They pay people for advice like this…

The life of a DC gasbag is a sweet one. Take the latest advice from GOP maven Mike Murphy to Mittens (emphasis added):

“He should drop the biography-based message. Nobody wants a well-intentioned accountant in charge when the house is on fire. For the first time [????] in his professional life, Romney needs to stop thinking and calculating and get stupid. The race now is about his heart… And while the cerebral Romney [????] may recoil at the psychological striptease this requires, it is how people pick their President in modern America. Romney must fill that vacuum or else others will maliciously fill it for him.”

From where I sit, Mittens has no problem being stupid. Nor does he have any problem selling his soul and saying and/or doing anything he feels might help him win. I mean, Mitt is a guy who is willing to completely denounce everything his father believed and is exactly the kind of vacuous politician his father hated. And he sold his father out just to appeal to the Conservative mob running Republican politics these days. After that sell-out, I don’t see how he is holding back from any over-the-top pandering to the wingnuts. Mitt is all in with the crazy-town talk. His problem is that the CONservative base doesn’t believe him and never will until he starts demanding Barack Obama’s birth certificate and promises to deport him back to Kenya as the first official act of a President Romney. And even then, Mittens will never out crazy Newt, Rick and the rest.

Still, Murphy has a sweet gig. It must be nice to get paid to offer dribble like the notion that Mittens might still have any integrity left to ruin in his race for the GOP nomination.

Fun times.

Cheers

ps. I’m on my way to Detroit this weekend to see family and look forward to a closer look at the clown parade in action. I’ll try to get up a few reports from the field.

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61 replies
  1. 1
    beltane says:

    It’s amazing how far to the right the GOP has fallen since 2008, when one of the favorite not-John Mcains was Rudy Giuliani, who is a raving leftie on social issues compared to this year’s crop of nutters.

    Romney would have been a perfect GOP candidate back in 2000 or so, back when bland plastic corporatism was all the rage.

  2. 2
    BGinCHI says:

    So the well-paid consultant’s message to a candidate for the GOP Presidential nomination is to “get stupid”?

    Seriously, this could be peak wingnut.

  3. 3
    4tehlulz says:

    So basically, the advice boils down to this.

  4. 4
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @BGinCHI:

    They’ll find a way to sink even lower. Just give them a week or so.

  5. 5
    Democratic Nihilist, Keeper Of Party Purity says:

    Does this mean that Romney’s going on “Ow, My Balls!” next week?

    Can’t believe we have a consultant telling one of the candidates for president of the United States to “get stupid”, and that candidate’s party is so off the rails at this point in history that this is actually really good advice.

    Fuck me, it’s too early for this shit.

  6. 6
    beltane says:

    The GOP establishment must be pulling their hair out trying to find a way to come up with a presidential nominee while bypassing the primary-voting base. I suspect that by 2016 they will have changed a lot of their rules regarding the nominating process in order to make it as undemocratic as possible. All their primaries will become “beauty contests” while the real choice is made by the professionals.

  7. 7
    Linnaeus says:

    Have fun in D-town. Wave to my family while you’re there.

  8. 8
    Tom65 says:

    This is the modern GOP, where being stupid is considered a virtue.

  9. 9
    ornery_curmudgeon says:

    The Right is simply re-running the 1920’s: we need a Man of Action, not some whiny intellectual. Complete with silly ‘buffoons’ that take power. Corporatism. Control of media, claiming of family and country for the faithful, yada yada BOOM.

    The shame is not all with the Right: we forgot.

  10. 10
    Bago says:

    Let’s get r*tarded in here! Yeah!

  11. 11
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @beltane:

    In other words, they’re going for the “Americans Select” model.

    Which makes perfect sense, as “Americans Select” is a bunch of Republicans too embarrassed by the GOP process this year.

  12. 12
    MattF says:

    However, it turns out, vide Rick Perry, that even a Republican Presidential candidate can be too stupid. In any event, Romney’s problem isn’t that he’s too smart and analytical, it’s that he’s a soulless, lying plutocrat.

  13. 13
    General Stuck says:

    Heads we win, tails you lose republicans. It’s why they aren’t democrats, and don’t really believe in democracy. Passel of arrogant entitled fucks, our wingnuts.

  14. 14
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    get stupid

    Americans want someone, like themselves. That’s why they preferred having a beer with Bush, versus a wheat-grass shooter with Gore. They don’t want any candidate using words with more than two syllables.

  15. 15
    BGinCHI says:

    @Benjamin Franklin: That would be a great post if you wrote it in 2007.

  16. 16
    rlrr says:

    @Tom65:

    This is the modern GOP, where being stupid is considered a virtue.

    The modern GOP considers stupidity and ignorance virtues…

  17. 17
    Bago says:

    Also, too, the g*ddamned ad script that resets your scroll position fills me with hate. So much annoyance. This is technically a browser issue, but Jesus tits is it annoying to read the first 15 comments and get reset to the first comment.

  18. 18
    Patty K says:

    You are right to say that Mitt has no problem being stupid. It’s increasingly clear that he is not very bright. Yes, he is diligent. Yes, he is focused. But at Bain he simply followed a blueprint thought up by others. You can’t say as many stupid things as he has and be bright. Forget his Harvard background. With his father, all doubts would have been resolved in his favor when he applied.

  19. 19
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    @BGinCHI:

    Huh? What year is it?

  20. 20
    aimai says:

    I don’t exactly think he’s wrong. Romney is willing to stoop to conquer but he stoops to conquer a series of position papers. Its clear that he asks his campaign help to draw up a list of “must have” positions, which are really capitulations, and he checks them off with the same impatience as a guy who has to dance with all the ugliest girls before he can receive his rightful prom crown.

    The condescension and contempt and flop sweat just shine off his simulacra, I mean, body. That’s one problem.

    The second problem is correctly identified as the “house on fire” problem. Santorum is drenching them, as it were, in low rent white populism. He (and newt) correctly diagnose their target market as “hurting but too stupid or ill informed to know where its hurting.” They are faith healers and snake handlers not doctors but at least they grasp that the patient wants to leave with a boatload of reassurance that the condition isn’t fatal and some sugar pills mixed with kerosene and snake oil.

    Mitt doesn’t get that about the electorate. This is simply advertising 101: Tell the consumer he has a problem (Halitosis? Impotence? Small Car?) and tell him you’ve got a cure (Breath Mints, something spam filtery, Big Car). Since “big car” can subsitute for “small [thing that catches me in the filter] you’ve got a twofer there.

  21. 21
    Mark S. says:

    Let’s get stupid (gimme the music, do the Humpty Hump)

  22. 22
    Yevgraf says:

    @Bago:

    Also, too, the g*ddamned ad script that resets your scroll position fills me with hate. So much annoyance. This is technically a browser issue, but Jesus tits is it annoying to read the first 15 comments and get reset to the first comment.

    Let me guess – Android user? It happens to me every fucking time. I can’t even hardly look at Kos on that thing.

  23. 23
    amk says:

    If ‘get stupid’ was it took to win, then wouldn’t perry be the frontrunner now ? The guy owned stupid left and right.

  24. 24
    Culture of Truth says:

    Indeed, does it get stupider that weirdo-uber patriotic drivel like yelling out the lyrics to America the Beautiful or endless raving lies about Obama apologizing for America?

    I get what Murphy is saying though – Santorum chokes up just a little when talking his passion for conservative values and America and his grandpa and his religion and his hatred for women in the workplace. It’s good stuff, and if nothing else, it doesn’t feel dishonest, and only a little manipulative. Romney feels utterly fake and therefore totally manipulative. No one – liberals, conservatives, independents – likes being treated that way.

  25. 25
    harlana says:

    the “psychological striptease” would definitely involve delving deep into his Mormonism – i’m sure that would be really helpful to his candidacy, especially when exploring his reasons for running for nom when NObody wants him – well, that is, except God, which is why, i’m sure, he keeps pressing on. is there really any other explanation, for a guy with that kind of dough? because i’m assuming he is thinking he will rise above the forces of evil (that is, the majority of people who just do NOT want him), because God has better sense than they do. he perceives this as a holy battle – why else would you subject yourself to this kind of scorn and torture? or maybe he’s just that dead set on keeping his taxes lower. ;p

  26. 26
    BGinCHI says:

    @Benjamin Franklin: A majority of the “stupid people” did elect Obama, is all I’m saying.

  27. 27
    Culture of Truth says:

    adding, yes it is very sweet being an opinionated pundit, especially a winger. If you can speak without sounding like a total dick you have a gig on Meet the Press for life.

  28. 28
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    This is all true, but Murphy totally misses the problem with the Romneytron…his utter inauthenticity. He’s just not real, he’s always manipulative, and he’s clumsy at it, so that even the least swift of his potential marks sees right through it.

    He’s a loser of a candidate, no matter what it is he’s advocating at this moment.

    Santorum may be a theofascist shit, but at least he comes across as actually being sincere in his evil.

  29. 29

    @Tom65: So true. Stupid (proudly so) is the new GOP virtue.

    I’m eagerly awaiting field reports!

  30. 30
    RP says:

    What Murphy really means is that Romney needs to get authentic. That’s the key ingredient he’s missing. But Murphy is a republican, and therefore he’s too stupid to articulate his point clearly.

    EDIT: Dammit VDE!

  31. 31
    Culture of Truth says:

    Americans want someone, like themselves.

    True, but I would add they want someone who is like how they view themselves. Tough, rugged, a lonesome cowboy, equipped with chivalrous virtues, not bookish but street smart, with good old fashioned common sense, who leaves his enemies quietly dispatched and weaker men quivering with one devasting line.

    Not a guy who stands up to the wicked northern liberal and goes “Um…..Oops”

  32. 32
    Ecks says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Basically Murphy is just dressing that same observation you are making up in prettier language.

    He’s saying “stop thinking so hard about whether the right demographic will like you more if you tell this lie or that lie. Go out there and EMOTE at them. Maybe if you act angry and stuff then you’ll look less like someone deciding what to say, and more like someone who BELIEVES the lies in a visceral way, and then you won’t look so fake.”

  33. 33
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    @beltane:

    I suspect that by 2016 they will have changed a lot of their rules regarding the nominating process in order to make it as undemocratic as possible. All their primaries will become “beauty contests” while the real choice is made by the professionals.

    We’ve always said the modern Republican Party wants to take this country back to the Gilded Age socially and economically. I never thought of that imperative extending into internal party politics, in this case a return to the smoke-filled back rooms.

  34. 34
    Democratic Nihilist, Keeper Of Party Purity says:

    @Yevgraf: iPad does the same thing, dammit.

  35. 35
    MattF says:

    OT, Kilgore notes that Gary Wills has weighed in on contraception. Worth reading:

    http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/n.....n-con-men/

  36. 36
    Martin says:

    Actually, he’s right in his clumsy way of saying it. Obama got the momentum he did by making a very good emotional appeal to Democrats. The GOP candidates aren’t doing that outside of Noots dreamy promises of a day where every white american can vacation on contraception-free moonlandia.

    Mitt is probably the worst at this of any candidate for office in my lifetime, but he really does need to drop his guard and speak from the heart. The problem is, I’m seriously not convinced that Mitt has a heart, and I think Mitt is so overwhelmingly self-conscious of his Mormonism that he can’t drop his guard. He needs to do the equivalent of Obama’s speech on race – not because it’ll have any impact on the electorate, but because he needs to get out of the closet and stop being the middle manager.

    I don’t think it’s that Americans want someone like themselves, but people are inherently suspicious of those whose motives are unknown or not understood. We understood the Kennedy’s, even though they weren’t like us, because they told their story in a way that people could appreciate why they made the decisions to run for office, and why they backed certain policies, and so on. And we can trust people of wealth and privilege if we understand how they see their relationship to the country and how they see our relationship to the country, and if we trust that relationship will hold. People of wealth generally don’t do that any more. Credit to Gates and Buffet for doing more of it than others.

  37. 37
    amk says:

    @Ecks:

    Go out there and EMOTE at them.

    reminds me of dkos emoprog freaks ‘urging’ Obama to do the same during gulf oil spill.

  38. 38
    Culture of Truth says:

    Disregarding the stupid line, this is a fair point “The race now is about his heart…

    There must be a real Mitt down in there somewhere. Show it to the people.

    To be fair to Mitt, aside from being fake, he’s a reserved person, uncomfortable revealing himself in public. In this he is like most people, and most people would make bad politicians.

    In the words of Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade, it’s time for Mitt Romney to ask himself what he believes

  39. 39
    RP says:

    Tomasky’s take on Romney is dead on IMO.In a nutshell: Romney doesn’t hate liberals enough.

  40. 40
    aimai says:

    By 2016 the Right Wing Moneybags will have figured out that they should get together and choose their winner in advance and then run the others as stalking horses to fill out the ballot until nearly the end. That makes the most sense, really. I’m surprised they didn’t do it this time around. Adelson’s money was wasted if he really wanetd Newt to be in it to win it. But it was a damned good investment if he wants either Romney or Santorum and just wanted to knock Perry and Daniels and other guys out of the running.

    In fact this is absolutely how its going to work. They will put up a slate of pre-vetted, wholly owned individuals who because of the money backing them will keep other potential competitors out. Then, one by one, they will mysteriously “fail” to get on the ballot in some key state or fail to show up and win at some of the delegate buying ( I mean, delegate getting) events and in the end they will throw their support to the guy who was picked by Adelson/koch/etc… at one of their annual meetings.

    I think that this year each billionaire wanted to have his own guy get in. By 2016 they are going to save money using vertical integration and simply buy shares in a closed venture. The voters won’t know the difference.

    aimai

  41. 41
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    @BGinCHI:

    And, I am one of them.

    Borrowing a line from a movie “A person is smart, but people are stupid.”

    Mob mentality represents people, or sheeple, as some call them. That’s the hive laziness of human thot. When people abdicate their individuality, they subscribe to the collective thought, and that is not cerebral, but emotional.

  42. 42
    Sloegin says:

    It’s quite understandable why he’s not getting the votes. R’s literally don’t know who they would get if they voted for Romney.

  43. 43
    cmorenc says:

    key excerpt from Mike Muprhy quote:

    The race now is about his heart

    The problem is that Romney HAS been showing his heart, his true self from the outset, which is that of a high-powered M.B.A. pragmatic venture/vulture capitalist businessman with ambitions to win the biggest C.E.O. job in the world, to use his business skills to turn government around the way he did the troubled Salt Lake City Winter Olympics into a successful venture. Unfortunately, he’s trying to capture the nomination of a party whose base is now comprised in majority part by people fueled by red-meat right-wing social issues and conservative ideological purity in all things economic and political. They correctly sense that Romney’s core is the deeply (even cynically) pragmatic approach of a CEO captain of business, and that he has no more true allegiance to ideology or focus on social issues than whatever gives him enough room to exercise his pragmatic MBA sensibilities, of which the Massachusetts health care plan is exhibit A. In this light, Romney’s apparent embrace of Tea Party and evangelical right-wing approach to social issues and ideological conservatism is (correctly) seen as just another pragmatic-minded move to do what’s necessary to achieve the next step in the business plan. He can never truly be one of them by anything he can do at this point, short of perhaps getting himself arrested by chaining himself to the door of a Planned Parenthood clinic, or coming up with irrevocable proof that Obama’s true birth certificate is from Nairobi, Kenya.

  44. 44
    Ecks says:

    @amk: Hm, you’re right. I guess Martin at 36 hit the nail on the head much better than I did. It’s not about showing emotion per se, it’s articulating a sincere (sounding) vision of where you are coming from. Done well, that provides an emotional kick, and that’s what me and Murphy were incorrectly latching on to.

    But really the emotions are secondary to people’s need to feel that they aren’t getting played here. Mitt comes across as trying very hard to control what he says, and that leads people to infer that he may or may not really mean it, and you don’t want to have nasty surprises when you’ve just appointed someone your boss for the next 4 years. That means you hold back and don’t want to emotionally respond to them too much, or you might get sucked in…

    Obama overcame this (to non-wingnuts) by eventually painting a very vivid portrait of a sincere person who deeply meant the various admirable kinds of things he said. And that made you want to trust him and get behind him. And that’s when people started getting a little dusty after his speeches. He didn’t even show much emotion, but we did.

    Confusing our emotion for the leader expressing emotion is what makes foolish people like me and Murphy and the emoprogs get confused and start bitching about “one more time, but with more FEELING!!1”.

  45. 45
    BC says:

    It must be nice to get paid to offer dribble like the notion that Mittens might still have any integrity left

    Ahh, how soon we forget Mark Penn and Bob Schrum! Although, to be fair, they were the ones showing off the stupid rather than encouraging the candidate to do so.

  46. 46
    mattski says:

    @beltane: The editorial page of Barrons (owned by Murdoch) suggested exactly that.

  47. 47
    dogwood says:

    @Martin:

    I don’t think it’s that Americans want someone like themselves, but people are inherently suspicious of those whose motives are unknown or not understood.

    Mitt simply doesn’t fit into any of the accepted narratives of a presidential candidate. We’ve elected patricians like JFK, and GHWB. They were war heroes; they fought the same battle that ordinary Americans fought and that gave them credibility. They were also men who could sell the story of a wealthy patrician who saw public service as a higher calling than self-aggrandizement. We know that tale. We’ve also elected rich guys like George W whose narrative was that of the rebellious son who found religion and turned his life around. That’s a story as old as time. Then there are the candidates and presidents who came up the hard way and fought for their position like Nixon, Johnson, Dole etc. These are not always the most likable of candidates, but we know them on some level. Finally, you have those who rise, not through sheer toughness and will, but through merit. Guys like Clinton and Obama. All of these candidates tell a story about themselves and the country that is familiar to voters. Mitt Romney, however, has no story to tell about himself or the country. If he wins the nomination he will be the strangest and most alien candidate I have ever seen.

  48. 48

    If Romney gets the nod, Nixon’s Law (GOP nomination goes to the best hater…) goes into the dustbin of history.

  49. 49
    HRA says:

    Romney is far from likable in too many ways. If you shut off your hearing to what he is saying and watch his body language and facial contortions, it’s painful to him as well as being painful to the audience. He projects his unease to the point of where his speech is rushed and his body sweats. Then he gives the laugh in trying to cover it up.

    He was not readied properly for prime time period.

  50. 50
    harlana says:

    postscript: Mormons do not discuss their real agenda with anyone on the “outside” – just saying.

  51. 51
    Schlemizel says:

    Its sad in a funny way or funny in a sad way but Willard might have stood a chance to be the Dem nominee had he thought ahead a little bit better. He could have made the switch while Governor with the usual “the party left me” BS. It would have been a pretty short trip from that guy to a solid contender with the Dems.

    I mean, it not like he has any beliefs of ideas other than how to advance Willard.

  52. 52
    Ecks says:

    @Schlemizel: But then WE’D be stuck with him. Assuming that he flipped over and absorbed our policy preferences wholesale (and I’m sure he wouldn’t have a problem with that part), he’d still come across as uncharismatic, fake, and insincere. Gore (who was a far smarter and more accomplished man) very nearly lost a very winnable national election against a very weak candidate largely on the basis of his perceived lack of charisma.

  53. 53
    Paul in KY says:

    I think the ‘stupid’ being referred to is all the crap Dubya did/said to try & convince the rubes he was as Murcan as Jesus & pizza.

  54. 54
    Paul says:

    “It must be nice to get paid to offer dribble like the notion”

    See this everywhere on the intertubes: I think you mean “drivel”, and not “dribble”.

    I’m back to sleep now…..

  55. 55
    Paul in KY says:

    @Culture of Truth: We should elect Roland Deschain or the High Plains Drifter then.

  56. 56
    AxelFoley says:

    @Mark S.:

    Let’s get stupid (gimme the music, do the Humpty Hump)

    ROFL

  57. 57
    priscianusjr says:

    @BGinCHI:

    A majority of the “stupid people” did elect Obama, is all I’m saying.

    You know, the truth is, each of is a mixture of smart and stupid, aren’t we? The stupid people are the ones whose stupid side takes the lead most of the time, the smart people are the one who manage to hold “teh stupid” in check. And yet, smart people do stupid things now and then, don’t they? And stupid people have been known to do smart things. Like voting for Obama. He succeeded in bringing out their smart side. The Republicans are dedicated to bringing out the stupid side — in everyone if possible. They’re smart enough to know it’s the only way they can win.

  58. 58
    priscianusjr says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    In the words of Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade, it’s time for Mitt Romney to ask himself what he believes…

    He knows perfectly well what he believes. Are you really in much doubt about it? He believes in the status quo. It’s worked out very well for him, whether he’s emotional or not.
    I feel like this thread is getting us to twist ourselves in knots trying to imagine what goes through the mind of a winger who can’t relate to Romney’s non-appeal, or what goes on in Romney’s mind trying to appeal to people he can’t relate to. I can’t relate to either of them, nor do I want either of them to succeed, so the whole problem is on a very abstract plane.

  59. 59
    grape_crush says:

    I’m on my way to Detroit this weekend to see family and look forward to a closer look at the clown parade in action. I’ll try to get up a few reports from the field.

    Check out Cliff Bell’s if you’re downtown.

    I’ve got the GOP primary circus on /ignore, so I can’t tip you off on any happenings.

  60. 60
    Chris says:

    @RP:

    What Murphy really means is that Romney needs to get authentic. That’s the key ingredient he’s missing. But Murphy is a republican, and therefore he’s too stupid to articulate his point clearly.

    But authenticity isn’t going to help him either. Mitt’s at his most “authentic” when he’s passionately arguing that “corporations ARE people, my friends,” and “I like being able to fire people.” Authentic Romney is just as much a problem as his obvious fake personas.

    It’s like the old dating advice “be yourself;” well, if “yourself” isn’t the kind of person the girl likes, that’s not going to get you what you want either. The lesson in that case is to get over her and move on, but Romney doesn’t seem keen to do that.

    @Culture of Truth:

    In the words of Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade, it’s time for Mitt Romney to ask himself what he believes…

    And to quote another character from that: I misjudged you, Willard. I knew you would sell your mother for an Etruscan vase. But I didn’t know you would sell your country and your soul to the slime of humanity.

  61. 61
    aarrgghh says:

    there’s really only one pitch left to romney that’ll bring home the gop base …

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