It was supposed to be a day of triumph for Mitt Romney [and so on, and so on]....
Instead, Tuesday was hijacked by Donald J. Trump. Inexplicably to many in his party, Mr. Romney had scheduled an appearance at a fund-raiser in Las Vegas on Tuesday night with Mr. Trump.
It's not really so inexplicable, though, to either the "many in his party" or to the far many others who so gratefully reside outside of it, when one simply accepts Mitt's singular oneness with cosmic ineptitude. Somewhere in the Tao Te Ching, I think it is, there is expressed the ancient wisdom of intensely pursued objects possessing the nasty habit of receding faster than one's eager grasp. Twenty-five hundred years ago the sages advised, "Chill"; 500 years later, Jesus advised, "Chill"; another fifteen-hundred years after that, Montaigne advised, "Chill"; and now, fresh on the philosophical heels of yet another 500 years, this nugget of enlightenment is ubiquitous--it leaps at us from the back of cereal boxes and fast-food fortune cookies and from shelves upon shelves of undigested self-help books: "Chill, you idiot."
But Mitt can't "chill." Mitt is a micromanager; his pockets are stuffed with unearned cash because his head is crammed with lifeless statistics. It makes no difference to Mitt that he's in organic politics now, as opposed to the necrotic business of what even the brain-dead Rick Perry had the wits to call "vulture capitalism." To Mitt, it's all the same-- this people and profits stuff--data, numbers, shifting numbers, calculated gambles, acceptable debits, huge rewards, balance sheets and delicately balanced negotiations.
His latest negotiations are, however, unwinnable. He seems to think that if he slithers around with the clownishly malevolent racism of Trump, he'll make big and permanent gains with the reptilian base. And independents won't mind. Later, when he's playing nice with independents, and vaguely disavowing all things Trump, then the base won't mind.
But this is a base whose rugged ignorance is surpassed only by its deep-seated contemptuousness and bedouin vengeance. In other words, they don't forgive. And thinking independents won't forget.
There is, of course, nothing universal or comprehensive about these observations. Much of the base will turn out for Romney on Election Day, as will many independents. But Romney's cosmic ineptitude and unsightly staggering from hither to yon should, from my empirical point of view, shave just enough Romney votes in essential swing states to swing the election to President Obama, and rather decisively.