Your Best Feature Is Hideous

Why, it’s almost like Democrats have learned, or something:

Mr. Romney said he had released his 2010 tax return and would release his full 2011 tax return when it was ready. But he said voters should not expect any more than that, despite Democrats’ calls for him to release a decade’s worth of returns or more, citing the example of his father, George Romney, who when he ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 1968 released 12 years of returns.

“I know there will always be calls for more. People always want to get more,” Mr. Romney said on CNN. “And, you know, we’re putting out what is required plus more that is not required. And those are the two years that people are going to have. And that’s — that’s all that’s necessary for people to understand something about my finances.”

Well, okay then! Mitt has spoken, all, and we should just sit down and shut up. You know, I’ve worked with people like this in the past, people who were entirely unaccustomed to being told no. People who are former heads of companies, or departments at universities, who’ve been surrounded by suckups for so long that they just don’t understand why everybody doesn’t say how high the minute they say jump.

And there’s two ways they respond to being told to fuck right off: 1. Incredible relief that finally somebody else is handling shit, and 2. Profound rebellion over everything from the brand of soap in the bathroom to the number of inches the car window is cracked. Mostly it’s the latter, because if they weren’t control freaks they wouldn’t be successful, but even in the former you have an element of willfulness that is very hard to square with how profoundly Americans want their bosses to pretend that they are honored to lead the plebes.

Which is really what this is about. We want a president who pretends to just be our humble servant. I have zero doubt that at some point every president does the Contender thing and orders a shark sandwich at 2 a.m. just because he fucking CAN, but mostly we want them all to talk like they’re just gobsmacked by the honor of taking our crap all day long. Romney isn’t constructed that way, because he hasn’t had to be. His wall of money hid his assholery for a good long time. That’s the case with a lot of super-rich folks: They’ve been insulated from the need to pretend to be down to earth.

And so now Romney’s just utterly flummoxed by this insistence that he act like he’s somehow not an insanely rich douchebag. It’s the equal opposite to what happened to Kerry, with the added benefit that in this case it’s true: Your strength is now your weakness. Kerry was a war hero; now we’re going to take that away from him. Romney was wealthy and successful, and now that’s his downfall. It’s almost like Democratic strategists have started paying attention and realized that tricks that work on humans will occasionally work on Republicans too.

Oh, and a side note:

The back and forth betweenthe rivals for the presidency capped one of the most intense 48-hour periods of the 2012 campaign, with each side angrily accusing the other of outright lies and distortions as the election became a matchup of war-room tactics far removed from the big issues of the day.

They’re not “rivals for the presidency.Bartlet Obama is the president. Romney is seeking to oust him from the job. Let’s be clear about who is what here. It’s not a small distinction.


6 thoughts on “Your Best Feature Is Hideous

  1. I’m still confused why Kerry was an “elitist” while the refusal to release past tax records is entirely logical for Romney as here are plenty of skeletons in his financial closet that are already known and he needs to make sure no more is known.
    *) Pays taxes at the capital gains rate as he has so much money that he makes a wad of money off investments
    *) Admits off-shore investments and Swiss bank accounts.
    *) He got that money from being a vulture to failing companies and firing everyone (something he has bragged about and also that his father did the same).
    *) Pretty good chance that while at Baine (whether leaving in ’99 or ’02) Baine engaged in Enron math being one of the companies leading to the economic collapse in the Bush years.
    *) Massive fraud and corruption are documented in the politics of attracting the Olympics to a location.
    I can only hope (against my prediction) that the press will do a better job of vetting the Romney family fortune than they did with the Bush family fortune.

  2. Oh, and by the way, I don’t think the whole Bain capital thing is “far removed from the issues of the day.” I thought the issue of the 99% v. the 1% WAS one of the issues of the day, the question of income and wealth inequality and how it’s destroying our democracy being kind of a big deal to us plebes.
    Oh, and if you’re waiting for Romney to talk about the issues of the day, all I can say is, don’t hold your breath.

  3. Probably old news to most here, but I started thinking about Romney’s age and wondered about his military career (college age in the late 60s). Especially in relation to the thread on Meritocracy and other thread noting Kerry was a war hero.
    According to wiki Romney s8upported the US military action in Viet Nam. So how did he show his support?
    “Regarding the military draft, Romney had initially received two 2-S student deferments, then, like most Mormon missionaries, a 4-D ministerial deferment while in France, and then two more student deferments.[27][47] When those ran out, his high number in the December 1969 draft lottery (300) ensured he would not be selected.[27][47][48]”
    How come it is OK to be a republican draft dodger?

  4. @MapleStreet: There have been four presidential elections in which a candidate who avoided service in Vietnam defeated a war veteran (Clinton 1992+1996, Bush 2000+2004). A Vietnam war veteran was defeated in the last three presidential elections (Gore 2000, Kerry 2004, McCain 2008). My conclusion: Vietnam military service is a non-issue in elections.
    It’s nothing new. Candidates who avoided service in the Civil War got elected.

  5. now I try, True. But also look at all the effort taken to get subgroups of voters based on military service. Look at the effort used to swiftboat Kerry and shift from his service record to the fact that he dared criticize the war once he was back in the states. Look at the effort to make Bush II out as someone who served their country (and ignore any possible special treatment he may have received).
    Nam doesn’t rise to the level of a “sole issue” vote (or thinking about some folks I know, for them it might). But wartime service guides a large enough group of people voting to helpo swing the vot3e one way or the other.
    Also my mentioning this in relation to Romney is the fact that he led a priviledged life, definitely avoided the military by a student deferral (admittedly not infrequent, but correlated with those high enough up the ladder to go to college) ad potentially received defferential treatment.

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