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I’ve been trying to think about a one-word description for Mitt Romney. Is there a single word that captures his essence? I think there is and that word is “Coward”.
For a while I thought the word was “Liar”. The word does fit him as Mitt Romney proves every week that he cannot go 24 hours without lying, but there is more to him than just mendacity. Other words like “prick” or “jerk” or “ass” could also fit aspects of his character. “Greedy”, “shameless”, “bully” and “weird” also come to mind.
And yet, the more I watch and listen to him the more it seems that “Coward” is exactly the right word to describe Mitt Romney. I mean, can anybody give any example of Mitt Romney EVER standing up to the people he wants to please? Is there any example of him showing any courage–moral, political or otherwise? Is there any issue that he hasn’t flipped on or flopped on depending upon which way the wind was blowing or where he thought the “cool kids” running his school/business/party wanted him to be?
Take the story about Mitt being a bully in High School. I think Emond White captured it exactly in his New Yorker essay about Mitt and the alma mater they shared:
On the one hand he had an embarrassingly famous father, the governor of Michigan, whom he idolized as the youngest child. On the other he was the sole Mormon, a member of what was definitely seen as a creepy, stigmatized cult in that world of bland Episcopalian Wasps (we had Episcopalian services at chapel three mornings a week). When his father was president of American Motors, he lived at home and was a day student, an envied status. When his father was elected governor and moved to the state capital of Lansing, he became a boarder. Suddenly he was surrounded by other Cranbrook students and the strict “masters,” 24/7. He no longer had the constant support of his tight-knit family. Now he had to win approval from the other boys.
Not sure that punkassmotherfucker counts as one word, but that’s the one I use.
Liar. Bestest yet. Cowards can’t do much damage unlike a liar. A congenital sociopath one at that.
One of those rapguyz something very good to remember about liars. I just remember it.
Mike in NC
“Coward” fits perfectly, though “scumbag” works, too.
@BruceFromOhio: Another fine choice and a term that fits Mittens quite well…
“Liar” describes Mitt Romney to me.
He has diminished himself by seeking higher office.
Coward works too, but liar is paramount.
There is another word my husband uses to describe Romney but it is very sexist and offensive and so I will not mention it. I think “Coward” is better than “Liar” because it underscores Mitt’s basic worthlessness as a human being. He lies because he is a coward and there is no helping such a person.
Well, hell, let’s get a twitter campaign going to have him appear on Rush’s show, then.
Mitt: “I’m with you all; tell me what to do.”
Obama: “Y’all, stand by me; we have shit to do.”
Granted, I’m +4 now and I’m not putting a very fine point on it, but I do believe that it all boils down to this kind of proactive/reactive dynamic.
Quaker in a Basement
Thanks, doctor. Same time next week then?
You rock Dengre, good to see ya around these woods again.
Liar was the one that immediately sprang to mind, but coward is more encompassing, I agree. Craven is good as well, but not as familiar.
Plus, spinelessshitstain, also, too.
Judas Escargot, Your Postmodern Neighbor
He spent the Vietnam era riding a bicycle and using a bidet in France.
Coward is generous.
@asiangrrlMN: I very much liked the sound of Craven as well. It is a fine word and I spent some time going between it and Coward. In the end, Coward seemed to be the better word, but not by much.
partial to “douchebag” as an apt descriptor for him
Coward works. So does liar. If I’m feeling more poetic, I’d go with “hollow”. He’s a hollow candidate, lacking any number of things that should be part of a good President: vision, courage, convictions, ideas, etc.
I like the word coward. My ex always lied, but not maliciously, it was because he was a coward. And I think that is what has always given me the creepy-crawlies about Mittens. He lies because he’s too much of a coward to take an actual position.
Reason #1001 why he scares the shit out of me.
It takes a genuine coward to maneuver the the way he does. “Coward” explains every other shitty quality he embodies: weathervane, liar, sycophant, bully, chicken-hawk, patsy… But it takes a plain old sociopath, someone whose only concern is for himself, to be such a grinning coward. Cowardice is a symptom of his heartlessness.
Totally agree. I’ve long said that Mitt reminds me of the blowhard coward Johnny Tyler, played by Billy Bob Thornton, in the movie “Tombstone.” When he is confronted by anyone authentic, he folds and scurries away.
But this doesn’t make Romney the perfect GOP nominee. It makes him dangerous. People like Mitt are desperate to prove how tough they are. If elected president, Mitt would do something incredibly stupid, like expand an Israeli led attack on Iran into a wider Middle East war, because he would need to prove that he was strong and tough. He would never see, or be able to admit, that he had been manipulated into a foolish military exercise, and would endorse the worst actions to deflect anyone from seeing how frightened he truly was and how monumentally misguided his judgments were.
People like Mitt are the last people you want anywhere near real power. The problem is that people like him often have a surface charm that misleads a lot of people into thinking that he might be an OK guy.
But you don’t have to get close to smell the stink of fear he tries to mask with his expensive colognes.
pseudonymous in nc
I’d prefer ‘gutless’ over ‘coward’, because it’s, um, more visceral.
I was thinking of going with ‘phony’, but there are parts of Rmoney that are entirely genuine, namely his love of corporations and corporatism and being The Boss and firing people.
Stuck in the Funhouse
If its gotta be one word.
Front page posts like this are an embarrassment in a drooling, uneducated redneck kind of way.
@Dennis G.: I’m thinking sniveler. It’s much more sinister than coward and means that plus a major lack of moral fiber. Maybe Willard needs to eat his All Bran more.
This may well be an astutely accurate insight into a fundamental element of Romney’s personality. NEVERTHELESS, the thought needed to arrive at the same conclusion is too subtle and convoluted to convince most people; there’s no starkly unambiguous, inarguable incidents of cowardice the way the haircut attack on his fellow student does “BULLY”. “LIAR” is a far more straightforward, far easier sell to most voters since there are such an abundance of easily, convincingly provable pants-on-fire LIES caught on video.
Let’s leave the cowardice branch for the historians of the 2012 campaign when they (hopefully) are writing about the collective set of weaknesses in Romney’s personality that helped undo him as a candidate, and they’re writing for an audience much more ready and receptive to following the extended argument necessary to connect the background clues about the element of cowardice in him.
@Clime Acts: yeah, pretty similar to how I feel about your comments
Coward is spot on for this day of many recent days, and will endure throughout. With the POTUS holding down sanity on Syria, the jackals baying, and RMoney posturing on the merits of igniting Hezbollah and Iran by arming Syria or whatever John McCain says, coward wins.
“Coward” is an emotionally charged word connoting shame and disgust, its potency augmented by the fact that, unlike “liar”, it is seldom used in political debate. The debilitating Swiftboat campaign against John Kerry illustrated the word’s power; the shock of its usage illustrated its rarity.
For an aristocrat like the Marquis de Mittens, the synonym “poltroon” (base coward) might be more fitting, but certainly less effective.
“Fraud” is another one-word description I’d suggest, with its connotations both of Willard’s unprincipled nature and Rmoney’s source of wealth.
Did you know Willard was a P.O.W. in the Prep School Wars? True story.
I read he once had a 737 land on his shoulder–just one of them. And also, too, he made a lot of babies.
Or, so we’re told.
@Dennis G.: I think purely for connective reasons, coward is better. But, I’ve always liked craven, and it fits Romney well.
Willard gladly accepted a draft deferment so he could ride a bike in France during Vietnam. He couldn’t even take on a helpless gay kid by himself and needed a posse to hold down a defenseless gay kid so he could chop off his hair. Not exactly what I’d call a profile in courage. He’s a craven wet leg and so are his five spineless sons who’ve made a living out of supporting him in one failed campaign after another. I am ashamed to say that cold-blooded cultist was my Governor.
Anyway, I know I’ve been a pain in the keister but I really didn’t ask for my second starter in as many years to shit the bed a week before the rent was due on the first and for the repair job to wipe us out. Any assistance y’all could give the missus, the kittie and me would be immensely appreciated.
Supine? Flaccid? Void, or, to coin one, Voidoid (better as he’s actually a corporeal being approximating a true void?)
Yesterday upon the stair
I met a man who wasn’t there
He wasn’t there again today
Oh, how I wish he’d go away
OT: Colbert just did a hilarious bit on the Romney campaign misspelling America. I’d love to see an “Amercia” meme take off.
Marcellus Shale, Public Dick
is a chicken
Trying to rattle my brain for a good Yiddish one. Still working on it as I don’t speak Yiddish. But I’ll research further.
“Loser” will suffice, thank you.
There is no criticism of Romney that he can allow to stand without trying to deflect the subject to something else.
But he’s leftier than all of us, doncha know.
Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason
@Dennis G.: I’m with asiangrrl. Craven, not coward. Craven has resonance and feedback, there are tendrils of meaning curled around it. It brings to mind unprincipled sellouts and betrayal.
Coward is too accusatory. It’s a Johnny-one-note word with no surprises. It’s as subtle as smacking someone in the face with a shovel.
@pseudonymous in nc: I like “gutless”, myself, because although coward is definitely included in the implication, it also covers bad political instincts, the lack of empathy, and sad robot qualities he also has.
Romney’s one guy I can totally see being baited with a “what’s the matter, Colonel Sanders? CHICKEN?” moment into committing a catastrophic blunder. My only addition to your comment is that you’re describing to a tee what I think happened to Bush after 9/11.
I keep hearing and reading comparisons that this election is the photo negative of Bush vs Kerry 2004 all over again. I don’t know about that. Maybe it’s my leanings to history and my study of the Civil War, but I find it a bit similar to Lincoln vs McClellan 1864.
The Lincoln-Obama comparison has been made and even mocked by Obama supporters.
But McClellan was a political appeaser, he was the war’s biggest coward, and when it came time for Lincoln to face the reckoning of the Democratic process, McClellan was only too happy to take advantage of Northern discomfort with the ongoing war and whether consciously or not, was a useful idiot for the Confederacy’s political and diplomatic ambitions. They knew a McClellan presidency would have seen the day when slave states earn their independence and split the continent and the nation in two, permanently. He had advantage after advantage, but never taking action until cables from Washington practically ordered him at the point of a bayonet to seize upon that advantage or take the fight to Virginia in a way that recognized that the South was fighting for their very soul and he could be and was considered an enemy.
Mitt Romney is a coward so afraid of failure that he fails to act, for fear that action may lead to failure and ruin his reputation. Hire a gay wingnut and all the wingnuts scream? Fail to act like a man and fire the guy to appease them. Birther asshole hair-clown can’t stop shooting himself in the foot while simultaneously gagging on it? Don’t act by severing the tie, but have a fundraiser with him on the day you secure the nomination, Oh and make him a surrogate for you in the media while your at it. And when the media asks you about Birther asshole hair-clown’s comments, say exactly the following:
He’s running for office for Pete’s sake.
Fuck Pete. Fuck his sake. And Fuck Mitt Romney, this craven, unabashed coward who needs the Universe to see how special a snowflake he is and will take a blowtorch to the snows of Kilimanjaro and every other place on the damned planet just to make sure he’s the only one left standing.
Teh magic Google provided me with paskudnyak, which I had never heard. I usually go with the good old-fashioned “schmuck,” myself.
The President of the Mormon Church is known as profit, seer, and Revelater and they mean it. His words are considered to be the word of God. Would Mitt follow the President of the church when he was President?
@Mnemosyne: There is “schmendrick”, but that’s to cutesy for my taste. Paskudnyak works, but how it’s not a swear word is beyond my ken.
thinking of Romney as hollow, and well,Eliot said it:
We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats’ feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar
This is no “criticism.”
It’s moronic, yuck yuck, name calling. Just like wing nuts do to Obama.
“asshole” works just fine and requires no explanation — just look at that picture. Don’t overthink this.
@Clime Acts: go fuck yourself.
Wow, a very high level of gratuitous invective tonight. Does it make you all feel good about yourselves? Does it advance the conversation? Does it make you look better than the Mittster?
@Clime Acts: Not just name calling, but ridicule. And absolutely necessary. As long as it is based in a critique of character, and not in bigotry, it is certainly fair game.
@tkogrumpy: fainting couch ———>
@tkogrumpy: fainting couch ———>
Villago Delenda Est
Here’s the thing about Rmoney’s lack of intestinal fortitude:
When he was offered the opportunity to launch Bain Capital, he insisted that if the launch failed, he would not suffer any damage to his reputation or finances.
Can you imagine such a thing? You’re given this opportunity to succeed, and you’re immediately hedging your bets, as if you know deep down you can’t pull it off?
Yes, the man is a craven coward. In all things.
@Toschek: Happen to notice the three questions in there?
A wingnut blog already played this game. Their preferred one-word description of Romney? “Authentic.” Seriously.
@Bubblegum Tate: Now that’s genuinely laffable.
@tkogrumpy: well we only have ourselves, Mitt’s got a few million dollars of his own to make him look good, plus one national “news” network and a journalistic village invested in promoting a horse race meme for the upcoming elections. Lets not even worry about the pocket Billionaires bankrolling his smear machine. Somehow I think he’ll survive our criticism of his character, don’t you? Now if you wanna contribute to a Dem candidate of your choosing or get thee hither to your local Dem organization and make a few phone calls Like I have, maybe you’ll feel better about yourself
@tkogrumpy: Burn your own strawmen on the altar of civility dude, I don’t have time for that crap.
@piratedan: 2012 will make the 21st dem campaign I have worked on, actually.
I think Dennis G is trying to be a uniter, not a divider, after that whole Poland thread thingy.
(To which I can only say — with this crew (including myself), good luck with that, dengre! ;-)
Villago Delenda Est
Well, when war is peace, freedom is slavery, and ignorance is strength, naturally, Rmoney is “authentic”.
No need to choose, just call him “wormtongue,” famous coward and liar.
Mark van Roojen
More colloquially, I was thinking recently that ‘chickenshit’ was an appropriate appellation. It seems to characterize his fear of disputing Trump’s BS, or Limbaugh or whatever gets thrown his way. He’s scared to contradict the right wing assholes even though he has no actual beliefs of his own and even though he ought to know that it is in his interest not to tie himself too closely to their BS. How can a man whose every word seems to be governed only by political calculus miscalculate this badly?
Anyway, I think that we should all repeat that he’s a chickenshit, because he is and because it will ring true to those who watch him a bit.
@Bubblegum Tate: Is that like calling a bald guy “Curly”?
ETA And that suggests another one word. Stooge.
/Fixed. Now GFY.
I really like Mitt the Craven. Bert Lahr’s Lion was cowardly, but Romney is more like Grima Wormtongue — evil, but too gutless to admit to his lack of moral fibre.
@Anne Laurie: Mitt the Craven is nice. I think I’ll prepare a version with Craven.
‘putz’ would work.
brave, brave, brave, brave sir mittens…
Touched a nerve again, I see.
Haven’t seen you around in a hot minute. I guess the check finally cleared, huh?
Touched a nerve again, I see.
You know, I think that GWB was too stupid to even be a real coward. He didn’t know when he was in danger (or, more importantly, putting others in danger). Mittens is smart enough to know that he is taking risks and he is afraid. I think you are right about Coward being the perfect label for him, though.
A Humble Lurker
How funny that you come into a thread about Mittens…and try to distract from the subject. Very funny.
@A Humble Lurker:
How funny that you interpret anything I wrote as trying to distract from the subject of Mittens.
Say anything you wish about the Mitt-meister; but to say something that isn’t as stupid as Red State.
My point is that too many FP posts here have the same odor as right wing stupidity. “Obama is a traitor” originates from the same kind of deep thinking as does “Mitt is a coward.”
That you pretend to not notice means you’re part of the problem.
“Mendacious” Mitt does have a ring to it.
He is the real-life incarnation of Draco Malfoy from the Harry Potter series. Spoiled rotten, entitled little rich kid, now grown up and set loose upon the world stage.