Twit Rombot 2012


ON WEDNESDAY, low on resources, damaged by shelling and friendly fire, Newt was forced to hit the eject button on his campaign for president, leaving only the indestructible Twitt Rombot 2012, Ron “Magoo” Paul—and fan favorite, “My Butt”—in the race.

While Newt did endorse the surprisingly life-like multimillionaire candidate, he hardly threw his arms around him. Instead he muttered that The Twitt Rombot 2012 was fine, but no Ronnie Reagan. Which I’m sure upset the candidate sad, sadder than Newt later on calling him a liar, because The Rombot 2012 really wants to convince voters that he’s the Reagan kind of wealthy-out-of-touch-folksy Republican, not the Bush kind.

Michelle Bachmann finally came around this week to lend her magic touch to The Rombot 2012 campaign. Despite the fact that her boy Ricky “The Vest” Santorum dropped out nearly a month ago, Bachmann had been wickedly coy about endorsing The Rombot 2012. Two weeks ago, when asked by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer why she hadn’t yet declared her allegiance, she cackled with her usual joie de vivre, “As the line says in The Wizard of Oz, ‘All in good time, my pretty.'”

She insisted that she and her flying monkeys were “working behind the scenes, bringing together all factions of our party”—that would be the Mad Tea Baggers, Reich Wingers, Wackadoodles, Big Spenders, Parseltongues, and Radical Evangelical Christians, among others….

"I want you to vote Romney," said Michele Bachmann

When asked why Bachmann supported The Rombot 2012—the man she was most hysterically critical of during the campaign—she responded, “Two words. Barack Obama.”  Because, she warned, Romney’s “the last chance we have to keep America from going … over a cliff.”

Speaking of falling, yesterday figures showed that unemployment had dropped to 8.1%. However, The Rombot 2012, campaigning in Pittsburgh, was far from impressed, proclaiming, “Anything over 4% [unemployment] is not cause for celebration.”

(For a man who has suffered from a lifetime of 0% unemployment, 4% must be galling.)


So, when was the last time the national unemployment rate was below 4%?

During Bill Clinton’s presidency, December 2000, unemployment was at 3.9%. When he left office a month later, he leave George W Bush with a $236 billion dollar budget surplus, and a projected 10-year surplus of $5.6 trillion. Yowza. You know what they say: Big surplus, big cigar! 

U.S. unemployment rates began to escalate shortly after Operation Hanging Chad, and would continue to grow as long as President George W “Wipeout Bush was in office. When Bush stepped down in 2008, rates had reached a 14-year high at 6.5%.  At the time, Goldman Sachs projected that the unemployment rate would reach 8.5 percent by the end of 2009, and could soar as high as 10 percent in the near future. Which of course it did.

During Bush Junior’s presidency, aka Our Great Inglorious National Bender, fat cats would eat, drink, drill, build, burn, and fuck virtually for free. Neighbors often complained of noise: loud country-western music and chants of Profits over People! Give the 1% 100% of what they want! and Drink Condi Drink!

When George W “Whatever” Bush checked out in 2008, he stuck newly-minted President Barack Obama with a $1.3 trillion dollar deficit and a projected 10-year shortfall of $8 trillion. Sorry to chew and screw, my bad! Put it on my Dad’s tab.

I can just imagine all those good old boys in the Grand Old Party giggling and snorting at how they bankrupted small businesses, sunk family farms, and wiped snot on the wall of the Lincoln bedroom, guffawing as they imagined Obama and Hilary holding mops, on their hands and knees picking up change from under the ice machine. Screw the mess, let the Democrats clean it up!

Not since FDR took over has such a burden been laid on the shoulders of a President. Sure Obama has ended two wars. For real, putting on a jumpsuit and standing in front of a “Mission Accomplished!” banner does not count as ending a war, it counts as a photo op. He killed Osama Bin Laden—round about this same time last year—watch this classic Obama mic drop moment—and brought Chevy back from the dead.  Gas prices are dropping. Still there is the unemployment rate.

Should The Rombot 2012 accomplish his mission and win the presidency, what does he need to do to get a 4% unemployment rate?

In response to this grousing that nothing less than Clinton’s 4% would do, Robert Reich, Secretary of Labor under President Clinton, tweeted, “Rom says unemp shld be 4%. I was Sec of Lab last time it was 4%. We got there by raising taxes on rich and investing in ed and infrstructure.”


Raising taxes on the rich! Robert Reich doesn’t mean corporations, does he? Maybe he didn’t get the memo, but that won’t happen because as The Twitt Rombot 2012 candidate has said many, many times, “Corporations are people too.”

He didn’t make it up. He’s just echoing what the 2010 The Supreme Court said in their Citizens United decision, which was basically that corporations are obscenely rich people with unlimited freedom of speech who can spend fortunes on political ads without ever having to identify themselves or their agendas. Corporations are self-serving mercenary greed-heads with billions to spend and no soul to lose.

These corporations—excuse me Mr. Corporations—have maximized their profits by laying off employees, shipping jobs overseas, dodging taxes, breaking unions, and scrapping health care plans. If they didn’t do that, how would they make money? These people are The Rombot 2012’s best buddies. There is no way he’s going to tie their hands. To do that, he’d have to take his out of their pockets.

I suspect part of the reason The Rombot 2012 refuses to say whether or not he supports Equal Pay for Equal Work for women is because corporations are people too. “If we start paying women as much as men, corporations will lose money. We will be taking money out of Exxon’s pocket and giving it to girls? I don’t know, gee, that just doesn’t sound right to me. You’ll hurt Wal-Mart’s feelings.”

As to the rest of Reich’s suggestions? Eliminate the tax cuts that turned the Clinton Surplus into the Bush Deficit? Invest in education and infrastructure?

Romney’s campaign adviser, Eric Fehrnstrom, suggested that once The Rombot 2012 had locked up the nomination, the campaign would hit the “reset button” transforming him into a moderate.” “Everything changes,” Fehrnstrom explained. “It’s almost like an Etch-A-Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and we start all over again.”

An Etch-A-Sketch? The Rombot 2012 doesn’t want to be an Etch-A-Sketch. They only have two knobs. He likes knobs. He doesn’t want to start over again, or change, unless he can be GOP heartthrob, and father of trickle-down economics, Ronald Reagan. He can see some similarities. Reagan was also a phony populist with glossy hair that never moved. He also talked tough about wrangling the national debt and taxes and was able to convince Main Street America, “I’m not pissing on you; that’s rain.” Although he may not be able to pull that off. However, when Reagan was head honcho the average yearly employment rate hovered over 7%, never dipping below 5.5%. The Rombot 2012 bets he can do better than that.

Rombot 2012 shows off its lifelike features.

Last month at a private fundraiser, The Rombot 2012 delighted the faithful with promises of deep cuts in education spending and funding for infrastructure, including the possible elimination of the Department of Housing and Urban development, and massive downsizing and restructuring of the Department of Education. While Romney confided that he’d like to get rid of the darn thing completely, he pointed out that while he was governor he found it useful to preserve the federal agency as it enabled him to beat back the teachers’ unions. In the beating-back department, The Rombot 2012 also supports a so-called “personhood” amendment that would deny women access to basic birth control, and promised to “get rid of” Planned Parenthood if he’s elected President. Just get rid of it, buy some bulldozers and flatten it.

So what is the strategy? What is the plan? How will The Rombot 2012 save the economy, beat down the national debt, and lower the unemployment rate to 3.9%?  The answer: Cut taxes on everyone across the country by 20 percent including the top 1%.  A tax cut for everyone, even The Rombot 2012!

The Tax Policy Center projects that under The Rombot 2012 plan nearly half the benefits of this tax cut would go to the richest 5 percent of Americans, with more than 25 percent of the benefit—okay I’m lousy at math, but that’s one full quarter—going to the richest 1 percent. Meaning the top 0.1% will receive a $246,000 tax cut.

Which is good for America. Good for Newt and Michele, good for you and me because that money will trickle down to the rest of us. Right?

Hey, is it raining?

Rombot 1.0: an early prototype


About Elissa Schappell

Elissa Schappell is the author of the short story collections Blueprints for Building Better Girls and Use Me. A former senior editor of The Paris Review, she is the co-founder and editor-at-large of Tin House magazine. She lives in Brooklyn with her family.
This entry was posted in Politics and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.