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Taibbi writes: "Wow. If you live long enough, you'll see some truly gross things in politics, but Mitt Romney's work this past week 'courting black support' was enough to turn even the strongest stomach."

Matt Taibbi at Skylight Studio in New York, 10/27/10. (photo: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
Matt Taibbi at Skylight Studio in New York, 10/27/10. (photo: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)



Romney's 'Free Stuff' Speech Is a New Low

By Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone

13 July 12

 

ow. If you live long enough, you’ll see some truly gross things in politics, but Mitt Romney’s work this past week "courting black support" was enough to turn even the strongest stomach.

Romney really showed us something in his luridly self-congratulating N.A.A.C.P. gambit, followed by the awesomely disgusting "free stuff" post-mortem speech he delivered the next night in front of friendlier audiences. The twin appearances revealed the candidate to be not merely unlikable, and not merely a fatuous, unoriginal hack of politician, but also a genuinely repugnant human being, a grasping corporate hypocrite with so little feel for how to get along with people that he has to dream up elaborate schemes just to try to pander to the mob.

 

At first, it was hard to say what exactly Romney was thinking when he decided to address the N.A.A.C.P. He plunged into the speech with a creepy kamikaze smile and a rushed, weird (even for him) delivery, acting like someone proud of what a ballsily moronic dare he was attempting – like a high school kid mooning a squad car from the back of a school bus, or Peter McNeeley rushing face-first into the ring with Mike Tyson.

Now, it would have been one thing if Romney had put some real thought into this, if he had taken a day or two or three and really pondered the question of why 90% of black voters vote Democratic. That’s a serious question, and it would have been something if Romney had really attempted to bridge what has turned into a disturbingly ugly gap between most nonwhite Americans and political conservatives.

Without accepting blame or admitting guilt, he could have talked about the increasingly strident tone of the national debate over racially charged issues, and wondered aloud if politicians on both sides perhaps needed to find a new way to talk about these things without fearmongering, stereotyping, or trading accusations. He could have met the racial-tension issue head on, in other words, and simply declared it to be something that both parties need to work on. This was an opportunity to make history as a peacemaker, just by saying out loud the simple truth that white and nonwhite Americans, and Democrats and Republicans both, need to find more civilized ways to talk about their political concerns. If he had owned the problem, that would have been a big step forward, for all of us.

Of course, that’s expecting a lot. But even if he had just come up with a fresh, earnest new way to articulate the conservative argument, something beyond the usual sloganeering, that would have been really interesting.

But he didn’t. He came out with the same half-assed, platitude-filled stump speech he usually doles out at campaign stops, literally the same exact speech, only he added quotes from Frederick Douglass, Benjamin Hooks, and Dr. King. As he told a mostly white audience in Montana the next night: “I gave them the same speech I am giving you.” He seemed almost proud of the fact that he didn’t put any extra thought into what he was going to say in his first big address to black America. If some speeches feel like a verbal embrace, Romney’s felt like a stack of cardboard emptied from the bay of a dump truck.

So given that he didn’t say anything new in the speech besides what he always says – government is the enemy of all life forms, we can’t blame the rich, etc. – the true meaning of the speech had to be in the very fact that he gave it in the first place. So what was he trying to accomplish? Surely he didn’t think he was going to be getting converts by promising to repeal “Obamacare,” crush teachers’ unions, and “help those who need help.”

No, he delivered those lines like a man expecting, maybe even wanting to get booed. And sure enough, after the event, it was hard not to notice how gleefully Fox and Hannity and the like played and replayed the video of the Mittster gamely dying on the cross of racial outreach. The rhetorical theme on those outlets was something like, “This is what happens when you promote the cause of free enterprise and self-sufficiency in front of the N.A.A.C.P.!” As Charles Blow in the New York Times put it:

The speech sounded like it was designed not for the audience in the room, but for those in Republican living rooms.

It sounded as though he wanted to show force and fearlessness: “Look folks, I walked into hostile territory unafraid and unbowed.” This was his version of a Daniel in the lions’ den speech.

Talk tough. Get heckled and booed for telling the truth to those who don’t want to hear it. Take the president down a couple of pegs in front of the most loyal segment of his supporters…

So Romney did that, and then the next night he went to Montana and he discussed the experience in front of a friendlier audience. And this is what he said:

When I mentioned I am going to get rid of Obamacare they weren’t happy, I didn’t get the same response. That’s O.K, I want people to know what I stand for and if I don’t stand for what they want, go vote for someone else, that’s just fine…

But I hope people understand this, your friends who like Obamacare, you remind them of this, if they want more stuff from government tell them to go vote for the other guy — more free stuff.

So now this is the message: I tried to reason with the blacks, I really did, but it turns out they just want a free lunch.

How’s that for bridging the racial divide? Time to wake up the Nobel committee in Oslo!

As far as free lunches go, we of course just witnessed the biggest government handout in history, one that Romney himself endorsed. Four and a half trillion dollars in bailout money already disbursed, trillions more still at risk in guarantees and loans, sixteen trillion dollars in emergency lending from the Federal Reserve, two trillion in quantitative easing, etc. etc. All of this money went to Romney’s pals in the Wall Street banks that for years helped Romney take over companies with mountains of borrowed cash. Now, after these banks crashed, executives at those same firms used those public funds to pay themselves massive salaries, which is exactly the opposite of “helping those who need help,” if you’re keeping score.

That set of facts alone made the “free stuff” speech shockingly offensive. But the problem isn’t just that Romney’s wrong, and a hypocrite, and cynically furthering dangerous and irresponsible stereotypes in order to advance some harebrained electoral ploy involving white conservative voters. What makes it gross is the way he did it.

Romney can’t even be mean with any honesty. Even when he’s pandering to viciousness, ignorance and racism, it comes across like a scaly calculation. A guy who feels like he has to take a dump on the N.A.A.C.P. in Houston in order to connect with frustrated white yahoos everywhere else is a guy who has absolutely no social instincts at all. Someone like Jesse Helms at least had a genuine emotional connection with his crazy-mean-stupid audiences. But Mitt Romney has to think his way to the lowest common denominator, which is somehow so much worse.

Most presidents have something under the hood – wit, warmth, approachability, something. Even the most liberal football fan could enjoy watching an NFL game with George Bush. And even a Klansman probably would have found some of LBJ’s jokes funny. The biggest office in the world requires someone who buzzes with enough personality to fill the job, and most of them have it.

But Romney doesn’t buzz with anything. His vision of humanity is just a million tons of meat floating around in a sea of base calculations. He’s like a teenager who stays up all night thinking of a way to impress the prom queen, and what he comes up with is kicking a kid in a wheelchair. Instincts like those are probably what made him a great leveraged buyout specialist, but in a public figure? Man, is he a disaster. It’s really incredible theater, watching the Republicans talk themselves into this guy.

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+274 # Capn Canard 2012-07-13 15:08
Good job Matt, but damnit, Mitt Romney looks like a Fascist Sociopath, walks like a Fascist Sociopath, talks like a Fascist Sociopath and quacks like a Fascist Sociopath. I think it is okay if we call him a Fascist Sociopath.
 
 
+62 # John Locke 2012-07-14 08:10
Capn Canard: Right now Rasmussen Reports has stated that Obama will likely win the presidency with more then 270 electral votes! to Romney's approximately 191 EV
 
 
-15 # jwb110 2012-07-14 12:31
Quoting Capn Canard:
Good job Matt, but damnit, Mitt Romney looks like a Fascist Sociopath, walks like a Fascist Sociopath, talks like a Fascist Sociopath and quacks like a Fascist Sociopath. I think it is okay if we call him a Fascist Sociopath.

He and his ilk are Soviet Marxists who proved the same sort of oligarchy for the rich. Under Hitler, as long as you didn't fall into some version of the Ultimate Solution, as Germans citizens you enjoyed a fair amount of freedom. Under Soviet Marxist rule, you were spied upon, became a second class member of your own country and were under the thumb of the Soviet ruling class. I know from whence I speak because I was there under the old regime. A regime that looks very like America and the New Russia.
 
 
+20 # Anarchist 23 2012-07-14 15:24

Under Hitler, as long as you didn't fall into some version of the Ultimate Solution, as Germans citizens you enjoyed a fair amount of freedom. Under Soviet Marxist rule, you were spied upon, became a second class member of your own country and were under the thumb of the Soviet ruling class. I know from whence I speak because I was there under the old regime. A regime that looks very like America and the New Russia.

So you'd rather be a Nazi? Great moral backbone you have!
 
 
+4 # mdhome 2012-07-14 14:52
I'm copying that, if you don't mind. I think you n ailed it.
 
 
+22 # Anarchist 23 2012-07-14 15:21
I think the reporter caught something equally important when he used the phrase about his 'scaly calculation.' It should be obvious that 'Gott Mitt Uns' Romney is really a lizard being only thinly disguised as a human.
 
 
+1 # RILEY 2012-07-14 17:12
totally reptilian, but i like reptiles, just now when humans think like them
 
 
+9 # RILEY 2012-07-14 17:15
Matt, i just love the ...out of you....i cant imagine what our country would be with a person like you as its leader, compassionate, intelligent, outspoken and courageous. SIGH
 
 
+77 # walthe310 2012-07-13 15:51
Romney--stuff and nonsense.
 
 
+14 # AMLLLLL 2012-07-15 14:15
Agree, walt, I'm still wondering what he calls the $100k/yr. from 1999~2002. FREE STUFF?
 
 
+13 # feloneouscat 2012-07-15 15:36
Quoting AMLLLLL:
Agree, walt, I'm still wondering what he calls the $100k/yr. from 1999~2002. FREE STUFF?


According to Mitt, he didn't do any work for Bain...hmmm... so they just gave him money for doing nothing?

Isn't that called a free lunch?
 
 
0 # giraffee2012 2012-07-29 11:22
feloneouscat - But since there are no "free" lunches - "what did he do for $100K each year" and who makes $100K / year? Not many of the 99ers!
 
 
+178 # Buddha 2012-07-13 15:57
After Santorums "bla-- people" gaff, and Newt's similar disgusting comments regarding African-America ns, is it really any surprise that Mittens went to the old "Welfare Queens" chestnut with his "free stuff" comment? The GOP has to keep throwing red meat to its Southern White Male base, those former "Southern Democrats" that fled the Democratic Party when it embraced integration and an end to Jim Crow segregation in the South. The GOP's only hope is that they can disenfranchise poor minorities faster than they are pissing them off and turning them to the Dems.
 
 
+49 # Regina 2012-07-13 23:01
Naw, Mitt ain't as retro as "welfare queens" -- these days it's "nail ladies." Gotta keep up to date on those descendants of the robber barons.
 
 
+2 # Cassandra2012 2012-07-16 15:24
Quoting Regina:
Naw, Mitt ain't as retro as "welfare queens" -- these days it's "nail ladies." Gotta keep up to date on those descendants of the robber barons.

Someone needs to point out the REAL 'Welfare Queens' = the CORPORATE 'welfare queens ', like Exxon, Shell, and BP etc. that not only do NOT pay their fair share of taxes but milk taxpayers for their SUBSIDIES! (entitlements!! ) to which they think they are ENTITLED and keep lobbying their bought and paid-for Repugnican politicians....
 
 
+51 # JohnMayer 2012-07-14 01:53
Ya know, there are plenty of white male (female, too) racists all over this country. It may make you feel superior to assume all such venomous ignorance has nothing to do with where you live, but, according to FBI statistics, there were more hate crime murders in 2011 (I think that was the year I saw; going from memory) in the north and west than in the South. Prejudice is a national shame, not simply a southern one.
 
 
+28 # John Locke 2012-07-14 08:13
JohnMayer: I think the statistics are about more then race. I think they are more gender based, Gay, lesbian and transgender homicides! The fanatical religious right believe homosexuality is a choice people make, they don't believe in science!
 
 
0 # giraffee2012 2012-07-29 11:25
Living in the most liberal area of the USA - I agree "racists live all over this country" - and it is showing its ugly face more since we elected President Obama!

Vote Obama in 2012 and Dem all the way - VOTE
 
 
+28 # Ralph Averill 2012-07-14 04:51
Reminds me of Ross Perot's "you people" speech.
 
 
+37 # AMLLLLL 2012-07-14 11:23
The first cringe-worthy moment in that speech was right after his typical tight-butt entrance, when he commented,"I do love that organ music!" Translation: "That music YOU PEOPLE play in YOUR BLACK CHURCHES". I'm afraid if I were there I would have crawled under my chair.
 
 
+26 # mim 2012-07-14 11:38
It's worse than what Perot said. The offense in "you people" is a small wrinkle in the English language; the phrase is offensive only when said by a white to blacks. And standard English has no distinctive form for the second-person plural. A white person who is well-meaning but clueless could commit that offense.

True, anyone who's clueless about people has no business running for president, and true, Perot had credibility problems of his own. But Romney's behavior with African Americans is on a whole other, lower level.

Speaking of Perot and Romney, we can dust off that old Trillin-Seeger song. After the 1992 campaign, Pete Seeger said it was an all-purpose political song, but some politicians are more brazenly mendacious than the common run. Mitt Romney is one of those politicians.

"Go vote for someone else" - thar's the best advice he's given us.
 
 
+2 # bmiluski 2012-07-16 09:43
The offense in "you people" is a small wrinkle in the English language; the phrase is offensive only when said by a white to blacks.

I am offended when a black person says that to me. Let's not forget; racism comes in ALL COLORS.
 
 
0 # giraffee2012 2012-07-29 11:28
I forgot about Perot - and his run on "money making ability" - As with Perot, Mitt's qualifications other than his alleged $$ making are surfacing (he is a joke and will take us BELOW what "W" did - as impossible as that may seem)
 
 
+10 # kelly 2012-07-15 12:26
Here's what I don't get:
He goes in there and says I'm not pandering to anyone. Not changing my speech to fit the audience in any way and, basically, I'll just let you know how it's going to be. But when he goes to speak with an Hispanic audience, the same rules don't apply. Pander, pander, pander. Remember, my father lived in Mexico...my son will give a speech in Spanish...some of my best yard men are illegals(oops, did I say that?!? Call Mark Rubio I need some damage control!).
The man clearly went up there, not out of courage or conviction but to pander to another base--his hard line, RWNJ buddies who met with him later on this week with Dick Cheney.
 
 
-227 # Michael_K 2012-07-13 16:26
It's quite sad tbat tbese things about Romney are all 100% true..

It's even sadder that you can say all the same and worse about Obama.

When will we stop abetting the 2 gangbanger system?
 
 
+225 # Peacedragon 2012-07-13 17:41
No, Obama has problems but he is many miles above Romney.
 
 
+123 # pernsey 2012-07-13 20:12
Quoting Peacedragon:
No, Obama has problems but he is many miles above Romney.


Your right Peacedragon, Obama is eons above the Etch-A-Sketch. At least Obama is smart and is trying, Mitt just comes flat out and says Im going to take everything away from you, and your going to smile while Im doing it, or vote for the other guy then he acts like he tried LOL. Hes basically promoting prejudices.

This idea of our guy sucks but so does your guy... if this is the best they got good luck with that.
 
 
-18 # John Locke 2012-07-14 08:22
Peacedragon: Lets look at reality, Obama is not a progressive he is more of a conservative, the legislation he has passed was NOT in our best interest.

The things he is doing is not in the best interest of America. A Kill list is not American although the CIA has been doing the same thing since their beginning. Killing Americans without a trial is against our notion of democracy!

You may believe he is better then Romney but if so it is only by a slim margin!

NDAA PLease don't forget voided the 1st, 4th, 5th, and 6th amendments to our bill of rights...

And extending the patriot act and the secret courts are Not American they are Fascist!
 
 
+23 # ericlipps 2012-07-14 09:52
Quoting John Locke:
Peacedragon: Lets look at reality, Obama is not a progressive he is more of a conservative, the legislation he has passed was NOT in our best interest.

The things he is doing is not in the best interest of America. A Kill list is not American although the CIA has been doing the same thing since their beginning. Killing Americans without a trial is against our notion of democracy!

You may believe he is better then Romney but if so it is only by a slim margin!

NDAA PLease don't forget voided the 1st, 4th, 5th, and 6th amendments to our bill of rights...

And extending the patriot act and the secret courts are Not American they are Fascist!


Er . . . let's see. Obama is a villain who has gutted the Bill of Rights and STILL may be better than Romney by "a slim margin"? How is that a reason to risk Romney winning?
 
 
-13 # John Locke 2012-07-14 12:30
ericlipps: Just reporting the facts. That does not mean Obama may not still win, all it means is we will still lose additional rights after this next election!

Maybe to some die hard appologists it doesn't matter that Democrats take away our rights, as long as it isn't done by a Republican, that seems to be ok....

Sorry but this thinking process is not viable to sustain a republic like we once had!
 
 
+28 # NanFan 2012-07-14 15:14
Quoting John Locke:
...this thinking process is not viable to sustain a republic like we once had!


"Like we once had" under whom?? The Bushes, Reagan? Oh, maybe you mean Clinton?

When can you last remember "a republic" that truly, truly kept us "free?"

Try again, John Locke! You can't sell me that load of sh.t without pointing to "the republic we once had" with hard and true specifics.

N.
 
 
+13 # Capn Canard 2012-07-15 07:19
and the system is what changed Obama. Whoever is president will get molded by the financial/energ y industries to play the game they demand, the People be damned.
 
 
+2 # Cassandra2012 2012-07-16 15:38
Agree and Grover Norquist will just hand whoever 'wins' a pen and tell him what to say and do ...
 
 
+46 # balconesfalk 2012-07-14 01:18
Michael_K,
We must change our paradigm thinking of two "parties" with less than stellar or ideal candidates. This time out we are having to choose between good and evil. It's about SCOTUS appointments, it's about discrediting the billionaire boys club dead set on buying power so as to have their way with us and de-regulate our conuntry into sheer anarchy. It's about sweeping the Tea Party back under the rug where it belongs and restoring this country to a high minded re-dedication to intelligent, compassionate concern for our fellow human beings. That is what is at stake in this election. Look beyond the two flawed candidates. They are but the tip of the body politic which is what really matters in the conduct of our society. We must change the tenor of the times and reject all the negativity and mean spiritedness that has high-jacked congress. Vote out those who thwart progressive ideas and demand that those we elect truly represent us, the grass roots, the 99%.
 
 
-8 # John Locke 2012-07-14 08:24
balconesfalk: WE are not choosing between Good and Evil, we are being forced to choose between evil and the lesser evil!
 
 
+13 # Feral Dogz 2012-07-14 10:35
Quoting John Locke:
balconesfalk: WE are not choosing between Good and Evil, we are being forced to choose between evil and the lesser evil!


And obviously the lesser evil is always the better choice! Please let me know when you've identified a viable "good" choice.
 
 
-9 # John Locke 2012-07-14 12:32
Feral Dogz: As I understand your comment it is acceptable to have the type of choices like we have?
 
 
+6 # VLR 2012-07-16 07:03
John, a third-party ride to the rescue ain't gonna happen in 2012. So just drop that fantasy from your list. Everyone here is familiar with the "NOTA" complaint.

The consequences of Mitt Romney being elected or selected are far worse than four more years of Obama. We understand it even if you don't.

If you don't like it, go vote for whichever third-, fourth-, fifteenth-party candidate you like. I'm frankly delighted that some lockjawed Ron Paul voters will split off more votes from Romney than otherwise.
 
 
+2 # Feral Dogz 2012-07-17 09:19
Quoting John Locke:
Feral Dogz: As I understand your comment it is acceptable to have the type of choices like we have?


We don't get to decide what choices we have in life, but sometimes we do get to choose among alternatives. Choosing something that is unavailable is an exercise in futility.

If given the choice between a long or a short life, you would choose immortality.
 
 
+1 # LILeo 2012-07-18 21:00
We all have opportunities to affect the available pool of candidates. People love to get all worked up about the presidential elections, but hardly anyone comes out for off-year elections. And even fewer come out for county or town elections. The people who become candidates for congress, senate and president OFTEN start in these positions.
And guess what - you REALLY CAN have an influence on who runs for those offices. Instead of complaining, how about getting involved with your most local Democratic committee? If you go to the meetings (usually once a month) and do a few volunteer tasks you'll have quite a bit of influence on decisions about candidates and more access than you could imagine to sitting state-wide Democratic politicians.
It's a big country. We cannot really expect one guy, or even a few hundred folks, to fix it all unless we hold them truly accountable - at EVERY level.
If we - actual involved citizens - take the lead they will have to follow. We've done a terrible job at this, and that's on us.
 
 
+24 # DavidMG 2012-07-14 08:25
Please elucidate. What has Obama done which is on par with Mitt's? Thanks
 
 
+68 # DavidMG 2012-07-14 08:36
What concerns me is the political compromises people are making to get rid of Obama. I feel bad that you (and so many others)can't enjoy these achievements (some of which were R ideas).:
1. Passed Health Care Reform
2. Passed the Stimulus
3. Passed Wall Street Reform
4. Ended the War in Iraq
6. Eliminated Osama bin Laden
7. Turned Around US Auto Industry
9. Repealed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"
12. Reversed Bush Torture Policies
14. Kicked Banks Out of Federal Student Loan Program
16. Boosted Fuel Efficiency Standards
18. Passed Mini Stimuli (July 22, 2010; December 17, 2010; December 23, 2011)
22. Created Conditions to Begin Closing Dirtiest Power Plants
27. Achieved New START Treaty
 
 
+45 # mim 2012-07-14 11:46
How about the Supreme Court? Who would you rather see when the next vacancy opens up: another Sotomayor or another Scalia?
 
 
-24 # John Locke 2012-07-14 12:46
DavidMG:
Get real, Propaganda has no place here!!!
Passed Health Care Reform; Where is a real Health Care Reform with Single payer?
2. Passed the Stimulus for who, The Banks there is still some 40 million unemployed and they just stopped Unemployment extensions so that the Unemployment rolls will drop...Come on think!
3. Passed Wall Street Reform: It was so water down it has been business as usual or have you not noticed the latest issues, continued Fraud, and LIBOR?
4. Ended the War in Iraq; No we were kicked out!
6. Eliminated Osama bin Laden, No Murdered Bin Ladin...What about a trial and how the Government complicity of 9-11 would have been exposed.9-11 was an inside JOB! Obama was unarmed and could have been captured and tried, but this was a cover up to protect Bush!
7. Turned Around US Auto Industry, Barely and it is still in trouble!
9. Repealed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Great achievement it would be better to end all our wars!
12. Reversed Bush Torture Policies: Wrong they are still going on, and the wars have been expanded!
14. Kicked Banks Out of Federal Student Loan Program: Really How! The student loans are still non dischargeable through Bankruptcy! And JP Morgan is still making them!
16. Boosted Fuel Efficiency Standards: No he reduced them!
Continued
 
 
+1 # Cassandra2012 2012-07-16 15:40
With the obstructionist unpatriotic self-serving money-grubbing Repugs in Congress!
 
 
-20 # John Locke 2012-07-14 12:47
18. Passed Mini Stimuli (July 22, 2010; December 17, 2010; December 23, 2011)P{lease tell me what he did, I am not aware of any stimulus!!!
22. Created Conditions to Begin Closing Dirtiest Power Plants: No actually he has approved the Tar Sands pipeline, and also two additional Nuclear neergy facilities!
27. Achieved New START Treaty Yes he did, but so far the US has not honored any treaty to reduce arms or biological weapons, we have a treaty to stop manufacturing these bio's but have continued in secrecy!

Next!
 
 
+1 # dovelane1 2012-07-15 03:31
There are those who tell it like it is, and those who tell it like they wish it was. It is a good thing, and very important to know the difference.

Too many times, our hopes get in the way of seeing what is going on. Hope is fine in its place, but it should never be used as a means of keepin us blind to what is going on.

I think hoping and wishing is what kids do. I think it's going to take more than hoping and wishing to get us out of this mess. We need to hold all our politician's feet to the fire, no matter what party they happen to say they belong to.
 
 
-3 # Stephanie Remington 2012-07-14 15:13
David MG:

The healthcare reform law's key provisions were proposed by the right wing think tank, American Enterprise Institute, in 1993 as an alternative to Hilary's efforts at health care reform, and adopted by Mitt Romney in Massachussetts.

The stimulus had some good things in it, but Obama caved to Republican pressure and cut most of the real stimulus, replacing it with tax cuts (which have much less bang for the stimulus buck), and leaving it too small to fix the failing economy.

Obama helped gut wall street reform. The provision to get rid of too-big-to-fail got killed. The Volker Rule supposedly still can’t be applied. And Obama keeps repeating the false statement that banks didn’t really break the law. Any RSN readers who claim that Wall Street has been reformed need to read RSN reposts of Matt Taibbi. He clearly documents otherwise.

Obama tried to negotiate an extension to the deadline for keeping troops in Iraq (an agreement signed by Bush before he left office), but failed to achieve that goal. There are still thousands of armed contractors there. Giving Obama credit for ending a war he tried unsuccessfully to extend is perverse.

Osama bin laden should have been tried in court, like the Nazis. Extra-judicial killing by an American president should not be listed as an achievement.

The auto industry bailout was achieved on the backs of workers who were forced to take big pay and benefit cuts.
 
 
-4 # Stephanie Remington 2012-07-14 16:25
response to DavidMG part 2:

Regarding theDADT repeal, I agree.

Regarding Torture, Obama has not reversed Bush torture policies. Torture is ongoing, at least by proxy, and there is some evidence that US personnel may be directly involved at least on some occasions.

Regarding student loans: Private lenders still will make student loans that are not backed by the government, and they still will have contracts to service some federal loans.

Obama's fuel efficiency standards (2009) set a significantly lower standard than proposed by the Bush administration in 2008, and was much lower than current standards in Europe, Japan, China, and other countries. This prompted a lawsuit. His 2011 proposed standards for 2025 are not much higher than current standards in Europe and Japan. His proposed standards for 2016 (a condition of the auto bailout) are lower than current standards in China.

I'm not sure what mini-stimulus you are referring to in July 2010, but I am astounded that you consider his extension of the Bush tax cuts in December 2010 as an achievement!
 
 
+17 # pernsey 2012-07-14 18:16
David MG some people hate Obama so much they try to minimize all his accomplishments , they are drinking the republican kool-aid...I agree with you David he did do those things, but some people will never give him any credit. Its so annoying.
 
 
0 # Stephanie Remington 2012-07-15 00:42
pernsey:

What's really annoying is knee-jerk Republican-vote rs accusing me of drinking the Democratic kool-aid and knee-jerk Democratic voters accusing me of drinking the Republican kool-aid.

FYI, the lot of you are willfully and dangerously ignorant.

I don't hate Obama or try to minimize his accomplishments . I'd be very happy if he had more of them.

If you all had been more critical of Obama and helped push him to do better, you wouldn't have to deny reality to find a way to "give him credit." He would have earned it.
 
 
+1 # genierae 2012-07-16 08:50
Ms. Remington, tons of liberals and progressives have been VERY critical of Obama, but I agree they refused to get involved in pushing him to the left. And now they have left him holding the bag for not accomplishing more. It's quite amazing.
 
 
0 # Stephanie Remington 2012-07-16 20:45
genierae,

I'm glad to hear it, but apparently most of those "tons of liberals and progressives" are not reading RSN. If you look at the negative votes for factual negative statements about Obama, they can be quite high. If the people you referred to were putting in their two cents, the negative votes would, at least, be restricted to opinions they disagreed with.
 
 
0 # giraffee2012 2012-07-29 11:35
Quoting pernsey:
David MG some people hate Obama so much they try to minimize all his accomplishments, they are drinking the republican kool-aid...I agree with you David he did do those things, but some people will never give him any credit. Its so annoying.


Most people who "hate" Obama - hate his skin color - and we have no laws against the KKK practices (they don't hang people from trees now but the racists put more people of color in prisons for marijuana than whites - and won't put one WASP who breaks banking laws even on trial ---) The KKK lives under different titles now! And everything we privatize is a show of what evil still exists the KKK GOP/TP (ok not all GOP/TP are racists) but ... I made my point.

Vote Obama + Dem all the way or the 1% rule for a LONG time
 
 
+1 # Cassandra2012 2012-07-16 15:36
This is my 4th try to respond= get cut off/ out etc. repeatedly!!

You CANNOT say 'the same and worse about Obama ' --- unless you are FAUX 'News'! This kind of rhetoric is simply false, and tiresome. Romney the money-hungry lying robot bears little or no resemblance to the rather weak and wanting to be liked by everyone = Obama.
 
 
+121 # Kayjay 2012-07-13 19:43
Romny is a pandering robot.....seeki ng only cash to further his quest to land his ass in the oval office. He is like "W" in that he doesn't care about the NAACP or blacks plight in today's America, nor after Katrina. Those black Americans he spoke at, rarely cough up enough cash to get his attention. Get money out of our Democracy.
 
 
+127 # Willman 2012-07-13 20:28
My concern is for Matt and his having to listen to both or any speeches by RoMONEY to be able to write his column. He earns his money thats for sure.
Keep up the great reporting and telling it like it is.
 
 
+71 # racetoinfinity 2012-07-13 21:00
As Gertrude Stein said of Oakland, "There's no there, there."

You wrote:

"Of course, that’s expecting a lot. But even if he had just come up with a fresh, earnest new way to articulate the conservative argument, something beyond the usual sloganeering, that would have been really interesting."

Mmmmm......nah.
 
 
+15 # Ralph Averill 2012-07-14 15:10
"As Gertrude Stein said of Oakland, 'There's no there, there.' "
A little history. Gertrude Stein uttered those words when she returned to the address in Oakland where she once lived, and found that her old house had been torn down. She was talking about a vacant lot, not the city of Oakland, which, if it wasn't located next to San Francisco, would be considered one of the hippest, most beautiful cities in the country.
As to the "No there, there" being applied to Mitt Romney, absolutely.
 
 
+37 # universlman 2012-07-13 21:37
Right. The republicans talked themselves into Bush, the Iraq war, no more science and tax warfare. It is great theater but it winds up spawning a load of crap that we all have to swallow.

There has to be a better way.
 
 
-4 # John Locke 2012-07-14 12:48
universlman A real third party!
 
 
+22 # KrazyFromPolitics 2012-07-13 21:45
God help us...It's pretty grim when a non-religious starts praying.
 
 
+31 # Lisa Moskow 2012-07-13 21:47
Great article.
 
 
+69 # Robert B 2012-07-13 22:20
Every time I hear this guy talk, I want to take a shower. I didn't even feel that way about Nixon. There's something deeply creepy about Romney, and I think Matt may have put his finger on exactly what it is. "He’s like a teenager who stays up all night thinking of a way to impress the prom queen, and what he comes up with is kicking a kid in a wheelchair."
 
 
+24 # Peacedragon 2012-07-14 08:28
I agree except I did feel that way about Nixon. Your quote is the one I copied and showed my wife.
 
 
+8 # dovelane1 2012-07-15 03:51
Or beating up some vulnerable kid in his school. Of course, he'd do his best to forget about it. Shows off his real "going along with the crowd, do anything to fit in wiwth the 'right' crowd" character.
 
 
+2 # 2lilluc 2012-07-16 06:51
You got it, "deeply creepy" sums it up.
Like Cheney, Romney has that depraved execrable smirky sneer that he attempts to pass off as a smile. I wonder, does he use some kind of magic to make his supporters see a different face?
 
 
+35 # Zarrakan 2012-07-13 22:25
REPUBLICANS HATE YOU IF YOU ARE NOT A RICH WHITE MALE. The Republicans are not even trying to hide their evil agenda. People like Mitt might as well have a long mustache to twirl while giggling manically as he ties elderly to train track, all the while raping a woman, and eating a baby sandwich that has an actual baby in it. Does it really have to be that obvious before you all get a clue? What the Republicans want is the complete destruction/sub jugation of the non-rich to give everything to the rich (wealth, power, rights, etc). If there is an option that helps the non-rich, the Republicans will automatically oppose it, and Mitt Romney is no different. Mitt Romeny via his influence with Bain Capitol single handedly liquidated/loot ed/destroyed many buisnesses, and directly caused millions in unemployment both by direct job loss, and the ripple effect through the job markets. I made a video about unemployment, and how we can fix it. It’s at my YouTube channel Zarrakan, and here’s the link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6qjvLSCtpc

Watch it, share it, and join the fight against those who want to kill all of us with destructive social policies.
 
 
+22 # X Dane 2012-07-14 12:40
Zarrakan
The part of raping the woman he will out source. The man has ZERO sex appeal.
I don't get Ann Romney, How did she ever have 5 sons with him?? He TURNS OFF any red blooded woman. Cold fish doesn't even begin to describe him. He is SOUL-LESS, CLUE-LESS, AND DEVOID OF CONVICTIONS.... UGH
 
 
+17 # mim 2012-07-14 16:21
I think they're OK with a rich white woman who knows her place, like a Barbara Bush the Elder, a Cindy McCain, a trophy Mrs. Koch, or an Ann Romney.
 
 
+39 # sameasiteverwas 2012-07-13 22:25
As I see it, even Mr. Taibbi missed the real irony, which is unusual for him. Romney is slamming people for wanting "free stuff" when the point of the personal mandate in the ACA is so that "free-riders" (Romney's own words) can't shove off their inevitable health care costs on all the rest of us. He is pandering TO the free-riders, and yet labeling the NAACP/blacks/De mocrats/liberal s/progressives AS free-riders. Doublethink in action.
 
 
-15 # usedtobesupermom 2012-07-13 22:27
they both work for the same masters. FOLLOW the money. They are both a side of the same coin.

Obama may be slightly better but he's also a puppet. Why else did he appoint the very criminals that caused this global disaster?
Obama has put us in more covert wars than most Americans can even dream of! It's now "murder by remote" We are in double the countries than when Bush left office- Don't get me wrong I hated Bush & told him so- at least he didn't block me from the White House site.
I'm neither Dem or Repub.
I'm AWAKE! And have been trying to get people to wake up for at least 20 years!
 
 
+9 # Jameswhadley 2012-07-14 19:45
You are undoubtedly depressed by today's politics if you believe that your vote has no import, and that the two candidates are equally reprehensible. The two party system we have here is a way of prioritizing values in a simplified choice menu.

My advice - think about a choice between two ethics, forget subtlety, and then make your choice known by exercising your right to vote.

It will have a meaning within the thrust of history. If you care, during the next four years you can look to promote your own ideas. We all, liberals, do care about what they are, and what your passions actually entail. And will listen if you can communicate them.

Obama is a far better human being than Romney could ever be, or even understand. Please abandon the misguided notion of equivalency, and vote for Obama.

I really do not know how else to put it.
 
 
+1 # bmiluski 2012-07-16 09:50
Obama has put us in more covert wars than most Americans can even dream of! It's now "murder by remote" We are in double the countries than when Bush left office-
Can you back that statement up with FACTS???
 
 
+50 # dyannne 2012-07-13 22:43
That *anyone* would want this mean spirited, clueless, dimwit to be president of the United States, is simple mind-boggling. For all his money, he has absolutely no class.
 
 
+31 # Alice W 2012-07-13 22:53
Thank you Matt, you are one of our saviors at this moment in time.
 
 
+5 # Innocent Victim 2012-07-14 08:06
Don't look for saviors! Save yourself!
 
 
+29 # angelfish 2012-07-13 23:04
Good job, Matt! The man is an ALIEN! He is a poor imitation of a human and behaves like he's trying to act like one but hasn't a clue as to what it means to BE one. He's really pitiable, but frightening, none the less, because so many wealthy, white, "ME First-ers" support him. I sometimes feel like the ENTIRE ReTHUGlican Party has been spirited away and replaced by mutant Cannibals. Incredible Theater is EXACTLY what's been going on with the ReTHUGlicans since their "Handlers" chose Reagan so many years ago. ALl they want is someone to look good on camera and read their script. Too bad Willard can't even do THAT without looking like a poor imitation of a "B" actor. In the meantime, fellow citizens, never, EVER Vote ReTHUGlican! The People, UNITED, will NEVER be defeated!
 
 
+2 # dovelane1 2012-07-15 03:44
Ironically, a poor imitation of a B actor was voted into the office of president.

I'm not sure what that proves, other than the possibility that people consider the facade to be THE person. In Reagan's case, the facade may have been the person, and maybe that was part of his attraction.

I don't think that's the case with Romney. What's under the facade may be a lot more pedestrian than most of us believe. I mean, he did a good job with the Olympics, didn't he?

Given his "do anything. say anything" to get elected behavior, and his allegiance to money and power, I don't think that makes for a good president, or a good politician, for that matter.
 
 
0 # X Dane 2012-07-15 20:59
Dovelane.
I think, as I have mentioned before, That he is obsessed with doing what his dad could not, just as W wanted to "get" Saddam Hussain. because his dad did not.
W was just to stupid to grasp, that his dad understood what would happen as we all saw....and are now paying for, although not as much as the Iraqis are.
 
 
+13 # universlman 2012-07-13 23:22
And this is the first time in ages that anyone I respect had anything nice to say about Bush.

Its been a strange week for news.
 
 
-13 # Susan W 2012-07-13 23:22
I actually held my nose and watched some speech somewhere from Romney and it was probably the most excruciating experience I've had in quite awhile. I knew the man was a pandering empty suit but it was so comical I almost felt sorry for him.

So in this great democratic republic we are reduced to a choice between this totally inept, fatuous, flip-flopping, ignorant, filthy-rich mannequin and a silver-tongued corporate puppet who only talks the talk then caves.

Wow! In a country of 300million this is It? No wonder people have decided to quit voting
 
 
+9 # Howard T. Lewis III 2012-07-13 23:25
I was at a stoned rock concert long ago with drunk and stoned people all over the place. One guy was stumbling among the crowd naked and ripped on God knows what. He tripped and laid down on my friend's sleeping bag and relieved himself before getting up and moving on. I thought this was as messed up as one could get until Bush43 and Mittens Romney showed me just what the word 'shameless' means. I am sure that naked dude came to his senses when the drugs wore off. What will we have to do with Mittens Romney? I am convinced Project Monarch nailed Obama back in the late 1970s without his being aware of it. Romney is a natural.
 
 
+12 # Richard1908 2012-07-13 23:28
What America needs is a peoples' revolution to flush out the rich and powerful - the politicians, the CIA, the Department of Homeland Security and a bunch of other Fascist crooks and thugs who run the United States of America. The world's greatest democracy is a sick joke.
 
 
+24 # BeaDeeBunker 2012-07-13 23:29
So everyone agrees, Mitt Romney is a disaster. But Mitt Romney is the presumptive candidate of the Republican Party. He freaking won the nomination of American citizens who vote and hold on as tight as they can to ideas and ideals that are anathema to this experiment call American democracy through representative government.
But the game is fixed, or rather the 'experiment' has a fudge factor, or what may be called a fail safe mechanism to make sure that the 'experiment' is not too successful, and that device is the Electoral College. For no matter how lopsided the 'popular' vote may be, it's a winner take all game where the colors red and blue are the colors on the spinning wheel, and the cheating magnet is in the hands of the management of the casino.
And those damn polls...they have Romney nearly even with the President of the United States!
Matt Taibbi describes him this way: "But Romney doesn’t buzz with anything. His vision of humanity is just a million tons of meat floating around in a sea of base calculations." "Man, is he a disaster."
Wow, a disaster that just took in 121 million dollars in one month to feed this mass of floating meat their matching (read voting) orders.
Thomas Jefferson said there should be a revolution every 33 years. This is the same Tom Jefferson that the state of Texas is removing from their history textbooks.
Sorry,gotta go folks, my favorite Reality show is on the TV.
 
 
+33 # susienoodle 2012-07-14 00:04
I think it's over for Romney, but unfortunately we all have to endure a few more months of his smug, entitled, lying self. Obviously he'd rather flaunt his wealth than win, thank goodness. I doubt Ann Coulter was ever more accurate than when she said:" if they nominate Romney, we'll lose."
Romney makes George Bush seem likable.
I don't have confidence in the American electorate, but this guy is so bad, those with a conscience will not be able to vote for him. Personally, I hope their side doesn't show up, so we can take back the house.
They would have been better served nominating Santorum. Not that he has many redeeming qualities, but at least he's authentic. Romney has no redeeming qualities that I've observed. His father must be rolling over in his grave.
 
 
+26 # dawn99 2012-07-14 00:19
A different author pointed out that Rome-y did this on purpose to GET black people to boo because those boos make the gop base happy. F! that is nasty racism!
 
 
+14 # mim 2012-07-14 16:07
Nasty, racist, manipulative, and playing the martyr. And, I hope, self-defeating.
 
 
+19 # Secular Humanist 2012-07-14 00:27
If Romney was really giving the same speech to the NAACP as to his "other" audiences, it would have included the "free stuff" reference. Somehow, I don't think he would have dared to do that.
 
 
+20 # Larry 2012-07-14 00:48
I miss Newt. True, his psycho-conserva tism is Macbeth's tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing, but at least it is passionate. Romney, on the other hand, shows nothing but the smarmy smile of a seasoned con-artist, wrapped around the canned talking points programmed by his handlers.
 
 
+13 # epcraig 2012-07-14 01:23
To think, once upon a time the Republicans conquered the Confederate States of America. Now it is their base?
 
 
-15 # seeuingoa 2012-07-14 01:23
pernsey: " at least Obama is trying..."

Obama didn´t try to sign the indefinite
detention, he actually signed it.

Obama didn´t try to sign the tar sand pipeline, he actually signed it.
 
 
+36 # ghostperson 2012-07-14 01:24
Taibbi, you da man. The imagery of a fender skirt-coiffed Romney in an immaculate white shirt scheming to impress the prom queen and landing upon the idea of kicking the kid in the the wheelchair is priceless. (Actually, the scheme was to shave the head of someone he thought was gay. Before draft dodging in France.)

Clearly, Romney et Cie. concocted the "Obamacare" stunt. Exhibit A: his oh-so-barely perceptible, smug smile cum smirk as he fluidly stood back to receive return fire afer playing Puck with a flamethrower for the amusement of his Dawn of the Dead followers.

I want Biden to go to a Koch retreat and announce that the first order of business in the next Obama administration will be to put a executive branch moratorium on the tax exemptions claimed by all GOP shell, non-profit (lobbying) groups, institutes, propaganda generating think tanks, etc. pending an investigation of their funding sources, use of funds received and work product developed because our deficit is so bad. Then Biden can say, if these groups "want more stuff from the government" they can vote for the wooden stick figure running for president for the other party.

I didn't dislike Romney at first. I just didn't want anything to do with out-of-touch, maladroit elitist from a secretive, patriarchal, mysogynistic cult running the U.S. After the NAACP, incident I realized he is just a better looking amoral, Don Imus/Rush Limbaugh clone who will do anything to get elected.
 
 
+9 # dovelane1 2012-07-14 01:35
Someone in the recent past said we have to reach the reachaable. My concern is that the more people like Taibbi blast him, the stauncher his proponents become. I saw the same thing ahppen with Bachman when she was still in the race.

People who see things in black and white, will speak using very direct language without qualification, like pastors and presidential candidates.

Once their "issues" are mentioned, this kind of person has learned to automatically trust, respect, and obey people who speak like that. The pastors and presidential candidates seem like natural leaders to those who think in black and white terms, and who have not learned to think critically and somewhat objectively.

Because these people have learned to think they are good judges of character, when they are only reinforcing their biases or prejudices, they will automatically become even more fanatical about their "heroic" candidate. The candidate does not have to put much energy into making his crowd like him. The crowd of fanatics will do it for him (or her.)

These people may not know the difference between a Fascist Socialist and a mocha cappucino, but they know the difference between when their "hero" is being mocked,and when he's taken seriously.
 
 
+1 # X Dane 2012-07-15 21:17
dovelane.
I think you are right, but we must hope that the undecided are able to see him for what he is and will NOT vote for him
 
 
-6 # dovelane1 2012-07-14 01:43
ps. As a another commenter pointed out about Bachman and her supporters, what they will believe now is that Taibbi is not only laughing at their hero, he is laughing at them, and they will only hate more, and be more determined to support anyone who promises not to laugh at their ignorant visions and fantasies.

I believe the key is to respect everyone, while still continuing to challenge their ignorant or irrational beliefs.

They have to learn that basically, we are just as human as they are, before they will be willing to accept the possibility that they might be wrong. I find it always helps if I'm also able to admit to the possibility that I might be wrong, as well.

I could even be wrong believing that Romney is everything Taibbi says he is, but I don't think so. Believing it's possible, though, allows me the possibility of changing my mind if I find out I am.
 
 
+6 # dovelane1 2012-07-15 04:09
I have to admit I have watched Romney hardly, if at all. Most of the info I I have on him, I get from National Public Radio, which tries to be unbiased, but finds it hard to do in his case.

I see Romney as a "suit," and little else. I'm not really interested in more "suits." There are already too many - on wall street, in banks, and pretty much any place that deals in power, money, stealth, and subterfuge.
 
 
+4 # X Dane 2012-07-15 21:12
dovelane
I was surprised to see the red marks, still am. For you are a very reasonable thoughtful person...judgin g from your comments. Romney is not just an empty suit.
He is a GREEDY empty suit. Light years from what our poor battered citizens and country need. HE CAN NOT WIN.
 
 
+23 # ghostperson 2012-07-14 01:53
Romney has the emotional range, social skills and personal interactive capability of a calcified turd. Sorry to insult to calcified fecal matter.

I cringed watching him insult a town's pride and joy, its super duper donuts, and hearing him try to be all folksy about young southern girls. He was Bean on acid with incipient Tourette's syndrome.

I wanted to scream "shut up it's too painful to watch." Does someone wind this man up in the morning. He must have an actual personality somewhere, doesn't he? Why have we never seen even a glimmer of it? He is like Stepford wife-- presumably with a phallus.

Romney cannot be described in affirmative terms; he is only describable as having the absence of [name the characteristics .] In other words, he's a cipher that is good at making money for himself and other demi-gods. The rest of the world outside his immediate ambit...well, there isn't one.

I have a family member that is autistic. He can't be described by what he is, only by what he isn't. He and Romney are the same in that regard. Both have been trained to demonstrate certain, well-coached behaviors and patter in life's common situations. But throw them a curve ball and their marionette limbs go all wongo and weird stuff comes out of their mouths.
 
 
+12 # trevorlasvegas 2012-07-14 02:29
Gertrude Stein also said "a rose is a rose is a rose." Dear reader, you choose the noun substitution of your liking. I am afraid the RSN censor wouldn't allow mine.
 
 
+1 # Montague 2012-07-14 02:43
What's REALLY sad on this site is whenever any poster like Michael K attempts to say anything outside of the usual progressive cheerleading the assumption is they're THE ENEMY and they get massive negative votes. It's pointless and I'm really tired of it. How about intelligent discussion with civility?
 
 
-9 # Montague 2012-07-14 03:31
Pernsey: to reverse it, all you're saying is "Our guy sucks, but your guy sucks worse". Time for rational debate and not forgiving Obama for many evil things he's done because he has some good instincts and isn't as gaga as Romney.
 
 
+9 # pernsey 2012-07-14 18:23
Quoting Montague:
Pernsey: to reverse it, all you're saying is "Our guy sucks, but your guy sucks worse". Time for rational debate and not forgiving Obama for many evil things he's done because he has some good instincts and isn't as gaga as Romney.


No thats what your saying, I dont think Obama is bad you do LOL!
 
 
+32 # eldoryder 2012-07-14 04:44
By now, it should be PAINFULLY obvious to anyone listening to all of those spreading the canard that "both candidates are the same", that there is no truth to this fantasy.

Bottom Line:
1% = Romney
99%= Obama

and on the subject of future Supreme Court nominees we can expect:

2 new Conservatives - Romney
2 new Moderate/Libera ls - Obama

The effect of 2 new Supreme Court Justices will far outweigh anything the next five Presidents can do.

Vote Obama!
 
 
+16 # Mrcead 2012-07-14 04:52
The problem with Republicans and the NAACP is that Republicans have already drawn the line in the sand with the NAACP ages ago. They seem to keep forgetting that bit and keep crossing it.

Romney alone has answered his own problem with using the pronoun "they" when he was in front of his peers. It clearly shows he views people in separate and distinct categories just like a businessman would - and the Black community sees right through any attempts at the electric Kumbaya. I'm surprised anyone showed up hearing Romney would be stopping over for a cozy natter. If one willfully ignores a community until voting time, what does one think will happen?
 
 
+13 # Ralph Averill 2012-07-14 05:06
"As Gertrude Stein said of Oakland, 'There's no there, there.' "
A little history. Gertrude Stein uttered those words when she returned to the address in Oakland where she once lived, and found that her old house had been torn down. She was talking about a vacant lot, not the city of Oakland, which, if it wasn't located next to San Francisco, would be considered one of the hippest, most beautiful cities in the country.
As to the "No there, there" being applied to Mitt Romney, absolutely.
 
 
+12 # hd70642 2012-07-14 05:10
Mr Mitt Romney who resembles Rotten Rodney from lazy town has forgotten two key concepts one recipients of social programs are mostly white and two are not just free loaders a lot of the working poor rely of section eight housing food stamps and most folks on welfare even at it's most generous never really made a career of it . Telling folks what to do usually does not require the same effort and expertise as actually doing a days work what does Mr Ronmey really know about a honest days work anyway?
 
 
-37 # DLWilson 2012-07-14 05:22
I am sad that Taibbi is becoming the Limbaugh of the left. We are better than hate and trash talk. OK, Romney is an unfeeling chameleon, but both at NAACP and with his "free stuff" remark, he was speaking non-racially. We WANT that in a post-racial society. This was the extreme opposite of Perot's "you people" gaffe during his NAACP speech in 1992. Romney wasn't seeing black people, he was seeing (by his lights) deluded Democrats. I deplore his myopia; I salute his color blindness.
 
 
-7 # lnason@umassd.edu 2012-07-14 05:34
I think it plausible that Romney pulled what we in New England call the "New Hampshire" strategy at the NAACP -- going to a hostile audience and getting booed to call media attention and gather additional support for one's home base of voters. Given our small media markets, it is often pulled between New Hampshire and Massachusetts or New Hampshire and Vermont or between Connecticut and Rhode Island even.

And I won't be voting for Romney in part because of his support for corporate bailouts.

That said, characterizing Romney as an unlikeable bit of political sleaze is both uncalled for and untrue. He is squeaky clean and he appears to have a set of core beliefs regarding economics (though not civil liberties or foreign policy) that are genuine even if misbegotten. Supporters of Obama should not undermine their own credibility by refusing the address his economic beliefs or by using personal attacks to besmirch his character.

Throwing mud is likely to cause some of it to splash back. And it does not further the political debate.

Lee Nason
New Bedford, Massachusetts
 
 
+4 # ABen 2012-07-15 11:08
Lee, for once I agree with you, at least in part. Romney clearly was employing the '"New Hampshire" strategy' with his address to the NAACP. His use of the term "Obama Care" alone should signal this to any alert observer. However, on the subject of Romney being squeaky clean, I would characterize him as well polished, which is not the same as squeaky clean.
 
 
+21 # overanddone 2012-07-14 06:02
Ode to Mitt

I’m Mitt da Shit
I haven’t much wit,
But my bank accounts are all fat
And some Swiss.

I created thousands of jobs
For minimum wage slobs
At Burger King, Staples &
Sports Authority.

With the best of intentions
I stole lots of pensions
It sucks to be you
And not me.

With the rich I’m connected
So when I’m elected
The very poor I won’t care about
Quote Me.

I said what the facts is
Don’t look at my Taxes
Every cent owed was paid
Blind Trust me.

The Utah Olympics I saved
With 300 million you paid
In taxes? No in Massachusetts
We call it a fee.

I skipped Vietnam
With nary a quam
I was saving souls in Paris
You See.

“OBAMACARE” I’ll repeal
On my first day with zeal
Replace it with “DON’TCARE”
That’s Free.

So just vote for me
500,000 jobs a month you will see
Just how will I do it
TRUST ME!
 
 
+1 # 2lilluc 2012-07-16 06:35
Silly and all true....I think we need some wandering minstrals...wra p it in song, make it simple enough for the "folks" who just can not seem to get it! You don't play an instrument by chance?
 
 
+9 # charsjcca 2012-07-14 06:17
The unfinished agenda of the 1960s is the Domestic Marshall Plan as articulated by the late Whitney M. Young, then president of the National Urban League. The campaign has that information because I gave it to Tagg Romney. Or Mitt could have read Ronald Wilson Reagan's speech delivered in Denver at the national convention in the 1980s. There is plenty of subject matter if so inclined. Unfortunately, Mitt Romeny is not as talented as was his father. He has become a garden variety politican rather that a creative thinker with something to bring to the table that will move America forward. If we were doing well as a nation a care-taker president might be acceptable. However, with the challenges that face America in this global world new thinking must emerge.

Even if there was to be a cadre of creative thinkers in a Romney White House
I like the question from 2008 by Hillary Rodham when she queried Obama and the world, "Who do you want to answer the White House telephone at 3:00 AM." There will be no staff to do that-just the president of the United States to respond.

The is also past time for individuals to cease using the term r-a-c-e when referring to humankind. That notion was discredited some 100 years ago. Folks wanting to hustle Blacks continue to use it. If you refer to yourself as Black this should offend you, unless you like being conned.
 
 
+34 # Susan1989 2012-07-14 06:23
I met Romney at a small event in Mass years ago. I knew nothing about him....not even his party affiliation. He is everything described here--one of the chillingly coldest men I have ever met. He hung around in a small cluster ov VIPS and made a robotic speech. There is something ominous, heartless, and cruelly paternal about the way he pulls in his chin and looks at his audience before telling them that he is going to "take things away from them." I am deeply concerned about what will happen to us all should he become President and--if the Republicans control both houses This man is devoid of humanity.
 
 
+24 # walt 2012-07-14 06:39
It is hard to believe that the likes of person as shallow as Romney will be the nominee of the GOP. They have a history of bad candidates, but Romney takes the cake. He stands for nothing other than his big moneyed friends.

Like the entire Republican party, he has no plan other than to defeat the black president at ANY cost. His dull and uninspiring speeches show this clearly.

And worse yet is that he actually has supporters among white, middle-class and poor voters. Can anyone explain why they want to vote against their own self-interests and select a guy who would destroy workers' rights and give the country completely to the 1%?
 
 
+23 # SouthBrun 2012-07-14 07:24
Is Romney unaware that video of his previous positions are saved and can be dialed up for comparison with his views of the moment. Or, does he know that Fox does not run comparisons about him and he is secure that his sheep will not find out about him.
 
 
+8 # mdhome 2012-07-14 15:46
YES
 
 
-3 # RobertMStahl 2012-07-14 07:45
So, do you think there is something fundamentally wrong with the whole system, a place where the living have no hope, like Banksy says? Or, is this a ploy to give credence to the election process, at large? Systems, such that even Bertrand Russell said that mathematics, in the end, defaults as imagination. So, discipline yourself, for the most serious, if they are, are really imagination. Reality is not sado-masochisti c, but a snake biting its imaginary tail (tale?).
 
 
-10 # dick 2012-07-14 07:53
Political leaders, like all people with influence, should try to lift us up, help us onto a higher plane. Miff Romoney does the opposite. However, the issue is not Willard or the pedestrian GOP base; it is staggering INEQUALITY, which has grown worse under the Smoother Soother, Barack Obama. Barry speaks well while bankster & other corporate criminals get more & more Money & more & more Power. HE is their Great Enabler. He betrayed all of US. I feel like the Fall election is really a GOP primary.
 
 
+23 # genierae 2012-07-14 08:00
Matt didn't mention that Romney flew in his own conservative black people to cheer for him, and then told reporters that after the NAACP speech he talked to some black people that agreed with him. This man is astonishingly evil, I'm beginning to think he's a robot, programmed by the Bilderbergs. He has no human characteristics that I can see.
 
 
+5 # dovelane1 2012-07-15 04:23
Of course he has human characteristics - they are mostly bad or unhealthy ones for the 99%, and great ones if you're in the 1%.

As a friend of mine told me some time ago, "Sincerity sells - and when you've learned to fake sincerity, you've got it made."

He's trying, but I'm not sure he's learned to fake it all that well - yet. Unfortunately, we still have a few months to go.
 
 
+3 # genierae 2012-07-16 08:25
I should have said that he shows no "humane" characteristics , dovelane1. Romney shows no compassion or kindness, which is not surprising considering his upbringing. But I don't even think he shows negative human characteristics , he's just a blah, mechanical functionary. His movements are robotic, and when he tries to show anger, he can't even get that right. It's sort of creepy to me, and that smug, fake smile seems programmed into him. I don't think I've ever seen anyone else with such a blank personality. It's very odd.
 
 
-13 # Innocent Victim 2012-07-14 08:05
Almost all the right-minded USians, from organizations like NAACP and from disorganization s like the "occupiers", end up voting for the Democratic Party; so they are right-minded and wrong-headed.
What should they do? Present new candidates and a new party of their own. Letting the Republicans win is the cost, but defeating the Democrats is the benefit. Make the Democrats realize that the lesser evil status will no longer win elections, in the congress or for the WH !
The occupiers are an example of what NOT to do! Winning requires organization, leadership, a well defined program, and not just noise and enthusiasm.
 
 
+20 # granny6 2012-07-14 08:14
Romney's view of the world is somewhere in the 7th grade level. He looks down on people who are not "like him". Hence the cutting of the hair of someone he didn't like. He hasn't matured past that stage. Just what we need in the White House, a Frat Boy trying to best the nerds. Must to have been the high light of his life. Oopps! What live? He is a robot wound up every morning and told what to do and say.
If he glitches he automatically go to laugh mode. That mirthless tee hee that he calls a laugh.
 
 
+20 # wwway 2012-07-14 08:20
Romney is a tax cheat and he dares to promote the idea that government gives "free stuff?"
There's an old saying, "Don't $#@& where you eat." The Elite have been $#@&ing on America for more than 30 years and I'm amazed that the middle class has accepted it.
 
 
+23 # mrbadexample 2012-07-14 08:29
In his own way, Romney is as creepy as Nixon--a man without grace so transparent even the credulous could see the gears turning.But I agree with some of the other posters here that the creepiest thing about Mitt is that he really doesn't believe these things he's spouting. I'm sure a private conversation with Mitt in the locker room of one of his exclusive clubs would reveal the contempt he feels for the rubes buying his act. And that contempt pours out of every pore. The question is whether he can convince 50% +1 of the electorate that he's the least worst candidate.
 
 
+19 # Jameswhadley 2012-07-14 09:49
If you would like to know how his immunity to logical belief systems started, try reading a summary of the Book of Mormon (not the new play, the REAL Book of Mormon.)
I would not characterize any religionists as either good or bad based on the beliefs espoused by their faiths, but you will see if you carry out a successful search on the B of M, that what Mormons are asked to come to terms with defies logic, history, paleological evidence, and common sense. Really. So no wonder.
 
 
+18 # Interested Observer 2012-07-14 10:17
Joseph Smith was the L. Ron Hubbard of 19th century America.
 
 
+6 # dovelane1 2012-07-15 04:35
You make an interesting point. What I'm wondering is how faithful Romney is to his faith? Is he just a Mormon on Sunday, or is there some real devotion to his beliefs?

Or is this all just another facade, used so that he can say he has some kind of belief, and one which he ignores when it comes to making money, and maintaining his exalted status?
 
 
+1 # Jameswhadley 2012-07-15 11:11
They say he wears the sacred underwear.
But his faith is irrelevant. It is his belief system, or more precisely his lack of any set of consistent beliefs, that is truly creepy.
And this I attribute to his being told as a child that Christ appeared in North America prior to actually being born in Bethlehem. And, not only that but he converted the natives, descendants of one of the lost tribes of Israel, to Christianity. Then it all perished. Oops.
Imagine this happening to you. Well, I guess anything, just plain anything, is possible- would be your conclusion.
 
 
+15 # Interested Observer 2012-07-14 10:12
Romney is creepier than Nixon by at least as much as G.W. Bush was less competent.

The biggest thing going for Romney is the prospect of large numbers of disappointed Obama voters from 2008 just not showing up. That's were the +1 will come from.
 
 
+1 # BeaDeeBunker 2012-07-15 14:13
Quoting mrbadexample:
The question is whether he can convince 50% +1 of the electorate that he's the least worst candidate.

That is not the question, because most people do not understand that first off, it is not 51% of the 'electorate,' but 51% of the citizens who take the time and effort to vote. Furthermore, it's not even a popular vote driven election system, but is a simple winner take all in each state that determines who gets that state's Electoral College votes, and it's the Electoral College who determines who the president of the United States will be.

I ask everyone this question:
If only 5% of all eligible voters (approx. 9 million voters) voted, would it be a legitimate, sanctioned election for the highest office in the land?
I won't wait for an answer; I will give you the answer.
The answer is YES! That's the way our system works. These are the rules of the GAME!
Talking about third party, fourth party or even fifth party solutions is an utter waste of time. The rules, are the rules, are the rules, as Gertrude Stein would say.
The puppet masters know this. Why do you think the Koch brothers are spending so much money suppressing the vote? They know that they don't have to win a 'national' election, just enough states to get to that magic number that allows the Electoral College to 'graduate' the winner.
 
 
+15 # Interested Observer 2012-07-14 09:52
"It’s really incredible theater, watching the Republicans talk themselves into this guy."

What choice do they have when the other leading contenders were mostly raving religious ignoramuses and the loose cannon Newt Gingrich? Has there ever been a poorer primary pool in history? Mitt Romney really is the best of the 2011 GOP primary bunch that ever had a real shot except, arguably, if one thought Ron Paul actually had a shot. That is what is incredible.

So long as the GOP is enslaved to the axis of evil (corporate/defe nse oligarchs, the oligarch sponsored Tea Party shills, and end times touting religious fanatics who command the greatest pool of free labor in politics, and racist crossovers from the distant Jim Crow days of the Democratic party) it will be more of the same and worse.
 
 
+13 # empresslb 2012-07-14 10:36
Remember he is a friend to "the blacks"? I wonder if he thinks all blacks know each other?
 
 
+15 # David Starr 2012-07-14 13:47
"I tried to reason with the blacks, I really did, but it turns out they just want a free lunch," Romney said. The Right can't seem to get rid of an antiquiated superior complex, especially in dealing with race. Some Eurocentric relics should be tossed back into the 18th century. And Romney has never had "free lunches", i.e., perks, privilages, borrowing not for business infrasture but to doll out as divideds for Bain and himself, offshore tax havens? Romney and the Black citizenry are as contrasting as black and white (pun intended).
 
 
-11 # cypress72 2012-07-14 14:42
Please, please all you people on the Left do not be afraid. The true puppet masters will be sure that Obama is re-elected and possibly Hilary in 2016. The Republicans have been marginalized. Once there is immmigration reform, no Republican will ever again sit in the Oval Office.
 
 
-4 # gzuckier 2012-07-14 15:19
Quoting cypress72:
Please, please all you people on the Left do not be afraid. The true puppet masters will be sure that Obama is re-elected and possibly Hilary in 2016. The Republicans have been marginalized. Once there is immmigration reform, no Republican will ever again sit in the Oval Office.


Don't be silly. Obama is a Republican, as is Hilary. The Republicans are still in power. They just aren't in the Republican party any more.
 
 
+5 # pernsey 2012-07-14 20:50
Oh Please!
 
 
+2 # 2lilluc 2012-07-16 06:37
I second that "oh please."
 
 
+1 # Cassandra2012 2012-07-17 14:52
The Republicans 'marginalized' themselves, by not presenting us with a decent, sensible,non-hy pocrite, non-wacko candidate.
Think about:a) Santorum, who thinks all of us should have to follow the Catholic Bishops and disrespect women (52% of the elcvtorate), or b) Newt Gingrich, the poster child for 'family values' who presented his wife with dovrce papers as she emerged fom breast cancver surgery so he could move on to marrying his mistress... or c) Romney,the robot, who worships money and equates it with class, and sees the need for a car elevator, but not basic needs for human beings... .
 
 
+14 # 2lilluc 2012-07-14 14:47
We can quibble and bicker and disagree to disagree but truly, there can be no mistaking that Romney in the White House would be disastrous for all of us excepting a very few and of course the corporate and financial sector. We the people have much to do, much to change and much to fight for. Romney will throw us back so far that who knows how long it will take to undo the damage. For our own sakes, Obama is certainly the only choice here.
 
 
+10 # gzuckier 2012-07-14 15:18
Romney thinks to self:
"Good think I never strapped one of the colored servants to the roof when going on vacation, like I considered"
 
 
0 # jimattrell 2012-07-14 16:19
I love what Hillary Clinton said at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxoVqMhuzTo&feature=youtube_gdata_player. It's happening again folks, no matter who you like.
 
 
+5 # Scott479 2012-07-14 20:58
Mitt "Who Let the Dogs Out" Romney scores another point for racial insensitivity. There's the tin-eared and then there's the tin man....
 
 
+10 # bingers 2012-07-14 22:34
It's true that Obama is right of Eisenhower, but Ike was never really a Republican. Both parties courted him and he thought he had a better chance of winning as a Republican because Democrats would cross over to vote for him burt Republicans are in lockstep like lambs to the slaughter. Eisrenhower was the last good man to run for president as a Republican.

Granted Nixon did some very good things like OSHA and the EPA, but he was certainly a clinical paranoid who destroyed his good name because of his mental illness.

Are there bad actions by Obama? Sure, but he's a pragmatist and without winning you can't do the job. A second term will bring a more combative president committed to telling America about the misdeeds and treason of the righties, and hopefully a lot of them in handcuffs.

The Communist party was the bugaboo for years, illegal. One thing for sure, the Republicans have caused billions of times the damage the American Communist party ever did. Why aren't they illegal? And why do they have someone who committed voter fraud, a felony, running for president when it's illegal for a felon to do so?

(He illegally claimed the unfinished basement of his son's house as his legal residence in MA when he actually lived in CA.)
 
 
+5 # dovelane1 2012-07-15 04:42
Maybe that piece of evidence should be ignored, so he can continue to run. If he's as bad as most people think he is, how can he win?

If he couldn't run, would the person they replace him with be worse than he is, but more electable? Sure hope not.

In a country of 300 million, it's come to this.
 
 
+3 # genierae 2012-07-16 08:36
dovelane1, you're forgetting how easy it is to rig electronic voting machines. As long as Republicans can control the machines, we will have Republican presidents who will serve the 1% at our expense. I lived in Ohio in 2004, when the exit polls said that Kerry won, but the voting machines elected Bush. Nothing came of the investigation into it, and we got W. for eight years of hell.
 
 
+1 # Cassandra2012 2012-07-17 14:58
Quoting genierae:
dovelane1, you're forgetting how easy it is to rig electronic voting machines. As long as Republicans can control the machines, we will have Republican presidents who will serve the 1% at our expense. I lived in Ohio in 2004, when the exit polls said that Kerry won, but the voting machines elected Bush. Nothing came of the investigation into it, and we got W. for eight years of hell.

Yes, the Repugs inevitably use vote fraud /and machine/compute r rigging via Diebold (while simultaneously charging Dems with 'voter fraud'). And then there was the 'dis'honorable Supreme court 'Justice' Scalia, who wwhen confronted with his unconstitutiona l legisklating via the cvourt in Gore vs. Bush, arrogantly said, 'oh, get over it'!!
 
 
+4 # giraffee2012 2012-07-15 00:42
Summary: Mitt can not get the African American vote - so he went to their meeting to insult them - which gained him points with the bigots who will vote for him.

President Obama will keep probing the Bain situation -- and end with finding out his tax situation in time. A felon cannot run for President (unless the RATS change the constitution again - as they did in 2000 - and put it back after putting "W" in the W.H.)

McCain has seen Mitt's tax records from 1999- 200X and rejected him as VP -- maybe somebody can put the heat on McCain to tell - or McCain will have to face the music - along with Mitt - if the truth comes out.

Clean house of GOP/TP - yell, talk, phone, email, plead with anyone you know who watches/listens to FAUX/Rush -- until they vote Dem. I did it to my oldest son! He may never talk with me again but I feel so strongly about this, the problem will be my son's and not mine.
 
 
+4 # genierae 2012-07-16 08:42
Your son will thank you one day, giraffee2012, as a parent you did the right thing. There's no greater love than to tell someone the truth, knowing they will not appreciate it, but also knowing that they need very much to hear it.
 
 
+2 # CragJensen 2012-07-15 06:54
This is the Republican's idea of a great candidate? Ron Paul is way more in line with the American populace. Oh well - the more stupid and mean-spirited comments Mitt makes the better for all-of-us - because - the less likely he is to win despite the more-than-slugg ish economic recovery.
 
 
+2 # Cassandra2012 2012-07-17 15:01
Quoting CragJensen:
This is the Republican's idea of a great candidate? Ron Paul is way more in line with the American populace. Oh well - the more stupid and mean-spirited comments Mitt makes the better for all-of-us - because - the less likely he is to win despite the more-than-sluggish economic recovery.

Except that Ron Paul believes in government should keep its hands off of social issues etc. EXCEPT when it comes to regulating women's bodies! How quaint!
 
 
+5 # DavidMG 2012-07-15 09:55
I really appreciate the time and trouble people here took in their responses to my post (above). RSN is a great resource and I hope all of you are supporting it.
 
 
-3 # Alternative 2012-07-15 10:42
Get some courage all of you especially the ones who never vote.

Stop all of this divisive whining that will never get us anywhere and vote for real green change, not the old forked tongue promises of change by the one party, Republi-Crat, centrist right system.

There is a green ticket that actually looks pretty good. U.S. Green Party nominee Dr. Jill Stein and her Vice Presidential running mate, Anti-Poverty advocate Cheri Honkala.
 
 
+3 # feloneouscat 2012-07-15 15:55
Democrats voting Green only hands the Presidency to Romney. Even if EVERY SINGLE DEMOCRAT voted Green, the Green party would not win.

No third party will win unless it is embraced by a large segment of the population.

Like it or not, the race is between Obama and Romney. No one else is even on the stage.

Just for the historical record, the Presidency has been held by either a Democrat or Republican for 150 years. The odds of a third party winning is virtually zero.
 
 
0 # Cassandra2012 2012-07-17 15:02
And ENSURE the Robot gets in?
 
 
+1 # pompousass 2012-07-15 12:43
Matt is 100% correct.

There is an stiff awkwardness to Romney that tells you that everything he says and does is a calculation.

But reading this saddens me because I've just looked at the latest poll results. Obama is in a statistical tie with Romney either being up by 2% or 3% depending on the poll.

And, if you dig a little deeper in the poll there are things that people think Romney would be better at than Romney.

Sigh.
 
 
+4 # jerryball 2012-07-15 12:57
As Cheney, the ex-VP famously said, "So?" The GOP political strategy is that of a hyaena scavenging and pickiing the bones of the oppositions electorate. It was a gigantic show to prove to the other hyaenas that "We MUST vote these freeloaders out. Vote out the Black Man from the Freeloader Segment!" This is purely a hidden Racist Message without the pointing fingers showing the GOP up for the BIGOTS they are. A couple of years ago I found a YouTube songfest from some chap in Branson, Missouri, that had written a song about how "niggardly" Obama was. I called him out about his bigotry and he insisted that "niggardly" simply meant stingy. This is a prime example of this hidden campaign to be a bigot and blame the observer's and objector's state of mind as the true bigotry. I tried to get YouTube to take down the video, but it was so popular in the Midwest, it stayed up. The GOP is waging a war against anyone who is not White, and we know it withstanding their protests that they are not Racist.
 
 
+3 # moby doug 2012-07-15 13:06
St. Ron Reagan kicked off his successful 1980 Presidential campaign by speaking "states rights" code to Southern white racists at the state fair in Philadelphia, Miss., the same town where three civil rights workers were slaughtered by the KKK in 1963. Perhaps Romney was hoping to make a similar splash with the GOP racist base by baiting the NAACP in Houston. After all, the race-baiting Southern Strategy has been the bedrock of GOP success for 40 years.
 
 
+4 # Jaycie 2012-07-15 19:08
A couple of months ago, Ann Romney,in her smug, sanctamonious voice was heard to intone, "It's our turn." as though she is member of a Eurpoean royal family whose position is inherited! I have not been able to get this out of my head ever since: "It's our turn." Democracy be damned - "it's our turn." This is what we have now come to in this country, back where we started out under the King of England so many years ago. "it's our turn."
 
 
0 # Skeeziks 2012-07-16 07:56
It appears that the G.O.P. mantra has always been since Ronnie Reagan, "Win Babay Win". As long as they get the power, they do not care anything about Joe Shmoe. I just hope that the Democrats are up to the task to win another four years.

I like Obama but have some misgivings about him also, like him not neutralizing some of W. Bush's Presidential signings. That bothers me a good bit. He ought to replace them with signings that keep the Feds out of the eavesdropping business whenever they want to.
 
 
0 # cycleman60 2012-08-06 13:21
What an nincompoo[!!!!
 

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