New guy gets to handle the “I Read These Morons So You Don’t Have To” category, right? And hey, this time it’s easy, it’s really pretty much all there in Bobo’s article title:
In Defense of Romney
And it goes precisely as you expect it would.
The central problem is that Mitt Romney doesn’t fit the mold of what many Republicans want in a presidential candidate. They don’t want a technocratic manager. They want a bold, blunt radical outsider who will take on the establishment, speak truth to power and offend the liberal news media.
They don’t want Organization Man. They want Braveheart.
The question is: Are they right to want this? Well, if they want an in-your-face media campaign that will produce delicious thrills for the true believers, they are absolutely right. But if they actually want to elect an effective executive who is right for this moment, they are probably not right.
If that sounds familiar, it should. Please notice that Bobo’s recycling his own argument as to why he liked candidate Obama in 2008.
And the other thing that does separate Obama from just a pure intellectual: he has tremendous powers of social perception. And this is why he’s a politician, not an academic. A couple of years ago, I was writing columns attacking the Republican congress for spending too much money. And I throw in a few sentences attacking the Democrats to make myself feel better. And one morning I get an email from Obama saying, ‘David, if you wanna attack us, fine, but you’re only throwing in those sentences to make yourself feel better.’ And it was a perfect description of what was going through my mind. And everybody who knows Obama all have these stories to tell about his capacity for social perception.
He then goes on to praise Romney for just how much like President Obama he is: perceptive, organized, intelligent, possessed of political expertise, surrounded by competent people and adaptable to a changing political situation. The funny thing is President Obama is still all of those things, still has gotten a hell of a lot done, still has a lot that he can do, but Bobo here seems to think that Romney’s good for America in the end because he’s dull (and of course the Tea Party would magically go away if President Obama weren’t around.)
It’s like watching paint dry. Unexciting, nondescript, especially boring paint.
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Now that I think about it, if there’s anyone in DC that will relentless push the idea of “Mitt Romney means we get to have a grown-up in the White House and no Tea Party!” fallacy for the next 13 months, it’s going to be Brooks.