Friday, May 25, 2012

The un-holy Republican triumvirate of 2012: Romney, Trump, Gingrich

Rome's First Triumvirate was made up of Caesar, Pompey, and Crassus. (It was an informal alliance and ended in civil war between the first two, with Caesar emerging victorious.)

Rome's Second Triumvirate was made up of Octavius (later Augustus), Mark Antony, and Lepidus. (It was a formal dictatorial agreement and also ended in civil war. Lepidus was exiled, Antony committed suicide after losing to Octavius, and Octavius became emperor.)

There have been many other triumvirates since then, but of course most recently there has been the Holy Triumvirate known as Rush.

These have been of varying degrees of excellence (or lack thereof). I'd probably put Rush at the pinnacle (Today's Tom Sawyer / He gets high on you / And the space he invades / He gets by on you), though if you put aside its warmongering and tyrannical inclinations that first Roman one wasn't bad. (Better than that brutal one with Robespierre, Saint-Just, and Couthon that contributed to the Thermidorian Reaction, anyway.

Anyway, if you want un-holiness in your triumvirates -- non-excellence and super-rich douchebaggery, egomania and bullying blowhardiness, with enough inner turmoil, only barely papered over, to descend into its own form of civil war -- you don't have to look any further than today's Republican Party, with the presidential campaign underway and the party rallying in lockstep behind its un-beloved nominee.

Yes, Mitt Romney, Donald Trump, and Newt Gingrich -- look away if you must! -- are actually going to be campaigning together next week, not surprisingly in the cesspool of Las Vegas.

No, this isn't a joke. (Seriously, it's not. It just seems like one.)

But what's funny, if not side-splittingly so, is that these three men hated each other once upon a time, and may still. Just last month, for example, Trump criticized Romney over the latter's profiteering vulture capitalism: "He'd buy companies. He'd close companies. He'd get rid of jobs." This is what the Obama campaign is saying, and understandably so, it's what Republicans like Gingrich and Santorum said when they were in the race, and it's what Republicans are now trying to sweep under the rug, as if none of that had ever been said.

Gingrich didn't pull any punches at all. In January, he sent out a blast to National Review's e-mail list calling Romney "a timid Massachusetts moderate" and calling on conservatives to "stand up and fight."

And of course Republicans generally tolerated Trump when he seemed to be a force in the party but generally considered him a loud-mouthed buffoon (which of course he was, and is).

But now these three are all getting along, or pretending to get along, if only to show partisan unity. (Predictably, the self-aggrandizing The Donald is talking nonsense about being the best veep choice for Mitt.) There's even this hilarious, if not really in a terribly funny way, campaign flier:

Yes, Trump as Uncle Sam. Fucking hilarious, no? Just makes you long for the greatest triumvirate of them all...

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