I don’t know who Chris Kelly is but he’s figured out something I’ve been wondering for a while: who the fuck is Mitt Romney? Used car salesman or the next President of the United States? Creepy double-dealer or just the most honest liar of the bunch?
When the dust settles, and the candidates with anger management issues and/or cancer fall away, Mitt Romney will be the nominee, and I think I know why: Because Mitt Romney is the first candidate to take pandering so far beyond cynicism that it’s not even cynicism anymore. It’s Romantic Irony.
Romantic irony — the most wistful irony of all — occurs when a character draws attention to the fact that he’s just a character, or a narrator interrupts a story to remind the audience that it’s just a story. And Mitt Romney — alone among presidential hopefuls — understands that he’s a character in a work of art and that his character’s job is to say anything, to anyone, at any time, to get elected.
There aren’t any contradictions, because life is all made up anyway. He only appears to be a compulsive liar. Actually, he’s capturing what Friedrich Schlegel called the “clear consciousness of eternal agility, of an infinitely teeming chaos.”
It’s a beautiful thought — until you actually imagine President Romney, dropping his not-at-all-fictional bombs on a very real Iran.