The Love Song of W. Mitt Romney

Every so often, a candidate will accidentally let slip what he or she really thinks.

This doesn’t happen with the better candidates. Not because the better candidates are more guarded — they aren’t — but because the better candidates generally are honest about what they believe. They may slip and say something goofy or off-key, but it’s not revelatory, because it’s not something they’ve been trying to keep hidden.

Mitt Romney is not one of the better candidates. Indeed, he’s one of the worse ones. Guarded beyond all rational levels, his very political positions a mystery to all but him (and perhaps, all including him), Mitt has been running for various offices since tge 1990s on a “Whatever you’re for, I’m for” platform. And in all that time, he’s never expressed a coherent reason for running.

But I think yesterday morning, while discussing the envy and jealousy that we all feel about the über-rich — because we can’t be concerned about income inequality for any other reason than that — Mitt accidentally let slip his entire worldview, and the precise reason he’s running for office:

LAUER: When you said that we already have a leader who divides us with the bitter politics of envy, I’m curious about the word ‘envy.’ Did you suggest that anyone who questions the policies and practices of Wall Street and financial institutions, anyone who has questions about the distribution of wealth and power in this country, is envious? Is it about jealousy, or fairness?

ROMNEY: You know, I think it’s about envy. I think it’s about class warfare. When you have a president encouraging the idea of dividing America based on the 99 percent versus one percent — and those people who have been most successful will be in the one percent — you have opened up a whole new wave of approach in this country which is entirely inconsistent with the concept of one nation under God.The American people, I believe in the final analysis, will reject it.

LAUER: Yeah but envy? Are there no fair questions about the distribution of wealth without it being seen as ‘envy,’ though?

ROMNEY: I think it’s fine to talk about those things in quiet rooms and discussions about tax policy and the like. But the president has made it part of his campaign rally. Everywhere he goes we hear him talking about millionaires and billionaires and executives and Wall Street. It’s a very envy-oriented, attack-oriented approach and I think it will fail.

Did you catch that? (Probably. I bolded it, after all.) Mitt thinks things like inequality are subjects for “quiet rooms.” Not a campaign. Not even in Congress. But in quiet rooms, away from the limelight, away from the prying eyes of the hoi polloi. That’s where the decisions get made, after all. Not by the plebes. But by rich men in sharp suits who discuss these things over a fine dinner, perhaps some drinks for one’s non-Mormon friends.

And that’s how Mitt sees things. He’s not running because he has any particular ideology — he doesn’t. He just wants to be in those quiet rooms, discussing things with his fellow Very Important Men. And he’s willing to change his positions like some people change underwear because his positions don’t matter. This is all a show for the rubes. Discussing actual policy positions? That’s unseemly. The public should have no voice in these matters. And the idea that they should — well, that’s just stoking envy and class warfare.

That’s Mitt’s worldview. That’s Mitt’s core. You don’t matter. Nobody matters except those select few who manage to trick people into giving them power. It would be best if all of us just shut up and elected Mitt so he can do what he thinks is best, which itself doesn’t really matter.

It is an interesting way to view the world, one far more consonant with 16th century England than 21st century America. But one that never went out of fashion with a certain subset of wealthy people, who really do believe that they are born to lead, and we are born to serve. He hid it well, but Mitt has finally come clean about what he honestly believes.

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14 Responses to The Love Song of W. Mitt Romney

  1. 1
    Mok says:

    “It’s time someone had the courage to stand up and say ‘I’m against those things that everybody hates!'” – Futurama, accurately predicting Mitt Romney’s entire career.

  2. 2
    Robert says:

    What a rubbish post.

    He’s making a perfectly valid point, that income inequality is an issue that should be discussed, but – because it has incendiary potential – should be done in a responsible way, not hurled across the barricades in a charged political campaign. One might have made an analogous argument in the 1970s, that racial disparity in the welfare rolls was something that can be talked about – but that discussion shouldn’t take place on the hustings, with candidates throwing racial accusations back and forth at one another.

    Thinking that things with explosive potential ought to be handled a little more delicately is not a belief in 16th century English class roles, and you look like an idiot for suggesting that it is.

  3. 3
    JutGory says:

    I am with Robert. I think you inferred quite a bit from that one statement.

    He was contrasting a quiet room with a campaign rally. It would be analogous to saying that matters of justice are better handled in the calm environment of a courtroom instead of the boisterous forum of a lynch mob.


  4. 4
    Jeff Fecke says:

    And if we decided things in quiet courtrooms, I’d agree with you. But we don’t. For good or for ill, partisan elections are where the people of this country decide what issues are important. Saying that we shouldn’t discuss certain things in a partisan way is saying, simply, that the role of the people in electing leaders is unimportant. That the input of people should only be on certain subjects, vetted by their betters. (And to respond to Robert — it is precisely because civil rights played out in the streets that we got a civil rights movement. Had this been left to the back-rooms…well, there’s a reason we called so much of segregation the “gentlemen’s agreement.”)

  5. 5
    Robert says:

    Yes, you can reasonably disagree with his conclusion, and say that you DO think the incendiary thing should be talked about in the room full of dynamite.

    What you can’t (reasonably) do is conclude that the person who disagrees with you must be doing so because they’re a dynamite fetishist and want to hoard all the dynamite for themselves, or some other way-beyond-the-data conclusion that you’ve leapt to.

    “Mitt Romney says this, and he is wrong” != “Mitt Romney says this, and it proves that he fucks dogs.”

  6. 6
    Ampersand says:

    “Mitt Romney says this, and it proves that he fucks dogs.”

    Before or after strapping them to the roof of his car?

    (Yes, it’s a cheap shot. You just scored a 130 point word against me in Scrabble, you owe me one.)

  7. 7
    Ampersand says:

    Thinking that things with explosive potential ought to be handled a little more delicately is not a belief in 16th century English class roles, and you look like an idiot for suggesting that it is.

    Please avoid comments like “you look like an idiot.” Thanks.

  8. 8
    Robert says:

    It was more than 130. You could count better if you weren’t so busy fucking dogs.

    I withdraw the “idiot” comment, as it was indeed graceless. I apologize, Jeff. Replace with “your comment seems foolish to me”.

  9. 9
    Ampersand says:

    Robert, what does “room full of dynamite” mean, in this context?

    Because I can almost guarantee that the upcoming election — the real one between Romney and Obama, not the farcical one going on now — there will be LOTS of discussion of inequality in campaign rallies. It will be a subject of stump speeches, it will be discussed on Sunday morning network yellfests, and so on.

    Are you predicting violence? Riots? Rich people being hunted down like dogs in the street (afterwards they will be strapped to the roof of Mitt Romney’s car)? What?

    My prediction is that there will not be only the amount of violence that’s usual for an hotly-contested US presidential campaign (i.e., a handful of violent incidents, barfights and the like), and that we won’t see any explosion of dynamite. What’s your prediction?

  10. 10
    Robert says:

    I don’t predict any of those things, though I suppose it depends in part on how aggressive the Occupy folks decide to get. That will be volitional, however, not driven by whatever the political argument happens to be.

    I don’t think we cannot handle such a discussion, I just don’t think that Romney’s expressed wish that such discussion be done civilly is indicative of anything much.

  11. 11
    Tyrannus Evisceratus says:

    All the important decisions are already made in smoky boardrooms by people whose names aren’t even known. Look into why Domino’s changed its pizza recipe(it wasn’t to boost sales) or why we all recycle aluminum cans(its not because it is good for the environment) sometime you’ll be surprised by what you find.

    I don’t wanna come off as the grassy knoll conspiracy guy here, but the things that affect us the most aren’t decided by what we write on the ballot it is decided by ceo’s in suits and silent partners no on has a picture of.

    Mitt Romney is really just telling the truth.

    Also honest candidates are a myth.

  12. 12
    Ruchama says:

    I’m sure I’m going to regret this, but now I’m curious: why, according to you, did Domino’s change its pizza recipe? (Other than to piss off vegans who now have one less option, since with the old recipe, we could get a pizza with just sauce and veggie, no cheese, and it would be vegan, but the new recipe has butter in the crust.)

  13. 13
    Tyrannus Evisceratus says:

    Here is the article

    Formed in 1996, Dairy Management Inc. promotes dairy product consumption on behalf of America’s hard-working dairy farmers. They’re the people behind this logo, for instance:

    Its many Internet incarnations describe Dairy Management’s achievements in fighting childhood obesity, reducing the carbon emissions of dairy farms and supporting the American economy. They also talk a lot about cheese. They really, really like cheese.

    In 2009, Dairy Management worked with Domino’s Pizza on its now-famous “new menu,” otherwise known as “our pizzas no longer taste so much like ketchup-splattered drywall” campaign. Not surprisingly for a bunch of guys who like dairy farmers, this involved adding a lot of cheese to Domino’s pizzas. Forty percent more cheese. So much cheese, in fact, that you can now go over your recommended daily saturated fat level by eating two slices of some of Domino’s pies.

    “Who wants to live past 40, anyway?”

    To get the cheese message out there, Dairy Management also paid for Domino’s recent $12 million marketing campaign. This wasn’t particularly unusual: Dairy Management has also worked with other restaurant chains, such as Pizza Hut, Burger King and Taco Bell, to massively increase the amount of cheese in certain dishes.

    Wait, something’s not right here …

    If you’ve come this far in this article, you’re probably wondering by now which huge, faceless corporation is behind this. CheeseCorp International? Cow Sellers of America?

    The Society for the Advancement of Udders?

    No. It’s you.

    If you’re an American, that is. It’s the United States Department of Agriculture. Granted, the majority of Dairy Management’s funding now comes from fees imposed on American dairy farmers, but last year the USDA added funding to the tune of $5 million. This is despite the fact that other people in the USDA are also using your tax money to continually promote a diet low in saturated fats.

    So why the intense government-sponsored focus on cheese, rather than milk or other cow products? Well, over the years Americans have increasingly come to prefer low-fat milk, and dairy farmers have been left with a huge excess of extracted milk fat that they’ve skimmed off it all. We’re talking millions of pounds here. All this fat, and nothing to do with it. So why not make it into cheese, and then spend a lot of money encouraging Americans to eat it?

    So, enjoy your Domino’s tonight, guys. You paid for it. Twice.

  14. 14
    Ruchama says:

    Oh, USDA and dairy lobby stuff. Right. I’d expected something more sinister and conspiracy-ish.