Generally Speaking

Well, this seems as good a time as any to switch from Primarily Speaking to Generally Speaking, since Mitt Romney is all but officially the Republican nominee at this point, now that Newt Gingrich has dropped out (we're all devastated, I'm sure) and Ron Paul remains trapped under the weight of his own rhetorical excess somewhere. It's come down to Obama v. Romney, and this November, we will celebrate the robust vibrancy of our diverse republic by electing one of these two gentleman millionaires:

image of Obama and image of Romney in tuxedos
"Cheers, mate!"

Yay for democracy!

Speaking of not meaningfully representing all of the citizens of the United States and/or their interests, President Barack Obama continues to "evolve" on same-sex marriage, but the rest of his administration has evidently found some sort of Darwinian time-warp that hastens evolution, as Vice-President Joe Biden and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan both expressed support for marriage equality over the weekend.

It's possible that they were both off-message, but unlikely: My guess is that it's a strategic trial balloon to see if Obama can get away with sending out surrogates in support of same-sex marriage. If there's blowback, they'll have Biden roll it back; if it's well-received, I'd look for a supportive statement from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton next.

Hashtag: #tepidadvocate

In either case, maybe cool it with the gay jokes.

Speaking of jerks, John McCain has some hot advice for Mitt Romney: He should pick a running mate "he knows he could trust." Ha ha good one, John McCain! You are a font of wisdom!

In other genius news, a terrific video has emerged of Mitt Romney at a private campaign event last month, held at the lavish estate of pizza magnate John "Papa John" Schnatter.

Outside of Schnatter's giant mansion, Romney says, at the beginning of the video: "What a welcome. What a place this is—my goodness! Who would've imagined pizza could build this? This is really something. Don't you love this country? What a home this is; what grounds these are—the pool, the golf course. You know, if a Democrat were here, he'd look around and say no one should live like this. [laughter] Republicans come here and say everyone should live like this! All right? [applause] This is a real tribute to America, to entrepreneurship."

I hope the Obama campaign just plays that video over and over and over from now until November, because it perfectly encapsulates everything that's wrong with Mitt Romney and the GOP.

For one thing, it's dishonest as all fuck: There are lots and lots of rich Democrats, including our President, every Democratic member of the Senate, many Democratic members of the House, and countless Democratic donors. Democrats are capitalists. It's just that not every capitalist believes in an unregulated free market and unfair taxation that means there are people living "like this" on the backs of people who lack basic necessities.

Secondly, just no: Not everyone should live "like this," since living "like this" is a hugely disproportionate drain on the world's limited resources. Maintaining a huge home with substantial grounds uses lots of energy. Maintaining a pool and a golf course uses lots of energy and yields lots of pollutants. It's not remotely reasonable to suggest every USian should live like that.

...Which doesn't even get into whether every USian ever could live like that. As I've written previously, if you want to be the kind of person who doesn't clean your own mansion, or landscape your own grounds, or clean your own pool, or maintain your own private golf course holy shit, then there are going to have to be people who fill all those jobs—and unless you're willing to pay each of them a seven-figure wage, how the fuck do you get off saying that everyone should live like a multimillionaire?

...Which itself doesn't even get into the fact that not every person wants to live like that. Some of us make choices to pursue jobs like, oh I dunno, social work, or public eduction, or nursing, or law enforcement, or firefighting, or social justice advocacy, or any one of a number of jobs that will never make us millionaires, or anything close, but are nonetheless integral contributions to our communities, country, and culture—which we actually find more personally fulfilling than gazing out at our toxic estates from the balconies of our garbage chateaus.

I mean, granted, public service is no making shitty mass-produced pizzas, which is obviously way more important than saving someone's life or teaching children to read, but still.

Listen, I'm not knocking someone who wants to live in a big house on a huge piece of property with lots of amenities and no regard for their environmental footprint. If that's your dream, good luck to you. I do, however, take issue with the idea that that's everyone's dream, because it isn't. And it is a conservative fallacy that only people who cannot achieve that dream don't dream it. Plenty of us have left corporate careers and corner offices for something more meaningful to us. Not everyone is made happy by amassing.

...Which is to say nothing about the people who are never given the opportunities to be in the privileged position of making that choice in the first place.

I am curious how it is that Mitt Romney plans to provide such a remarkable lifestyle to everyone who does want one, though. Maybe he's proposing paying social workers and teachers and hospital staff and cops et. al. million-dollar salaries? While simultaneously lowering taxes? Well, that sounds good! I can only guess that means he plans to eradicate the Defense Department in its entirety. Radical—but I can definitely get behind it!

Romney stands in front of a flag, speaking into a mic, and throwing up his hand
"I don't know how I'mma do it, but it sounds good!"

Talk about these things! Or don't. Whatever makes you happy. Life is short.

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus