It’s an oversimplification, but I do not like Willard Mitt Romney and my dislike plays “Tag! You’re it!” with the smallest annoyances.
I do not like his over-gelled hair or the precision with which his stylist has left just the right amount of grey in his sideburns to fool us into thinking he is distinguished.
In fact, Romney is indistinguishable from all the other white, uber-wealthy Americans who’ve made and then hidden millions of dollars in offshore accounts; I also cannot tell him apart from all the other paternalistic white men who seek power in this country but refuse to follow all the rules like the people they want to govern.
Refusing to disclose years of tax returns tells me: Yes, I have as much money as you think and only I can count the ways I’ve hidden it.
I also do not like that Romney seems perpetually in an identity crisis. I really need a wealthy, 65-year-old white man to be sure of himself and to not always be looking around trying to glob onto what someone else is doing or saying to right himself over and over and over again.
Who the hell are you, Romney?
He is transparent, but in the wrong manner.
It’s his identity that’s see-through and it reeks of spinelessness and it shows a real lack of accountability, even on the most trifling things.
When CBS’s Bill Schieffer reminded Romney that he’d mistakenly announced his running mate Paul Ryan as “the next president of the United States,” Romney said he argued a bit back and forth with one of his likewise over-gelled sons that he hadn’t. When his wife assured him he had, he leapt back onstage to correct himself but told Schieffer — in a voice and with an expression normally used by tattletale children — that Barack Obama had done the same thing in announcing Joe Biden.
President Obama has made some mistakes in his first term but I’ve never heard him invoke the name George W. Bush as Obama was being thrown under the bus for the economy, the housing crisis, unemployment rates or our involvement in three wars during his watch. (Reminder: President Obama assassinated Osama bin Laden, something Bush couldn’t do, though Bush got Saddam Hussein killed on bogus claims of weapons of mass destruction.)
The president may, at times, be too cerebral but he has carried what’s his and, wrongly, what was Bush’s and even what belonged to Bill Clinton.
I do not like Romney for choosing Ryan — who looks like one of his Stepford Wives’ sons — and for making Ryan the Obama attack dog which, of course, Ryan denies he is.
Ryan is smarter than Romney: Ryan is a policy wonk where Romney is light in his Dockers beyond anything other than castigating and demonizing Obama on unemployment rates. Romney plays to the fear factor living inside Americans who’ve been foreclosed, laid off, fired and even those who rolled the dice on the black guy and thought he could turn around 16 years of a growing economic sinkhole in less than four years.
But Romney’s a one-note canary who’s mediocre at best at deflecting attention away from his own dirty deeds done dirt cheap at Bain Capital, his record of outsourcing jobs and, again, his many off-shore accounts and, oh yeah, his lower-than-mine tax rates.
Romney is even more unlikable to me because he is playing dirty politics within his own party and with his own choices.
Sure, Ryan is smarter than Romney on paper, but not wise enough to know Romney chose him for his economic policies that will slash and annihilate Medicare and all but dismember funding for women’s reproductive rights; further, the vice presidential candidate is clueless that Romney will undoubtedly distance himself from Ryan’s policies, thereby leaving Ryan to own and explain it and to ultimately take the fall for it. Especially if Democrats grow a pair and get ruthless enough to throw blame for Romney’s further disenfranchisement of America’s middle class.
Because that’s what this election cycle boils down to: class.
Then, for dessert, there’s race.
Speaking of race, I do not like Romney because he refuses to talk to or about his Mexican relatives, but he will talk a blue streak about immigration. Of course, the former does not begat the latter; in neither case is immigration a dirty word on its own, but the far right has made it so.
During the coming debates, I cannot wait to see how Romney will handle and answer questions around George, his Mexican-born father, and his polygamist great-grandfather, Miles Park, who fled America for Mexico 125 years ago for fear of prosecution for “plural marriage,” as the Mormons called it.
And what of that gaggle of Mexican Romneys living less than 200 miles south of the border? Romney has never visited his cousins, whose Mormon foreparents stayed behind and weathered the Mexican Revolution.
Finally, I do not like Romney because I do not respect him and I do not respect him because he neither understands nor respects the struggle and the shittiness folded into the choices un- and under-employed Americans like I make every hour of everyday. “Out of touch” is a phrase that’s been bandied about when the media does a drive-by on assessing Romney’s main barriers to breaking through to the American public.
He’s reached the ones most like him — the overly educated and seemingly well-bred and visibly well-fed. He’s closing in on the Americans paralyzed by fear and tuned into buzzwords. But let’s hope some of that good, old-fashioned American bigotry rears its ugly head, this time counterintuitively. Instead of blaming the black guy with racially coded or overtly racist language, let’s hope fence-sitting voters considering Romney may be too afeared of the exoticism of a Mormon in the White House.
After all, this country was built on intolerance, the word “no” and religious ignorance. Yet we still somehow run forward despite ourselves.
CONTACT KATHY Y. WILSON: [email protected]