to a certain amount of government service. Wave your “Who is John Galt?” sign if you must, but most people know he was pontificating fictional character with a phony sense of entitlement in a book that made cynical sophomores everywhere feel like the world owes them something.
The bottom line is that no one’s buying this stuff. People who are losing faith in Obama are doing so because they wish he’d stand up to us.
If you want to keep peddling some sort of Ayn Rand-meets-Pat Robertson philosophy so you can feel morally superior to people in government, go ahead. If you want to win back from the White House from someone who is struggling in the job, nominate me.