Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Mitt's Collapse 1/2

It's got to be tough to be Mitt Romney these days. Hell, it's got to be hard to be a Republican in general.

Let's just get the small stuff out of the way. Mitt's candidacy and his path to the presidency at this moment look to be very much dead. Of course, things can change. But they probably won't shift too radically. Let me put it this way, Rachel Maddow seemed to be very sympathetic and almost like she was talking about a kid who tragically lost an arm in a freak accident.

When the liberal elite are treating you like a wounded kitten and you stand for everything they despise you are definitely in hot water. And I can't say that I really disagree with their assessment. Look at his speech for Univision's Meet the Candidate event. He looks like he just got sat on by an elephant. And he kind of did.

Think about it, the Republican party is suffering from an extreme version of the Democratic problem in 2004. Many factions with strong views held under a tent without much of an initiative except for rejection of the alternative.

The first thing this reveals is that the Republican party is going to be doing some soul-searching in the coming months. There is a very real possibility that the soul-searching will result in a more extreme platform and a retreat into the reddest of states and positions. Alternately, they can swing back to the center, kicking off the Democratic push to the left—the proverbial political pendulum in American politics. Or a third party could emerge, gaining prominence for a cycle or two and fading into obscurity once they get what they want.

In all instances Mitt is gone. And that's what is sad. This guy who has worked so hard to get to where he is, who has tried so hard and wanted it so bad. And the problem is that Mitt is still Rocky and Obama is still Apollo Creed.

So what is Mitt feeling right now? Probably not what he should. His first problem is that as he descends into increasingly stressful situations that challenge his perception of himself, the public is treated not to a person ready to confront his ego—rather we have the unfortunate front seat to the collapse of a human beholden to his ego and the image he has created for himself.

As he becomes more internally conflicted he will lash out and double-down more on what the contradictions in his image. We've already seen this with the emergence of the 'whip-flop,' a flip-flop so fast that it gives us whiplash. Mitt's internal dialogue right now is a constant, “I don't have any problems” mantra.

Unless there is a major shift in the campaign don't be surprised if Mitt looks more robotic—a person who has tuned out and is going through the motions. He's already lowered his public profile—avoiding any confrontation. Public appearances now look like a taxing ordeal for him rather than the spotlights he so obviously enjoyed before.