Mitt Romney is raising historic amounts of money from his pals on Wall Street. His cash advantage over the president is doubling every month.
And Obama is no popular opponent. Over the last four years, the U.S. has seen an increase in unemployment, a quadrupling of the deficit, and a lowering of household income. Osama is dead and GM is alive, but Barack Obama remains a largely disliked president. He has out-of-favor policies on immigration, education, and the environment. His Gallup approval rating can’t climb over 50 percent. Even if more campaigning continues to win Obama his base back, young people are half as excited about voting in November than they were four years ago.
So why is Obama crushing Romney in the polls? (He’s up by 8 percent according to the Pew Research Center, with a bigger lead over Romney than he ever had over McCain.)
Well, the answer is becoming more and more evident. Never in our lifetime has a party’s presidential candidate been more unelectable than Mitt Romney. Never in our lifetime has a Republican presidential candidate been worse at politics.
When Mitt Romney goes off-script, which unfortunately for the Republican Party, he does far too often, it’s pretty much guaranteed to be ugly.
The media keeps classifying his unscripted statements as gaffes when it seems increasingly evident they are just Romney being Romney. When he speaks his mind, his elitism shines bright. His classist sentiments are so regular that they can’t be called as mistakes anymore. He means what he says when he tells us he’s not concerned about the poor and it’s not his job to worry about them.
So, it’s pretty clear why Romney can’t win this election. It may have plenty to do with the fact that he’s hard to trust because he shifts his positions so often. It may have plenty to do with the fact that his business practices and immense wealth make him hard to relate to for working class folks.
But, more than anything else, Romney will lose this election because when he opens his mouth, Americans gasp in disgust at his point of view. Let’s recap some of the lowlights. According to Romney, 47 percent of Americans are victims dependent on government.
The “47 percent gaffe,” as it’s been labeled internationally, exposed not only fundamental misunderstanding of the government’s responsibility to take care of the poor but a serious flaw in character. The statement was played over and over again, for the whole world to hear, and by the end of the day, the point had been made clear: Mitt Romney is a mean person. In the same speech at the Palm Beach $50,000-per-plate event, Romney said he doesn’t want people to see too much of his wife because he’s worried they’ll get sick of her. He claimed that if Latinos continue to vote for Democrats, it is bad for America.
Perhaps worst of all, Romney claimed that 47 percent of Americans are refusing to “take personal responsibility and care for their lives,” claiming he will “never convince them” to do so, and never convince them to cote for him. Jon Stewart pointed out that one of those 47% of people dependent on government was Romney’s own father, who is mother claimed was successful due to the generous opportunities welfare afforded to him. As Stewart joked, “By Romney’s logic, he could not win the vote of his own dad.”
Also, at the fundraiser, Romney claimed that the Palestinian people are a people not interested in peace. He claimed that if he was Latino, he’d have a better shot at wining.
If in one day, Romney can insult Latinos, Palestinians, 47 percent of the country, and his wife and his father, just imagine what he can do as president.
But of course, Romney’s distasteful comments go well beyond one fundraiser. He has claimed that he’s not concerned about the very poor and claimed he is concerned about the banks. He’s stated he enjoys firing his employees. He’s claimed that corporations are people. He’s told us about his several homes, about his wife’s Cadillacs, and he even tried to make a nationally televised bet with Texas governor Rick Perry for $10,000.
Of course, Obama has had his share of regrettable statements, too. His claim that the “private sector is doing fine” or that “change can’t come from inside Washington” have made him look both out of touch and weak. But still, these statements are irregular and uncommon. He’s a highly intelligent politician, one who typically thinks before he speaks.
When a politician is interviewed and forced to remark off-script several times a day on the tiring campaign trail, it is expected that they will say something, from time to time, that makes their staff scramble to write a retraction. But when Obama is forced to retract a statement, he does not come off as defenseless. He does not come off as ingenuine. He explains his mistake and tells us how he really feels. Romney, on the other hand, comes off as phony and fake. His retractions seem smug and insincere. When Romney makes a mistake, his apology typically serves to reinforce that he meant what he said to begin with.
So, let’s break down the math. Romney can’t win the Latino vote or the black vote. He can’t win the elderly vote or the female vote. He most certainly can’t win the lower class or young people vote. Americans trust Obama to handle the economy, the #1 topic, more than they trust Romney. Americans trust Obama on social issues more than Romney.
Not only is it mathematically impossible for Romney to win the election, but it may be time to declare the Republican party finished altogether. The party’s radical policies of cutting entitlements and increasing spending on defense have become so extreme that no matter how much money they raise, the American public is becoming more and more fearful of their power and less and less trusting that they care one bit about lower and middle class people. The Republicans may have always been the party of, by and for the 1%, but their move towards becoming the party of, by and for the 0.1% has made them all the less relatable.
On social issues, the Republicans of today make Bush look like a liberal. Their foreign policy comes off as nothing short of fear-brewing war propaganda. And their tax policies are nothing short of scary.
So, when it’s all said and done and Romney moves on to something else once Obama wins the election, we have a serious question to ask: Can the Republican Party ever make a comeback?
Commentary and Debate Editor