The Balls On These People…

Ben Smith, who spent last week lecturing us that calling Mitt Romney weird is tantamount to attacking his Mormonism, actually posted the following:

So calling him “awkward” is acceptable, but weird- STOP ATTACKING HIS RELIGION! Let’s use the waybackmachine to look at the kind of things that the Obama campaign were going to use to define Romney as “weird:”

“There’s a weirdness factor with Romney, and it remains to be seen how he wears with the public,” the adviser said, noting that the contrasts they’d drive between the president and the former Massachusetts governor would be “based on character to a great extent.”

***

Democrats also plan to amplify what Obama strategists described as the “weirdness” quotient, the sum of awkward public encounters and famous off-kilter anecdotes, first among them the tale of Romney having strapped his dog to the roof of his car.

None of the Obama advisers interviewed made any suggestion that Romney’s personal qualities would be connected to his minority Mormon faith, but the step from casting Romney as a bit off to raising questions about religion may not be a large step for some of the incumbent’s supporters.

Again, the Obama team never mentioned Mormonism, just things he does that are, you know, weird. In other words, exactly the kind of shit that Smith now finds “awkward.” Yet when the Obama campaign said they might focus on it, Smith and Martin surmised it was just a way of opening a stealth attack on his Mormonism.

You can’t make this shit up.

(via)






83 replies
  1. 1
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    “Forget about it, John. It’s Politico.”

  2. 2
    frapalinger says:

    douche bags

  3. 3
    Matt says:

    Someone was bound to point it out anyway, doncha know?

  4. 4
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    Am I to take from that cartoon that Ben Smith sits on fences and peers into womens’ bedrooms with his binoculars? It would be irresponsible not to speculate.

  5. 5
    Alex S. says:

    Heh, campaign season has begun!

  6. 6
    Valdivia says:

    go kick his ass on twitter! please, pretty please.

  7. 7
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    You’ll notice that the poltroon is sitting on the railing of a horse track.

    It’s all about the horse race with him, and the rest of the vermin of The Village. The utter stupidity of American political reporting openly embraced and revered.

  8. 8
    jl says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I second that. If Cole gets outraged at this stuff, he will make so much bread to relax, it will double the price of wheat.

    Politico is a marketing scam, they will say anything if it gets them traffic. It is their fricken journalistic slogan.

    They can’t see the difference between that and some old school slogan like “Truth Is Our Bottom Line” at the top of some heroic small town much raking paper a hundred years ago.

    They don’t give a damn.

  9. 9
    cleek says:

    You can’t make this shit up.

    actually, you can. and people actually pay that shitbag, Ben Smith, to do it.

  10. 10
    Zifnab says:

    In other words, exactly the kind of shit that Smith now finds “awkward.” Yet when the Obama campaign said they might focus on it, Smith and Martin surmised it was just a way of opening a stealth attack on his Mormonism.

    You can’t make this shit up.

    Why is this necessarily an Obama thing? Ben takes an off-word from an anonymous staffer (who – let’s face it – may or may not even exist) and turns it into a mini-scandal front page story. Politico gets to call Romney weird, vicariously through his political opposition, AND gets to poo-poo those nasty Democrats all in one breath.

    Then, a week later, Politico launches a second “Romney is weird” article.

    Call me crazy, but it seems like its Politico that has a “Call Mitt Romney weird” agenda.

  11. 11
    Elisabeth says:

    go kick his ass on twitter! please, pretty please.

    Seconded.

  12. 12
    Jenny says:

    but, but, but.. that was last week before Ben dumped Mittens for the Texas gigolo.

  13. 13
    danimal says:

    You know who else was weird?

    Too early to Godwin the thread?

  14. 14
    gnomedad says:

    Everyone knows “weird” is dogwhistle for “magic underwear”.

  15. 15
    Johnny Gentle (famous crooner) says:

    Terrific post, John. That is all.

  16. 16
    Jenny says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    Am I to take from that cartoon that Ben Smith sits on fences and peers into womens’ mens’ bedrooms with his binoculars?

    /fixed.

  17. 17
    matt says:

    it seems pretty clear to me that some republican made this shit up which is why it got reported as news.

  18. 18
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Zifnab:

    Ben takes an off-word from an anonymous staffer (who – let’s face it – may or may not even exist) and turns it into a mini-scandal front page story.

    It’s better than even money that the “anonymous staffer” is either completely fabulated, or it’s actually a Romney staffer telling a hypothetical “what the Obama staffers are saying about Mitt” yarn.

  19. 19
    Han's Big Snark Solo says:

    @cleek: +1

  20. 20
    jl says:

    Let’s be nice to Cole in his last few days on earth, since he will surely stroke out if he is not able to muster some mental discipline.

    Cole, you hear that?

    Worse is to come. Headlines such as for example, also too:

    “Perry attacks federal regulation that does not exist: potential problem for reality?”

    Rick Perry Condemns Federal Farm Regulation — That Doesn’t Exist
    Benjy Sarlin
    TPM
    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.....hp?ref=fpa

  21. 21
    David Hunt says:

    You can’t make this shit up.

    Unfortunately, we don’t have to.

  22. 22
    kdaug says:

    Hmm. Wonder what kind of underwear Ben Smith has on.

    Boxers, briefs, or magic?

    Inquiring minds/irresponsible not to speculate and all that.

  23. 23
    Kane says:

    The Politico weird story was really aimed at Romney, but convenient­ly blamed on Obama. And the “story” released with the convenient timing just days before the Ames Straw Poll.

  24. 24
    beltane says:

    @Kane: Yes. Politico is a devout practitioner of the Cokie Roberts “it’s out there” school of journalism.

  25. 25
    Violet says:

    Ben Smith is weird.

  26. 26
    jibeaux says:

    Don’t make me google a vague, long-suppressed memory of Mitt and “Who Let the Dogs Out?”. I don’t wanna.

  27. 27
    gnomedad says:

    @Kane:

    The Politico weird story was really aimed at Romney, but convenient­ly blamed on Obama.

    Two birds, one stone.

  28. 28
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    It’s so fitting that my post (by Tagg Romney) on Ben Smith’s Politico blog was posted at 4:20p.

  29. 29
    Nutella says:

    IOKIYAR. Ben Smith works for Politico, so he must be a Republican. He can say it, anonymous Democrats (possibly imaginary) can’t say it.

    SATSQ

    Edited for clarity

  30. 30
    Ash Can says:

    If Smith shows up here or posts a rebuttal at his joint insisting what he did was different because he didn’t mention Romney’s religion, I’ll bust a rib laughing at him.

  31. 31
    Allan says:

    @Violet:

    Ben Smith is weird ^in the “Mormon” sense of the word.

    FIFY.

  32. 32
    buckyblue says:

    According to ‘some’ weird was the doggie whistle to mean Mormonism. For me, there’s enough weird there without bringing in the Mormon underwear thing. For christ sake, who straps their dog to the roof of their car and then drives 70 mph on a family trip. I had never heard of that before, and it was and is indeed, weird.

  33. 33
    Caz says:

    That’s the best post you could come up with, out of all the news and current events out there? You’re weird.

  34. 34
    KG says:

    You can’t make this shit up.

    I swear to the FSM, it’s like we all fell asleep and woke up in a bad West Wing spin off with none of the original cast or writers…

  35. 35
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Go bake a couple of loaves of bread. I think you need it.

  36. 36
    Triassic Sands says:

    Romney has always struck me as “weird” and “awkward.” I’m still surprised that Massachusetts voters elected him governor, but Republicans frequently win against uninspiring Democratic candidates, and there is certainly no shortage of those.

    If ever I’ve seen someone that doesn’t seem comfortable in his own skin, it’s Willard Mitt Romney. I don’t know, if your parents named you “Willard Mitt” wouldn’t you spend your entire life uncomfortable with the person you’re supposed to be. I would — right up until the time I changed my name.

  37. 37
    Samara Morgan says:

    But there is no need to attack Romney on his mormonism. Ever one knows he’s a mormon, and lotsa people hate the polygs.

    Ben is just pissy because Bigot WEC America is gunna spoil his horse race.
    he’s handicapping.

  38. 38
    Judas Escargot says:

    I’ve heard from anonymous high-up sources within Politico that Ben Smith is actually from the future, sent back to alter history by influencing our elections.

    Absurd, I know. But it’s out there.

  39. 39
    joeyess says:

    You can’t make this shit up.

    Sure you can. Ben Smith just proved it possible.

  40. 40
    Jenny says:

    Ben Smith (i wonder what’s his real name?) is already saying Rick Parry is the next….. wait for it…. Reagan.

    Nancy Reagan should really starting suing people for the emotional distress they cause her every time some one says that.

  41. 41
    Keith G says:

    Politico is all over the place with truth and rational thinking taking a back seat to page views. Screw em.

    That said, the statement in question was put out there and it was a silly thing to do. I wonder, was it “authorized” or are there some really stupid people in the White House?

  42. 42
    Dave L says:

    I think this is pretty simple, really.

    Item – [Anonymous] Democrats bring up Romney’s religion as an issue: the Republican three-fourths of his rolodex calls to tell him that’s reprehensible, and Smith’s got a story!

    Item – Republicans not backing Romney whisper a lot of dog-whistle stuff about his weirdness: Romney’s got a problem, and Smith’s got another story!

    He could read your post, twice, with the sort of absorbed concentration he usually reserves for the Racing Form, and it still wouldn’t register with him.

  43. 43
    The Dangerman says:

    Seems to me we need a photo of Romney with Ms. Boss; if she’s a two-bagger, he’s just a panderer, but if she’s smokin’, well, I could cut him some slack.

  44. 44
    Threadkiller says:

    Between the fake ass-grab and this, any guesses on Mitt’s next “weird” moment? (Here’s hoping we can abandon “weird” and “awkward” for “creepy” and “wrong”).

    I’m holding out for a Brass Eye moment mid-debate.

  45. 45
    eemom says:

    y’all, we need to help Cole out here, or he’s gonna be history before Iowa. Maybe before Labor Day.

    Let me see if I can distract him.

    Hey, Cole — your pal and mine, Glenn Greenwald, has a kick-ass post up today about the drekulous emmessemm campaign coverage. No, really, ya gotta read it — it’s fucking AWESOME!

    [bleeeeegh]

  46. 46
    joeyess says:

    @gnomedad: Yup. There’s even a facebook page devoted to it.

  47. 47
    Ash Can says:

    Actually, I think this story is a lot more entertaining: “Rick Perry Condemns Federal Farm Regulation — That Doesn’t Exist”

    Now that’s comedy.

    ETA: Nuts, wrong thread. Oh well. It’s still funny.

  48. 48
    eemom says:

    @Jenny:

    that’ll be nothing on the emotional distress she’ll suffer when the murdoch-republican complex, beside itself with desperation, hires a mad scientist to reanimate St Ronnie’s corpse.

  49. 49
    joeyess says:

    @eemom:

    y’all, we need to help Cole out here, or he’s gonna be history before Iowa. Maybe before Labor Day.

    Now that made me laugh.

    I agree with eemom, Cole, don’t stroke out on us.

  50. 50
    Lockewasright says:

    I live in Arizona where we have a large mormon population. It always amuses me when I hear one of the more mainstream evangelical christians attack mormonism as crazy nonsense. It reminds me of the scene from Alice in Wonderland where Alice walks in on the Mad Hatter and the March Hare having a tea party. The white rabbit comes running along in a panic doing his “I’m late! I’m late for a very important date!” schtick. At that point the Hatter snatches the rabbit’s pocket watch, examines it and declares: “No wonder you’re late! This watch is exactly 2 days slow!” Then he cracks the watch open with a fork, rips out some gears, and starts adding things like sugar, tea, salt and jam to its guts. Then the March Hare suggests mustard. At this, the Mad Hatter sits bolt upright and sneers: “Mustard! Don’t let’s be silly now!” As if everything that Hatter has been doing to this point wasn’t just a ludicrous as adding mustard!

    Supernatural is supernatural. It is outside of the natural laws of physics. It is not possible. Once one embraces as true that which lies outside of the realm of possibility, they have crossed a line beyond which EVERYTHING is equally without empirical support and, therefore, equally without merit.

    Obviously, I am an atheist. I don’t expect everyone else to be, but to watch one sect of believers attack another as silly for their beliefs is astonishing and silly from my point of view.

    Still, I get the point. Ben is a hypocrite.

  51. 51
    A Mom Anon says:

    OK,that’s not awkward,it’s freaking creepy. Seriously,Romney thought that was even remotely appropriate? It would have been bad enough to do that privately,but in public? Eww. Just. Eww.

  52. 52
    Ken says:

    Does this mean that Smith has received his marching orders? And who gave those orders? That is the real story that America wants to hear – why else would all these questions keep coming up?

  53. 53
    kdaug says:

    Picture Romney squeezing the shoulders of Angela Merkel. Or Perry. It’s baked in.

    Heh, heh.

  54. 54
    Arclite says:

    first among them the tale of Romney having strapped his dog to the roof of his car.

    When I was a kid, we moved from SoCal up north to the Valley. We had a bunch of chickens, which we put in a crate and put on the roof of our Datsun station wagon. I remember vividly the chicken shit running down the front windshield, but it was the only way to take them with us.

    We had a dog too, but of course she rode in the backseat with us kids.

  55. 55
    Zifnab says:

    @Ken:

    Does this mean that Smith has received his marching orders? And who gave those orders? That is the real story that America wants to hear – why else would all these questions keep coming up?

    Sometimes its an international conspiracy. Sometimes a man is just trying to sell some newspaper.

    Big juicy conflict-riddled scandals make Politico a fun read. Who says Ben’s not just pushing these stories to make a quick buck?

  56. 56
    Ken says:

    @efgoldman:

    I despair for Steven Colbert and the staff of The Onion, and expect to see them all in breadlines by the election.

    The Onion maybe, but Colbert is safe now that he is a major political player with his super-PAC. Look at the impact he’s already having with the “Parry” spelling.

  57. 57

    Perry V Romney

    The Anti Christ and Tinkerbell dook it out in Wingnut Thunderdome

  58. 58
    Donut says:

    Call me crazy, but it seems like its Politico that has a “Call Mitt Romney weird” agenda.

    I think Axelrod or someone similarly situated was the unnamed source in the first article. The re-elect shop wants everyone and anyone talking about Romney’s flaws and Politico obliged.

    Think it through. There is no downside to floating the “Romney is weird” meme at this point in time. None whatsoever.

    Sometimes this shit happens on purpose. If you think Obama can’t or won’t do a little ratfucking, you’re wrong. Bank on that. They will have to do a lot of it with +9% unemployment.

  59. 59
    Head Bulshytt Talker in Chief of the Temple of Libertarianism(superluminar) says:

    Picture Romney squeezing the shoulders of Angela Merkel.

    You have no idea how much brain bleach you owe me, do you?

  60. 60
    Bulworth says:

    Maybe it’s all part of an effort to swing the village media gang behind the new gunslinger from TX.

  61. 61
    Amir Khalid says:

    @kdaug:
    As I recall, George Walker Bush was in fact pouncing on her neck, to give her an unsolicited massage in that area. But either way, it was inappropriate and embarrassing behavior from him.

  62. 62
    Arclite says:

    Actually, John, I wonder if your discussion on Twitter last week with Ben changed his mind.

  63. 63
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    Damn! I thought that cartoon was a hideously smug caricature of Al Gore.

  64. 64
    nellcote says:

    Has Romney ever explained the dog story? I just can’t wrap my mind around someone strapping a dog to the roof of the car for any reason.

  65. 65
    Bruce S says:

    Proof that Ben Smith’s punditry is not just awkward, but weird.

  66. 66
    Ian says:

    @eemom:

    that’ll be nothing on the emotional distress she’ll suffer when the murdoch-republican complex, beside itself with desperation, hires a mad scientist to reanimate St Ronnie’s corpse

    Anyone got a link to the Zombiereagan spoof from 09?

  67. 67
    Zifnab says:

    @Donut:

    Sometimes this shit happens on purpose. If you think Obama can’t or won’t do a little ratfucking, you’re wrong. Bank on that. They will have to do a lot of it with +9% unemployment.

    It’s not that I can’t suspect Obama of ratfucking. It’s just so much easier to suspect some Republican – either Romney playing the self-pity card or Perry or Gingrich or some other insider – playing the double-reverse ratfuck.

    Bush mastered this kind of thing. The Tom Brockaw take-down was the most classic example. Rove leaks a fake copy of Bush’s military record. Brockaw takes the bait and airs it. The GOP throws a shit-fit at how biased the CBS anchor has become. Brockaw loses his job and no one else tries to mention Bush’s rather controversial stint at the Texas Air National Guard.

    The Republicans are just so much better at this shit than the Dems.

  68. 68
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Zifnab:

    Wasn’t Tom Brokaw that got taken out.

    It was Dan Rather, who’d been a pain in the side of the Republican establishment since the days he asked Tricky Dick tough questions as White House correspondent in the 70’s.

    I might add that the “fake” documents had actual, verified information in them that was confirmed by principles who were still alive to confirm them…that Dubya was a shitty pilot and a shitty example of an officer.

  69. 69
    And Another Thing... says:

    @Zifnab: Dan Rather.

  70. 70
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Zifnab: Would “Tom Brockaw” be another alias for Dan Rather?

  71. 71
  72. 72
    Zifnab says:

    ‘Eff it. Yes. I meant Dan Rather.

  73. 73
    Elie says:

    @Donut:

    A ratfucker is someone who betrays his own side. By no stretch of anyone’s imagination are either Romney or Perry on Obama’s side.

    ..and you know, eventually it would actually be ok for Obama to, you know, oppose either one or both of these assholes.

  74. 74
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Judas Escargot: not absurd, impossible.
    time travel to the past cannot happen because of closed form time curves.
    Both Dr. Hawking and Dr. Carrol say so.

  75. 75
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    Mittens is mainly management-consultant weird.

    The Mormon stuff just translates into staying at home / in the hotel instead of doing normal management consultant things like billing clients for high-end booze, hookers and blow then converting that total into a number of positions to be eliminated.

  76. 76
    chopper says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    time travel to the past cannot happen because of closed form time curves.

    jesus, you really know how to cause uncomfortable silence after someone else tells a joke, don’t you. bet you’re the life of the party.

    guy, at party: …so the one thunder god says to the other thunder god ‘you’re thor? i can hardly pith!’
    chan: urinating can be hard when you have a UTI. that’s a urinary tract infection. wapner is on in 10 minutes.

  77. 77
    RedKitten says:

    Romney IS a frigging weirdo. That whole thing with his dog just made me shake my head in disbelief. What kind of fucked-up mental process leads to thinking that it’s a fine idea to strap your dog carrier to your ROOF while hurtling down the highway at high speeds?

    Weird or no, to me that displays an alarming lack of good judgement, common sense and empathy — and those three traits are probably something that you MIGHT want to have in your country’s leader, methinks.

  78. 78
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @chopper:

    wapner is on in 10 minutes.

    OK, now this is pure win, right here. Perfect after-punchline.

  79. 79
    Johannes says:

    @Samara Morgan: I raise your doctors, to the power of 11: Doctors Hartnell, Troughton, Pertwee, Baker (Thos.), Davison, Baker (Colin), McCoy, McGann, Eccleston, Tennant AND Smith say, “believe in it? Why we’ve actually seen it done.” Wallah.

  80. 80
    andynotadam says:

    Um, it’s late and this thread has probably petered out, but I believe that it is the Republican evangelicals who will take the lead in pointing out Romney’s Mormonism. That shoulda debunked the whole premise of that typically shoddy piece of Politico dreck. The Pres knows he can just let it rest.

  81. 81
    Steeplejack says:

    @chopper:

    LOL.

  82. 82
    niknik says:

    @chopper:

    I actually just peed a little when I read that. That was awesomesauce.

  83. 83
    MarkJ says:

    @Jenny: Exactly. Now that Ben has a republican mancrush on Perry it’s OK to call Romney wierd.

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