Remember way back when his own staffer said Mitt Romney had the convictions of an Etch-A-Sketch? Well, stand back, because as we speak, the former governor of Massachusetts is being flipped over and shaken so hard the fillings in the back teeth of his whole family are starting to rattle and cascade like some great crumbling Utah Butte.
Fear not the rubble, little ones. This simply means we're entering general election territory, so anything Mitt Romney might have said up during the primary... no longer applies. We're beginning anew. Re-shuffling the deck. The winter of our discontent has been made glorious summer by this Son of Dork.
We're not even playing the same ballgame anymore. Fast-pitch hardball has morphed into beach volleyball before our very eyes. And the sand's been replaced with money. Unlike the previous six months, the object is no longer about how hard you hit the ball, rather how long it stays in the air. On your side of the net. You may recall this from pre-video game childhood as Keep Away.
A Republican primary is consumed with hard right angles. No quarter asked for, no quarter given. The general election is much more soft focus. Nice, round, spongy contours. Less muscular retorts, more sly evasions. Gauze is being spread over the lens and next comes the two fingers of Vaseline. Best keep a towel handy.
Already the severely conservative former governor has turned into a moderate kind of a regular guy. Mr. Hyde sunk behind the lab island and Dr. Jeckyll rose to walk forward with an outreached hand. Mister "It's OK to call Susan Fluke a slut" is now the soul of Chivalry.
And the "War on Women" was instigated by Obama. Never mind the hundreds of bills written and enacted across the country restricting the rights of women, wholeheartedly endorsed by the candidate. Never mind his previous statements on Planned Parenthood and birth control. Never mind he thinks Lilly Ledbetter is an affliction of his youth successfully repressed.
All that silly suffragette bashing has been offset by a single Democrat suggesting Ann Romney might not be qualified to be her husband's economic strategist, since she spent her working life running a tycoon's household. Maybe Alice from the Brady Bunch shouldn't be Secretary of the Treasury.
The outcry was so loud a million apple pies shook off of shelves and the president of the United States got tangled in a War on Moms Web. Was this an exceptionally sticky birthday gift to a two-Cadillacked woman or what?
Apparently the presumptive nominee is taking a page straight out of the Karl Rove Handbook and plans to run one of those "I know you are, but what am I" campaigns. Later to be partnered with the auspicious "I am rubber, you are glue" ploy.
Republicans love this third-grade playground strategy. You indict the other guy for exactly what you're guilty of. Go back to 2004, when a borderline deserter successfully accused a war hero of being a traitor. The theory being: If you can't convince the people, confuse them. As the right is so fond of preaching: There's a fine line between educated and confused.
It's only a matter of time before the challenger accuses the incumbent of being a fat-cat tool of Wall Street. Totally out of touch with normal people. Belongs to a funny religion. With a long history of extreme insensitivity to dogs. And he has cooties.
The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst "is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today." He is a political comedian who has performed around the world, and is a familiar pundit on television and radio. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.