Posted by: mutantpoodle | May 2, 2012

The Burning Stupid

Surfacing again.

It wasn’t just work that kept me at bay. I actually looked back four years and saw that, once the primaries were over, there wasn’t much to talk about.  And there isn’t, really, but there are folks who need to fill talk time 24/7 so we get a lot of idiocy.

Take Hillary Rosen, for example. To say that Ann Romney has never worked a day in her life – in the context of Mitt’s missus being his go-to on the day-to-day concerns of American women everywhere – is hardly, um, false, even if inelegantly phrased.

Let’s just say that when your college struggles involve taking a loan from your husband’s father and calling your broker when money gets tight, you’re not quite in sync with the economic pressures millions of American women – and men – face today.  Of course, pointing this out gets you outed for  “class warfare” or “resenting” Mitt Romney’s success.

For the record, I don’t resent Mitt Romney’s success.  There are some folks who used to work for Dade International (among others) who might, and for good reason. But I don’t.

That said, I think claiming first-hand knowledge of Americans’ economic insecurity when you have Romney’s background is, shall we say, inauthentic.

Also: David Gregory?  The Hillary Rosen dustup is over. Completely.

And Hillary Rosen? Can you go on a cruise for a few weeks? Jeebus.

Next in line for non-story of the last month: the Fox News mole.

Sugar is sweet, cigarettes are bad for you, and Fox News is a propaganda shop. And if your big scoop is a tape of Mitt Romney seeming genuine and human (even if he’s talking about a habit that can only be afforded by the 1%, or maybe 2%) before an interview with Sean Hannity, you’ve got nothing. Move on.

Finally, in the “don’t get pwnd by Barack Obama” category, if you’re on the wrong side of an ad about the killing of Osama bin Laden, take your medicine and move on. Because when you don’t, this happens:

As far as my personal role and what other folks would do, I’d just recommend that everybody look at people’s previous statements in terms of whether they thought it was appropriate to go into Pakistan and take out bin Laden.

I assume that people meant what they said when they said—that’s been at least my practice. I said that I’d go after bin Laden if we had a clear shot at him, and I did. If there are others who have said one thing and now suggest they would do something else, then I’d go ahead and let them explain it.

Explaining it, in Mitt’s case, meaning convincing people that things he said in 2007 and 2008 weren’t things he really meant.  At least it’s only this one time, right?

There’s a West Wing – The U.S. Poet Laureate – where President Bartlett remarks, after an interview but on tape, that perhaps his opponent in the upcoming election is a “22 caliber mind in a 357 Magnum world.” The next four days are all about the Ritchie campaign complaining that Bartlett is calling Ritchie stupid, and by whining about the slight and demanding an apology, they get four days of a news cycle about whether Governor Ritchie of Florida is stupid.

Mitt Romney and the GOP whined about Obama’s bin Laden ad, and so we’ve spent the last few days reminding everyone that the wimpy Democrat got bin Laden when the macho Republican didn’t. And as for politicizing bin Laden? Child please. (See also: Jon Stewart.)

Not the best place to fight.

Plus there’s this, from Josh Marshall:

…as I first argued back in 2004, national political campaigns are only loosely about ‘issues’ as news obsessives construe them. Contemporary American campaigns are much more meta-battles over power, masculinity and dominance, what I once called “bitch-slap politics.” Not pretty perhaps but you’ll never understand campaigns without understanding things through this prism. And that’s very much what’s happening with the Obama campaign’s latest fusillade against Mitt Romney. This isn’t simply – maybe not even mainly — about the actual decision to risk so much to kill bin Laden. It’s a dance to – let’s not run away from what it really is – unman Romney in his contest with the president.

People don’t expect Democrats to make such brash moves on national security politics. It’s been a very long time since a Democratic president has been in a position to do it. Its aforementioned obviousness aside, it’s garnered a collective gasp from the pundit class. It was a smack right across the face of Mitt Romney right as he’s making a reasonably successful reintroduction of himself to the American people.

Marshall says it’s about manhood, but I’d put it differently. It’s about making Romney look weak. And it was slick: Romney couldn’t let the attack pass, and he doesn’t have a good response.

Buckle up – there’s lots more of this to come.

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