Social scientists caution against using anecdotes as master keys to behavior. Most psychologists are skeptical of durable character traits — the “fundamental attribution error” — regarding behavior as dependent on circumstances. My friend the sociologist Gary Fine has studied the reputations of political actors in a brilliant paper, “Tricky Dick and Slick Willy,” concluding that “hatred facilitates scandal rather than scandal causing hatred.” This is equally applicable today, he has confirmed to me in an e-mail.
The odds against Mitt Romney are now over 80-20, according to the Iowa Prediction Markets, probably the best single indicator of how the election will go. Those of London bookmakers are comparable. Part of the reason may be rising house and stock prices, part may be fears about Medicare, but neither fully explains Romney’s lag.
The central problem may be that, unlike many other political tales, the Seamus episode evokes a vivid and concrete mental picture ready-made for cartoons like the recent one by the Washington Post’s Tom Toles. Romney’s harassment of a gay prep school classmate in 1965 (sadly routine juvenile cruelty?) and his leaked speech to a donors meeting appearing to dismiss 47 percent of the population as moochers (normal, private rich-guy talk?) can be made to seem, respectively, an ominous portent and a confirmation of callousness.
DOGS AGAINST ROMNEY FOUNDER ENDORSES MITT IS MEAN
Boston, MA- Today, the founder of Dogs against Romney, Scott Crider endorsed the SuperPAC, Mitt Is Mean. Crider will also serve as a volunteer adviser to the SuperPac. Dogs Against Romney is a national group of pet lovers who believe that Mitt Romney’s abuse of his dog Seamus is a window into the GOP nominee’s soul.
You may have heard the story. In 1983, the Romney family took a vacation and drove 12 hours to Canada from the Romney mansion in Massachusetts. During the entire trip, the family’s Irish setter, Seamus was exiled to a crate strapped on top of the station wagon. When Seamus answered the call of nature and rained on the Romney parade, mean Mitt hosed the car and poor Seamus down.
“Dogs against Romney is a pack, not a PAC” said Crider. “Our members are eager to do more and need a PAC they can support. I decided to get behind Mitt is Mean because the group has been working around the clock to focus attention on Romney’s cruel indifference to people and pets. If he treated his family dog that way how do you think he’ll treat people he doesn’t know.”
Marty Dunleavy, a senior adviser to Mitt is Mean stated that he was “happy to have Scott Crider and Dogs against Romney on board because we both want to expose Mitt Romney for the mean spirited guy he really is. The GOP presidential candidate has already made it clear that he doesn’t care about the problems of poor people, homeowners and working families.”
Brad Bannon, spokesman for Mitt is Mean pointed out that “Romney is the guy who put his dog in a crate on top of a car for 12 hours, likes to fire people, bullied a prep school classmate and supports the GOP Mean Machine budget which cuts federal aid for prenatal care.”
Obama Has a Right to Question Romney’s Business Credentials – Brad Bannon
Karl Rove believes the best way to damage a candidacy is to undermine the candidate’s strength. Mitt Romney is running as the guy with the experience to fix the economy. Making the sale against the bully from Bain is the best way to undermine Romney’s campaign. Democrats learned this lesson the hard way in 2004 when the Swift Boat Veterans destroyed the military credentials that were a big part of Jon Kerry’s campaign.
Voters don’t want a cold, calculating corporate CEO running the economy. Like a lot of other “corporate vultures” (Rick Perry’s words), Mitt made a mint shutting down companies, laying off hard-working employees, and sending American jobs to other countries. America needs more jobs, not fewer of them.
Mitt Romney’s version of cold-blooded capitalism won’t fly with the working families who are teetering at the edge of economic oblivion after decades of downsizing and income stagnation. A few guys like Romney and his banker buddies on Wall Street made fortunes as corporate pirates while worker productivity increased and wages declined. Americans won’t buy the Romney model as a way to fix an ailing economy.
While I’m on the subject, I disagree with Cory Booker’s critique of the validity of the issue. Romney’s record at Bain is fair game. He is running on his record as businessman. Americans have the right to hear the evidence and judge for themselves whether the Bain capitalist helped or hurt the economy while he ran the company.
- Obama Has a Right to Question Romney’s Business Credentials (usnews.com)
- Romney Shies From Bain Debate (huffingtonpost.com)
- Romney: Bain’s in bounds (salon.com)
“Mitt Romney’s slash and burn money making tactics as a Bain capitalist are the actions of a mean spirited bully who will step on anybody to make a few extra bucks. Romney’s business career was a prelude to his support for the Ryan budget which preserves federal freebies for big businesses and cuts funding for prenatal care, school lunches and health insurance for kids.” Brad Bannon from Politico 5/15/12
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Mitt is Mean’s own Brad Bannon on his show, Brunch with Brad on http://revolutionboston.com/