Political Advice For Romney: Act Like A Misogynistic, Plutocratic Jerk And You’ll Win The Election

National Review's Kevin Williamson has some truly bizarre advice for Mitt Romney.

James Joyner has already written about one bizarre aspect of Kevin Williamson’s exceedingly strange National Review article but there’s even more about to than the odd claim that having daughters somehow makes Barack Obama a bad President and less of a man. Williamson also thinks he has the key to a Romney victory in November. It has nothing to do with politics, or religion, or Romney’s business record or political beliefs. It doesn’t even involve the state of the economy, President Obama’s efforts to stimulate the economy, ObamaCare, the supposed tendency of the President to “apologize for America,” or any other of the numerous failures that Republicans and conservatives continually attack the President for. No, instead, Mr. Williamson thinks that Romney can win by being a Playa’:

It is time for Mitt Romney to get in touch with his inner rich guy.

Some Occupy Wall Street types, believing it to be the height of wit, have begun to spell Romney’s name “Rmoney.” But Romney can do better than that — put it in all caps: R-MONEY. Jay-Z can keep his puny little lowercase letters and the Maybach: R-MONEY doesn’t own a flashy car with rims, R-MONEY does billion-dollar deals with Keystone Automotive and Delphi. You want to make it rain? R-MONEY is going to make it storm, like biblical. Rappers boast about their fat stacks: R-MONEY’s fat stacks live in a beachfront house of their own in the Hamptons, and the bricks in that house are made from tightly bound hundred-dollar bills. You have a ton of money? R-MONEY has 200 metric tons of money if he decides to keep it in cash.

(…)

Romney should quit pretending that he’s an ordinary schmo with ordinary schmo problems and start living a little larger. He should not be ashamed of being loaded; instead, he should have some fun with it. He will discover something that the Obama campaign has not quite figured out yet: Americans do not hate rich people. Americans love rich people. Americans will sit on their couches and watch billionaire Donald Trump fire people on television — for fun. Nobody hates Jay Leno for owning seven Aston Martins and 17 Lamborghinis — people go to his garage’s website (of course his garage has its own website) to ogle his cars and leave appreciative remarks. (Like President Obama, Leno’s big on green cars: He’s got 39 of them, which probably negates the environmental benefit of buying a green car, but whatever.) There are lots of children of rich and powerful men who do not turn out to be 0.01 percent as successful as Mitt Romney has. Meghan McCain’s father is a rich guy and a failed presidential candidate, just like Mitt’s. Anybody think Meghan McCain’s life is going to turn out like Mitt Romney’s?

I’ve had to read this thing through three times to try to figure out if Williamson is being serious, or if he’s engaging in some kind of grand exercise in parody. I can only conclude after doing so that he’s absolutely serious, and that just makes the whole thing even more pathetic. As parody, it reads like something that Jon Stewart might do as an opening monologue on The Daily Show.

Essentially what Williamson is saying here is that Romney should flaunt his wealth, well, the way Donald Trump does. What he either ignores or forgets is that the reason that people watch The Apprentice isn’t because they respect Donald Trump, it’s because they are entertained by his clownish and buffoonish behavior. They may watch his television show, but when presented with the question of whether or not they wanted him to be President, the answer was an emphatic – we won’t hire you. What, exactly, makes Williamson think that Romney — or as he apparently wants to call him R-Money — would do any better with the arrogant rich guy act than Trump has, at least in the political world?

What’s truly amusing, though, is that Williamson is essentially saying that Romney — or I guess I should call him  R-MONEY like he’s some kind of Republican rapper — should live up to all the stereotypes that the Obama campaign and the left have been hitting on for the past year. Throughout that time, the opposition has been trying to paint Romney as an out-of-touch uber rich executive in the mold of, well, Donald Trump or Mr. Burns from The Simpsons. Now, Williamson is telling him that’s exactly the kind of public persona Romney should put forward. All due respect, but is Williamson nuts? When was the last time, a person like that was elected President? The answer, of course, is never.

We’ve elected many rich men President over the past two centuries. Indeed, our first President was among the wealthiest men in the America of his time, and men like Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, both Presidents Bush have all been similarly wealthy. None of them flaunted it, though. In fact, especially in modern times, wealthy candidates have tried to emphasize their connections with, and concern for, the common man. Sometimes, quite honestly, this has been forced and phony, but it’s something that’s pretty much expected by the American people. Mitt Romney going through the rest of the campaign acting like some kind of Mormon Gangsta’ would be utterly insane, which is why I wondered at first if this wasn’t some vast exercise in Onion-type parody. Apparently, it isn’t.

Alex Halperin at Slate sums up what Williamson’s argument is really all about

The Republican Party does have policy objectives, but its case to the electorate isn’t about better governance or any concern of ordinary people. Instead it is an appeal to the visceral and not inconsiderable thrill of being a jerk toward anyone less privileged than you are. Republican policies aren’t going to help you become more privileged yourself but there will always be richer, better looking jerks to vicariously cheer for.

Or at least it would be if the GOP really followed Williamson’s advice, and if they did they may as well run a Donald Trump/Don Draper ticket and get it over with.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. Alex Knapp says:

    What I love about this is that though he dismisses Jay-Z, the rapper is actually worth about twice as much as Romney. And unlike Romney, Jay-Z made his money by creating products, goods and services that produced jobs and had other beneficial effects.

  2. This Washington Post opinion on The rise of the ‘Drawbridge Republicans’ seems to tie in:

    Wealthy political candidates are nothing new, of course. But we’ve never had two wealthy candidates on a national ticket whose top priority is to reduce already low taxes on the well-to-do while raising taxes on everyone else — even as they propose to slash programs that serve the poor, or that (like college aid) create chances for the lowly born to rise.

    The problem is that while Americans do respect the rich, especially the self-made, the Romney policies are not centered in “you can too!!!”

  3. Fiona says:

    Romney already comes off as a smug, out of touch, rich guy despite his labored attempts to pretend he’s one of us. Suggesting that Romney double down on what’s already a losing formula strikes me as being pretty darn tone deaf. Although watching R-MONEY trying to rap his way through the rest of the campaign might actually make it a bit more interesting.

  4. C. Clavin says:

    Republicans today are nothing but rich white guys. They are plutocrats and misogynists and zenophobes. Williamson is right…you have to be who you are…there is no use pretending to be something you are not.

  5. James H says:

    There is a middle ground between R-MONEY and “awkwardly trying to relate to the common man,” I think.

  6. Jay_Dubbs says:

    What Williamson is suggesting is that Romeny simply shred apart the facade that the old line GOP (rich guys) are some how in touch with the new GOPers (social conservative christians).

    But what I especially like is this notion that inherited wealth (and yes, Romney did increase it, but its easier to go from 10 million to 200 million than 50,000 to 1 miliion) makes these guys (Romey, Trump, both Bushes) “real men”, while those who achieved greatness from little are “lesser men.” So much for the American Dream.

  7. Black Onion says:

    I wonder who is the bigger alpha dog; a rich man or the President of the United States of America.

    Executive?
    Commander in Chief?

    According to Williamson’s “logic” all the ladies vote Obama.

  8. Rob in CT says:

    That article is painfully stupid (particularly the first part where he tries to be all smacktalky).

  9. PogueMahone says:

    @Black Onion:
    You’re right.

    After all, Romney may be able to buy his woman a beach house, but the POTUS could invade a country for his.

    This is, of course, absurdly theoretical, but that’s the field of play with morons like Williamson.

    Cheers.

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    He will discover something that the Obama campaign has not quite figured out yet: Americans do not hate rich people. Americans love rich people.

    No Kevin, Americans do not “love” rich people. By and large we do not hate them either. Only the sycophants like you leave your sloppy tongued love all over their shoes.

  11. Jr says:

    I do love Williamson’s misogynistic view of women.

    And republicans wonder why they can’t close the gap when it comes to women voters.

  12. As an aside, I wrote above that “The problem is that while Americans do respect the rich, especially the self-made, the Romney policies are not centered in ‘you can too!!!'”

    The key there is policies, rather than rhetoric. As the article says:

    Today’s Drawbridge Republicans can’t be bothered. Yes, when their political back is to the wall — as Romney’s increasingly is — they’ll slap together a page of bullet points and dub it “a plan for the middle class.” But this is only under duress. The rest of the time they seem blissfully unaware of how off-key they sound. As the humorist Andy Borowitz tweeted the other day, “As a general matter, it’s a bad idea to talk about austerity if you just had a horse lose in the Olympics.”

    If anyone does want to challenge that later today, I’d hope they’d come back with policies. I’m ready to listen.

  13. swearyanthony says:

    I would love to see this play out according to the article.

    Romney: Oh, yeah, check my money and also shootin the boy sperm.
    Obama: Sorry? Was just checking that Bin Laden was still dead.

    Shortest diss battle ever.

  14. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jay_Dubbs:

    But what I especially like is this notion that inherited wealth (and yes, Romney did increase it, but its easier to go from 10 million to 200 million than 50,000 to 1 miliion) makes these guys (Romey, Trump, both Bushes) “real men”, while those who achieved greatness from little are “lesser men.” So much for the American Dream.

    Jay, don’t you know that the American Dream ™ is reserved for white guys with the right lineage, and not at all for the half-caste child of a black man who abandoned the family and a woman who was even on food stamps for a while.

    That is why he never really earned that degree from Columbia or his Law degree from Harvard. Or wrote those 2 books.

  15. al-Ameda says:

    @swearyanthony:

    We have a winner

    I would love to see this play out according to the article.
    Romney: Oh, yeah, check my money and also shootin the boy sperm.
    Obama: Sorry? Was just checking that Bin Laden was still dead.
    Shortest diss battle ever.

  16. mantis says:

    Kaufman does a pretty good “concept-for-concept translation” of Williamson’s Ace of Spades-level adolescent misogynist screed.

    You know why Mitt Romney’s awesome? Check out his stats: he has so much money he gives it away and when he touches things he rules them. He has kids. They’re boys. All of them. Science says that means he’s awesome. So does money. Rich people are mostly men. See that picture? No daughters. Barely any granddaughters either. When he goes to church he goes to church. He gets all up in that house.

    Obama? All daughters. Mister Rogers was a pussy.

    Science says Romney should have all the lady-votes. Even Obama’s bitch should vote for him. I’m not saying he’s a polygamist, but he could be if he wanted to. Like this rich guy who had 61 children and they were all boys. He can’t have a harem, but if he could bitches would be lining up to join it. He’s in charge. Because now that we don’t hunt it’s all about the money and Mitt has more. He’s more President than the last eight Presidents. If he paid taxes, he’d pay more a year than Obama’s worth. If he didn’t tap ass so expertly he’d have more money than the only wealthy black guy I can think of who’s a rapper.

  17. KariQ says:

    I can only hope that fathers of daughters give this idiot what he has coming to him.

    I read the article last night and decided to make the assumption that he was not serious, because how could anyone say any of that seriously? But I’ll admit, that’s might poor reasoning, especially given today’s GOP.

  18. bk says:

    especially in modern times, wealthy candidates have tried to emphasize their connections with, and concern for, the common man.

    Well, except for “welfare queens” and amazement over supermarket scanners, yeah.

  19. mattb says:

    The essay fits nicely into the entire “muscular republicanism” (or perhaps “muscular conservatism”) we’ve seen emerge after Obama’s election.

    It started with the tea party and the constant revolution rhetoric (we’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it). It reached a fever pitch during the Republican Primaries, where people were opining about how Newt would kick Obama’s ass in an imagined debate.

    The feeling among the base — in part fanned by populist Conservative media — is that they are all victims who are waiting for the *real leaders* who will *fight* for what they all believe in.

    In that respect GWB was, by then end, not seen as a real fighter. Nor have many people see Romney as a real fighter either. Hence the calls for him to become one.

    It also gets to the level of visceral hate directed at Obama by members of the base (which at least equals the amount directed a Clinton if not surpasses it).

  20. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @mantis:

    Kaufman does a pretty good “concept-for-concept translation”

    Dead on.

  21. Me Me Me says:

    So, Obama is a pussy because he has daughters.

    But the idea that Republicans hate women is just something that Democrats plucked out of thing air for their own convenience.

  22. Woody says:

    I read the piece and came to the conclusion that it was one part clickbait and two parts satirical ineptitude.

  23. This Guy says:

    @Alex Knapp:
    Well, sure but also by selling drugs and then bragging about selling drugs other illegal activity.

  24. mattb says:

    @This Guy:

    Well, sure but also by selling drugs and then bragging about selling drugs other illegal activity.

    Remember that rap by no means began the process of bragging about illegal activity. Look no further than old school country (“I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die”) for another recent (though considered far more “decent”) music style that relied heavily on murder ballads and the mystique of the (righteous) outlaw.

  25. Me Me Me says:

    @mattb: I was drunk
    The day my Momma
    Got out of prison.
    And I went
    To pick her up
    In the rain.
    But before I could get there in my pickup truck
    She got runned over by a danged ol’ train.

  26. al-Ameda says:

    No, instead, Mr. Williamson thinks that Romney can win by being a Playa’:

    a “Playa”?
    He has a home in La Jolla, I’m not sure if it’s on the beach though.

  27. al-Ameda says:

    @James H:

    There is a middle ground between R-MONEY and “awkwardly trying to relate to the common man,” I think.

    There is, it’s Barack Obama.

  28. dennis says:

    No, instead, Mr. Williamson thinks that Romney can win by being a Playa’

    Doug, I couldn’t have said it better. That really sums it up, doesn’t it? Damn…

  29. swbarnes2 says:

    @Woody:

    I read the piece and came to the conclusion that it was one part clickbait and two parts satirical ineptitude.

    Maybe. But the undisguised scorn for the half their fellow human beings is 100% real.

  30. bill says:

    well, look who won last time!

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