The Washington Post

One nation, under coins

The first installment of the post-convention Romney death spiral came in a speech Mitt made in Virginia on Saturday. My guess is this will mark the low point of his candidacy, in terms of tactics anyway, but there’s still lots of time.

Looking around for one more symbolic anything to try to scrape a few more votes off the bottom of the barrel, Romney’ team spied the Pledge of Allegiance! There we go. This is one that surely Romney didn’t think of himself. Who COULD have thought of such a thing? Only the most cynical and craven campaign strategist, of which Romney evidently has one or two. No, Romney is not cynical enough to have thought of such a thing himself. Give him that. He was only cynical enough to read it, and happily receive any votes it might generate. Answer: none. The idea’s saving grace was that it was so ridiculously ham-handed and contrived, that it will sink beneath the waves unremembered. But before we forget....

He grabbed ahold of the “under God” part of the pledge to pound away on the Democrats’ late insertion of “God” into their platform, not mentioning that “under God” was a late insertion into the pledge itself. But from there Mitt went off on a fantastical riff declaring before all the world that he wasn’t going to take “God” off our “coins”. This “coins” formulation was an odd one. My guess is that he didn’t want to say “money”, because that would just remind everyone that Mitt has all the money and you don’t. No, “coins” it was. The little people still have some of those, right? But it leaves open the loophole that the GOP is secretly plotting to remove the “under God” from our paper currency! Can a “fact-checker” chase Romney down on this? From there it was a puzzling info-tour through the rest of the pledge, convoluting it into being about Pentagon budgets, apologizing, and deficits. The best (worst) part was when Mitt leveraged the word “indivisible” to say HE would never divide the nation, at the EXACT MOMENT he was using the Pledge to the American flag to do just that.

Tom Toles is the editorial cartoonist for The Post and writes the Tom Toles blog. See all of his cartoons here.


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