Mitt Romney, Al Gore, and John Kerry Birds of a Feather?

Is the presumptive Republican nominee too handsome, too rich, and too pompous to win the hearts of ordinary Americans?

In what fellower Slater Matt Yglesias terms ” a calculated effort to annoy the political science blogosphere,” Jacob Weisberg declares, “Romney Is Kerry. Or Maybe Gore. He’s too handsome, too rich, and too pompous to win the hearts of ordinary Americans.”

Gore and Kerry both suffered from the same characterizations that get applied to Romney—too wooden in person while too flexible in their views. Their supporters often argued that qualifications were what mattered. But ominously for Romney, both Gore and Kerry lost winnable races because of their flawed personalities. George W. Bush, on the other hand, got elected and re-elected, despite his enormous, substantive shortcomings, because ordinary people found it easy to relate to him at a personal level. They felt he wasn’t trying to be someone different from who he was.

Romney, Kerry, and Gore are all, in a way, versions of the same political type. Statuesque, handsome, from privileged backgrounds and impeccably credentialed, they have no log-cabin stories to humanize and ground them. Unlike a Lyndon Johnson, a Richard Nixon, a Ronald Reagan, a Bill Clinton, or a Barack Obama, they didn’t overcome humble origins or broken families. Romney’s background is alien to most Americans not because he descends from polygamists but because his father was a governor of Michigan, an automobile company CEO, and a presidential candidate.

In his attempt to overcome his privileged origins, the unloved candidate struggles to establish his plain-folks ordinariness in ways that inevitably backfire.

While this seems a fair comparison on its surface, it has two problems. First, Al Gore was not particularly handsome. (Or, as a popular Internet meme has it, Al Gore is fat.) Second, despite his well-established flaws, Al Gore actually received more half a million more votes in 2000 than George W. Bush. Indeed, John Kerry got 59 million-odd votes, only 3 million fewer than Bush. So, it’s not like there was some mass rejection of either man.

For that matter, while he was folksier and more at ease with his public image than his rivals,
Bush was also born to money and power; his daddy was president and his granddaddy was a US Senator.

That said, I believe Weisberg is right that Gore, Kerry, and Romney share some traits that draw attention away from their strengths. As Joe Scarborough argued passionately today on “Morning Joe,” Romney would be far better off to stop pretending that he has a lot in common with the common man–the nonsense about his having been unemployed and fearing for his job security, for example–and just acknowledge that he had some advantages in life and made the most of them. Nobody held that against John Kennedy or Franklin Roosevelt, after all.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. michael reynolds says:

    Nobody held that against John Kennedy or Franklin Roosevelt, after all.

    James, they were Democrats. They were rich guys standing up for the regular guy. Romney is a rich guy who wants to slash the safety net, tax the poor and cut taxes for the rich.

  2. they were Democrats.

    That pretty much sums it up. All sins are forgiven if one has a D after ones name

  3. Gore should have loosened up and been funnier, earlier. Romeny could learn from that. He should talk about doing a duet album with Shatner, or something.

  4. Jr says:

    Romney problem isn’t that he is rich and aloof, hell Obama is very much the same way. The problem is he is rich + his policies benefit people like him.

  5. @Doug Mataconis:

    Dude, that 14YO has hacked your account. Again.

  6. Brummagem Joe says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Home run Michael. And have you ever noticed….. how the Republican noise machine seems to have gone suddely silent on the subject of elitists.

  7. Hey Norm says:

    Yeah…it really can’t be more clearly stated than Michael stated it.
    And on top of it all Romney abuses animals.

  8. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    All sins are forgiven if one has a D after ones name

    Ah….so personal wealth is now a sin!!

  9. Hey Norm says:

    Doug…you forgot to mention drum circles.

  10. Joe,

    Not in my book, but you guys certainly think it is. Unless the person in question is of the left, of course.

  11. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    but you guys certainly think it is.

    Back into cognitive dissonance territory again Doug? Only the other day you criticising Buffett for hypocrisy while most democratic leaning folks (including myself and I’m reasonably comfortably off) we’re defending him.

  12. Modulo Myself says:

    What bullshit. Nobody was as uncomfortable, zoned-out and high as Bush II when he spoke. He sucked publicly in 2000 and he’s an honorary sufferer of aphasia now. That he could be spun as being folksy was based on the narcissism of his audience rather than any empirical fact.

    Gore’s few down-to-earth touches–irony, a sense of his ridiculousness, and earnestness in the face of science–were things that are the subject of endless sneers by the professionally humble.

    And Kerry’s only down-to-earth side was displayed when he volunteered for Vietnam, saw and understood what was going on there, and ended up speaking out against the war. Having eyes and ears, in 1974, were officially declared to be anti-American and elitist, so this was also a difficult avenue to pursue.

    Basically, if we had down-to-earth people operating as humans anywhere near the levers of power, the entire system would fall apart.

  13. Joe,

    Of course you were defending him, he’s making an argument that you agree with.

  14. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    It’s hard to beat Bill Maher’s description of Republican demonisation of Kerry as

    French War Criminal

  15. gVOR08 says:

    @Doug Mataconis: FDR and Kennedy were 50 years ago. As someone said to you a day or two ago, if you have to go back that far to find your example, you’re wrong. In the last fifty years we’ve created the conservative echo chamber and the current MSM. Gore and Kerry’s problems weren’t so much themselves as a meme the press created. One has to keep reminding people that Al Gore never said he invented the internet. It’s a question of the narrative the MSM create. Contra your expectations, Drudge will post stories about how warm Mitt is and how people want to have a beer with him, the MSM will dutifully trancribe them, and we’ll have another example of IOKIYAR.

  16. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    I thought you said all Democrats thought being rich was ipso facto a sin?

  17. @Doug Mataconis:

    Another childish reply. You didn’t engage at all with the “dissonance” angle.

    You, in mouth-breather mode, are all “hate the rich” until you find a rich man you disagree with.

    In case you can’t quite complete the circle … the non-dissonant answer is to lay off the “hate the rich” hyperbole, and just talk the policies.

  18. If one goes with “wooden,” “pompous,” and “flexible on issues” I can see the comparison.

    Romney has long struck me as a sort of Republican Kerry (the Mass. connection furthers the comparison as does the “challenging a vulnerable incumbent” factor).

    In re: “Al Gore is fat”–that was a post-election meme, yes?

  19. @gVOR08:

    One has to keep reminding people that Al Gore never said he invented the internet.

    Go back to school. He didn’t say “invented,” that was word-substitution by right wing critics. Snopes rated: false.

    As that link shows … well, you don’t really give a crap, do you?

    You’ll just distort this again, won’t you?

  20. @john personna:

    If only Democrats would do that. Their entire attack on Romney will consist of repeating “rich guy” over and over again for nine months.

  21. @Steven L. Taylor:

    I think he got fat once he got off stage. Might explain Gingrich’s lack of discipline. He didn’t expect to be where he is.

  22. @Steven L. Taylor:

    Yes, before the 2000 election the jokes about Gore mostly centered around the manner in which he resembled a robot.

  23. @Doug Mataconis:

    WTF was that, Doug? And “I’m rubber, you’re glue” response?

  24. @Doug Mataconis:

    That pretty much sums it up. All sins are forgiven if one has a D after ones name

    I think Michael was forgiving wealth, not sins.

    But he has a point: being wealthy and running as the candidate of the wealthy is different than being a wealthy person running as defender of the poor. Democrats are positioned, policy-wise, better than Reps in this regard. One need look no further than tax and social policy positions.

  25. Ben says:

    @Doug Mataconis:
    The attack isn’t “rich guy”. The attack is “rich guy who wants to cut taxes again for rich people, and f^&$ the poor”

  26. @Steven L. Taylor:

    There’s a question of how well a rich man can present himself as one of the people, and then there’s a question of how hard he even tries.

    FWIW though, Kerry, a liberal from humble beginnings pretty much failed. Ronald Reagan succeeded.

  27. (And as you note, GWB was the conservative, without Doug’s “D after his name” who succeeded as presenting himself as non-elite, despite having a President Dad.)

  28. Ben,

    In your opinion. Based on about 60 years of actually being in effect I would say that the welfare state has absolutely failed to help the poor in any significant respect.

  29. anjin-san says:

    Their entire attack on Romney will consist of repeating “rich guy” over and over again for nine months.

    Bithead and Jay Tea are asking if you want to hang out with them. Based on this, you are part of their peer group.

  30. sam says:

    Mittens’s problem isn’t his wealth — it’s that he comes across as a guy who irons his underwear and socks.

  31. de stijl says:

    @john personna, et al.:

    Stop feeding the troll!

    It only encourages them. If someone persists in trying to ruin a discussion thread, just ignore ’em.

  32. @Doug Mataconis: Well, one data point that comes to mind: there are strong reasons to believe that Social Security (which is clearly part of the welfare state) has reduced poverty amongst the elderly (see the chart in my post here). On that same measure I think it is pretty obvious that without Medicare more elderly persons would be in poverty (not to mention bankruptcy).

    Further, I think it is problematic to argue that persons in poverty now would be better off without medicaid, food stamps, etc

    There is plenty to critique about the US welfare state, but I don’t see how one can claim that “the welfare state has absolutely failed to help the poor in any significant respect.”

    One can argue that the “war on poverty’ has failed because there is still poverty, sure. But that is a failure of rhetoric (i.e., calling it a “war on poverty” was foolish), not a sign of failed policies.

  33. michael reynolds says:

    The problem Romney has is that he really, actually doesn’t give a sh-t about the poor. He has no experience with the poor or working class, he’s never struggled, he’s never had so much as a millisecond’s fear about money. He doesn’t even have some kind of family memory — like my kids being subjected to my tedious, “I was so poor. . .” rants.

    Romney is money by way of money, and no evidence whatsoever that he has ever tried to learn anything beyond that. He comes off as false because he is false.

  34. michael reynolds says:

    The other difference between FDR and JFK is that they both experienced some hardship in their lives. FDR as a polio sufferer and JFK as a torpedo boat skipper in WW2. Even W had his alcoholism.

    But life for Mr. Romney has been nothing but easy piled on top of more easy.

  35. Hey Norm says:

    “…I would say that the welfare state has absolutely failed to help the poor in any significant respect…”

    In a collection of dumb sh!t written…that is the dumbest sh!t.

  36. MBunge says:

    People are leaving out a couple of very big factors.

    In 2000, the Beltway Elite hated, hated, hated, hated, hated, hated, hated Al Gore. Without getting into the reasons for it, Gore got perhaps the worst media treatment of any Democratic candidate in the modern era. I mean, they were nicer to Mondale when he cruised to a 49 state butt-kicking.

    In 2004, a lot of people were still unwilling to admit they’d made a mistake with Bush the Younger. And Karl Rove used the gay marriage issue to really turn out the conservative base that year.

    Mike

  37. gVOR08 says:

    @john personna: I don’t think you read that the way I think I wrote it.

  38. Steve Verdon says:

    @john personna:

    Its Micheal’s son…he is also posting under Reynolds account too apparently.

  39. @michael reynolds:

    James, they were Democrats. They were rich guys standing up for the regular guy. Romney is a rich guy who wants to slash the safety net, tax the poor and cut taxes for the rich.

    On the other hand, Romney donates huge amounts of money to charity, while Gore and Kerry were both incredibly stingy on that front. Which is not to excuse Romney’s views, but when Gore and Kerry’s “standing up for the regular” only extends to spending other people’s money, are the really any different than Romney? Compassion for them seems to be more about mere appearance than actual action.

  40. reid says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Yes, Doug’s statement about the welfare state failing to help the poor seems blatantly idiotic. Just another ivory tower conservative pontificating about the perfect system, while the poor and elderly starve and die from an infected tooth.

  41. Rob in CT says:

    That pretty much sums it up. All sins are forgiven if one has a D after ones name

    Oftentimes I get frustrated because you don’t engage in the comments (where people often raise very good questions/rebuttals of your arguments). Then you engage and remind me why there’s no point.

  42. @Steven L. Taylor:

    When I refer to the “welfare state” I am more referring to LBJ’s so-called “Great Society” and its plethora of anti-poverty programs To the extent that the welfare state has created a permanent underclass, rather than the conditions for people to rise out of that underclass, it has failed.

  43. Steve Verdon says:

    @Brummagem Joe:

    Uhhhmmm yeah, isn’t that Doug’s point…?

    I have to admit you lost me on that last loop, but I think you got lost too.

    @john personna:

    Sure, but you want me to believe that if Bush II had said something equally clumsy Democrats wouldn’t be all over it with a bucket of jokes? Oh wait, wasn’t it Slate that had the daily Bushism column?

    @sam:

    Okay, I admit I lol’ed at that one. Well done.

    @de stijl:

    If one feeds the trolls repeatedly couldn’t it be argued that such a person is in fact, also a troll?

    @michael reynolds:

    A completely empty suit. There is just something about that guy that sets my teeth on edge. Even more so than Gingrich. Don’t get me wrong I detest Gingrich, but Romney has a slightly higher creepiness factor for me.

  44. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    “In your opinion. Based on about 60 years of actually being in effect I would say that the welfare state has absolutely failed to help the poor in any significant respect”

    For some 50% of seniors their SS represents 100% of their income. So what would be the condition of these folks without SS and Medicare? Would they living in workhouses, under bridges, with their kids? Sometime I wonder what planet Doug lives on.

  45. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Steve Verdon:

    “I have to admit you lost me on that last loop, but I think you got lost too.”

    You have problems with reading simple numbers as well as comprehension?

  46. anjin-san says:

    To the extent that the welfare state has created a permanent underclass

    And as we all know, there was no permanent underclass in this country until LBJ came along.

  47. I didn’t say than anjin, but anyone who thinks he made things better is fooling themselves

  48. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    When I refer to the “welfare state” I am more referring to LBJ’s so-called “Great Society” and its plethora of anti-poverty programs

    So you don’t actually mean the welfare state you mean certain un-named programs that were part of LBJ’s great society program. It’s well known that some of them were ill founded and those that were generally don’t exist any longer or have been substantially modified. Your blanket statement was patently absurd.

  49. @Doug Mataconis:

    , but anyone who thinks he made things better is fooling themselves

    While I am certainly open to exploring alternatives to these policies and hardly consider them to be the end-all of social welfare policy, I find your assertion empirically indefensible.

    Were I poor, it strikes me as obvious on its face that I am better off with food stamps and medicaid than I would be without them.

    Perhaps you could elucidate. BTW, I don’t think that the simple fact that we still have poverty is proof of failure. Surely the question is whether, in fact, poverty would be better, worse, or the same without the policies.

  50. Moosebreath says:

    Doug,

    I didn’t say than anjin, but anyone who thinks he made things better is fooling themselves a Randian utopian who is unable to comprehend the real world.

    FTFY.

  51. michael reynolds says:

    @Steve Verdon:
    Someone on Andrew Sullivan was actually invoking the “uncanny valley” in reference to Romney.

    Setting aside the politics, he does remind me a bit of Gore in that both are just somehow inherently off-putting. It’s never anything you can quite put your finger on.

    As opposed to Gingrich where he’s just so over-the-top loathsome he crosses the line into comedy.

    Somehow Gingrich’s repulsiveness doesn’t demand explanation, where Romney’s far less intense but more disturbing . . . something . . . seems to demand scientific study.

  52. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Were I poor, it strikes me as obvious on its face that I am better off with food stamps and medicaid than I would be without them.

    No… Doug thinks you’d be better off dying and reducing the surplus population. LOL. Doug is
    a hoot at times but he provides an interesting window in the mind of someone who is absolutely, definitely not, a member or supporter of any political party.

  53. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    On the other hand, Romney donates huge amounts of money to charity, while Gore and Kerry were both incredibly stingy on that front.

    Do you actually have any comparisons on this or are you just making stuff up. Quite apart from anything else Kerry and Gore weren’t remotely in Romney’s league for wealth unless you think Kerry’s wife’s money is his.

  54. Nightrider says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Wow, “Based on about 60 years of actually being in effect I would say that the welfare state has absolutely failed to help the poor in any significant respect.” I usually agree with you, but I think on this one you ought to admit that it is a vast overstatement. Absolutely? Any? That is just not true.

  55. Nightrider says:

    I’ve thought this before about Romney. Rich isn’t the problem, it is that he doesn’t seem to stand for anything. Reminds me of Dukakis too; “I will make the trains run on time” and “this election is about competence.” Gore actually did stand for a lot more than Bush, but elections are won on perception.

    Put another way, when was the last time in a November matchup someone who would have seemed cooler in 7th grade lost? 1976 Ford, and then only narrowly after Watergate and the pardon?

  56. TheColourfield says:

    You should probably just stop now Doug.

    Steven is making you look silly.

  57. anjin-san says:

    @ Doug

    I didn’t say than anjin

    Words do mean things. Either your use of language is sloppy, or you are trying to slip in a dog-whistle “libs created the underclass” message.

    When I refer to the “welfare state” I am more referring to LBJ’s so-called “Great Society” and its plethora of anti-poverty programs To the extent that the welfare state has created a permanent underclass

    Or do you just want to argue about what the meaning of “is” is?

  58. @Steven L. Taylor:

    A policy that keeps people “better off” but locked into a permanent undeclass simply doesn’t strike me as something worth praising. Are the very poor better off with the programs than they would be without? No doubt, but that’s hardly the point. A “poverty” policy that merely maintains the status quo isn’t much of a policy in my book.

  59. anjin-san says:

    A “poverty” policy that merely maintains the status quo isn’t much of a policy in my book.

    We are all waiting for a better idea beyond “shrink government”…

  60. reid says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Are the very poor better off with the programs than they would be without? No doubt, but that’s hardly the point.

    That’s exactly the point. Spoken as someone who has never been broke, unemployed, unable to feed his family, and can’t even imagine people in such situations. Seriously, what do you expect to happen to real people in those positions if we get rid of those programs, as you seem to want to do? And how would getting rid of them magically lift those people out of their “underclass” status? Are we drifting into “lazy welfare queens with their color TVs” territory here, hm?

  61. @Doug Mataconis:

    A policy that keeps people “better off” but locked into a permanent undeclass simply doesn’t strike me as something worth praising.

    To make that assertion, you are going to have to explain how getting, say, Food Stamps or Medicare, “locks” one into a “permanent underclass.”

    Consider:

    Person A has no help feeding himself and has no access to medical care.

    Person B has Food Stamps and Medicare.

    For your argument to work, you have to explain how Person A is in a better position to escape poverty than is person B.

    Again, I am more than open to discussing alternative policies and to also engage in criticisms of existing policies, but your absolutist position makes no sense.

  62. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Social Security is literally the only thing keeping my parents off of Medicaid. Which one should we eliminate?

  63. MM says:

    @john personna: That’s what Doug does in comment threads. Distort, cherry pick, misrepresent, insult and argue against straw.

  64. reid says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: His position might make sense if he believes what I wrote in my last sentence in the prior post: that most people on welfare, etc., are lazy and just getting by on the government teat rather than finding a job. I’m not sure if he’s willing to come out and say that, though. I don’t doubt that he ate it up when his idol Reagan said it.

  65. An Interested Party says:

    Nobody held that against John Kennedy or Franklin Roosevelt, after all.

    Two men who both had more charisma on one bad day than Gore, Kerry, and Romney all put together could ever hope to have in several lifetimes…and as others have noted, Kennedy and FDR wanted to help those less fortunate than themselves, so of course their weath wasn’t held againt them…

  66. @Brummagem Joe:

    You can google the discussion of Gore and Kerry’s charitable contributions from when they released their tax returns during their respective runs for President. In both cases, their donations were just a few hundred dollars.

    Again, this isn’t to endorse social darwinism; just pointing out the hypocrisy in the “wealth inequality is bad for everyone but me” attitude you seem to see in a lot of wealthy liberals. There’s more than a whiff of aristocracy in it, the idea that they’re just a completely different class of people who can’t be judged by the same principles that should apply to everyone else.

  67. michael reynolds says:

    Person A has no help feeding himself and has no access to medical care.

    Person B has Food Stamps and Medicare.

    For your argument to work, you have to explain how Person A is in a better position to escape poverty than is person B.

    We see here the perniscious effects of ideology on an otherwise capable mind. Inevitably ideology unquestioned leads to absurdities. Rigid systems simply do not hold up to the complexity of reality. When those frictions occur, the fool doubles down on ideology and the wise men begins to break the shackles of his ideology and to re-examine in the light of evidence.

    Ideology is the crippler of minds.

  68. Rob in CT says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Oh, Steven. You forget:

    Person A will be properly motivated. Person B will be encouraged to be a shiftless layabout, and will fail to improve himself.

    😉

    To be completely fair, there is likely some marginal impact of a “moral hazard” but I think it’s vastly overstated on the Right.

  69. Stan says:

    @Doug Mataconis: The welfare state doesn’t help the poor? Social Security? Medicare? Medicaid? What planet do you live on?

  70. @Rob in CT:

    To be completely fair, there is likely some marginal impact of a “moral hazard” but I think it’s vastly overstated on the Right.

    Indeed. I have little doubt that in some cases that this is exactly the case. However, the problem comes in terms of the absolute position that Doug is taking.

  71. WR says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Right. Because before the Great Society, all those Southern Blacks and Appalachian whites were just cruising to the top of the social ladder. Then mean ol’ LBJ came along and created the permanent underclass, which is why the kids of people living in tarpaper shacks in Mississippi don’t get to run Goldman, Sachs anymore.

  72. john personna says:

    @gVOR08:

    Sorry, missed a word in there.

  73. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    “You can google the discussion of Gore and Kerry’s charitable contributions from when they released their tax returns during their respective runs for President. In both cases, their donations were just a few hundred dollars”

    I’m not going to google anything. You made the assertion thereforre the burden of proof is upon you to substantiate it. Intuitively I find it hard to believe the Kerry and Gore families only made charitable donations of a few hundreds bucks in a year. I’m not Mr Generosity and I donate probably a couple of thousand bucks a year. These guys are politicians they’re going to have every charity in the land, particularly in their own states, panhandling them.

  74. Brummagem Joe says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Ideology is the crippler of minds.

    Cognitive dissonance?

  75. Steve Verdon says:

    @Brummagem Joe:

    No Joe, but you seem completely and totally lost. Try reading Doug’s comments again. Okay, I’ll spell it out for you really simple.

    You wrote:

    Back into cognitive dissonance territory again Doug? Only the other day you criticising Buffett for hypocrisy while most democratic leaning folks (including myself and I’m reasonably comfortably off) we’re defending him.

    You thought this refuted Doug’s claim that “All sins are forgiven if one is a Democrat.” Doug replied that no, wealth is not a sin to him, but it often is to Democrats. So lets no look at Buffet…

    1. Buffet is rich, so that is a sin in and of itself according to Doug.
    2. Buffet is making statements many Democrats like.
    3. Buffet is okay, because point 2 absolves him of his sin in point 1, according to Doug.

    So no inconsistency for Doug’s position. Of course being consistent doesn’t make one right.

    So you managed, in the end, to confuse yourself.

    Does that help or were any of the words too big?

    @michael reynolds:

    Setting aside the politics, he does remind me a bit of Gore in that both are just somehow inherently off-putting. It’s never anything you can quite put your finger on.

    I agree…again. Uh-oh I think we might have a problem here. I know! Scotch, we should have a glass tonight.

    As opposed to Gingrich where he’s just so over-the-top loathsome he crosses the line into comedy.

    Oh no…agree again. Maybe we should make it a double.

    Somehow Gingrich’s repulsiveness doesn’t demand explanation, where Romney’s far less intense but more disturbing . . . something . . . seems to demand scientific study.

    Almost like he is in stealth…that you’ll say, “Okay, I’ll vote for him” then he pulls off the mask and you’re like “OMG, I just voted for that“?

    I guess in the end, if I have to look at somebody as president on television and on the internet, etc. Obama wins. Not a fan, but then again not a fan of anyone looking to be President…still I’d waiting for the V when Romney’s mask is pulled off to reveal a lizard alien who’s grand master plan is turn us all into food.

    “Uncanny Valley” never heard of it before, but after a bit of googling…yes that is it exactly. He’s a pod person!!!1!!11!!!Eleven

  76. @Steve Verdon:

    Ha! I think you believe in homeopathic argument. You dilute the point until it is present in untraceable amounts. It is essentially gone.

    Of course Doug was making an infantile argument, one meant to appeal to emotion, and to avoid reason. You can flood that with as much sophistry as you want, it doesn’t return to sanity.

    It’s simple. Republicans and Democrats each have rich guys they like. Only dishonest (or confused) pundits on the right claim that “their” rich guys are hated for their wealth, rather than their positions.

    Yes, Buffet is a disproof of that argument. Making a new and contorted argument that Democrats somehow differentiate rich people with ideas that they like, and those whose ideas they don’t like … but after that process it is about the wealth but not the idea?

    What a pretzel argument.

  77. Steve Verdon says:

    @john personna:

    What a pretzel argument.

    Really, it has 3 points/steps…not all that tough for a person of average intelligence to follow.

  78. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Steve Verdon:

    Really, it has 3 points/steps…not all that tough for a person of average intelligence to follow.

    Man…you’re in love with yourself aren’t you Steve. Even if you’re a bit weak in the comprehension and deductive reasoning departments.

  79. Steve Verdon says:

    @Brummagem Joe:

    Hey, I got what Doug was saying right off the bat. I don’t think I have the comprehension problem. I have seen you have this problem in several threads now.

  80. Steve Verdon says:

    @Brummagem Joe:

    I thought you said all Democrats thought being rich was ipso facto a sin?

    See Joe, you got it wrong here. Yes, maybe it is a sin…but if you are a Democrat, that sin is forgiven. That was Doug’s very first comment and you have ignored that point the rest of the comment thread.

    But if it makes you feel better to think I’m stupid, by all means go right ahead.

  81. @Steve Verdon:

    Actually Steve, do you notice your point 2?

    “2. Buffet is making statements many Democrats like.”

    That is actually enough.

    Your sin in point 1 is and can be totally imaginary. It is naked assertion that it exists, and that 2 absolves it.

    What you’ve done in your pretzel logic is make visible policy agreement proof of invisible jealousy.

  82. Heh, this guy takes it the other way. He has a very amusing title for his new book:

    Pity the Billionaire

    The subtitle is “The Hard-Times Swindle and the Unlikely Comeback of the Right.”

    Perhaps he’s got an inversion of Steve’s three steps going. I suppose it’s at least arguable, that the right is strangely open to “benefit the rich” arguments, even when they come from the rich.

    Rather than finding rich men that speak for the tea party, the tea party speaks for the rich men?

    I mean, we’ve got two multi-millionaire GOP Presidential candidates running on the proposition that taxes should be cut for themselves!

  83. Brett says:

    Who ever thought John Kerry is handsome? The best description I ever read of his appearance described him as a “haunted tree”, and it’s true – his face looks like they carved it out of a log.

  84. Just 'nuta ig'rant cracker says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Unfortunately, we live in a world where words can speak louder than actions. Romney is clearly more charitable than most of us, unfortunately his words drown that out.

  85. lankyloo says:

    @Just ‘nuta ig’rant cracker:

    But we’re not electing the most charitable person, but we’re electing someone who is going to make policy about tax expenditures. Romney is a very generous person in his personal life, but the policies he wants to implement advantage people who are rich like him, and directly or indirectly negatively affect people who are not rich.

  86. John425 says:

    Kerry had the additional disadvantage of being stupid.