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Thu Jul 19, 2012, 03:10 PM

The last time "you people" was deployed in a presidential campaign: contempt and class and race

Last edited Thu Jul 19, 2012, 04:52 PM - Edit history (1)

Nothing illustrates condescension quite like addressing folks as "you people." I believe when this phrase is used by those in power, they betray their own sociopathy. It's not difficult to measure your speech. Normal people who will never breathe the rarified air of a Romney fundraiser are able to do so everyday. Like when we tell our boss that "sure, it's no problem" working late for the umpteenth time this week. Or when there's a heated political discussion in the break room about what a stroke of genius the Laffer Curve was.

We hold our tongue b/c we know that we don't have the power not to.

These elite assholes flaunt their power when they speak down to us as "you people." What they're really saying is that we're too meaningless to matter, and they sure don't have to modify their speech to address with respect. To them, we are merely to be manipulated until they don't even have to refer to us at all...that is, when they have ALL THE POWER (and we are completely objectified for their profit and amusement).

Let's not forget that Ann Romney dropping the "you people" bomb was by way of telling us how little we deserve to know about their business dealings. She wants "us people" to know that their money entitles them to walk all over us. She wants "us people" to know that their money EMPOWERS them to treat us like their servants. And she want "us people" to vote for them.

Well, that's rich.

When Ross Perot addressed the NAACP as "you people," he was revealing exactly what he thought of blacks in America. His language belied a particular form of Southern racism, that "you (black) people" know your place.

Ann Romney's use of this language has a similar goal. She wants "you (non-elite) people" to know your place. She wants "you (non-richy rich) people" to know that her people will crush us people under their pointy Pravda heels the first chance they get. She holds "us people" in contempt...we're out line...and if we don't watch it, someone will be sorry. As CEO of this country Mittens will see to that.

I'm outraged by this comment of hers, but I'm terrified that "those people" hold most of the power in this country. They might not have the White House at the moment, but they run nearly all the businesses, and their toadies who're lower on the corporate totem poles across this country have too much power to make our lives miserable in the form of unfair labor practices, wage suppression, and cronyism.

It's not enough for me to win this election -- we have to run THESE PEOPLE out of our lives for good.






http://www.nytimes.com/1992/07/12/us/the-1992-campaign-racial-politics-perot-speech-gets-cool-reception-at-naacp.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm



THE 1992 CAMPAIGN: Racial Politics; Perot Speech Gets Cool Reception at N.A.A.C.P.
By PETER APPLEBOME
Published: July 12, 1992

In his first campaign appearance before an organization of blacks, Ross Perot called today for racial harmony and said economic development was the answer to the problems of the nation's cities. But he elicited little response from the audience and left some listeners offended by what they said were patronizing or insensitive remarks.

(snip)

Talking about the nation's economic problems, Mr. Perot said: "Financially, at least, it's going to be a long, hot summer. I don't have to tell you who gets hurt first when this sort of thing happens, do I? You, your people do. Your people do. I know that and you know that."

One man called out objecting to the phrase. He called out again later when Mr. Perot said it was "your people" who suffer most from runaway crime.

Willie Clark, president of the N.A.A.C.P. branch in San Bernadino, Calif., said the overall tone of Mr. Perot's remarks and particularly his use of the phrase "your people" reflected how culturally out of touch he was with his audience. "When he said 'you people' or 'your people,' it was like waving a red flag in front of a bull," he said. "It's something white folks have used when they don't want to call you nigger, but they don't want to treat you like an equal."

(snip)

Mr. Perot left the N.A.A.C.P.'s convention immediately after the speech. Asked later if he was aware that he had offended some people, he said, "If I did, then I'm sorry."

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Reply The last time "you people" was deployed in a presidential campaign: contempt and class and race (Original post)
nashville_brook Jul 2012 OP
Spazito Jul 2012 #1
nykym Jul 2012 #2
nashville_brook Jul 2012 #4
Spitfire of ATJ Jul 2012 #44
wandy Jul 2012 #3
PuraVidaDreamin Jul 2012 #5
nashville_brook Jul 2012 #8
Initech Jul 2012 #39
MsPithy Jul 2012 #23
chowder66 Jul 2012 #6
nashville_brook Jul 2012 #7
chowder66 Jul 2012 #10
nashville_brook Jul 2012 #11
Tanuki Jul 2012 #9
nashville_brook Jul 2012 #12
hunter Jul 2012 #13
nashville_brook Jul 2012 #15
Spitfire of ATJ Jul 2012 #45
bongbong Jul 2012 #14
nashville_brook Jul 2012 #30
thesquanderer Jul 2012 #16
nashville_brook Jul 2012 #18
treestar Jul 2012 #26
thesquanderer Jul 2012 #31
treestar Jul 2012 #35
thesquanderer Jul 2012 #38
Spitfire of ATJ Jul 2012 #46
nashville_brook Jul 2012 #55
nashville_brook Jul 2012 #57
thesquanderer Jul 2012 #40
nashville_brook Jul 2012 #41
The Blue Flower Jul 2012 #17
nashville_brook Jul 2012 #19
bbgrunt Jul 2012 #24
JDPriestly Jul 2012 #20
nashville_brook Jul 2012 #27
bucolic_frolic Jul 2012 #21
nashville_brook Jul 2012 #52
hifiguy Jul 2012 #22
nashville_brook Jul 2012 #28
perdita9 Jul 2012 #25
nashville_brook Jul 2012 #54
bpj62 Jul 2012 #29
nashville_brook Jul 2012 #32
DirkGently Jul 2012 #50
DirkGently Jul 2012 #33
nashville_brook Jul 2012 #34
DirkGently Jul 2012 #42
nashville_brook Jul 2012 #43
DirkGently Jul 2012 #48
nashville_brook Jul 2012 #53
fascisthunter Jul 2012 #36
99Forever Jul 2012 #37
Brigid Jul 2012 #47
stevedeshazer Jul 2012 #49
nashville_brook Jul 2012 #56
tomp Jul 2012 #51

Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 03:12 PM

1. Excellent OP...

It's right on point.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 03:15 PM

2. The French

had a very reasonable solution to people like Ann

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Response to nykym (Reply #2)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 03:32 PM

4. hmm...is that why we're not supposed to like the French?

never understood that. Maybe we're supposed to hate them for their socialized medicine and worker protections.

They definitely dealt with their elite problem. Thing is, when democracy is working, there's no need for that.

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #4)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 09:53 PM

44. We're supposed to hate them because they have too much freedom.

Only in France can you tell your wife that your mistress doesn't understand you.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 03:31 PM

3. Well said.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 03:53 PM

5. Ann Leona Helmsley Romney

Must be nice to be a princess.

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Response to PuraVidaDreamin (Reply #5)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 04:21 PM

8. Marie Ann-toinette Romney

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #8)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 07:53 PM

39. Yup - let them eat cake.

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Response to PuraVidaDreamin (Reply #5)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 05:54 PM

23. I'm thinking more along the lines of

Cruella de Vil. Especially because of making a sick, wet dog ride on the top of the car and forcing horses, who are pumped full of pain killers, to dance and such.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 04:03 PM

6. Thank you.

"These people" should be disqualified for this statement alone. This is not who we elect or want to elect for president. I don't care which party someone supports.

To separate themselves by talking down to the rest of us is very telling. I hope that republicans, independents and any other party rejects this. We all should.

I am tired of these tools. Elite or not elite, they are not right for political office in this country. Maybe they can try in one of the other countries they are so happy to support.

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Response to chowder66 (Reply #6)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 04:17 PM

7. i wonder if we're so numb to this...or if the media is sympathetic to the elite

that it doesn't catch fire. we'll see, i suppose.

for those of us who are listening, the only thing that's shocking is the brazenness of it. we know this is how we're perceived...we deal with it every day at work and out in the world. we're not even "subjects" to them (as in subjects of the king/queen) -- we're objects, like furniture...and worse.

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #7)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 04:27 PM

10. It is being picked up on the cable network news

so there's that.

They need to spend their money more wisely.... unfortunately I'm not sure who is selling any of the following;

a bit of grace
a whole lot of honesty
a fair amount of transparency
a bag-full of humility
a cart full of modesty
a bucket of empathy
a truckload of decency

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Response to chowder66 (Reply #10)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 04:33 PM

11. a smidge of noblesse oblige -- :)

so GLAD it's getting picked up. my news consumption consists of DU, NPR, Cenk and Maddow (and podcasts!). i can't bring myself to listen to cable news, so I'm usually wondering what the rest of the world *thinks* is happening.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 04:27 PM

9. "Miss Ann" Romney

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miss_Ann

..."Miss Ann is an expression used inside the African-American community, to refer to a white woman (or sometimes a black woman) who is arrogant and condescending in her attitude."

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Response to Tanuki (Reply #9)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 04:35 PM

12. oh, spot on!

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 04:52 PM

13. It reminds me of a job interview my wife had...

... bring your husband along, free lunch, we really want you here, etc...

The invitation was pretty.

We got there at ten. Not five minutes after welcoming us the HR person looks at my wife and says "We don't get many of your people here."



Things went rapidly downhill after that. We didn't even stick around for the free lunch, we canceled our motel reservation and hit the road.

If this place was trying to increase the cultural diversity of their staff they hadn't a clue. It was like traveling back in time to my grandparent's generation. My grandfather thought maybe it was okay to date Mexican women, but you didn't marry them. His views were progressive for his time too. To make lie of the cliche, he honestly had friends who were black, and gay, and Jewish, he'd speak highly of them, defend them, treat them no differently than his white friends, but he still couldn't see outside the box. They were still other.

I try to see everyone as us, as "we the people," as my brothers and sisters, but damn, sometimes these people, these wealthy white elitists, they don't make it easy...


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Response to hunter (Reply #13)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 05:00 PM

15. good for you for not taking the job...

it strikes me that comments such as these often happen in the context of an unequal power dynamic such as a job interview.

"we the people" is a form of social contract -- I'm more than happy to include the elite as long as they maintain the contract. but, what i'm seeing lately is contempt for all forms of social contract. any sort of working together is sneered at by these people as "socialism." they prefer we work for them, rather than for ourselves, together.

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Response to hunter (Reply #13)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 10:01 PM

45. The last time I was around someone who was gay

I was holding up kitchen cabinets against the wall while he power screwed into the studs....

Wait a sec,....did that come out right?

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 04:57 PM

14. Caption for the picture

 

"I resent all the attention you people are giving my husband for his car elevator. We're also planning on building a horse elevator. Why doesn't anyone ask me about THAT?"

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Response to bongbong (Reply #14)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 06:39 PM

30. *snort*

the media is SO unfair to teh Rmoneys!

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 05:05 PM

16. When she said "you people," didn't she mean the press? (n/t)

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Response to thesquanderer (Reply #16)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 05:12 PM

18. the answer is no - but, i bet that's how FOX is spinning it.

"you people" refers to anyone expecting transparency in the matter of the tax returns.

the media have the proximity to assert these demands on our behalf -- but they (the media) wouldn't be giving two shits if there weren't outrage out in the general public...and, one could also say, outrage within their own party. there's pressure from all sides for release of this information b/c it goes straight to the heart of the largest issues of our time: the corruption of capital.

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Response to thesquanderer (Reply #16)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 06:16 PM

26. Of course not. She would have known that it is the people, the voters, who would

be the ones to see the tax returns if the reporters had them.

She is saying the voters don't have the right to see them. Just reporters would be absurd. Reporters don't get them and then keep them secret.

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Response to treestar (Reply #26)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 07:08 PM

31. I didn't say reporters would keep it secret.

But the press would be the ones to examine them and report to the public. And yes, they'd be made available to the public, but how many citizen voters are interested in personally poring over the Romney returns?

I really think this one is much ado about nothing. "You people" could have referred to the press (since that's who she was talking to at the time, and who would report on them), or more generically, could have referred to everyone asking for the returns (including fellow Republicans). Either way, I don't think it's insulting. In the south, she would have said "you all" (or "y'all") but northerners lack that sometimes useful construction.

"You people" is not an artful phrase because it does have a particular history in the context of African Americans, with the offense really being that the people being spoken to are all being stereotypically lumped together and being addressed as a group as if they were all the same and interchangeable; but in this case, the people she are lumping together ARE the same in their desire to see the tax returns. It's an appropriate use of the phrase.

This reminds me of when people get upset when someone uses the word "niggardly." There's nothing really wrong with it, but it raises hackles because of an association.

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Response to thesquanderer (Reply #31)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 07:29 PM

35. Why would reporters want them if not to give the information to the public?

Strikes me as a fake distinction to try to get out of what she said. And if they won't release the tax returns, as every other recent candidate did, then they are taking the position that we, the voters, don't need to see them, in their opinion. Even though others have done so.

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Response to treestar (Reply #35)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 07:51 PM

38. Correct

re: "Why would reporters want them if not to give the information to the public?"

Exactly. The reporters are the conduit to the public, that's what I said as well. But it was still the group she was addressing, or, more broadly, she was addressing the group of people who have been asking them to release the returns. EIther way, addressing that group of people as "you people who are asking to see the returns" is appropriate, if not, as I said, artful.

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Response to thesquanderer (Reply #38)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 10:08 PM

46. The dog whistle seems to be "You people" is the "Librul Media"

Who they claim is against them.

...those mean people will distort those papers and make up bad things....

....like they have already....

I get so sick of these tough types acting like delicate flowers when it suits them.

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Response to Spitfire of ATJ (Reply #46)

Fri Jul 20, 2012, 11:50 AM

55. can be seen as de facto admission of dirt in the tax returns

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Response to treestar (Reply #35)

Fri Jul 20, 2012, 03:01 PM

57. +1

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Response to thesquanderer (Reply #16)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 08:12 PM

40. actually, I think it's even more benign

I admit, I hadn't watched the video before I commented (a mistake I try to avoid). Having seen it, it actually seems like a verbal stumble more than anything else. It was not spoken as a distinct phrase (much less one with attitude). It was more like she started to say "we've given all you need to know" and switched midstream to "we've given all people need to know."

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Response to thesquanderer (Reply #40)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 08:58 PM

41. actually, the whole phrase makes it even worse: "we've given you all you need..."

This is a matter of largesse or noblesse oblige -- this isn't a favor we're asking of the rich relatives.

Naturally they're having trouble with the concept of being "public servants," but they have an obligation to prove they're not crooks IF they want to run the country. CEOs generally don't have the disposition to serve anyone, especially the unwashed masses, but that's what the office entails. This snobbish we're-too-good-to-answer-you bullshit isn't going to fly.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 05:09 PM

17. This photo is scary

It has to be the most soul-revealing photo I've ever seen of anyone.

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Response to The Blue Flower (Reply #17)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 05:16 PM

19. that's what i thought too -- "voracious doll-eyed shark"

i'm finding that phrase to be very useful lately.

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Response to The Blue Flower (Reply #17)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 05:56 PM

24. made me think of nancy grace

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 05:23 PM

20. "You people" is offensive because it separates the speaker from those being spoken to with terms tha

are on the one hand very intimate and personal, "You" and the other hand very general and impersonal, "people."

That phrase communicates to listeners that the person using it believes him/herself to be in a superior position with a sort of noble right to speak as though to a servant and to speak to a lot of people dismissively all at once.

The expressions, "you folks" or "you guys" combine two terms of intimacy and familiarity. Those terms may offend too if used in addressing people with whom the speaker is not intimate or familiar. But generally, they lower the speaker to the level of the person spoken to (on a social level) and are not nearly so offensive.

They don't seem so condescending. But "You people," mixes the intimate and familiar term, "you" with the distancing, abstract word "people."

Really rude. Really rude.

Reveals a lot about who Ann Romney really is and how she feels about us ordinary "people."

German, French and Spanish have two forms of "you," one that is like "thou" and is used with people with whom the speaker is on close terms and another that is used in formal speech. You people combines and confuses these two kinds of "yous." We don't use the intimate word "thou" any more.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #20)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 06:21 PM

27. you make a very good point about assumed intimacy and servitude...they're "entitled" doncha know

They're entitled to treat us like shit. They're entitled to use us like objects. They're entitled to rob this country of its wealth and treasure. They're entitled to take away our jobs, our houses and retirements.

No one has stopped them. They're entitled, and that's a form of intimacy that supposes all that is "ours" they hold "first position" to. And who are we to argue? Our lives have been completely mortgaged to these monsters in the form of student loans, crappy jobs and a corrupt financial environment that's bleeding out our future.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 05:42 PM

21. You People Should Retroactively Resign Yourselves to Kneel Before King Mitt

and no Cayman Island account for any of you!!

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #21)

Fri Jul 20, 2012, 09:51 AM

52. elections are such pesky formalities for those with the Divine Right of Kings

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 05:52 PM

22. The only "us" and "them" I recognise is

the moneyed (and their toadies) and the rest of us. That is ultimately the only division that matters.

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Response to hifiguy (Reply #22)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 06:32 PM

28. they're very good at keeping us divided on cultural issues, when money is all that matters to them.

you know...middle class people who bought houses or re-fi'd in the last decade were robbed for hundreds of thousands of bucks a piece -- and there's NO outrage on our behalf. but ask the 1% to pay their fair share of taxes, and the way they holler you'd think they were being asked to cut off a finger.

when it's THEIR money, money is all that matters. When it's OUR money, suddenly it's class warfare to demand fairness.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 06:08 PM

25. Let them eat envy

I have come to actively detest this woman. I can't believe the Romney campaign thinks she's an asset.

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Response to perdita9 (Reply #25)

Fri Jul 20, 2012, 10:50 AM

54. they're using her cynically, hoping that the "no attacking wives" immunizes her from criticism

so perhaps she imagines she's free to deliver the most odious messages. or maybe she just lost her cool -- the video indicates that she's frustrated. that, in the tax records "there are so many things that will be open again for more attack.”

either way, this is hugely destructive to her value to the campaign.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 06:38 PM

29. Slur

It is a slur plain and simple and it transends race. I thought of Marie Antoinette when I first saw the comment. This is a very very rich women who is clearly out of her depth when it comes to talking to or about ordinary people. She simply said what she felt about us. This is why the rich and republicans hated Clinton and why they hate Obama because they were once like us and they have never forgotten thier roots. As a prior poster said in another century this women would have had her head cut off. The Romneys are the gift that keeps on giving. Lets hope that the press finally wakes up to this charade and starts calling them in thier bullshit. I am not holding my breath but it would be nice.

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Response to bpj62 (Reply #29)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 07:14 PM

32. definitely, it transcends race...it's class warfare

they're just flat out insulting the "have-nots" on behalf of the "haves."

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Response to bpj62 (Reply #29)

Fri Jul 20, 2012, 12:34 AM

50. +++ Well put.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 07:17 PM

33. Yes. This was perfectly emblematic


of what Romney and the current Republican Party stand for. The wealthy will not be questioned by the likes of the American people. They will tell us just what we need to know. They claim this privileged attitude on the basis of their money, which comes directly from God, who speaks through them, and will let us know what the rules are.

They are "those people."

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #33)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 07:27 PM

34. Divine Right of Kings: yesterday Mittens implied that his money was "God given"

And he sure as hell behaves as if he has a god-given right to not pay his fair share of taxes.

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #34)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 09:02 PM

42. Or to bully a classmate. Or trip a daughter-in-law. Abuse a dog.


What's lurking behind those nearly-vacant eyes is contempt. When he commits voter fraud or files false paperwork on his employment status (or lies about, whichever it was) it's really not wrong in his mind. He is of a class that does not answer for things like that, in the same way one does not insult the boss's tie.

How dare we?

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #42)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 09:33 PM

43. Ann(toinette) also said "there are so many things that will be open again for more attack”...

so really, there's shit in there they don't want "any people" to know.

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #43)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 10:30 PM

48. Read: "We're above scrutiny. You people are not."

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #48)

Fri Jul 20, 2012, 10:06 AM

53. the elite's privacy must be respected...while they read our emails and listen to our cell calls.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 07:30 PM

36. totally ugly, inside and out.

what a freak.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 07:39 PM

37. What a superb OP.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 10:22 PM

47. Ann looks a little like Leona Helmsley in that pic.

Yikes.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 10:34 PM

49. Great post, and I agree with you.

Ann's ass is showing.

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Response to stevedeshazer (Reply #49)

Fri Jul 20, 2012, 12:12 PM

56. i bet she becomes pretty scarce in the near future

more of an ass than an asset.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Fri Jul 20, 2012, 06:47 AM

51. i bet she loves firing people, too. nt

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