For years. For as long as I can remember, liberals have been lamenting our politicians unwillingness to fight conservative Republicans with anything close to approaching the meanness and ferocity with which they've battered liberals. Now, this past week or so, we've seen how such a scenario would play out. Except, we've seen it in real life, with the President himself tossing out below-the-belt dog jokes and the Vice President implying that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan want to enslave us.
Liberals, unsurprisingly, are somewhat aghast. But what did any of us expect? Not to get too Abed about this, but this is a classic wish fulfillment storyline, and Buzzfeed's Ben Smith explains why we should have seen this plot point it coming…
[I]f we didn't predict this moment, we should have. The logic of President Obama's campaign has always been, as a prominent Democratic strategist aligned with the White House told me this time last year, that "unless things change and Obama can run on accomplishments, he will have to kill Romney."
Romney's strategy had been different: To simply stay out of Obama's way as he fell. The race, his aides promised, would be a referendum on Obama; Romney was an obviously acceptable alternative… The ferocity of Obama's assault on Romney's character had already rattled this plan. On June 18, after a top Obama aide suggested that he could be a "felon," Romney dropped the "nice guy" line.
This is the part of the movie in which we, the protagonist, run horror-struck from the carnage in the gymnasium and yell heavenward, "This isn't what I wanted!!!" And then the antagonist, whom we thought was our friend, emerges from the shadows with a wry smile to ask us what we thought an army of robot monkeys with laser-AIDS was going to do if not this?
We just wanted to scare them, we say. We just wanted to make them stop making fun of our claw-hand.
Well, it's too late, the antagonist says. We were the ones who pulled the level in the robot monkey lab. We released them from our cages. And besides, he says, it's all for the best. And he then climbs into his hovercar and zips off to the converted underground disco, leaving us to shake our heads and scream impotently at the horror we have unleashed.
(Oh, um… I've been working on a screenplay. Does you think this works as an Act Three break? Or it's really more of the "All Is Lost" moment, isn't it?)
Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan