Tribe watch: This ought to be an embarrassment!


As it turns out, we have two skills: This should be an embarrassing day in the neighborhood.

It should be, but it isn’t. By now, it’s fairly clear that our tribe can’t be embarrassed, even by efforts like those which follow.

First example: This is the truly pitiful start of Gail Collins’ latest column. This passage should be an embarrassment. But it won’t be:
COLLINS (2/2/12): On the morning after the Florida primary, Mitt Romney bounded out of bed, inhaled the sweet air of victory, donned his new cloak of invulnerability ...

... and went on CNN to announce that he doesn’t care about poor people.

“I’m not concerned about the very poor,” he told a slightly stunned-looking Soledad O’Brien.

Whenever the topic turns to wealth, or the lack thereof, some inner demon seems to make Romney say something that sounds ridiculous, offensive or ridiculously offensive.
That should be embarrassing. But by now, it’s fairly clear that we can’t be embarrassed.

(If you’re getting nervous, buck up! Midway through this morning’s column, the ludicrous lady wrote this:
COLLINS: Does anybody truly believe that Romney is planning to spend any presidential time dreaming up ways to fix the safety net for the benefit of the very poor? Be real. This is the guy who drove to Canada with the family dog strapped on the roof.
Remember: When asked, Collins says the story of the dog represents Romney’s obsessive need for control. Is that the impression a reader would get from this, her latest cry for confinement?)

We won’t even try to explain why the opening part of Collins’ column should be embarrassing. That said, Gail Collins is visibly crazy; Ed Kilgore is not. In fact, Kilgore seems like a perfectly decent person. But what follows would be embarrassing, if our tribe could be embarrassed.

This is what Mitt Romney said, according to Kilgore. We’re using Kilgore’s ellipses, his marks of deletion:
“I’m not concerned about the very poor…. We will hear from the Democrat party, the plight of the poor…. You can focus on the very poor, that’s not my focus…. The middle income Americans, they’re the folks that are really struggling right now and they need someone that can help get this economy going for them.”
That is what Mitt Romney said, as “quoted” by Ed Kilgore! In truth, that presentation would simply be funny, if it weren’t so pathetic and sad. Have you ever seen anyone work so hard to remove the sense of what somebody said? We might as well cut words from magazine covers and paste them together on a page, the way it’s done in crime movies.

A few more thoughts about this truly pitiful episode:

At the end of today’s column, Lady Collins says this: “Rest assured that Mitt Romney is not going to be spending a single second fretting about the problems of really, really poor people.”

Question: Have you ever seen Collins write a word about the problems of really, really poor people? We can answer that for you: No!

Second question: Have you ever seen the concerns of really poor people addressed on MSNBC? Take as much time as you want!

(Last night, after flaying Romney, Ed Schultz returned to his program’s principal focus. He went back to talking about the people he calls “the middle classers.” There’s nothing wrong with that focus, of course—until it’s voiced by The Other.)

For what it’s worth, we’ll offer a brief rumination on the role of the New York Times.

In addition to Collins’ cry for help, the Times offers this inane editorial about what Romney said. It also offers this “news report” by the fatuous Ashley Parker, Maureen Dowd’s former “research assistant.”

Our observations:

In 1998, the New York Times was a very dumb anti-Clinton newspaper.

In March 1999, the Times became a very dumb anti-Gore newspaper. They kept it up for two years.

Today, the Times is a very dumb anti-Romney newspaper. Can you spot the thing which never seems to change?

As the Times behaves this way, the country keeps getting dumbed down. Progressive perspectives tend to get lost in the clowning. Might we offer one thought in closing?

In his statement, Romney said, among other things, that he’s “not concerned about the very rich. They’re doing just fine.”

In saying that, he didn’t mean that he wasn’t concerned about that group at all. He said he wasn’t going to “focus on the rich. That’s not my focus.”

Romney said the very rich aren’t his focus. That claim is rather hard to support based on the policies he has proposed. Romney has proposed very large tax cuts for the highest earners. If the New York Times knew how to explain such things, we might be able to tell the public about the things he’s proposed.

But in the area of domestic politics, the New York Times is a small, slow-witted, upper-class social caste, as it has been for a good many years. And our own emerging liberal world represents a collection of folk who aren’t very smart or honest. We’ve often said that our tribe knows only one move—we know how to call people racists.

Today, we’re forced to amend our remarks. Our tribe knows how to call people racists, and we know how to quote out of context. As it turns out, we have two skills!

As a tribe, we just aren’t very smart. If you disagree, riddle us this:

Why were people like Collins allowed to tear Clinton, then Gore, to shreds all those years? Why were they allowed to send Bush to the White House? (Because that's plainly what they did, although we’ve agreed not to say so.)

How did they get away with that? Did we mention the fact that our tribe isn’t real smart or real honest? By this time, is any fact any more obvious?


  1. Gail Collins is beyond shameful, she is destructive of what it should mean to be a democracy.

  2. I bet they're agreeing with Collins in ultra-partisan, race-card-playing Democratic websites such as the Democratic Underground and the Daily Kos.

    1. That is a very large brush with which you are painting.

    2. they love it to death.

  3. @A. Perez: might actually want to see what dailykos writes for itself:

  4. Pennelope PennebakerFebruary 2, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    Since we're doing riddles - how did Collins come to belong to "our tribe"? What credentials did she ever exhibit that makes us think she's "one of us"?

  5. To "Anonymous,": You failed, since the pro-Romney diary in the Daily Kos was written by myself. LOL.

    1. youre a blind fool.

      demanding the press be truthful about what romney (or anyone) says is not being "pro" romney.

      but you seem to have lying down yourself, maybe theres an opening for your foolishness at the gray lady...

  6. At the same time, folks, "I am not concerned about the very poor" are shocking words out of the mouth of the leading contender for the nomination of one of the two major parties for president of the United States.

    And if he has to do a tap dance followed by a tango to try to spin his way out of it and a 10-minute explanation of what he really, really, really means, it only shows how dumb it really was to say it.

    1. it was only the first half of his sentence, and you know it.

      if youre so dim, why are you here at this site of sense and honesty?

  7. "At the same time, folks, "I am not concerned about the very poor" are shocking words out of the mouth of the leading contender for the nomination of one of the two major parties for president of the United States."

    It's only shocking if that statement were not preceded and followed up with other words OR if you're really, really stupid.

    You're not really shocked by those words in the context in which you know they were said, are you? Then why are you pretending?

  8. "And if he has to do a tap dance followed by a tango to try to spin his way out of it and a 10-minute explanation of what he really, really, really means, it only shows how dumb it really was to say it."

    He didn't tap dance. He simply repeated the exact comments you pretend you were "shocked" by, but were not.

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