Wed Sep 19, 2012, 12:35 PM
Hissyspit (45,772 posts)
Brad DeLong: "Then Romney's Voice Pivots to What He Actually Believes..." (The Con Artist Conned) [View all]
The Republican Noise Machine and Mitt Romney: The Con Artist Conned
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Then Romney gives what he thinks is the ultimate argument for why the rich-envying Democratic base will not vote for him:
These are people who pay no income tax. 47% of Americans pay no income taxes. So our message of low taxes doesn't connect. And he'll be out there talking about "tax cuts for the rich". That's what they sell every four years.
Then Romney's brain is supposed to say: "I cannot get the Democratic base to vote for me: they won't. I need to focus on the swing voters". It begins to pivot:
And so my job is not to worry about those people.
But it doesn't succeed. When Romney's brain hits the phrase "those people", it goes off message. It switches tracks. It jumps from what it is supposed to say--"I can't worry about getting their votes: I need to focus on the undecideds"--to what it actually, deep down, believes: I'll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for for their lives. Then Romney realizes what his brain has done, and wrestles it back onto the message track:
What I have to do is convince the 5% to 10% in the center that are independents, that are thoughtful, that look at voting one way or the other depending upon, in some cases emotion--whether they like the guy or not. What it looks like. When you ask those people--we do all these polls. I find it amazing. We poll all these people to see where you stand in the polls…
What Mitt Romney has just said is that 47% of Americans pay no taxes, subsist off of government benefits, take no responsibility for their lives, are moochers, and make up a solid Democratic Party base. He has just said that he cannot worry about them for two reasons: (i) they will never vote for him, and (i) they will never straighten up and fly right.
Now Romney was never supposed to say or think this.
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I am thinking that there were lots and lots of conversations over the years about "those people", and how they do not care about their lives, and about how they have no sense of personal responsibility, and about how they envy the rich. I am thinking of right-wing science fiction novels that preach about how by the middle of the 21st century the United States was divided into "citizens" and "taxpayers"--with the unproductive, lazy, uneducated masses of the first penned into their ghettoes and living off of the second. I am thinking that, as Ta-Nehisi Coates puts it: we are all welfare queens now. I am thinking that Romney and his speechwriters have spent much, much, much too much time at the American Enterprise Institute where, the General Theory of Moocherhood, as Mark Schmitt puts it, is being developed.
There should have been people to deprogram Mitt Romney when he began to fall victim to this AEI cult. Wall Street Journal editorialists should have warned him not to confuse the "prolefeed" they distribute with the way the world actually works.
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