If we’re approaching the time when we can start ignoring the nutballz, teahadists, and vanity candidates to focus all our righteous Democratic animus upon Willard “Mitt” Romney, I’m glad to have Mr. Charles P. Pierce on our side:
… Here are the two things we learned about the actual frontrunners last night. First of all, Mitt Romney is still a smug, entitled prick. His regular-guy shtick has never been convincing, and it never will be, so he abandoned it entirely last night. If he wasn’t whining, continuously, about how he wasn’t being allowed to speak, he was letting loose with the kind of contemptuous snicker that you aim at the help when they fall down the stairs. (Remember in 2000, when pundits wouldn’t shut up about Al Gore’s alleged sighing? This was worse.) For some reason — and “utter, flop-sweaty desperation” is the first answer that leaps to mind — Perry decided to go after Romney on an old story from the Boston Globe in which it was reported that the Romneys had illegal immigrants doing yard work on the family manse back in Massachusetts. Romney parried the attacks ably with his usual mixture of condescension and contempt for the lower classes who dare question him. And then he proceeded to drop his hands, and stick his chin out.
First he said that, when he learned that the landscaping company had hired undocumented workers, Romney told Perry that he told the company, “You can’t have any illegals working on our property. I’m running for office, for pete’s sake, we can’t have illegals.”…
The answer was not, “Hey, we can’t have this. It’s illegal.” No, for Mitt, the first problem was that he couldn’t find a way to spin it if anyone found out. And then, Mitt continued, that “it’s hard to know, when you’re hiring people to work on your property, if they’re hiring illegals or not.”…
What a rhetorical bonanza was sitting right there in front of the dirt farmer’s kid from Painter’s Gulch. Mitt Romney was asking — nay, begging — to be framed as a wealthy, elitist snob, complaining about the difficulty of hiring a decent lawn service, and worried more about his political future than the fact that he was accessorial to breaking the immigration laws.
Unfortunately, the second thing we learned, one more time, is that Rick Perry isn’t that quick. Unfortunately, Perry is molasses running uphill in February. The opportunity went a’glimmering.
Which is too bad because, earlier that day, Romney let his inner loan officer shine through even more clearly in a video interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal, in which Romney said we should let the foreclosure crisis “bottom out.” This is of a piece with his earlier contention that the Obama Administration should have let the auto industry go belly-up. It’s a chilly, accountant’s answer to a deeply human problem, and one that has at its roots more than a little outright criminality.
If you want to know why so many Republicans have trouble, as the pundits put it, “warming up” to Mitt Romney, you saw exactly why last night. It’s because, basically, at some level, even Republicans are human, and they’re not going to get cozy with a guy who acts as though at any minute, he’s going to tell them to go out and trim the hedge…
they’re not going to get cozy with a guy who acts as though at any minute, he’s going to tell them to go out and trim the hedge…
Au contraire. I suspect Erickson’s
53%100 people who have posted on his Tumblr would fight each other for the shears.
Obama and his people, of course, are a bit quicker on the take than the Dirt Farmer, and I do think this will come back to get Mr. Romney.
If the next debate runs about an hour too long, would that be a 3 hour snooze, a 3 hour snooze?
Found Wall Street’s formula.
Sorry, seeing “Thurston” gives me a sad lately. Thurston and Kim broke up, no word on what happens to the band now.
It’s sad enough when people get divorced. The thought that we’ll never get another Diamond Sea makes it worse.
From the people are awesome file: a People’s Republic edition.
@Martin: That’s an awesome Calvin & Hobbes.
@Joel: Isn’t it though? I mean, how perfect did he get that?
Mitt and “The Tick”: separated at birth.
fake superhero. Check.
Can’t remember his past. Check. (Massachusetts? Where’s that?)
Huge chin, not quite handsome. Check.
possible insane asylum escapee, not quite human. Check.
@pete mack: spooooooonnnnn!!!!!!!
I was unaware of that. That sucks. “Kool Thing” rocks…
Potential Democratic re-framing of Romney’s response: “Wouldn’t it be nice to have the problem of worrying about whether the company you hired to take care of one of your houses was hiring undocumented workers?”
In “reality” Mr. Howell had a kinder heart, although I remember that one episode with the cannibals:
Thurston Howell III: [pretending he’s a Chief Headhunter] Moolah, moolah, moolah.
probably hear that a lot next year.
Bill E Pilgrim
The amazing thing is that if this is the best they have, and it appears as if it is, then Obama is going to win next year, and with the economy the way it is, that’s a miracle on the order of the Ten Plagues of Egypt.
J. Michael Neal
As an accountant with deficient social skills, I deeply resent this way of phrasing it.
Has anyone else noticed Romney’s strange and unusual gait? For a tall man, his stride is very short with quick steps. I’ve never seen anyone walk like that. He almost looks as if he’s walking on eggshells or hot coals.
Yea, everything this guy just said. It’s like he was channelling my thoughts exactly. Not that I actually watched the debates. Only vicariously through brilliants comments such as this guys.
@J. Michael Neal: I think you’ve got more human skills than the Romneybot. And I mean that seriously, as someone who’s also struggled with social skills for years and followed your strugles here. And I’m absolutely sure you’re also a better, more honest, accountant.
Yeah, I remember, and there was nothing alleged about it — Gore was sighing up a storm and it was a bad idea. On the other hand, it was pretty obvious why he was sighing — who could blame him? Bush kept saying one idiotic thing after another; things that responsible media and their “journalists” would point out were outright howlers. But of course, instead of considering why Gore was sighing, they concentrated on the sighing itself. The sighing was a bad idea; Gore should have known that the mikes would pick it up and the commentariat would find the sighs much more newsworthy that the reasons for it — again, Bush shoveling the most ridiculous kind of horseshit and passing it off as responsible, adult debate answers.
Gore ran a poor campaign, but he was up against media representatives who weren’t much interested in substance, but who were obsessed with style. Sighing audibly at your opponent’s answers in a debate is definitely bad style; focusing on the sighs and not the lies and other nonsense Bush was spewing like a fire hose was grotesque and irresponsible journalism.
If Gore had run the same poor campaign he ran, even with old Albatross Joe hanging around his neck (another self-inflicted wound on Gore’s part) and the media had fulfilled its role responsibly and professionally, Gore wouldn’t have had to worry about Florida’s chads and all the criminal vote-suppressing activity Republicans pulled in Florida; he’d have won both the popular vote and a convincing electoral college victory, which would have taken the corrupt SCOTUS out of the equation and spared this country the nightmare of eight years of the worst president ever.
Democrats have to run campaigns that are somewhat defensive in nature. They know, or should know, up front that the media are going to fail in their role, will pass off Republican talking points as gospel truth, and spend 99% of the time on trivia, without informing the public on the important issues of the campaign. Gore won the 2000 election, but mistakes he made allowed the election to be close enough to be stealable, and that’s something he and every other Democrat has (or had) the responsibility to prevent.
I never had, but if you’re telling me Romney doesn’t appear to know how to walk, it certainly doesn’t surprise me. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anyone outside of a mental health ward who appeared to have so little idea of his own identity and what he believes. Watching Romney try to please the group du jour is a very unpleasant affair. If he weren’t a Republican and thus, by definition, a horrible person, I might feel sorry for him. As it is, he just gives me the creeps.
Here’s the thing. If I can’t have Obama, of all the fucking yahoos up on that stage in Nevada, I want Romney. Here’s a guy who governed a liberal state, and did a few liberal things there to satisfy the constituency. Here’s a guy who does his fucking homework so he can make a decision, who is interested in the details. Can’t say that about any of the other fuckers up there. Is he Obama? Not by a fucking long shot, but of all the yahoos up on that stage, if I can’t have Obama for whatever reason, he’s the Rethug I want in office. End of story. (Yeah, Huntsman would prolly be better, but that dude will be pres when Hell freezes over).
Also, too: Woman, do you ever sleep???
@Triassic Sands: Yup. Dems have to fight two opponents in all elections and with their hands tied behind.
Bill E Pilgrim
Just chuckling as the Thurston Howell idea sinks in, it’s really sort of perfect.
No poor! No science! No climate change!
Not a single fact to see!
With Ron, again..
the Ghost of the Gipper, too,
the Millionaire (and he’s white)
the Professor, and ScaryAnne….
Perhaps lost in all the “who dissed whom” coverage, on a real issue, Perry has come out in support of a flat tax.
My question is: Is there an example of a national flat income tax “in the wild” so to speak?
Also, Cain’s 666 plan gets some pushback coverage:
“invisible” oranges, or apples?
Latest news from al-Jazeera is that Gaddafi was flushed out of Sirte, NATO airstrikes stopped the convoy, and Muhammar himself has been captured.
I don’t want to give Obama undue credit, but EAT IT, MCCAIN!
Bill E Pilgrim
It’s not flat exactly and there are heavy social security-type taxes plus lots of other complications, but it’s nominally a flat tax on income anyway.
But so yeah, Russia. Also Ukraine and Georgia. Models of non-oligarchical, non-two-tiered societies, in other words. Definitely what we should be aspiring too, those places.
Listening to Morning Joe (which I don’t usually; it’s bad for my health.)
GOP whip Kevin McCarthy is from another planet, indubitably. First priority: tax reform. Always.
WaPost writer Jonathan Capeheart deserves kudos for trying to point out to him that GOP goal number one is defeating Obama for re-election. Facts are on Capeheart’s side; McCarthy is not having any of them. He’s got his own.
McCarthy was so bad that I wonder he didn’t fire any of his constituents up to vote against him, or donate money in districts where Democrats might be more competitive.
What a tool.
@Xenos: High profile target..
Add me to the list that says Thurston Howell really didn’t deserve that headline. Props forever to Jim Backus for making the character as likable as he was.
I thought it was all Nader’s fault.
Bill E Pilgrim
Oh man. Okay now Bloomberg is in a bind. Tourism is a huge source of revenue for NYC, so now it’s a fight between the little voice in his head arguing that it’s bad for Wall St. business, and the one saying “Tourism! Chase em out, are you kiddin me? Start selling bobblehead hippie dolls, for Pete’s sake!”
@JPL: Ok, maybe I got a little ahead of myself there…
But just imagine how McCain would have screwed up every last aspect of this war.
Breaking news from MSNBC–Reuters is reporting that Khadaffy has been wounded and captured in Libya.
@Xenos: Beat me to it.
OT but CBC is reporting that Ghaddafi has been wounded and captured.
edit: sorry, Xenos beat me by 15 minutes. Some day I’ll learn to read all the comments before posting.
Doesn’t matter. The evidence on the teevee every Sunday is that It’s Always Good News For McCain.
@Xenos: Thanks for the heads up. I have on AlJazeera now.
Not unrelated stories in the Los Angeles Times:
1) Hallmark adds job loss to its line of sympathy cards
2) Mitt Romney may win the GOP presidential nomination by default
Both tie to Republicans out of control and taking us all down.
As a nation, we could have a stronger economy, and the GOP could have better, saner candidates if the rightwing crazies were not in control.
AlJazeera read NATO’s mission statement and said they should declare the mission. I think a sign would be appropriate.
They now are saying he was killed.
Looks like qadaffi has been killed, per AlJ. No independent confirmation yet.
It strikes me that Gore’s sighs were his version of Reagan’s “there you go again”, which of course was awesome pwnage of Carter and not a cheap rhetorical trick.
It was a confluence of fail from hell: Gore needing, at least in part, to run against Clinton, voting “irregularities” in a state governed by a candidate’s brother, Nader, and a stacked Supreme Court.
Mittens is just not a nice person. It was funny to watch him demand that Anderson rid him of the “cowboy/commoner” from Paint Creek. heh
@Arclite: “If I can’t have Obama, of all the fucking yahoos up on that stage in Nevada, I want Romney. Here’s a guy who governed a liberal state, and did a few liberal things there to satisfy the constituency. Here’s a guy who does his fucking homework so he can make a decision, who is interested in the details. ”
However, as a GOP President with a GOP Congress, we’ll see true (and evil) re-invention.
I like the play the “what if a Democrat did it?” game. If Al Gore or John Kerry had complained, during a debate, about the difficulty of vetting illegal aliens from the contractor they hired to mow their lawn, it would have been the headline all week, and used as a symbol of how elitist and out of touch with regular lawn-mowing Americans they were.
But, IOKIYAR. So move along.
And what the fuck with Anderson Cooper claiming that 47% of Americans don’t pay taxes? What the fuck, Anderson?
He “apologized” for that last night on his show, and admitted that he was wrong (saying that he meant to say “federal income tax”)
A little too late. The damage is done.
Paul in KY
@Triassic Sands: Good recap of those sad times.
i was buying into mr. pierce, up until this gem:
no, no they aren’t. it’s that kind of irresponsible thought process that has given us a tea party majority in the house. never, ever, ever think like that, because they stopped being human when they elected g. bush president, not just once, but twice, in the same century.
some people (al gore comes to mind) don’t do all that well in college, because they’re lazy or have other things going on, but their innate intelligence comes through later in life, allowing them to accomplish great things (see: gore, al). other people (see: perry, rick: bush, g.w.) don’t do well in college because, well, they’re just basically not all that bright, they did as well as they were capable of doing. that innate lack of intelligence keeps them from accomplishing great things later in life (see: perry, rick: bush, g.w.). electing members of the latter group to public office is pretty much a guarantee that they will screw things up, it’s their nature.
I’m not sure the sighs were intentional or conscious. He was hearing such ridiculous nonsense — I doubt I could have controlled myself.
As popular as Nader was as a target, he wasn’t really the “cause” of Gore’s ultimate defeat. If Gore had done a better job with the things that were under his control, the things that weren’t (e.g., Nader’s candidacy) wouldn’t have cost him the election. Depending on how things unfolded, the SCOTUS might still have found a way to steal the election, but I’ve always believed that a better campaign on Gore’s part would have put the election out of reach.
In the end, I think the real villain was the SCOTUS. But the MSM are almost always one of the key guilty parties in virtually every instance where our political system fails. This kind of system requires professional, responsible media and ours are neither.
I’m afraid that’s basically true, except I’d say the Dems have at least three opponents, not two. One should never forget about the stupidity, ignorance, and fickleness of the majority of American voters. The great failing of public television and radio is that they have embraced false equivalence and practically worship at its altar. Cable and network news are much, much more corrupt and irresponsible. To win, in most cases, Democrats have to figure out how to get a generally complicated message out to a pathetic electorate, while the MSM work against them, and Republicans engage in voter suppression and/or election fraud.
It’s a wonder any Dems ever get elected.
I’ll never forget what James Fallows (I’m pretty sure it was Fallows) said about Edwards and the media in the 2008 campaign: Edwards never had a chance because the media hated him. Of course, Edwards self-destructed and would have been a disaster had he won the nomination, but a comment like that about the American MSM is about as complete an indictment of the media as is possible.
Shorter Mitt Romney:
Been there. Done that. Created the Great Depression.