Muscular, tattooed, outspoken and insightful Henry Rollins–spoken word artist, writer, journalist, publisher, actor, world traveler, radio DJ at KCRW, activist, fan of Southern California band Black Flag and later lead singer for Black Flag and Rollins Band– writes a column for L.A. Weekly’s West Coast Sound blog, and recently shared some of his thoughts about the re-election of President Obama.
On Election Night, Henry Rollins was sitting on his old couch in Washington, D.C., a stone’s throw from Arlington, Virginia, where he grew up as Henry Garfield. Rollins was hosting a TV Party for one, himself, and remembering how he sat on the same couch when Obama defeated McCain in 2008.
He watched the election returns with satisfaction as Rape-ublicans–like Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akin and Richard “Rape Babies Are Gifts From God” Mourdock–were defeated, as loud-mouthed jerks striving to appeal to the lower common denominator–like Joe Walsh and Scott Brown–were shown the door. All in all, Rollins was one very satisfied gentleman. Obama decisively winning re-election and showing Mitt Romney the exit door was the icing on the delicious and moist cake:
The time before the winner of the presidency was announced was peppered with joyful moments. Akin gone, Mourdock done, Walsh finished, Scott Brown will be pulling Elizabeth Warren’s shoe out of his ass for weeks to come. George Allen conceding in real time was better than pizza.
Rollins stressed that he was not being smug. There’d be no gloating for him. That would be uncouth. No; he was, rather, reveling in a sense of relief:
I consider what could have been and think to myself that we all are better off for what happened. I noticed that underneath articles I read online where people post their sentiments, there seemed to be a foaming at the mouth jock mentality amongst those who cast their vote for Mitt Romney. “You libtards are gonna get crushed!” and other predictions occurred frequently. I wondered what they meant by that. Presumably, their man Mitt was going to create a bunch of jobs, slash the deficit and make Americans safe not only inside their own country but all over the world. I would hate to see a bunch of people getting crushed.
The thing is, Romney’s plan to “create jobs” was to take credit for the 12 million new job opportunities that have already been predicted, and which are going to be the result of President Obama’s policies. Romney’s plan to “slash the deficit” was “mathematically impossible,” according to tax policy experts and economists. Worse, it was an Ayn Rand fan’s wet dream which would have left powerless people struggling financially even more than they already do, while safeguarding the Bush tax cuts–the ones that were said to benefit the “job creators” who, by all accounts, created no jobs, because trickle-down economics doesn’t work (unless you’re rich) and it doesn’t create any jobs. In short, demand is what drives a healthy economy, and everyone benefits when consumers have enough expendable income to spend, including the middle class and the wealthy, and not just the most financially comfortable way up on top of the economic pyramid.
Mitt Romney had set up an implausible agenda for his first day in office, Rollins noted. Romney planned to somehow magically assume control over not only the executive branch but the legislative and judicial branches as well, as his plans involved overturning Roe v. Wade, defunding Planned Parenthood, undoing Obamacare, throwing a couple trillion dollars at our defense budget, preserving tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans (like himself) while raising taxes on the middle class and slashing social safety net programs for the poor, ill, disabled, needy, hungry, children and infants benefiting from WIC, the job-seeking, the working poor and the elderly, and, no doubt, appeasing his fellow vulture capitalists and corporations. “Gifts” for his rich and powerful cronies were okay with Romney, but he was less enthused about helping those Americans who need help most.
Romney had a busy day planned. Perhaps he was going to skip some of the usual pomp and circumstance and hole himself up in the Oval Office with a pen and a glass of warm milk at his elbow and just get cracking. Since he’d pre-planned a slick “President-Elect Romney” website (which was “accidentally” leaked before Election Night) and an elaborate and expensive fireworks display over Boston Harbor (had he won), my suspicion is that much of this “I’m going to crush this and repeal that on my first day in office!” was just braggadocio and guff, and I doubt that he’d have skipped a nanosecond of all the celebrations and balls and parties in his honor. It’s just a hunch.
Rollins noted that it is ironic that most of the people voting for Romney would have been personally hurt by his proposed policies. Perhaps, he muses, there won’t be very many who will proudly continue to display Romney/Ryan bumper stickers on their vehicles.
Sure, Rollins explained, he would be “in one hell of a position to gloat” if he chose to do so. He’s a bigger, better man than that, though. He’s just feeling “relief and wonder at what my fellow Americans get into their heads.”
No doubt Rollins, who speaks often about the necessity of personal integrity and is well-known for a Rollins Band song called “Liar,” was also thrilled–as thrilled as he ever gets–that a man who told over 900 lies in ten months did not get a chance to lie to us on a regular basis as President of the United States.
He is glad to see Mitt Romney’s political career crash and burn. Romney offended him more than Bush and Cheney; Romney made him actually miss John McCain each time Mittens opened his mouth and let stupidity, venality, banality and mendacity fall out. Romney, Rollins points out, ruined the lives of thousands of people as a business person. Corporate Suit Romney running the country would have been a nightmare, and the extent of damage he would have caused almost unimaginable.
I suspect that Rollins, no stranger to the fine art of doling out a good ass-kicking himself, recognizes empty threats and a bunch of bluster when he sees it. Republicans, you got your asses kicked, Rollins says, and it is amazing that the GOP didn’t succeed, given the amount of shenanigans and double-dealings going on during this election:
Republicans did the best they could to keep people from voting. From sending out mail with the wrong date to cast your ballot to actually attempting to intimidate people at the polls. It didn’t work. The American people kicked your ass. That has to hurt a bit. To hurl all your bully bullshit with such force only to see people stand in line for hours to vote, undeterred. Your disrespect for the Constitution and law is incredible. Congratulations, you have no credibility and on top of that, you lost. After all that money you spent in an attempt to steal an election, you still got beat. The fact that you went through all this for the sake of Mitt Romney must make it all the more humiliating.
Rollins didn’t like Mitt “Magic Undies” Romney, but also had no love for GOP also-rans like Michele “Crazy Eyes” Bachmann, Herman “9! 9! 9!” Cain, Ron “Racist Anti-choice Nutburger” Paul, Newt “Moonbase” Gingrich, Rick “Oops!” Perry and Rick “Don’t Google Me” Santorum. Sure, there was a lot of “lunacy and idiocy at those wacky (Republican primary) debates,” and Rollins felt just as much schadenfreude as the rest of us (who aren’t Republicans). If the pick of the litter was Mitt Romney, who couldn’t win any of his home states and who was called a liar and worse by his fellow Republicans, what does that say about the health and longevity of the GOP? Rollins has a few thoughts on that subject:
Republicans, these are your people: gay hating, vagina fearing phonies with their strange idea of rape who double down on dumb at every given opportunity. Well, at least you’ve got Clint Eastwood, Meatloaf and some Nascar-driving dipshits to keep you company. I know 1865 was hard to walk off but come on, y’all, stop embarrassing yourselves! Citizens United didn’t work. Hey, Koch brothers, Karl Rove, Shellgame Adelson: DEMOCRACY TRUMPS MONEY SOMETIMES. And the whole time, the president never lost his cool.
Okay, maybe Rollins is gloating. Just a teeny, tiny, little bit.
He’s a smart fellow, though, and, like most of us, he resents it when his intelligence is insulted. It is arguably an insult to the United States’ collective intelligence that the Republicans sought their One Candidate To Rule Them All from such a fallow field of numbskulls. It is insulting that they sought to bribe or buy or cheat their way into the White House. It is insulting that Republicans went out of their way to wave their bottoms at non-Republicans all over the Internet up to and including Election Night, when Mitt Romney went down in flames, Karl Rove turned ashen and started contemplating escape plans, and when the Kochs and Adelson realized they might as well have set hundreds of millions of dollars on fire for all the good their financial finagling did them.
It wasn’t just President Obama who won on Election Night. The American people won, too; even the ones who haven’t figured it out yet because they are still butthurt that Romney didn’t get elected.