Wizard of OZ - Romney

I'm hoping that we'll all let up a little on Obama -- yes, he blew it and, yes, he appeared "un-sparkable," overwhelmed and even bored at the debate -- but I think we've all had our say on how we think "No Drama" played that night.

Obama has his flaws, got it! -- but considering the alternative (right there before our eyes -- Romney Ascendant!) should put the brake on criticism at this point. We've all known some of the First Person's "issues," but the moment before the election, no matter how disappointed we are in his performance, may not be the time to lose sight of the frightening figure he's running against.

To me Romney is frightening, not because he is a businessman, but because he reflects the psychological disconnect of a type of American business psyche -- from Willy Loman to Madoff to the buffoon Trump -- a practiced self-deception generated by a the rules of the game, which include "profit first" for those controlling the profits, a refinement of the instinct to sabotage, little understanding of empathy. Self-knowledge, self-awareness, transparency are low on the list of personal priorities, if they're there at all. Romney has the soul of a salesman -- he must sell his "product", whatever it takes -- which is why he has so readily shifted political and "moral" (he had the gall to introduce that word into the debate) positions throughout the campaign.

There are so many convictions he's had, those he was once "selling" -- his pro-choice stand, his across-the-board health care commitment (Massachusetts), his support for what he now calls "entitlements." He has new product lines to sell from day to day -- so he flips and re-boots in a heartbeat.

I have sympathy for small business -- I come from a large family of business people (most Republican, not all). The (prior) privatization of mortgages (which produced the "crash") -- the bail-out of Wall St. and mega-banks who now refuse to lend (the destruction of small and neighborhood banks) -- all this is appalling -- and Obama has not handled this disaster perfectly. But would we prefer Sales Force Romney at the helm?

He wants to kill Big Bird (PBS is such a huge drain on the federal budget!) -- but he doesn't grasp that wiping out a beloved childhood fantasy-character can ricochet right back into his "sales territiory." He certainly doesn't get that he himself is a fantasy-character, a cautionary tale -- a would-be revelation and source of hope backfiring -- as he lies and exaggerates.

Mitt Romney is the Wizard of Oz! (Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!) He's all smoke and mirrors and he's top seller there in the munchkin dream temple. Oz is his country, (along with the Cayman Islands). Not Kansas -- not the U.S.A.

So clap your hands, those of you who believe in the Wizard! And let me know how that bridge to Brooklyn he sold you works out. The Romney yellow brick road leads nowhere -- except his gated community.

-- Carol Muske-Dukes