Let’s see if I’ve got this right: Based on developments of the last week, the entire planet may some day be thanking former Virginia Congressman Virgil Goode for its survival. Here’s how it adds up:
Goode was confirmed to be on the ballot last week for the November presidential election in Virginia (and in a number of other states as the presidential nominee of the Constitution Party). He has a long history as a state legislator and U.S. congressman in southwest Virginia, and enjoys the deep support of many conservative voters in that part of the state.
While a veritable unknown outside that neck of the woods, he commands enough political capital in the battleground state of Virginia that his presence on the November ballot could doom the chances of Mitt Romney, not only in Virginia, but because of Virginia’s pivotal role, in the national election.
Now let’s turn for a moment to Romney. Having recently, and idiotically, proclaimed Russia as America’s “Number One geopolitical foe,” he received a thumbs up from an unexpected source this week, no less than Russian President Vladimir Putin, himself.
According to the TPM Livewire online this Tuesday, the Russian news agency RIA Novosti quoted Putin saying to reporters, “I’m grateful to him (Romney) for formulating his stance so clearly because he has once again proven the correctness of our approach to missile defense problems.”
The Russian Interfax news agency reported further that Putin added, “The most important thing for us is that even if he (Romney) doesn’t win now, he or a person with similar views may come to power in four years. We must take that into consideration while dealing with security issues for a long perspective.”
Yes, thanks to you Mitt Romney, we may be on our way to a new Cold War! Thermonuclear brinksmanship, mutual and assured destruction, nightmares of mushroom clouds, loaded shotguns in backyard bomb shelters, and maybe a new version of a Cuban missile crisis, and Romney isn’t even the president yet, if ever.
He’s strengthened the hand enormously of the hawks in Russia by his outrageously stupid comment, showing how dangerous putting a doofus at the head of a party ticket can be. Even Sarah Palin didn’t match Romney on this one. She only said she could wave at people in Russia from her home in Alaska, not rattle sabers at them.
So the logic applies: Goode enters race, thus Romney is kept from the nuclear button, thus a species-obliterating thermonuclear war is avoided. Thank you, Virgil Goode, on behalf of everybody.
But it’s increasingly likely that Mr. Goode’s factor will not be as decisive as it may have appeared even a month ago. The Republicans created a spectacle at their national convention of stomping all over the truth like Lucy stomped grapes, and their biggest star was an empty chair. On the other hand, the Democrats at their national convention knocked the proverbial ball out of the park over and over again, like a 1927 Yankee or 1976 Cincinnati “murderer’s row” of sluggers.
Not only the breathtaking speech of Bill Clinton, the triumph of Michelle Obama and the barn-burner of President Obama, but the sharp, intelligent and passionate remarks of future leaders of the party, notable for their racial and ethnic diversities, revealed a bright future, and Hillary Clinton wasn’t even there.
The post-conventions bump for the Democrats, showing up in all the polls, was not surprising given this contrast. Romney has no way to bounce back, and the more Paul Ryan opens his mouth, the whinier he sounds and the more his eyes bulge. They await somebody collecting Larry Flynt’s million-dollar reward by exposing all those tax returns that Romney has been hiding.
Meanwhile, Romney continues to make one lasting impact on America, a revival of the underutilized noun, “mendacity,” which means “lying.” If one lies constantly, then journalists look for synonyms. It applied again this week to Romney’s attack on Obama for being soft on the attacks at U.S. embassies overseas. He cited a document issued before the attacks, designed to deter them, as if it was Obama’s response after the violence. Say after me, “Mendacity.”