Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Two big names in the media who are definitely going to vote for Mitt Romney have taken shots at Romney this week. Yesterday it was Rupert Murdoch, whose New York Post was used to humiliate Romney: a cover story claimed that convention keynote speaker Chris Christie turned down the VP slot because he believes Romney will lose. Today it's David Brooks going all Andy Borowitz on Romney:
... Mitt Romney was born on March 12, 1947, in Ohio, Florida, Michigan, Virginia and several other swing states. He emerged, hair first, believing in America, and especially its national parks. He was given the name Mitt, after the Roman god of mutual funds, and launched into the world with the lofty expectation that he would someday become the Arrow shirt man.

Romney was a precocious and gifted child. He uttered his first words ("I like to fire people") at age 14 months, made his first gaffe at 15 months and purchased his first nursery school at 24 months. The school, highly leveraged, went under, but Romney made 24 million Jujubes on the deal....
The column goes on and on in this vein. It's gentle. None of Brooks's jokes will really leave a mark -- what stings is the fact that the column exists at all. What Brooks seems to be saying to Romney is For crissakes, lighten up! Have a sense of humor about yourself! Tell some jokes at your own expense! Otherwise, you're going to lose -- we're going to lose! That's what motivates Brooks to use liberal and Democratic punch lines against Romney.

The Post article is far nastier, but that's Murdoch -- he supports Romney, but thinks Romney is a weakling who won't fight like a real tough guy (y'know, like Murdoch):

And he has a mancrush on Christie, not Romney:
Mr. Murdoch has never been particularly impressed with Mr. Romney, friends and associates of both men say. The two times Mr. Romney visited the editorial board of The Journal, Mr. Murdoch did not work very hard to conceal his lack of excitement. "There was zero enthusiasm, no engagement," said one Journal staff member who was at the most recent meeting in December....

Along with Roger Ailes, chairman of Fox News, Mr. Murdoch urged Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey to run. Both men admire Mr. Christie's gusto and toughness -- a sharp edge they have themselves. "He really wanted Christie," said one of Mr. Murdoch's friends. Mr. Ailes, a former campaign strategist for Richard M. Nixon and Ronald Reagan, shares Mr. Murdoch's disdain of how the Romney campaign is being run, telling people privately that it is too soft.
Both Murdoch and Brooks see Romney as a guy who, when you mock or humiliate him, just takes it -- or modifies his behavior in a desperate attempt to please you. That's the guy they want to be our next president? Well, yeah, it is -- they think he can be pushed around (gosh, I wonder what gave them that idea) and they're the guys to do it.

Murdoch, I suspect, doesn't really think Romney has much of a chance this year (and absolutely thinks Christie does four years from now), but he assumes that showing up Romney's weakness isn't going to make Romney look any weaker than he looks now, and might toughen him up enough to get him a victory. Of course, Murdoch's definition of "toughened up" is "prepared to do whatever Murdoch wants" -- an odd notion of personal integrity and backbone.

This is all an intramural variant of Josh Marshall's bitch-slap theory of American politics. In this case, it's not Republicans demonstrating that a Democrat is too weak to fight back -- it's about demonstrating that with regard to their own guy. They're doing it not because they want him to lose, but because they want to be the ones who can claim they shoved him across the finish line -- at which point he'll owe them.


UPDATE: Noah Pollak solves the riddle of the David Brooks column:

He's right -- here's the career-making column in question, which Brooks wrote as an undergraduate about William F. Buckley.

1 comment:

Victor said...

I understand your point, but I still love the mocking tone in David Brooks' column.

It's almost as if Paul Krugman snuck into Bobo's office, figured out his password, and wrote and submitted the column from Brooks' PC.

It's the first Bobo column I ever read that I lauged WITH, instead of AT!

And I find if funny that, even after they foisted Ryan on Romney, that they still can't see Mitt 'mannin' up!' enough to suit them.

What I also find funny, is their surprise that in the Citizens United world they fully support, that a wishy-washy squish like Mitt Romney is their nominee, because only HE had the money needed to outspend the knuckle-dragging troglodytes they'd prefer, only because they talk as tough as they are crazy.

Maybe the "other" R&R boys, Rupe and Rog, should have thought of that, and given substantial money to one of the rabid dwarves they'd prefer be their puppet.

And what's funniest of all, if Obama had an "R" next to his name, they'd love the guy - and his color wouldn't matter too much.
After all, the financial thieves who stole this countries future didn't keep themelves out of jail without any help.
And government workers at all levels aren't de-jobbing themselves all alone.

It took Nixon to go to China
It takes a Democrat to not punish the thieves in Brooks Brothers suits.
And it'll take a Democrat to help "grand-bargain" SS and Medicare down to vouchers for cat food, and a home blood-pressure checking kit.

Still, I'll take slow death by Obama and the Democrats, over the ritual murder stylings of Romney, Ryan, Rupe, Rog, and assorted other wealthy miscreants.
Times may change, people MIGHT wake up.
We won't have the luxury of time with Mitt and Paul.
They'll be told to go for the jugular on Day 1.