Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Tale of Two Androids

I think at this point, we can all agree that Mitt Romney is going to be the Republican nominee. Regardless of what Newt Gingrich might think, assuming that he does think at all, or the fondest hopes of the Paultards for a brokered convention (Please. I could use the entertainment.), he's going to be the guy who gets to lose to President Obama on the first Tuesday of November (Cthulhu willing).


The problem with Willard "Mittens" Romney is that in a time when the economy could, at best, be described as "meh" for most people, he is rich. And not only is he rich, but he's like a caricature of a millionaire. He talks about how he doesn't follow NASCAR a lot, but he has friends who own NASCAR teams. His wife owns two Cadillacs, and his renovated house in California will apparently have a garage large enough that he'll need an elevator to move his cars around. He tried to pander to Wisconsonites by joking about the time his Pappy moved a factory from Michigan to Wisconsin. When he went to college, he paid for his apartment by selling stock Pappy gave him for his birthday. I think what we've got here is a failure to communicate.

And you might say, "Dude, you're being unreasonable when you expect a millionaire born to a wealthy family to connect with ordinary people." The problem with that line of argument is that the 43rd President was a millionaire born to a wealthy family, and he spent eight years in the Oval Office. Not only that, but both Dubya and Mittens were born to politically connected families. The difference between them is that Mittens can legitimately claim to be a businessman of enough skill to have made some money, even if it came at the cost of American jobs. Before Bush became Governor of Texas, he basically failed into one company after another.

But one of them was someone a lot of Americans could relate to enough that they could picture sitting down with him and having a beer with him, while the other is stiff and awkward around potential voters, and doesn't know how to pander. Say what you will about Dubya, he at least seemed like a reasonable facsimile of a regular American. His policies may have been disastrous, and he may have left office with Nixonian approval ratings, but he had a modicum of personal charm.

I think the difference can be expressed in fictional terms by comparing both of them to notable TV androids. In this analogy, Bush is one of the skinjobs from the rebooted Battlestar Galactica. He looks and acts human, and only when you dig beneath that exterior do you find the heart of a robot bent on exterminating humanity.

Bush cylon

Mittens, on the other hand, is Data, from Star Trek: The Next Generation. He's obviously not entirely human, even though he tries to act like a human, and it doesn't take a keen observer to detect this. He's making a valiant effort to seem human, but it doesn't come naturally to him, and it's pretty obvious.


I'm sure he's desperately hoping that doesn't turn out to be a problem in November.

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