One of this politmouse’s on-line liberal ex-friends gratuitously provided this perfunctorily haughty advice to Mr. Romney: “Obama repudiated Wright. Romney should repudiate Trump.” I don’t think he was reading the Facebook thread in which she posted that pontification. If he was, he would certainly shrug it off.
In the minds of some, it’s a tit-for-tat game, this election thing. Punch and counter-punch. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Hey, it’s a chess match, not tiddly-winks.
Try to be elected president and you have 300 million pundits running around telling you what you “should” do. Well, American woman, you’re in over your head. Admit it. You have no idea what your own guy should do, let alone his opponent. You just like to be the mouth that roared. (Pun intended — remember the movie? You better.)
Anyhow, why should Romney repudiate Trump? So he can do exactly what the Democrats want? I think the Mormon guy is a little smarter than the mud-slinging opposition wants him to be. For example, speaking of repudiation, he has publicly nixed a SuperPAC’s plan to sling down and dirty mud at Obama by rubbing salt in the Jeremiah Wright wound opened by conservatives, Hillary, and perhaps, John McCain’s organization back in 2008.
Romney did well to stand above all that and eschew the politics of distraction. Standing up and defending himself against each distracting mosquito bite delivered by the Democrats is a weak posture. Ignoring them, which many wise uncommitted voters will also do, is the best posture on inconsequential issues.
On the other hand, dare this mouse say that the politics of distraction is about all of a wad the Obama campaign has to shoot?
Back to Trump. Yes, he’s a loose cannon, and he has a big mouth, and out of that mouth comes some pretty strange stuff. However, notwithstanding not playing into the Democrats’ hands, there are several good reasons to stay involved with the Donald. The first three are money, money, and money. Trump and friends are worth a bundle. Furthermore, with Trump happily committed to the GOP camp, he’ll eschew the notion of a third-party run at the presidency, which would be disastrous to GOP hopes for 2012. He is at times unpredictable, but he’ll do what he’s going to do, so just let sleeping cats lie. (Well? I am a neurotic mouse, after all.)
Just as I wrapped my little mouse brain around this subject, James Taranto published his “Best of the Web Today” in the Wall Street Journal, some of which addressed this same topic. (The rest of it is worthwhile reading, too, but insults to Poland and such are off-topic for today.)
Taranto made light of a Web ad by the Obama campaign. In his words:
“What’s weird about the ad is the abrupt shift in tone. It starts off by presenting the prejudices of anxious McCain voters as menacing and threatening, but the mood immediately lightens when the subject turns to Romney and Trump. It’s as if the Obama people wanted to portray Trump as fearsome but just couldn’t do it, so they ridiculed him instead. But isn’t it redundant to ridicule Donald Trump?
“To the extent that there’s anything serious about the Romney-Trump contretemps, Byron York of the Washington Examiner gets at it:
Romney’s refusal to repudiate Donald Trump sends a signal, both to Democrats and the voting public: With the nation’s future at stake in this November’s election, Romney will not accommodate calls that he disown supporters who make ill-considered, unpopular, or sometimes outrageous statements on matters not fundamental to the campaign.
Romney aides believe that cooperating with Democrats and media figures who are demanding a Trump disavowal would most certainly lead to more calls for more disavowals of other figures in the future–leaving Romney spending as much time apologizing for his supporters as campaigning for president. Team Romney views it as a silly and one-sided game designed to distract voters from the central issue of the race, which they remain convinced will be President Obama’s handling of the economy.
“Besides, Obama has a lot more crazy celebrities in his corner than Romney does.”
This proud Mus musculus feels that Messrs. Taranto and York must have had a Myomorphic ancestor somewhere in their family nesting material. Their thought patterns rival the type of brainwaves yours truly produced in the experiments at the lab. SQUEAK!!! But I digress.
Taranto goes on to describe the mainstream media take on the association between Romney and Trump — well, at least that of one ABC reporter.
“ABC News’s Amy Walter thinks the talk of Trump will help Obama anyway: ‘Every day that Trump, or other shiny objects like him . . . distract the media, is another day that talk of the economy/jobs is on the back burner. And that is a small, but significant, victory for Team Obama.’
“Can Obama really win re-election via a campaign of distraction? Walter immediately backs away from the suggestion that he can: ‘At the end of the day, however, ‘winning the news cycle’ only goes so far toward winning the race. Voters perceptions of the economy are going to drive this contest more than any one celebrity or ad or campaign flub.’
“If Walter herself couldn’t remain distracted for more than one paragraph, voters ought to be able to regain their focus by Election Day.”
I’ve been scurrying around taunting the cat (who is a career Democrat) ever since I read today’s “Best of the Web Today”. It hit several nails on the head.
Switching to other fine red herrings of the inedible variety, bane for a hungry mouse, this rodentious pain was fain to gain a sane perspective on the main idea behind the Bain refrain, before it completely wanes (someone left the cake out in the rane with Zane, but I digress). Holman W. Jenkins (how’s that for a completely WASPish name) writes in another piece in the Wall Street Journal:
Who says Wall Streeters aren’t filled with a desire to please? Two big-name Democratic financiers, Roger Altman and Steven Rattner, may not be ready to defend the president’s deceitful Bain ads. But they promptly took to the airwaves to defend the president’s defense of the ads, after President Obama himself issued a few syllables they could cling to, saying the ads merely questioned whether profit maximization is an appropriate governing principle.
Some Democrats, like the cat named Diane, have claimed that Romney is “running on his performance at Bain Capital.” Correction to the mouth that roared: Romney is playing this one straight. It is your fellow Democrats who are trying to make a big issue out of it, so they can demean Romney as a big, bad capitalist who actually believes in prrrrrrrrofits and who sometimes has to terminate large numbers of employees because, dadgum it boys and girls, companies are not in the business of supporting employees! Yep, that’s right. They’re in existence to make money. Dirty, filthy money to you who think you stand above the fray, as if you’re not trying to pile up all the money you can while telling everyone else how to spend theirs. Easy, right? Anyhow, this mouse is in need of another Xanax.
[Whether profit maximization is an appropriate governing principle] of course has nothing to do with anything. It certainly has nothing to do with the Bain ads. The ads aren’t meant to engage viewers in a discussion of the limits of the profit motive. The ads are about pure ressentiment.
The word is French and was once adopted by philosophers as diverse as Kierkegaard, Nietzsche and Weber. It describes a kind of moral scapegoating of others to explain our disappointments and dissatisfactions.
Wikipedia is especially instructive in the matter: Sartre also used the term “bad faith” for the habit of blaming others for our plight.
This neurotic, hypochondriacal mouse enjoyed the foray into European philosophers. It made me scratch my head and think. Or was that a mouse mite? Give “The Bain Ads Are About Spending” a read.
That does it for today. I have to scurry under the sofa for a while. I’ll be squeaking at you soon.