Monday, April 30, 2012

It's Times Like This That I Miss The Roosevelts

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It's times like this that I really miss the Roosevelts.

 Recently, the right got its knickers in an even bigger twist than usual, and given the customary highly torqued state of said knickers, that is very twisted indeed. The impetus for this torsion of the collective conservative undergarment was a quote relayed by one of Fox News' most reliable Obama bashers, Steve Doocy of "Fox and Friends." Doocy, with the sort of smirk you imagine on the face of a tale-bearing adolescent girl intent on stirring things up, told the presumptive Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, that the president had told a crowd, "Unlike some people, I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth."
Immediately, the Right Wing Fake Outrage Machine went into high gear to defend the delicate feelings of Mitt Romney. The remark was "snotty," the New York Post sniffed. The conservative blog "Hot Air" got downright huffy: "By September he'll be referring to Romney as 'Moneybags.'" Even the supposedly liberal "mainstream" media picked up on the horrific act of disrespect to poor Mitt. ABC News called the remark "a hard-to-miss shot" at Romney.
The problem is, that's not what President Obama said. The actual quote, delivered in a speech about federal funding for student loans, was: "Somebody gave me an education. I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth. Michelle wasn't. But somebody gave us a chance - just like these folks up here are looking for a chance."
Nothing whatsoever about "some people." Not even a veiled reference to Mitt Romney. The "unlike some people" was a complete fabrication by Doocy.
Here's the thing: Mitt Romney may get his feelings hurt when people point out that he's rich, but the fact is, he actually is rich. He is very rich. His dad was the president of American Motors. He's so rich that he's having a lift installed in his multimillion-dollar beach house because he doesn't have room to store all the cars that he parks there. That's rich by any definition of the word.
But so what? There really is nothing wrong with a political candidate being rich. Which brings me to the Roosevelts, Theodore and his distant cousin Franklin.
They were rich guys. They went to the finest schools, lived in mansions, belonged to rich people's clubs. They were the closest thing we had to a hereditary aristocracy. And no one cared, least of all them. They didn't pretend to be "regular guys." They did, however, recognize the fact that some people were poor and unemployed and exploited, and they tried to do something about it.
Contrast them with Mitt Romney. Mitt and his people are always trying to convince people that he's just a middle-class schlub like the rest of us, sometimes with comical results.
Take, for instance, the time when Mitt tried to claim he was "unemployed" too, because he was running for office. Or the time when his wife, Ann, told a reporter how they'd struggled in college and grad school, only making it "because Mitt had enough of an investment from stock that we could sell off a little at a time."
Wow. I don't know how you did it, Ann, with only Daddy's stock to get you by, not to mention the house he bought you when you graduated.
Some of these clumsy attempts by the Romneys to make themselves look middle-class can be blamed on the American media's obsession with "regular guyness," the idea that we're so shallow that we'll make our voting decisions for the highest office in the land based on whom we'd rather have a beer with.
Sadly, it often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, which gave us eight years of George Dubbya Bush. So the media and their ridiculous "regular guy" narrative bear some blame. But Romney's buying into that schtick to try to cover up the fact that his platform and his policies boil down to "even more tax breaks for me and guys like me, and the rest of you are on your own."
The problem is not that Mitt Romney is rich. The problem is that he's a phony. A fake. A slick, pandering snake-oil salesman with no compunction about saying anything at all if it'll get him into office so he can continue the Republican plan to turn this country into an oligarchy where the rich rule and the rest of us can take what they deign to give us. And no amount of Romney's pretensions to being anything else will cover that up.


Dana King said...

Thanks for being the first person I've read to call Romney for what he is: a phony. I have nothing against rich people. All I ask is for some of them to stop pissing on my head while they tell me it's raining.

Karen in Ohio said...

Phony as a three-dollar bill. Just like the ever-false Ms. Palin.

The funny part is that the right oh, so reluctantly has embraced Mitt. They didn't want him as a candidate, and now the smell of desperation is pungent.

JD Rhoades said...

Karen, I'm waiting for all of the hard right conservatives who comment on the paper's website to suddenly start professing that Romney's their guy, and always has been, and how dare I say nasty things about him.

Karen in Ohio said...

Heh, heh. The WWW is an inconvenient little monster, isn't it, with it's always-there and always recoverable essence? It's going to be hard to stuff that particular genie back into the ole bottle, I think.

Judy5cents said...

The list of Romney's pathetic attempts to appear "just a regular guy, like you and me" keeps growing. Last Friday he advised college students in Ohio to "borrow money from their parents" to set up their own businesses.

Sure. All parents of college students have an extra $20,000 or so lying around and they'd like nothing better than to invest it in their son or daughter's start-up company.

He always comes off as someone who doesn't have a clue what it's like to live paycheck to paycheck.
This is a man who considers the $350,000 he earned from speaking engagements "not much."

Unlike George W. Bush, he can't come off as the good old boy everyone would love to share a beer with. Romney has never been out of Wealthy Land. He's always been rich and he's always been around rich people. And while he may not have taken money from his parents (stock doesn't count) he's never had to submit his resume for any job, he already had the CEO's private number.

Maybe now that he's the nominee, he'll stop the charade. He can come right out and say "I come from wealth. I will do everything I can to help the wealthy. What's good for us is good for the country. Trust us. If we weren't smart, we wouldn't be rich, right?"

Blackie Noir said...

F.D.R. wow! Talk about your "working class hero." No, he wasn't OF the working class, but he sure as hell was FOR the working class!

Both he and his cousin, Teddy, realized that the WHOLE country (power elite included) would be stronger if the bounty was shared, AND they both enacted legislation accordingly.

But the rapacious power mongers have tried to demonize FDR (and all he put into place) from the moment he took office, to this very day.

AND, sadly enough, many of today's blue-collar voters are buying into that line of shit.

Best to you,Dusty, BN

Deb said...

Did you see Stephen Colbert's very clever take-down of Doocey's "unlike some" lie? Can't remember it verbatim but after giving "unlike some" his usual faux-right-wing treatment, Colbert said, "And I should know. I'm an independent journalist. Not a smug, self-satisfied, brown-nosing toady who just parrots the Republican line...unlike some" (as a picture of Doocey appeared on-screen).

/BTW, don't forget Mitt's attempts to appeal to NASCAR voters by saying, "I have friends who are NASCAR team owners."

Dory said...


Mucho thanx! Hadn't heard about the selling off stocks to get through college ;) I'll add it to my Mitt, Corporations-are-people-too, file....

Me thinks a GOP bumper sticker should say: "FLIM FLAM - Mitt's our man! Right.

Anonymous said...

FDR was an ass. His far better, and far more influential cousin Teddy however, was one of the greatest leaders the world has ever seen (and he EARNED his Nobel Prize.....)

Wanna watch a Tea-Tard's head explode? Show them this: