There are a select group of so-called Progressives about, who think the world won't come to an end if a Republican be elected President in November. There's a particularly nasty sect of them on Facebook, led by someone, whose Obama hatred seems to be a projection of all the frustrations suffered during his lifetime. Of course, this fits into the convenient meme of the past four years that everything bad that has ever happened just has to be Obama's fault.
Their premise (and most of them advocate voting for whatever elusive "third party" candidate rises on the horizon (but not Ron Paul, to their credit) is to "allow" and hope for a Republican win. Why? Because these people think that there can be a great Progressive uprising, in the manner of the Tea Party some three years ago, and retake the country by storm. Just like the Teabaggers. An immense and great Firebagging revolution.
Apart from the fact that this tranche of Liberal has never given a genuine rat's ass about the condition and/or support of the working class or the working poor (the traditional base of the old Democratic Party), they have a distinct habit of going about all their "conversion" efforts bass-ackwardsly, which never ceases to rub the real proletariat up the wrong way. In order to effect a more Progressive nation, you have to be willing and able to engage with the likes of trailer park inhabitants, people whom they perceive to be rural deficienti and assorted hayseeds - and in a language familiar to them - without the fear of contracting cooties.
Once again, The Guardian gives a chillingly accurate portrait of Mitt Romney the Ruthless, in a way one can neither hope nor expect any part of the American media to do so - certainly not MSNBC, unless it's Al Sharpton.
So what kind of adversary will he be when he goes up against Obama come the presidential election proper?
The first point to make is that he should not be underestimated. He may come across as Widow Twankey on the campaign stump, but he fights hard and he fights dirty. He has neutralised much of the Gingrich threat through a blitzkrieg of negative TV advertising that was impressive even by America's sullied standards. In Florida alone he has spent almost $14m (£9m) on attack ads, $8m (£5m) of that through Restore Our Future, a Super Pac, or political action committee, that Romney pretends he has nothing to do with but is run by his former advisers. Over the past 10 days he has eviscerated Gingrich, depicting him as a lobbyist for the much-hated mortgage giant Freddie Mac and virtually accusing him of lying about his close relationship to Ronald Reagan. The assault was surgical, brutal and chillingly effective. And all the while, Romney kept that perma-smile glued to his face.
Expect similar treatment of Obama, who Romney will portray, as he does on the campaign stump, as a European-style socialist destroying free enterprise and the God-given right to pursue happiness that is the cornerstone of American greatness. It is a Tea Party argument that Romney, ever the chameleon, has adopted and made his own. Though he is likely to soften the message a little in order for it to reach beyond the Republican faithful he is appealing to now, the idea that Obama is somehow un-American is likely to suffuse the attack ads that will be unleashed from the summer with an intensity unparalleled in US history.
As if we didn't know ... with an occasional mention of the economy (and even if it improves, as it's doing slowly but surely, rest assured that whatever generic Republican candidate eventually runs, the economy will never be as good under this President as it was under Republican control), this election will be total culture war. It will determine whether the United States progresses forward or retreats to the 1950s Pleasantville which was anything but pleasant, unless you were white and male. Willard the flip-flopping dog-on-the-roof-of-the-car panderer will sell out to the Tea Party and the tail will wag the dog on the hot tin roof.
One other thing: when Republicans play, they play for keeps. If they get the keys to the White House and, subsequently, the Capitol, there will be virtually no way and no one to pry them from their cold, compassionless and emotionally dead hands.