Sandy Hook

Sandy Hook

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Laughing All the Way to the Voting Booth


Oh crap. My sides hurt so good.

Salon's Joan Walsh echos my own thoughts about the Republican candidate for president, writing that she's "challenged to constantly come up with new superlatives to describe Mitt Romney's latest craven and/or self-destructive move on the campaign trail."

After obliterating Romney's cruelty and inaccuracies, Walsh ends with, "Mitt Romney will never be president," a pronouncement she made earlier this month after Romney's "disgraceful dishonesty in using the murder of a U.S. ambassador to attack Obama."

Of course, as soon as the story broke in Mother Jones, the video went viral, symbolically becoming the shot heard round the world, or perhaps more accurately in this case, the mother bomb of all bombs. And of course, liberal bloggers (just scroll down the blogroll on the right) and media pundits didn't hesitate to help expand the fall-out. [full video]

Robert Reich, after explaining why the video is so important, gives us the "real Mitt Romney:
. . . a fabulously wealthy financier, presumably speaking to other wealthy people (note the waiters scurrying about), with a passion we haven’t before seen in him — saying it isn’t his “job” to worry about Americans who he describes as “irresponsible,” who fail to take care of themselves, and whose neediness is presumably their own fault.
Some of us thought Romney was without core or principle, an empty suit that would say anything to be elected. But here, evidently, is the real Mitt — a man whose core principle is clearly on display, and articulated with deep conviction: social Darwinism — survival of the richest, the hell with those who need a helping hand.
Ezra Klein argues, rightfully, that Romney's "vision of a society divided between “makers” and “takers” is core to the Republican nominee’s policy agenda."
. . .Republicans have become outraged over the predictable effect of tax cuts they passed and are using that outrage as the justification for an agenda that further cuts taxes on the rich and pays for it by cutting social services for the non-rich.
That’s why Romney’s theory here is more than merely impolitic. It’s actually core to his economic agenda.

Steven Rosenfeld examines all three videos and does a superb job of knocking off the "falsehoods, lies and misstatements" one by one.

These, and many more, are all excellent articles but the writer who gets the award for coming up with the most superb superlative when describing Mitt Romney is Jonathon Chait -- "a sneering plutocrat." Music to my ears.
. . . the video exposes an authentic Romney as a far more sinister character than I had imagined. Here is the sneering plutocrat, fully in thrall to a series of pernicious myths that are at the heart of the mania that has seized his party. He believes that market incomes in the United States are a perfect reflection of merit. Far from seeing his own privileged upbringing as the private-school educated son of an auto executive-turned-governor as an obvious refutation of that belief, Romney cites his own life, preposterously, as a confirmation of it. (“I have inherited nothing. Everything I earned I earned the old fashioned way.”)
Chait criticizes pundits who have likened Romney's remarks to Barack Obama's 2008 monologue, also secretly recorded at a fund-raiser, about his difficulties with white voters in rural Pennsylvania.
. . . the spirit of Obama’s remarks was precisely the opposite of Romney’s. While Obama couched his beliefs in condescending sociological analysis about how poor small town residents vote on the basis of guns and religion rather than economics, the thrust of Obama’s argument was that he believed his policies would help them, and to urge his supporters to make common cause with them . . . [see article for full-text] 
Obama was aspiring to become president of all of America, even that part most hostile to him, in the belief that what they shared mattered more than what divided them. Romney genuinely seems to conceive of the lowest-earning half of the population as implacably hostile parasites.
The revelations in this video come to me as a genuine shock. I have never hated Romney. I presumed his ideological makeover since he set out to run for president was largely phony, even if he was now committed to carry through with it, and to whatever extent he’d come to believe his own lines, he was oblivious or naïve about the damage he would inflict upon the poor, sick, and vulnerable. It seems unavoidable now to conclude that Romney’s embrace of Paul Ryanism is born of actual contempt for the looters and moochers, a class war on behalf of his own class.
It would take a box of toothpicks to keep count of all the times I've heard fright-wingers exclaim, "I don't read that liberal crap" when anyone posts a well documented article which is contrary to their views. While the usual cheering section of the neo-Neanderthals have supported Romney's remarks, maybe the fright-wingers should pay attention to the broadsides from the Republican establishment. This, my friends, is what makes this whole episode so deliciously juicy.


The Weekly Standard's Billy Krystol came right out and called Romney's comments "arrogant and stupid."

The piece de resistance, however, comes from David Brooks who compares Romney to Thurston Howell, the millionaire on Gilligan's Island, a 1960s television sitcom.

Brooks doesn't claim that Romney is out of touch. Instead, and with careful elaboration, he argues that Romney's comments suggest that he doesn't seem to know much about the country he inhabits or the culture of America, political or otherwise.  Brooks also suggests that Romney has lost any sense of the social compact and knows nothing about ambition and drive.

Throughout the article I was mostly nodding my head in agreement with the author -- until the very end:
Personally, I think he’s a kind, decent man who says stupid things because he is pretending to be something he is not — some sort of cartoonish government-hater. But it scarcely matters. He’s running a depressingly inept presidential campaign. Mr. Romney, your entitlement reform ideas are essential, but when will the incompetence stop?
No Mr. Brooks. He is neither kind or decent. Romney wasn't just denigrating certain minority groups, which he is prone to do and which is bad enough. He was talking about half of ALL Americans, many of them Republicans. His entire history demonstrates that he is a sociopath, a bully, a monumental liar, a sneering plutocrat -- a real horse's ass in other words.


UPDATES: Just saw this with Martin Bashir. Two minutes of perfection.


Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Romney's week from hell causes GOP freak-out. A good overview.






23 comments:

  1. Amen sistah! Well done. It is instructive to hear what someone like Romney says when he knows he's among his own and doesn't think what he says to them will ever leave the room.

    This is who he is. And the American will reject this cynical, divisive, class-warfare sneering plutocrat

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    1. He is what he is. Brooks isn't the only critic who has thrown in that "nice guy" spiel. I don't understand where that's coming from unless it's just to be "nice."

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  2. And yet somehow the conservative drones will say this whole thing has been made up by the left wing lamestream media... not realizing or caring about the facts that Bill Kristol, David Brooks, Joe Scarborough and many other critics of Mitt are conservatives...

    I am trying not to get over confident, but Mitt is really something...

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    1. No, we cannot allow ourselves to get over confident or complacent. We still have a huge battle ahead, especially at the polls because these whack jobs will do anything and everything to suppress voting by certain groups.

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  3. No Mr. Brooks. He is neither kind nor decent.

    I came to the same conclusion myself a few weeks ago, though admittedly not before. Contrasted with the utter lunatics like Bachmann and Perry who contested the Republican nomination with him, he seemed like a normal person. But lately the reality has become all too clear.

    Kristol tentatively hinted that Romney should yield the nomination to someone else, a suggestion I think others will echo. It adumbrates that Romney has crossed over into Akin territory.

    And yes, the Bashir video is perfect.

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    1. I'm not sure that that is possible at this late date. It would certainly set a bad precedent while opening a huge can of worms don't you think?

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    2. And speaking of Romney's so-called niceness. I think about his going after that gay kid in school and cutting his hair, the dog on the roof incident, his pathological lying, the routine business of closing down businesses and putting folks out of work, and even his non-appearance at the Olympics when his wife's horse was competing. I don't think he has a "nice" bone in his body.

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    3. Oh no, replacing Romney with someone else as the Republican nominee is impossible at this point, in practice. But the very airing of the suggestion shows how badly he's bungled things.

      As for the (lack of) niceness, that's part of the reality I said has become all too clear.

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    4. "But the very airing of the suggestion shows how badly he's bungled things." I just added another link about how Romney's very bad week is causing a GOP freak-out. The whole thing is just mind boggling.

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  4. This latest revelation simply confirms one more time how utterly lacking he is in the qualities I might hope to see in a Presidential candidate. I've seen and heard little or nothing from him since even before his nomination that convinced me otherwise.

    I do hope Obama supporters don't become complacent, including in States such as mine (CA)that aren't thought to be at risk -- that people vote. The percentages of people casting ballots always seems so low.

    If by some crazy circumstance the Repubs. would come up with a last minute candidate change, that would probably just motivate their supporters more.

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    1. As Infidel says, it would be impossible to replace Romney at this point but it does serve to point out the inability of Republicans to look below the surface before jumping into the water.

      Not only can we not get complacent we can't turn our backs on state and Congressional elections.

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  5. I just listened to a discussion of polls on MSNBC and it appears that the race is still close. All I can think is that the majority of Romney supporters are people who just don't pay attention. I know retirees who will vote for him, despite his and Ryan's hatred of "entitlements." And as for the 47% of freeloaders, no one who receives Medicare, Social Security, etc., thinks Romney is talking about them. And yet he is.
    I saw a video of an interview with Romney's mother, done while his father was running for Governor of Michigan, talking about how grateful they both were for government help with money and food when they first moved to the US. Has Romney forgotten this?

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    1. If it were only liberal pundits attacking Romney, it would be one thing, but conservatives are just as outraged. As I've said before, the traditional more moderate Republicans who make up the majority, thank God, are just as alarmed as we are about the fright-wingers taking over their party. I don't think we should take anything for granted but I think a lot of the GOP moderates will either stay home or cross over.

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    2. A majority of Romney supporters fall into one or more of several cateogries, and they are paying attention. Some of them would vote for any white person over any black person. Some would vote for any Republican over any Democrat. Some would vote for anyone who says he/she will cut their taxes, or at least promise not to raise their taxes, over anyone who might do otherwise. Some would vote for anyone who promises to oppose any restriction on their right to own, carry and use guns any way they want to over anyone who won't make that promise.

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  6. I'm confused. I thought Romney was a Taker. What the hell has he ever made?

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    1. He's made the lives of a lot of lives very miserable.

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  7. Romney has done so much lying and position switching in his quest to become president that he has no credibility about anything. What he said to those wealthy donors, about the 47 percent and such, might be his actual, innermost perception of American society. Or, he could just be parroting memes that rank-and-file radical-right Limbaugh listeners, Fox viewers, bloggers, etc., have held and shared among themselves as core beliefs for decades. If Romney was just parroting those memes, he was doing it in the firm belief it's what those rich donors wanted to hear, wanted to be sure he understood.

    What all voters, independents and Republicans included, must ask themselves about Romney is whether they want a president who has no credibility, whose word means nothing, whose positions are subject not just to change without notice, but to change and change back, depending on what he thinks will best serve his interest of the moment. In short, no one can trust Romney to do what they think is right because there's no telling what Romney actually thinks is right.

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    1. I think the independents and some moderate Republicans might ask those questions, but I can't see the ones on the right possessing enough depth to even question him at all.

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  8. What has he made? He has made a lot of money...at the expense of others.

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    1. Hey good buddy, good to see ya. And, as usual, you're so very right.

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  9. Yikes! Between two comments Blogger switched me to the new dashboard which, of course, I don't like. Anyway . . .

    "Mitt Romney’s campaign might appear to be collapsing like a cheap card table, but one top Democrat close to President Barack Obama had a curt warning for allies who were declaring the election all but over on Tuesday.

    It ain’t over, he said, until Karl Rove sings."


    Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0912/81369.html#ixzz26yAqadPa

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  10. Ah, but I have full confidence in Obama's ability to put his own foot in his own mouth again before it is all over with. Alas, if I wasn't an American who wants to have hope for the future, I would be having a grand old time laughing about this election. For both sides seem to be doing their best to lose.

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