Washington Post: Mitt Romney disrespects voters

What happens when a political party decides to make opposition to empathy a core organizing principle? That party winds up with a nominee who doesn’t like voters, doesn’t respect them, and expects them to just accept that.

The Washington Post: “Mitt Romney’s election campaign insults voters

Through all the flip-flops, there has been one consistency in the campaign of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney: a contempt for the electorate.

How else to explain his refusal to disclose essential information? Defying recent bipartisan tradition, he failed to release the names of his bundlers — the high rollers who collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations. He never provided sufficient tax returns to show voters how he became rich.

How, other than an assumption that voters are too dim to remember what Mr. Romney has said across the years and months, to account for his breathtaking ideological shifts? He was a friend of immigrants, then a scourge of immigrants, then again a friend. He was a Kissingerian foreign policy realist, then a McCain-like hawk, then a purveyor of peace. He pioneered Obamacare, he detested Obamacare, then he found elements in it to cherish. Assault weapons were bad, then good. Abortion was okay, then bad. Climate change was an urgent problem; then, not so much. Hurricane cleanup was a job for the states, until it was once again a job for the feds.

The same presumption of gullibility has infused his misleading commercials (see: Jeep jobs to China) and his refusal to lay out an agenda. Mr. Romney promised to replace the Affordable Care Act but never said with what. He promised an alternative to President Obama’s lifeline to young, undocumented immigrants but never deigned to describe it.

… Mr. Romney … seems to be betting that voters have no memories, poor arithmetic skills and a general inability to look behind the curtain. We hope the results Tuesday prove him wrong.


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  • JustoneK

    Is disdain the same thing as sheer obliviousness?

  • Jim Roberts

    Yeah, I think “disdain” requires a sustained ability to recognize other people as being real.

  • Vermic

    I know it’s wrong to judge on appearances, but that picture is amazing.  It’s like he turned into a Spitting Image puppet of himself.

  • His face looks really creepy. :O

  • It’s also amazing how Mitt Romney can commit Republican heresy and yet dump it all down the memory hole the next day. I’ve yet to see a single major backer of Romney (or even an opponent, really) call him on this and say “if this is true, why do you dog-whistle your largely white, provably racist base?”

  • AnonaMiss

    In case there was any doubt, I want to remind the commentariat that that picture of Romney is photoshopped.

  • JustoneK

    I thought his chin was a little too inhuman.  If it were a combination of headshots from the same clip, too, that’d add to the effect.

  • mcc

    Wow, impressively vicious for a newspaper like the Washington Post.

    Interesting though that this is more like an anti-endorsement of Romney than any kind of endorsement of Obama. They devote one sentence to Obama, in which they call him “inadequate” for failing to sufficiently embrace the Washington Post’s precious, precious budget cuts.

  • I just got a robocall telling me how Mitt Romney would get this country back on track, but warning that “if the election was held tomorrow, Obama WOULD DEFINITELY WIN”, and our only hope to turn that around is if I send money RIGHT AWAY.

  • BaseDeltaZero

    The… the election is tomorrow.

  • In case there was any doubt, I want to remind the commentariat that that picture of Romney is photoshopped.

    [ citation needed ]

    Because I found that exact picture available for licensing from Getty Images, credited to Marc Serota. It wasn’t hard to find, and looking at it next to other photos of Mr. Romney, it doesn’t look noticeably different. Examining the picture doesn’t show any obvious signs of alteration. 

    The “RMoney” picture is shopped, yes, but not that one.

  • AnonymousSam

    That just made me think of the most recent XKCD: http://xkcd.com/1130/

  • Launcifer

    Vermic: Spitting Image, you say?

    I apologise in advance for the fact that few of the caricatures may be recognisable now, but I couldn’t resist.

  • JustoneK

    If that’s not shooped, that’s an incredible angle.

  • Eminnith

    Another image that appears not to be photoshopped. I’m not sure how to describe Romney’s expression in that one.

  • P J Evans

     I think he’s got it sticking out farther than usual,. It would go with the rest of his expression.

  • Lori

    … Mr. Romney … seems to be betting that voters have no memories, poor
    arithmetic skills and a general inability to look behind the curtain. We
    hope the results Tuesday prove him wrong.  

    As is so often the case WaPo is so close, and yet so far. What Romney seems to be betting on is that enough voters hate Obama so much that they don’t care that Romney is a liar and that he left Flipflopperville, cruised right past Pandertown and settled in Naked Opportunism City a while ago. Romney’s base is rich white guys and people whose Obama-hate is fair larger than their self-respect.

  • Turcano

    Um, isn’t the election actually tomorrow?

    Edit: That’s what I get for not reading the whole thread before replying.

  • Vermic

    Another image that appears not to be photoshopped. I’m not sure how to describe Romney’s expression in that one.

    That is the expression of a man whose mind is working very hard to integrate all Eight Essential Elements of the Power Handshake, but his body can only handle seven at a time.  “Okay!  Winning smile, firm grip, eye contact, maintain balance on the balls of the feet — wait!  Losing smile integrity!  Class 3 overload error!  You’re blowing it, Mitt, blowing it!!!

  • Paul Durant

    Yeah, I’m with this theory. Romney doesn’t have contempt for the voters, because that requires empathy at least to the extent that you can imagine what the voters are thinking and imagine it’s something contemptible you can exploit. The GOP isn’t merely devoid of empathy in the sense of “feeling bad for other people’s suffering,” they’re rapidly losing the capacity of empathy in the sense of “ability to envision the mental state of other people”. 

    Every time the Republicans are painted as Machiavellian super-manipulators who have expertly framed the terms of debate so that true rebellion from The System is impossible, I just have to laugh bitterly. Republican leadership didn’t develop the “never stop lying about anything” strategy after cold analysis in smoky rooms of just what the most effective and merciless way to hold onto power was; they “developed” it because they’re selfish and ignorant and pigheaded and that’s all they know how to do. Look at someone like Sarah Palin when confronted on a lie, and it’s pretty clear she doesn’t understand why other people think the truth is a thing that matters. Mitt didn’t come up with a big tapestry of lies that held together enough to fool those rubes in the voting booths until November 7th, he just says things that sound good at the time and when confronted with something that looks bad he comes up with a lie on the spot no matter how self-contradictory it is. He doesn’t think about how it’s going to fool other people — he’s too selfish to even be able to do that much thinking about other people.

    It’s really only luck and gobsmacking audacity that’s allowed the GOP strategy to be so successful this far.

  • For Election Day: The Republican Rape Advisory Chart


  •  The GOP strategy did “develop”, in more of an evolutionary sense than as the result of a plan (Ironic, for the party that doesn’t believe in evolution): they killed off all the republicans who actually acted as if they had any sense that conformance-to-reality was in any way shape or form was a thing to be valued