Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Mitt Romney gave a speech to the NAACP today.
He was booed just twice, which suggests that they were very properly booing the ideas rather than the person. There isn’t enough booing of politicians. As the London Times said in an editorial entitled “A Good Word for Hecklers” in 1950, a few well-chosen and well-timed interventions, a sprinkling of laughter in the wrong places, will hasten politicians’ political development and might promote their spiritual welfare.
AAAAND, STRAIGHT TO THE CONDESCENSION: “I believe that if you understood who I truly am in my heart, and if it were possible to fully communicate what I believe is in the real, enduring best interest of African American families, you would vote for me for president.” Moving beyond the “you only hate me because you don’t understand” smugness, one might ask if it’s important to understand what’s in his heart, when we know what’s in his actions and his policies.
Also note the insertion of the word families – African-American families – which puzzled me for a minute until I realized he was trying to divide African-Americans, to deny or at least not admit that African-Americans might have collective interests as a community, because he certainly won’t be addressing those.
Also note the adjectives real and enduring in “the real, enduring best interest of African-American families,” which suggests, I guess, that blacks don’t understand their real interests.
AND THEIR DRESSAGE HORSES: “I want you to know that if I did not believe that my policies and my leadership would help families of color - and families of any color - more than the policies and leadership of President Obama, I would not be running for president.”
BAD GRAMMAR ALERT! SOMEONE CHANGE HIS GRAMMAR CHIP! “The opposition charges that I and people in my party are running for office to help the rich. Nonsense. The rich will do just fine whether I am elected or not. The President wants to make this a campaign about blaming the rich. I want to make this a campaign about helping the middle class.” There’s a logic fault; the rich will do just fine is not a refutation of the proposition that Republicans want to help the rich. Also, greedy rich bastards are not satisfied merely to “do just fine.” Also, what is it Obama is supposedly blaming the rich for?
TRANSLATION: PLEASE DON’T HURT ME. “But, in campaigns at their best, voters can expect a clear choice, and candidates can expect a fair hearing - only more so from a venerable organization like this one.”
BUT WE’RE OVER IT NOW, SO LET’S GO BACK TO RICH WHITE DUDES: “If someone had told us in the 1950s or 1960s that a black citizen would serve as the forty-fourth president, we would have been proud and many would have been surprised.” And urine-soaked.
AFTER REPEALING OBAMACARE AND DECLARING CHINA A CURRENCY MANIPULATOR, OF COURSE: “On Day One, I will begin turning this economy around with a plan for the middle class. And I don’t mean just those who are middle class now - I also mean those who have waited so long for their chance to join the middle class.” I think he means poor people, but it’s too distasteful to refer to them directly.
Here’s the Obamacare reference that got the booing. I find it amusing that he phrased it as a deficit-reduction move: “we must, must stop spending over a trillion dollars more than we earn. To do this, I will eliminate expensive non-essential programs like Obamacare”.
WHAT HE WILL RESTORE: “I will restore economic freedom. This nation’s economy runs on freedom, on opportunity, on entrepreneurs, on dreamers who innovate and build businesses.” Also on planet-destroying fossil fuels and misery.
DID I SAY BETTER? I MEANT BITTER. “If you want a president who will make things better in the African American community, you are looking at him.”
(On how great he was for black school kids when he was governor): “The teachers [SIC!] unions were not happy with a number of these reforms.” He seems to say that federal education money will be entirely in the form of vouchers.
HE’LL BOO THEM TOO: “I can’t promise that you and I will agree on every issue. But I do promise that your hospitality to me today will be returned.”
Not having any civil rights record of his own, he decided to invoke his father’s, another reminder of the devolution of the Republican Party.
(Update: in comments, Sen. Bob says "Mitt went there to tease the lions in the zoo by throwing red meat. They growled, and now his supporters believe that he is a lion tamer. He isn't.")