It’s not an easy thing to do, but an online video by a pro-Dem Super PAC, which I assume is supposed to make me view Mitt Romney as a racist or a jerk or stiff or an insensitive French-speaking, wealth-flaunting swell, manages to make me like him a little better and actually feel a little sorry for him or anyone running for office who has to assume that every time he goes out in public he is being filmed and that the merest off-hand joke, overloud guffaw, unfortunate facial expression or slip of the tongue might be used against him
In a period when Repub campaigns — most especially Romney and his own Super PAC allies — demonstrate regularly that they willing twist facts, ignore logic and insult their audience’s intelligence with low blows against their opponents, the video is also a reminder that Dems do it too.
The video, by the labor-backed “American Bridge 21st Century,” is titled “Sh*t Mitt Says.” It contains no lies nor half-truths, since it is nothing but a compendium of short clips of Mitt saying things that the makers of the film suggest is fecal matter.
There is zero substance to the collection. The filmmakers don’t bother with any of Romney’s policy ideas.
A few of the magic moments are already very familiar, such as when Romney challenged Rick Perry to a $10,000 bet, when Romney said he wasn’t concerned about the very poor because they have a safety net, and the time Romney said he likes being able to fire people. Each of those has already been subjected to a predictable hackneyed analysis that even though they are taken out of context and don’t reflect what Romney was really trying to say they nonetheless are damaging because they reinforce a preexisting negative stereotype.
I’m sick of that analysis point and sicker of the subliminal communication strategy that it legitimizes. In the case of this video, I don’t see the strategy and find that about 80 percent of the moments are at least slightly endearing.
I exclude the one where he says “corporations are people, my friend.” But am I supposed to find disqualifying:
- the “information” that Romney considers his wife “a babe,” and has viewed her that way since she was 15 (or at least claims he has), but that he is trying to get her to stop wearing hot pants (although I gather he has flip-flopped on the hot pants question);
- that he has told the same joke (the one about how he is not a career politician because he was only governor for four years and “I didn’t inhale”) over and over again (imagine that, a politician saying the same thing repeatedly in his stump speech);
- that he thought the TV series “Twilight” was “fun;”
- and that he jokingly tried in one of the debates to curry favor with moderator Wolf Blitzer by saying, “I’m Mitt Romney and yes Wolf, that’s also my first name.” Actually that last one is a lie. Romney’s real first name is Willard. Seriously. You can look it up or have it Politifacted.
Here’s the video: