Grover Norquist, drunk and slightly unsteady yet still charming, talked to me about his standup routine on the pavement. Walking further down the street in downtown Tampa at the Republican National Convention, I see a drunken man in a suit, sweating in the horrid humidity, looking at a club promotion girl shake her scantily-clad self in a club near the window at him to see how long she could get him to drool. He was still staring several minutes later when I made my way to a Republican fundraiser. Outside a large fundraiser, delegates sweltering in suits stumbled, bragging about cars, bonuses and how many bourbons they write off as business expenses at lunch with a client. The "Values Party" is beginning to look a bit more like Caligula.
When Mitt Romney talked about 47 percent of the country being moochers, this was absolutely nothing new. This is similar to Herman Cain telling a crowd of people that if you aren't rich, it's your own fault. The crowd seemed to have a moment when they cheered, then said "hey wait a minute" when they realized that they weren't rich, they just somehow thought that electing a rich guy might somehow make them rich. That's become a strong theme in what conservative organizers tell the government: take absolutely no responsibility for my life, that's big government and that's wrong, but make me rich.
There's no denying that American prosperity has taken a hammering in the past decade, and it's left a lot of people thinking "who's going to make us rich again?" This includes people who were never rich to begin with and take more in government services than they contribute, but are in complete denial (i.e., Teabaggers on Medicare who actually get sick).
To make the caricature of lavish wealth and self-indulgence that Republicans are placing at the center of their party, one needs to look no further than Sheldon Adelson. Sheldon, who has already been investigated for bribing officials in China to keep his "Megacasino" open despite Chinese regulations, is now spending more than triple the highest donor of 2008. This election will be at least the second time this dirty international player is attempting to buy a piece of a government (this one more ambitious, albeit far more legitimate), donating over $70 million so far and promising more.
$70 million may frighten us mortals, however, Sheldon stands to receive a $2 billion tax cut from Romney if he gets in, so this, as well as the rest of the money he will doubtlessly dump into this and other races, is still a reasonable business expense to him at worst, a very intelligent investment at best. This could be why, during the Convention in Tampa, Republicans were lining up around the block to kiss their economic godfather's ring, perhaps while anxiously asking him to elaborate on his policy on Israel.
With the drunken fools behind the money and politics of the GOP, the guys that want nothing more out of life than getting that Russian model blowjob at a Romney fundraiser's sex party, is it any wonder the horrible state that they're in? They insult the working poor and exalt the Koch brothers and other trust fund babies. These are the class of people who will never understand how hard a single mother living paycheck-to-paycheck trying to put something away for college slaves every day. This disconnect from reality is what makes it easy for Romney to attack her as a lazy moocher unwilling to take responsibility for her life.
Just to be clear on the sentiment of the Republican "elites": If you inherit your money from daddy, it's absolutely not a handout, you earned it by being born right, so enjoy your preferred seating in the Republican Party; if you're coming up from nothing and require the same welfare programs that helped George Romney when his family first made it back to the United States after fleeing the Mexican Revolution, you're part of the moocher class and should be euthanized by being forced to listen to The Fountainhead being read on repeat, after which the rich ubermensch grind you up to feed their polo horse.
The GOP has become a twisted version of the American Dream where they worship wealth. For most of us, the dream means the opportunity to struggle but still have a chance to give our family a good life that translates into a shared prosperity within our communities. For some, it means the opportunity to claw as high as you can economically, forget who you stomp on while climbing and, once you get to a certain point, you get to party with at Marc Leder's. They've sold people who are notorious for not voting in their economic self-interest that the possibility of making two billion dollars instead of one is more important than the reality of a health care plan for their children. The GOP did this by vaguely promising prosperity, claiming we must be a nation of "haves and soon to haves" that can all fit into the 1 percent. Today, with Romney's popularity, the GOP platform seems to be "Gordon Gekko, 2016!"