There is a cynicism in Mitt, born of his station. Which can be considered surprising, because well, it’s not indicative of the wealthy necessarily. The Bushes are wealthy, yet one can readily see oneself sitting down to dinner with them and having a relaxed good time (politics aside of course). One could always say the same about the Kennedy’s who intuitively understood the poor and average Joe.
Both of the latter were raised in a mansions, went to prep schools and elite universities, yet managed to “relate”. But for all that, Mitt is unable to relate in any way to the average person. They, we, are simply foreign objects of his largess or leadership. We are “those people” who live in “apartments” and can go to emergency wards.
Those close to him, say he is genuinely puzzled that people are concerned about his constant changing of position on literally every issue. It’s become a game of sorts, for pundits to be first to uncover the “flop” from the new flip, clip. He was sure that “they” don’t care about principles, so his change of opinion would go either unnoticed or certainly be met with unconcern.
For to Mitt, “they” are too dull to realize that his tax plan would ultimately benefit “them” (if you believed his crock of crap), because they have it too easy being on the government take. We can’t be “reached” with his sophisticated explanation of tax plans, so there is no reason to bother. Moreover, we, who are damned lucky to be able to walk and talk at the same time, don’t care about specifics, generalities is all that we are capable of absorbing.
In the best demagogic fashion, he believes that you merely give them phrases of what they want to hear. He really believed he could put Paul Ryan on the ticket to gin up the extreme right all the while simply saying that “we want to save Medicare” and “we” would be soothed.
Much of Mitt’s campaign strategy is based on the simple axiom of the elitism he embodies: They are rabble, and like the Roman plebs will go along as long as you give them bread and some entertainment. It is as fundamental as Michele Bachmann winning a meaningless straw poll in Iowa last year by providing more food and entertainment at her tent. It bespeaks that same cynicism.
But one can say that to a degree, most politicians are cynics. Every campaign stop must to some degree be an exercise in “throwing some red meat” to the masses. The trouble is, Mitt’s ego gets all wrapped up in all this, and that’s where he goes wrong.
Yesterday Mitt and Paul were campaigning together in Ohio, a state they are losing badly in, and one that is nearly essential to their electoral success. Mitt has the microphone and is introducing Paul–“What a guy!, Paul Ryan.” he grins. The problem is, the crowd starts chanting, “Ryan, Ryan, Ryan.” Mitt cannot let this be. He shouts, “hold on a minute!–Romney, Ryan, Romney, Ryan, there now you got it.”
This same kind of thing happened to McCain in 2008. Crazy Sarah was clearly the draw, and the reason behind the increasingly large crowds. No doubt it stuck in the craw of John, but a vote is a vote, and he meekly stepped aside as the crowd went wild for his running mate.
In a nutshell, Mitt identified the problem. It’s all about him. It’s not about us and our needs nor the needs of the country. It’s about him. That is why he is all things to all people, cynically assured that it won’t matter that he is for this in front of group A and then against it in front of group B.
But what Mitt doesn’t get surely, is that while the American electorate en mass may indeed be fairly lacking in political knowledge, (and that is certainly well documented), they have the same abilities as everyone else when it comes to judging whether someone is authentic and therefore can be trusted to mean what they say.
It’s all well and good to tell people what they want to hear, but in the end those people have to at minimum believe that you will produce what you promise, or at least try. The trouble is, people don’t trust Mitt at all on this point. They see him as believing in virtually nothing at all, or if he does believe in something, they are damned if they know what it is. He may or he may not do what they expect.
The group he has tried so hard to smooze, the extreme right, he may well caused to stay at home this election. For as much as he has proclaimed that he is a severe conservative, they are rightly not buying it at all. He’s only saying he is to get their vote. They still don’t trust that he will produce all the crazy things they want done. That may be good for us, but then again, who knows. If it seems politically right, from his personal point of view, he might do those things. It’s just impossible to know.
For him, the sad thing is that he didn’t have the savvy to hire the team that could have explained these things to him. Given his ratified existence, somebody had to. Nobody has. So the campaign careens toward the cliff. Let us only hope that it is too far gone to resurrect itself. For who knows how he might govern?
Do you have any idea? I sure don’t.
- Paul Ryan Calls Mitt Romney ‘The Stench’ (balloon-juice.com)
- Mitt Romney Stops Supporters from Chanting ‘Ryan’ to Ensure They Say His Name Too [Video] (gawker.com)
- Among some Paul Ryan backers, disappointment at Romney campaign trajectory (washingtonpost.com)
- Mini-Mitt (politico.com)
- Yes, let Ryan be Ryan! (salon.com)
- Palin’s incomprehensible advice urges Romney to “go rogue” and to “come to Jesus” (guardianlv.com)
- McKinnon: Romney ‘Deeply Cynical’ (drudge.com)
- Its the dishonesty, stupid! (paulstewartblog.wordpress.com)