Who is Mitt Romney? And where in the world is Don Trump?

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2011

The Donald gets his latest pass: Many people have said that Mitt Romney seems like a man of the 50s.

Recently, it was learned that he’s really post-modern. In a feisty but limited editorial, the New York Times explains:
NEW YORK TIMES EDITORIAL (12/9/11): Last month, Mr. Romney approved an ad that quoted Mr. Obama in 2008, saying he would lose if he talked about the economy. Except the ad snipped off part of the quote, in which Mr. Obama was actually quoting an adviser to his opponent, John McCain.

As cheap a trick as that was, it was made even worse when a Romney adviser told The Times that it was perfectly fine. “It’s ludicrous for them to say that an ad is taking something out of context,” the adviser said. “All ads do that. They are manipulative pieces of persuasive art.”

There is a difference between manipulating and lying. Voters should be suspicious of any candidate who doesn’t see or respect that difference.
Do all ads "take something out of context?" Only a radical post-modernist would make such a patently bogus claim. Granted, the statement comes from an (unnamed) Romney adviser, not from Romney himself. But you get the idea.

If Mitt Romney is post-modern, is Barack Obama waging a war on religion? That what Rick Perry says in a new ad. Earlier in their editorial, the editors battered Perry for this ad. We wish they had gone into more detail—and we wish they had more clear:
NEW YORK TIMES EDITORIAL: A new ad from Gov. Rick Perry, to use the latest example, will test anyone who thinks they can no longer be affronted by a political hustle. It begins with Mr. Perry telling the camera that he’s not ashamed to admit he’s a Christian. Are there Christian candidates who are ashamed of it? None come to mind. Perhaps, like some of his supporters, he’s trying to remind evangelical voters that he is not a Mormon, unlike two other Republican candidates. Or perhaps he’s referring to President Obama who does not parade his religious beliefs on a signboard.

Then his answer becomes clear: Raising a fist, he promises to fight “liberal attacks on our religious heritage.” And what are those supposed attacks? Letting gays serve openly in the military, and prohibiting children from openly celebrating Christmas. The first was one of Mr. Obama’s most significant civil rights accomplishments; the second is a right-wing fantasy that has nothing to do with the president or anyone else. Both are part of what he calls “Obama’s war on religion,” an outrageous lie.
That passage ends in a bit of a jumble; the editors almost make it sound like Obama did prohibit children from openly celebrating Christmas (or something). That said, does this ad refer to some actual act or acts by the Obama Admin? We don’t know, and that editorial presents more heat than light. Perry’s ad actually complains that “our kids can't openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school;” the editors skiped the complaint about prayer Has the Administration taken some action in these areas? The editorial doesn’t say.

The editors hammer the candidates hard for the ads in question. In principle, that’s a good thing to do; we need more policing, not less, of stupid / deceptive / inaccurate political claims. For that reason, we would have liked to see the editors offer more detail about the claims advanced in these ads. (Sad note: To support the claim that Obama's hasn't apologized, the on-line editorial offer a link--to a fact-check piece in the Washington Post!)

Beyond that, we wondered as we read this editorial: Where in the world is Don Trump?

The editors hammer Romney for saying, of Obama, “I don’t think he understands America,” and for claiming that Obama has “apologized for America.” Again, we would have liked to have seen them explore these claims in more detail. But what about Donald Trump? This Monday, this biggest buffoon in the circus was at it again, making this statement on MSNBC:
TRUMP (12/5/11): The most important issue is jobs. Whether or not [Obama] was born here, you know, to me, it means something, but I guess it doesn't mean a lot to a lot of people. But to me, it happens to mean something. The fact that they can't find any records in the hospital that his mother was ever in the hospital, you know, that to me means something, but a lot of people don't care.
Trump’s “fact” is utterly bogus, of course. It was left to Chris Matthews to list all the details on Hardball.

Romney’s a candidate, Trump is not. But Trump is one of the best known citizens of the very famous city in which the New York Times is published. That may be why the editors seem to give him such a wide berth as he pimps his bogus claims around—and that claim is utterly, defiantly bogus in a way that Romney’s unfortunate claims are not. Maybe we’ve missed something, but we have never been able to find a piece in which the editors call Trump on the carpet for this. As with Bloomberg, so with Trump: Will the editors ever stand up to the billionaires and alleged billionaires in their midst?

It isn’t likely that this board will ever do really top-rate work. But where in the world is Donald Trump? Because his claim is so utterly, disgracefully bogus, he deserved a mention in this editorial too. Responsible citizens need to tell voters: You are being deceived by these people.

The editors are very brave about pounding officials in Alabama. But they seem to swallow a very big apple when it comes to Trump.

Postscript—As the progressive world turns: Rick Perry said it’s a “war on religion” when gays are allowed to serve in the military. How did the Ed Show respond? Rather plainly, by saying that Perry seems gay himself—just a bit light in the loafers! And yes, that's exactly what Michael Eric Dyson does in this segment, serving as Wednesday's guest host.

When exactly did shit like this become part of the “liberal” imperative? And no, Dyson isn’t saying Perry’s a hypocrite. He’s gay-baiting, pure and simple, mocking him for supposedly seeming gay.

Children kill themselves over such taunts. So it goes as our liberal souls give way to the joys of the tribal.

14 comments:

  1. In addition to its dishonesty, how many other mistakes did the Romney team make with that ad?

    1. The dishonesty wasn't necessary. The ad could have explicitly said that just as McCain was defeated by a bad economy in 2008, the same should happen to Obama in 2012.

    2. Even if Obama had made that statement in his own voice, so what? The down economy is a big issue, whether Obama talks about it or not.

    3. The staffer who produced the ad should have realized that ad's dishonesty would become the issue, not the economy.

    4. The staffer's "post-modern" comment rightly criticized by the NYT sounds like something meant to defend the person who created the ad, not something to help Romney. That comment hurt Romney all the more by providing another excuse for media to criticize him.

    IMHO Romney should have publicly fired the person responsible for this fiasco.

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  2. Mr. Somerby writes:

    "When exactly did shit like this become part of the “liberal” imperative?"

    I can't tell you the exact moment but I can tell you it was inevitable because shit like this works.

    Its not exactly rocket science.

    Talking heads are always looking for a hook and will freely copy from each other's playbooks the same way football coaches will install an offense that's been effective for another team.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Another good reflection on liberals and the left. No matter how much The Howler fixates on CSNBC, the record shows this kind of dumb programing doesn't go over near as well with liberals as it does with right wingers. Shultz will never cut it as a left Limbaugh, because there aren't enough dumb leftists to put him over.

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