Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Privileged rich douchebaggery, Romney-style

I've called Mitt a privileged rich douchebag numerous times. It's the Romney narrative for 2012. And he just keeps adding to it, whether it's saying his wife drives a couple of Cadillacs or this:

The Democratic National Committee is suggesting that Mitt Romney made another out of touch remark this morning during a tour at the Daytona 500 in which Romney said that while he does not "closely" follow racing he does "have great some friends who are NASCAR team owners."

The remark came during a tour of team owner Richard Childress' facilities, when Romney was asked by an Associated Press reporter whether he follows car racing.

"Not as closely as some of the most ardent fans, but I have some great friends who are NASCAR team owners," Romney responded.

More specifically, I've written this about Romney: "It's almost like this privileged rich douchebag will do and say anything for votes, take any opportunity to sell himself to whatever constituency he needs to woo, and pander without any shame or self-regard whatsoever."

Well, yes. And not almost. This is what he does. It's who Mitt Romney is. Or, rather, "Mitt Romney," the character Mitt Romney is playing, though the two are now one and the same.

But he often fails miserably, especially when he's relentlessly, desperately, pathetically trying to pander to the Republican Party's far-right base by presenting himself as some sort of ordinary redneck (when he's anything but).

There's a word for this: Romneying, a neologism coined by Dave Weigel.

What does it mean? "Accidentally bragging about your place high up in the economic stratosphere."

You know who's really good at it? Mitt Romney.


For a helpful summary of Romney's various gaffes, see Steve Benen:

As we've seen repeatedly in recent months, Romney has a blind spot when it comes to wealth. Does he follow car racing? No, but he's tight with the millionaires who own the teams. The line came just two days after Romney boasted about his wife driving "a couple of Cadillacs."

Indeed, a theme emerges when we consider what connects so many of Romney's tone-deaf verbal missteps, including his recent explanation that he's "not concerned about the very poor," which came on the heels of Romney insisting that making over $374,000 in speaking fees in a year is "not very much" money. It followed Romney suggesting elected office is only for the rich, clumsily talking about his fondness for being able to fire people, demanding that talk of economic justice be limited to "quiet rooms," accusing those who care about income inequality of "envy," daring Rick Perry to accept a $10,000 bet, joking about being "unemployed," arguing that those who slip into poverty are still middle class, and suggesting that Americans should somehow feel sorry for poor banks.

There was also that "corporations are people, my friend" classic.

What do all of these lines have in common? When it comes to his wealth, Romney is a clumsy rich guy who hasn't learned how to talk about these issues in public.

Clumsy? Sure. But he's still a massive douchebag.

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