ONTD Political

What happens to those who lose a presidential campaign? Some can do it with heads rightly held high, and go on to give valuable service to the nation. We were reminded of this just two weeks before the recent election, when George McGovern died. Though he underwent a humiliating defeat by Richard Nixon forty years before, he was a man of integrity, some of whose ideas were continued by people who worked in his 1972 campaign, like Bill and Hillary Clinton, veterans of his Texas office that year. McGovern was re-elected to the Senate after his presidential loss, where he performed important services, like defying the cattle, egg, and sugar lobbies to set up national dietary standards. This was a long-time commitment of his. Even before he went into the Senate, he had served as President Kennedy’s point man in the Food for Peace Program. In 1998, President Clinton appointed him his ambassador to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, where he worked effectively to curb world hunger. Above all, though he was a heroic flyer in World War II, he was a principled opponent of useless militarism.

What public service do we expect from Mitt Romney? He will no doubt return to augmenting his vast and hidden wealth, with no more pesky questions about where around the world it is stashed, or what taxes (if any) he paid, carefully sheltered from the rules his fellow citizens follow.

Barry Goldwater, after his massive defeat, stayed true enough to his principled conservatism that the modern Republican Party was a beneficiary of his legacy—a beneficiary but not the determiner of that legacy. It was Goldwater himself who told the heir to his influence, Richard Nixon, that it was time to cleanse the White House by leaving it. Though Goldwater was a factor in the Southern strategy of Nixon, he was no racist, and no fanatic of any stripe. He was an acidulous critic of the religious right and a strong advocate for women’s rights (like abortion). He had backbone.

What vestige of a backbone is Romney left with? Things he was once proud of —health-care guarantees, opposition to noxious emissions, support of gay rights and women’s rights, he had the shamelessness to treat as matters of shame all through his years-long crawl to the Republican nomination.

Other defeated candidates compiled stellar records after they lost. Two of them later won the Nobel Prize—Jimmy Carter for international diplomacy, Al Gore for his environmental advocacy. John Kerry is still an important voice for the principles he has always believed in as a Democrat. Michael Dukakis carries on as the college professor he always was, with no need to reject or rediscover any of the policies he championed. Robert Dole joined with McGovern in international nutritional projects.

None of these men engineered a wholesale repudiation of their former principles. Romney, on the contrary, did not let earlier positions grow—enriching, say, his experience of health care legislation to give his approach greater refinement or focus. He just tried to erase the whole matter from his record. He began with a promise to be to the left of Senator Kennedy on gay rights and abortion—and ended up to the right of Strom Thurmond. He decided to hire more expensive lawn care only on the principle of “I’m running for office, for Pete’s sake, I can’t have illegals.”

McGovern and Dole were war heroes. They asked what they could do for their country. Romney, who avoided military service as a missionary, said none of his sons of military age could serve because they were serving the nation by helping him, year after year, run for president. Ask not what you can do for your country, but what your country can do for your family.

Many losing candidates became elder statesmen of their parties. What lessons will Romney have to teach his party? The art of crawling uselessly? How to contemn 47 percent of Americans less privileged and beautiful than his family? How to repudiate the past while damaging the future? It is said that he will write a book. Really? Does he want to relive a five-year-long experience of degradation? What can be worse than to sell your soul and find it not valuable enough to get anything for it? His friends can only hope he is too morally obtuse to realize that crushing truth. Losing elections is one thing. But the greater loss, the real loss, is the loss of honor.

November 9, 2012, 1:14 p.m.
ook 10th-Nov-2012 03:45 pm (UTC)
Mitt is just going to go back to doing what he's always done, finding tax loopholes, managing Bain, and amassing more personal wealth. And perhaps buying some more houses and cars for his collection of stuff. He might eventually become a powerful upper memeber in the Mormon church, but it's doubtful he'll ever reappear on the national political scene again. Mitt's only interested in himself and his 1% pals.
fierceleaf 10th-Nov-2012 04:05 pm (UTC)
The special benefits to privileged companies like tax loopholes menace the free market economy and are the key reason of the existence of monopolies. This is my unqualified opinion.
ultraelectric 10th-Nov-2012 04:06 pm (UTC)
So, I sort of figured out one (big) reason Mitt Romney really bothers me, and it’s very much based on this whole “if we cut taxes for the wealthiest, they’ll bring the jobs!”

First, I feel a lot of Presidents (ie Clinton and Carter) have done more for people outside of the White House than probably in the White House. And for me, Romney went on about creating jobs and investing in America, but he could have done that ALONE by himself with the money he has. To me, this is something rich people should be doing, instead of wasting money on campaigns, they need to get their bums out there and start investing in America. Stop talking about “well ___ will invest in America and create jobs”, if you rich losers are the ones that “create jobs” than DO IT.

I really, really hope/pray/wish that this is something Romney does now. Go deep into America (and not just upper middle class white areas) and invest in are poorest communities. Help our small businesses, there’s a lot of people with good ideas out there, they just need a little investment and a little goes a long way.

I realize that is a lot of wishful thinking, but a girl can dream.
shhh_its_s3cr3t 10th-Nov-2012 05:18 pm (UTC)
I'm dreaming too girl.
shortsweetcynic 10th-Nov-2012 04:24 pm (UTC)
this actually crossed my mind once some of the dust settled.

whatever he does, i just hope he goes away quietly and stays away. not sure my heart can take another go-round with his bullshit.
jenny_jenkins 10th-Nov-2012 04:48 pm (UTC)
McGovern's people came out of that campaign looking pretty awesome. Not one of them went to jail.
ragnor144 10th-Nov-2012 04:48 pm (UTC)
I was horrified when I read one possibility for Romney, but it is one that rings true: leadership in the LdS church. Since church positions are unpaid the leadership must be well off enough to support themselves, and many good Mormons I know are blind to his moral faults. He may get the title of First President in his lifetime.
shhh_its_s3cr3t 10th-Nov-2012 05:22 pm (UTC)
I don't think their blind to his moral faults. I think they actually endorse them and see them not as faults but values everyone should have. That's just my opinion based on local christian zealots who can't understand the whole individual choice and freedom deal that the Obama voters decided are more important.
hinoema 10th-Nov-2012 05:14 pm (UTC)
This is no more than he deserves. He had nothing to offer the office and will have nothing to justify his effort when he's gone.
moonbladem 10th-Nov-2012 05:24 pm (UTC)
Romney, who avoided military service as a missionary, said none of his sons of military age could serve because they were serving the nation by helping him, year after year, run for president.

One of the many things that irks me about him. He fought for the draft, but did his best to avoid it. And he thinks that his sons helping him run for president is a form of serving the nation? Nowhere close, douchebag, and an absolute insult to the men and women who ACTUALLY serve their country in the military by putting their lives on the line. So no, Romney, that's not remotely serving the nation. That's being self-serving.

For me, I hope he fades into obscurity. I hope, with two failed runs for the presidency, that he gets it through his thick skull that most people don't want him for president, and they emphasized that with their votes.

Edited at 2012-11-10 05:35 pm (UTC)
365reasonswhy 10th-Nov-2012 07:48 pm (UTC)
Well, he thought serving as a missionary in France was serving his country too. No, you jackwad, that's service to your church/religion, not your country.
layweed 10th-Nov-2012 06:31 pm (UTC)
What public service do we expect from Mitt Romney?

lol seeing as he's never been in the public service to begin with and seems to have taken every opportunity to avoid doing so, I'm guessing nothing. nada. nil. zip. zilch. zero.
agentsculder 11th-Nov-2012 03:07 am (UTC)
Well, he was the governor of Massachusetts and ran the Olympics, which I would generally call public service. But other than those two examples, you're right. I know he liked to count all his work with LDS as public service, but given the fact Mormons pretty much only help themselves, I don't count it all.

Last I heard, most people were saying he's going to move out of his house in Belmont, MA (his official residence) and relocate to his house in La Jolla. As a former MA resident, I cannot emphasize how happy his departure will make people.
tabaqui 10th-Nov-2012 07:01 pm (UTC)
The biggest public service he can do for this country is to gtfo and stfu. Permanently.
gashinenai 10th-Nov-2012 08:10 pm (UTC)
lizzy_someone 10th-Nov-2012 11:15 pm (UTC)
Romney, who avoided military service as a missionary, said none of his sons of military age could serve because they were serving the nation by helping him, year after year, run for president.

I passionately loathe Romney and I literally cried with joy over being able to vote against him, but to be totally fair, I'm not a huge fan of shaming anyone just for not serving in the military. Of course, if they shame other people for not being in the military, or if they pay lip service to veterans/members of the military without actually doing anything to help them, then they should be called out on their hypocrisy. But I know I sure as hell wouldn't want to be in the military (even now that they'll take me even though I'm queer), and I especially wouldn't want my children to be in the military if they could possibly help it, because I'd be absolutely worried sick about their safety. I'm not under the delusion that Romney avoided serving due to distaste for the military industrial complex or anything like that, but honestly, I don't wish unwanted military service on anyone, no matter how much I think the world would be a better place without them.
amyura 11th-Nov-2012 05:40 am (UTC)
Of course, if they shame other people for not being in the military, or if they pay lip service to veterans/members of the military without actually doing anything to help them, then they should be called out on their hypocrisy.

But that's Romney in a nutshell. During the Vietnam war, not only did he weasel out of the draft by "serving" as a missionary in a cushy position in France, but he protested in favor of the draft for other people. And then he argued that his kids' helping him campaign was the same nature of public service as being in the military.
4o5pastmidnight 11th-Nov-2012 01:25 am (UTC)
A bit OT, but did you know that if you visit Romney's Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/mittromney) and refresh every 30 seconds or so, you an actually watch his number of likes dropping? DELICIOUS SCHADENFREUDE.
bushy_brow 11th-Nov-2012 02:29 am (UTC)
LOL! I normally avoid Facebook like the plague, but that is a thing of beauty. :-D
4o5pastmidnight 11th-Nov-2012 02:31 am (UTC)
Ahahahahahahahahaha A+
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