Mitt Romney is having a rough couple of weeks.
By now we’ve all seen the can of whoop-ass that Mother Jones opened up on Mitt Romney with the secret video of him sucking up to a bunch of millionaire donors at a $50K-a-plate fundraiser. Between this, the Libya spectacle, and him almost starting a war with England, his campaign is looking a lot like Dresden in 1945, only with more explosions and better hair. In case you missed it, America’s resident Aging Ken Doll made the blanket generalization that the 47% of Americans who will vote for President Obama no matter what are uniformly, across the board, a bunch of low-life “takers” who are sucking at the government teat. Mitt must not have been to Mississippi lately, because he seems to think there are no poor Republicans on food stamps. He also seems to think that the only people who would vote for President Obama are welfare cases who pay no taxes and can’t take care of themselves (or really, WON’T, because if you’re Mitt, you believe everything that happens to the less fortunate is THEIR fault). AND, he thinks that’s HALF the country.
And as is often the case in public life, his “damage-control” efforts are almost as revealing as the initial damage. In this case, that equals doubling down on what he said while sliding in a line about his “inelegant” phrasing, which was intended to pacify…who, exactly?
Don’t laugh, but this whole thing reminds me of Todd Akin in a way. Yes, I know, there’s never a bad time to saddle a Republican with the public relations boat anchor known as Todd Akin, but this is actually relevant. Women, you will understand this. Todd and Mitt are two nasty peas in a testosterone-y, Republican pod; they got busted saying something incredibly ill informed and hateful, and their response was to come out in the media with an apology for the way they PHRASED what they said. That’s right, fellows. It was the clumsy wording that you used when you basically said women who get pregnant from rape weren’t really raped. It was the artless phrasing of your disdainful plutocratic rant that bothered us, not that you assumed that those of us who disagree with you on policy and do not plan to vote for you are a bunch of broke moochers relying on the government for our every need.
We all love our fellas (mine just made me pancakes!), but most of us had that boyfriend at some point, didn’t we? The one who did something stupid and could only offer a half-assed non-apology (“I’m sorry YOU were offended”) and then mansplain to us why they shouldn’t really apologize because they really do anything wrong to begin with? I know enough women who dated that guy, and a few who married him, who will be less than enthusiastic about voting for him.
Sidebar: when the Sandra Fluke/Rush Limbaugh debacle was in full swing back in the spring of this year, what did Mitt have to say about it? It would have been nice to hear a denunciation but what we got was this b.s.: “It’s not the language I would have used.” In other words, Mitt thinks she’s a slut and prostitute too, he just wouldn’t have phrased it that way. Either he doesn’t grasp, or he doesn’t care, that the language isn’t the problem, it’s actually the substance of the message that is completely abhorrent to most decent people.
So let’s go over this again, Mittens. Veterans deserve their benefits. Seniors who paid into social security all their lives deserve their benefits. And yes, you tax-dodging sociopath, poor people ARE entitled to food and a roof over their heads. This is the richest country in the world, and it’s pathetic that 50 million Americans are food-insecure, many of them children whose parents are unemployed or underemployed. Feeding them is kind of the least you can do after sending their jobs to China, don’t you think?
Mitt states at one point in his video that he was way more worried about courting Latinos than he was about women. He should be worried about us, though. As it is, his polling gap among women is about 10%. But in this writer’s humble opinion, it should be higher, and in the end, may well turn out to be: Cook Report ran an article about a focus group in which they interviewed 12 women in Milwaukee, two of which were committed to Obama, two of which were committed to Romney for some reason, and the rest were uncommitted. What they found was that, quite shockingly, the uncommitted women thought Romney seemed like a snob. Like someone who, if they were neighbors, would never talk to them or offer to pick up their mail while they were away. Someone who talks down to them, and doesn’t get them. And now we know why. Because he thinks we are all good for nothing drooling losers who refuse to learn to tie our own shoes.
Well. Who would have expected that? I don’t know about you ladies, but a guy who treats me with cold contempt is a major turn-on.
Nobody was surprised by the fact that Mitt Romney thinks he and his uber-wealthy friends are better than everyone else. But the fact that his disdain extends to viewing half the population as burdensome, annoying retarded children whose toys you just can’t take away… well, that was surprising even for Mitt. And even in damage control mode, he continues to insult our intelligence, as if we are ninnies who don’t understand what we’re actually upset about. Remember that jerk boyfriend you had in college explaining to you how your feelings are stupid and you shouldn’t be having them? Yeah.
Yes, presentation matters. But if you put horse shit in a shiny tin that says “Sugar”, it’s still horse shit. There was actually nothing wrong with Mitt’s presentation. Really. He didn’t swear, he used complete sentences, he didn’t call anyone Macaca. I have not one whit of a problem with the presentation of his message or the “language” he used. It’s the substance of the message he sought to convey: that anyone who isn’t supporting him (again, that’s HALF of America) is a worthless peasant.
That would offend a lot of people. But for a lot of women, the insult to injury is the dismissive, condescending, self-mansplanatory non-apology that they’ve sat through so many times. In the knee-jerk world of social media and the 24 hour news cycle, your message IS you. And right now, Mitt is that condescending guy you couldn’t get rid of fast enough.
Good job, Mitt. You’re welcome.