‘I don’t think the common person is getting it’

Today’s jaw-dropping must-read is by Maeve Reston of the Los Angeles Times,Donors arrive at Hamptons fundraisers with advice for Mitt Romney.”

The line of Range Rovers, BMWs, Porsche roadsters and one gleaming cherry red Ferrari began queuing outside of Revlon Chairman Ronald Perelman’s estate off Montauk Highway long before Romney arrived, as campaign aides and staffers in white polo shirts emblazoned with the logo of Perelman’s property — the Creeks — checked off names under tight security.

… A New York City donor a few cars back, who also would not give her name, said Romney needed to do a better job connecting. “I don’t think the common person is getting it,” she said from the passenger seat of a Range Rover stamped with East Hampton beach permits. “Nobody understands why Obama is hurting them.

“We’ve got the message,” she added. “But my college kid, the baby sitters, the nails ladies — everybody who’s got the right to vote — they don’t understand what’s going on. I just think if you’re lower income — one, you’re not as educated, two, they don’t understand how it works, they don’t understand how the systems work, they don’t understand the impact.”

Reminds me of something James used to say:

Come now, you rich people, weep and wail for the miseries that are coming to you. Your riches have rotted, and your clothes are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have rusted, and their rust will be evidence against you, and it will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure for the last days. Listen! The wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on the earth in luxury and in pleasure; you have fattened your hearts on a day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the righteous one, who does not resist you.

  • aunursa

    I Googled “Romney” “extremist” and received 6.2 million results…

    #1: The head of the DNC calls Romney an extremist on immigration.
    #2: A WPost columnist calls Romney an extremist on economic, social, and national security issues.
    #3: Another WPost columnist calls Romney more extreme and reactionary than Rick Santorum on economic issues.
    #4: A pro-Dem VA website describes an Obama ad highlighting Romey’s extremism on women’s issues
    #5: A blog that discusses politics (focusing on LGBT issues) labels Romney’s foreign policy agenda as extremist.

    If it’s good enough for the presumptive Republican nominee, who is overwhelmingly regarded as more moderate than other candidates, it’s certainly good enough for the incumbent who is widely regarded as being on the left side of his party.

  • aunursa

    But it has to be simplistic, and it can’t help but irritate some people with what is not asked. A test that pleases you will annoy someone else in the way the questions have been slanted. It’s clear from the FAQ they get a lot of complaints about it. But it’s interesting to note that everyone thinks the test is biased against them. If it’s biased against everyone it’s actually non-biased (it’s just that no-one likes taking it) so that suggests they’re doing something right.

    No.  The most accurate pollsters are able to develop surveys in such as manner as to seriously reduce bias that would otherwise creep in based on the choice of wording.  And to reduce the possible answers to agree and disagree (with “strongly agree” and “strongly disagree”) makes it even worse.

    And I don’t agree with you that if it’s biased against everyone then it’s actually not biased or somehow more accurate.  The more questions that are biased or vague or simplistic, the less accurate the results.  Questions that are biased in favor of the right do not provide balance for questions that are biased in favor of the left.  Such bias doesn’t make the result more accurate or helpful.  A mediocre officiating crew does not make the football game an accurate indication of which team is superior merely because they make bad calls against both teams throughout the contest.

    The writer noted in the FAQs that the questions are actually propositions, and that may be part of the problem.

    I’m not suggesting that “it’s about me” — I don’t know where you got that from.  I’m merely sharing my evaluation of the test. 

  • arcseconds

    I was talking about the bias of the entire test.  You appear to be talking about bias of individual questions.

    The whole test can’t be biased against every position, that’s impossible, and nothing you say suggests otherwise.    It might include questions  biased against every position, but what your remarks suggest is that that would mean it’s just a bad measure – not that it’s biased. 

    Is your complaint that some individual questions are biased,  in the sense that  a centrist will be more likely to pick the left-wing response than the right-wing?

    If so, how do you know what a centrist would answer?

    In particular, how would you know what a centrist would answer according to what they want to define as a centrist?

    Keep in mind that the test is supposed to measure responses according to an objective standard, so that one culture can be compared against another and political drift can be measured over time.  So the designers have determined (presumably fairly carefully determined) a centre.

    So anyone taking the test is unlikely to find the questions ‘balanced’ because they’re unlikely to have the same idea of a centrist as the designers.  

    To put it another way, what’s the difference between these two cases?:

    - question X is biased towards the left
    - the designers idea of a centrist is to the right of my idea of a centrist

    I’m especially interested in how you think the test can be biased when you’re not sure of how the terms are being defined.

    What I mean about ‘it’s not all about you’ is not really about you personally.  I mean that with any such test any individual who has thought about politics and cares about it is going to have the same reactions that you have.

     We all commend ourselves on the subtlety and sophistication (or alternatively utter moral rectitude) of our position, and it’s an insult to have it forced into ‘yes/no’ responses to simplistic propositions, and then – most monstrous of all – have it reduced to two cartesian coördinates.

    Plus, as I said, there are probably numerous people it doesn’t deal well with at all.   You (or anyone) may be one of these, where there’s a complete and utter failure for it to fit with your outlook.   But so long as the number of people who don’t at all fit with the test’s presumptions are small, it can still be a useful measure.

    This is all just to say I think it’s unreasonable for any individual to expect to feel their political outlook meshes completely with the test – that there’s no questions they feel forced into replying something they feel uncomfortable with, and that every question is precisely balanced on where they think the political centre is, or even that they agree with the basic presumptions on the test.

  • http://deird1.dreamwidth.org Deird

     So, just to clarify: from now on, you’re going to be intentionally using a derogatory description to refer to Obama?

    Right. Thanks.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Ho, ho! Romney? A moderate? Pull the other one, please!

    You know, I really would love to know what it is about wealthy “L’etat, c’est moi” types like Romney who have no fucking clue what it’s like for the average person that makes them electable by more than a smidgen of the electorate.

    Because rich people who have an inkling of how out of touch their class is, generally, seem to be few and far between.

  • arcseconds

    Wow!  People are rude about major political figures!  I’m shocked, shocked, I tell you!

    And of course, like all reasonable people I know that if Google returns millions of results for a phrase it’s totally OK to use in whatever situation.  

    But I’m still not entirely happy with the acceptability of ‘extremist’. 6.2 million hits just isn’t enough.  

    Googling ‘asshole Obama’ gets me 32 million results, which means its 8x more acceptable, and it turns out that both a Saturday Night Live star (Lovitz) and Burce Johnston of the  Beach Boys have said it, which is even better than random websites and some nameless party honcho.

    I always thought it was a rather nasty thing to call someone, but I see now it’s only part of reasonable political dialogue.  

    I’m sure our discussions will only be improved and our mutual understanding increased if we continue to take our cue from Google and use words like ‘asshole’ as often as we like.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    http://www.googlefight.com/

    If anyone would like to amuse themselves with Obama vs Romney appellations.

  • Tonio

     That sounds paternalistic, which might be the whole point. At the least, it presumes that the government decides what is best for citizens. That’s the opposite of my concept of government, which is more like a compulsory membership corporation.

    The “building blocks of society are nuclear families” idea is a crock of shit. As you noted, it defines those families with men holding all the power. This model of the family doesn’t benefit society, it just benefits men at the expense of women and treats children as fatherly property.

    Freud once claimed that “anatomy is destiny” in terms of personality traits. One of my beefs with Catholicism is that it apples the same concept to societal roles.  In practice, gender roles are usually defined in ways that give men more freedom and power and women less of these, with women who don’t seek motherhood condemned as selfish or irrational. A person’s genitalia should not determine the person’s role in life or society.

  • VCarlson

     One of my stepbrothers flirted with Scientology for a while, and gave them his mother’s name and address.  She was never interested, but they kept visiting (not daily – too far, I think) and mailing stuff.  When she married my Dad and changed her name, it still kept coming in her old name.  The only reason she’s not getting the mail any more is they’ve moved a couple times since, and since the Scientologists never bothered to update her name, forwarding never kicked in.  I’ll bet the current occupants of that house are still getting Scientology mail at least once a week – 40 years later.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

     Talk about persistent! :O

  • Nequam

    Posts like this suggest that either you’re reading an alternate-universe version of Slacktivist that’s explicitly Democratic, or you have an arrogant disregard for any point Fred tries to make.

    Why can’t it be both?

    Also, are trolls routinely flagged around here, or no?

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Poll: 47% say Obama’s views are extreme: 31% say Romney’s views extreme

    What point do you imagine that link is in support of?


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