Mitt Romney has won the Republican presidential primaries in Arizona and Michigan, handily in the former and maybe less so in his home state. He beat Rick Santorum in Michigan by just over three points, suggesting that people whose unemployment rate stayed over 10% for most of 2011 really are worried that dudes might touch one another’s linuses. Either that, or something about a governor’s son who made up for his criticism of the auto bailout by explaining how many Cadillacs he owns just isn’t connecting with people. Meanwhile, level-twelve poop elemental Newt Gingrich beat Ron Paul up north but was beaten by him out west. Gyn’grrch will now be summoned to Georgia by Sheldon Adelson’s ritual burning of several million dollars.
Frankly, the whole thing is kind of boring. As terrible as he would be for America, I kind of hoped that Santorum might win yesterday—you know, like the way you’re disappointed to come out of the basement after the tornado siren stops. In a week when one guy says that condoms are the work of Satan and the other gently mocks some ponchos, it’s easy to choose whom you want to remain on a national stage. Obviously, this impulse is destructive and wrong. We should not like politicians the way we like contestants on Flavor of Love. Yet there is something disappointing about the prospect of two thoughtful moderates respectfully disagreeing with each other for the rest of 2012. America is in trouble just now. Shouldn’t our election be a clash of insanity?
The answer is no, obviously, but I keep wanting it to be. Considering the GOP nominating process up to this point, I’m not alone. Maybe the weird emergence of Rick Santorum—seriously you guys, Rick Santorum—as the strongest challenge to Romnevitability is an expression of people’s desire for the 2012 election to Really Mean Something. Maybe a large portion of the Republican Party doesn’t want to win; they just want catharsis. It’s like King Lear. You don’t like Lear because he’s such a good guy, per se. You like him because he’s a good character.
Rick Santorum is a good character. He appears to have found his platform on the floor of a time machine, and he talks like a parody of a church deacon even though he’s visibly evil. Meanwhile, Romney is rich and kind of nervous. One of these people makes for much better political theatre than the other, and theater is what we want from politics right now. We want catharsis.
Again, this viewpoint is terrible. I use “want” here in the same sense as I want zombies to attack Murray Hill, which is to say not really. But 2012 is a big year. Probably, the time in which we now live is historically significant. Shouldn’t we have a historically significant election?
The answer is no. We should re-elect our basically good Obama and get to work on our historically significant turnaround. Monkey hate work, though. It would be a lot more fun to watch Charlie Church take on the first black president in a politico-cultural Armageddon. God, it sucks to be real.