Top Menu

Follow Taylor on Twitter

When Politics and The Movies Meet

Even GOP advisor Frank Luntz jumped into the fray. “Hollywood does it again,” he told Secrets. “[Romney] had to know all this was coming and he should have done a lot more to prepare for it.”Romney’s new foe: Batman’s ‘Bane’

ROMNEY’S FLAT-FOOTED CAMPAIGN response to the barrage coming at him looms as one of those election year moments that could become historic. That it’s coming at a time when there seems to be a convergence of energy targeted at Mitt Romney’s very reason for running for the presidency makes it even more potentially dangerous. The only saving grace is that it’s July not September, but given the swarm that continues to gather, Democratic forces are being given one of those moments that are the stuff of potential victories.

The economy remains shaky, with a referendum on Obama the only way Mitt Romney can win. Yet Romney’s campaign has still not formulated their campaign message around this one fact. Pres. Obama hasn’t been able to get hold of his own economic message his entire first term, yet a man who’s been running for president for 8 years wasn’t prepared to be challenged in the era of Occupy on his Bain Capital record, having no narrative prepared to sell it. Romney actually believed he could come forth, offer himself, be taken at his word, with no investigation pending on the history of what he did.

If ever there was a patriarchal presentation founded on a fundamentalist belief in male supremacy, Mitt Romney is it. His campaign wreaks of it. The hubris of his presidential campaign’s arrogance to queries proves it.

As backdrop, it’s been called the “most disastrous poll ever” for Mitt Romney and it’s evidence that Team Obama’s Bain Capital attacks are making a dent, which is one reason I’m actually citing this poll, something I rarely do. It’s only a snapshot, but the latest Pew out last week puts skin on why Romney’s spastic response to the economic attacks coming at him could end up being a defining moment. The other reason I’m citing this poll is that it reveals Obama has gained on Romney on the economy and jobs, giving the President the lead on the issue that is Romney’s sole reason for his campaign. I’m late in citing this poll, because I go out of my way not to cite polling data, but when juxtaposed against the withering attacks on Romney’s reason to run for president, attention must be paid, if only to mark a significant tremor in the campaign at this moment, which could be foreshadowing of Romney’s undoing. Whether it is, of course, is another story entirely (see Nate Silver). But what’s playing out right now is significant, with an even more recent poll showing that Americans favor Barack Obama’s economic plan to tax the wealthy, 2-to-1, also citing “fairness,” which blows Romney’s austerity plan to smithereens. A just released Democracy Corp poll proves it.

By two-to-one (44% to 22%), the public says that raising taxes on incomes above $250,00o would help the economy rather than hurt it, while 24% say this would not make a difference. Moreover, an identical percentage (44%) says a tax increase on higher incomes would make the tax system more fair, while just 21% say it would make the system less fair. – Raising Taxes on Rich Seen as Good for Economy, Fairness

In historic moments, culture often provides the perfect setting in which the stories of our lives play out. We remember songs that set a certain time in our lives to music. We can place the moment we saw a movie and what it meant to our lives, sometimes inspiring us in surprising ways. Then there are those moments when movies craft a larger theme, sometimes being a hilarious counterpoint to what’s going on in American life, while other times providing a contemporary moment of synchronicity, even if the specifics don’t align perfectly. And in some moments it’s just too perfect to worry about what doesn’t match, because the person it typifies so deserves the comparison, if only because he’s insulted everyone by assuming people will vote for him without any effort on his part to reveal who he really is, as opposed to what he’s marketed to be.

Mitt Romney has always typified a casting agent’s perfect “type” to be president. He’s got the looks. In bad economic times, his business resume reads perfectly on paper for the moment. On the cultural side, he’s got the perfect family picture to offer, too. But this isn’t the 1950s, contrary to Team Romney’s behavior and game plan. Romney also comes after Barack Obama, who was marketed as something he wasn’t, with the voters now having felt that sting, though it’s hardly the first time voters idealism allowed them to be fooled, leaving them wide awake and wounded.

In the movies, people root for the underdog. The underdog in the story of 2012 is the American worker. Right now Mitt Romney is being defined as literally the “Bane” of their existence, with leading comedians providing the humor and context, and an actual villain in a summer blockbuster about to offer the comic book version of the candidate.

We’re in the eye of a perfect storm.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

17 Responses to When Politics and The Movies Meet

  1. Ramsgate July 17, 2012 at 3:25 pm #

    Excellent. This is so well written Taylor and in my humble opinion it perfectly captures the spirit of the man.

    He spent most of his life as a high official in the Mormon church where people sit in the audience and lap up every little tidbit of wisdom they know the authorities have and they don’t. They laugh at every bad joke and every bad song sung. But lap it all up they do. This is what he’s used to.

    His whole life. Entitlement, privilege, VIP status and ego boosting.

    He was not prepared for any of this.

    • Taylor Marsh July 17, 2012 at 4:43 pm #

      It’s the personification of what patriarchy represents, which is 1950s stuff.

      It’s why I recently wrote that piece tying the Romney campaign & Republicans to their disavowing of women’s importance in the mix of 2012. It’s all related. Unsurprisingly, conservatives couldn’t grasp it. They just don’t understand how this type of male dominance quiets the voices of women and sidelines our issues, including on the foreign policy front, something Hillary has worked so hard to highlight.

      However, when it comes to Romney, he’s the throwback’s throwback where male hierarchical power is concerned.

  2. secularhumanizinevoluter July 17, 2012 at 4:41 pm #

    There’s the pitch….she swings…SHE HITS……IT’S OUTTA HERE!!!!! Ms. Marsh POUNDS a GRAND SLAM!!!!!!!!

    • Taylor Marsh July 17, 2012 at 4:44 pm #

      Oh, secularh… that made me laugh. :cool:

  3. Cujo359 July 17, 2012 at 4:59 pm #

    For now at least, I agree with Nate Silver:

    In other words, Mr. Romney has in some ways begun to ignore his pollsters’ advice. Instead of being more forthright in his defense of Bain’s activities – a strategy that seemed to be roughly achieving a draw in the public’s eyes – he has been in damage-control mode, and has not necessarily been adroit at it.

    Which is Nixonian Politics 101 – it’s not the crime, it’s the cover-up. This isn’t going to hurt Romney overly much, unless he acts like he has something to hide, or unless he shows himself by his own actions that he can’t be trusted. And, as I’ve mentioned once or twice, the rather obvious point that Obama’s economic advisors came from the same talent pool as Bain’s won’t be overlooked by anyone who can remember what happened these last few years.

    • Taylor Marsh July 17, 2012 at 5:06 pm #

      um… He’s already acting as if he has something to hide, which is why George Will & Co. are calling him out to release more tax returns.

      Team Obama has no intention of waiting for Romney’s trust factor to be proven by the candidate. They’re already chiseling away on that foundation, though the result is not assured and why Chicago won’t stop.

      • Cujo359 July 17, 2012 at 5:22 pm #

        What matters is what Romney does, not what the Obama campaign tries to frame him as, at least not overtly. Anyone who accepts an opposing candidate’s characterization of a political candidate is too foolish to have any business voting.

        That Romney was on his way to failing on that basis was, I thought, an obvious point, but apparently I was wrong. So I’ll make it explicitly: Romney is making himself look shifty.

        • Taylor Marsh July 17, 2012 at 6:34 pm #

          Well, again, he isn’t releasing his taxes. That’s doing/not doing simultaneously.

          The next turn is circulating that Romney paid ZERO taxes in –name that year–. It comes from Joshu Green.

  4. newdealdem1 July 17, 2012 at 9:08 pm #

    Wow, if it turns out that Green’s speculation turns out true, and Romney paid ZERO taxes even if it’ only in one year, that’s incoming fire that will have done some major damage to his body politic for sure. Americans don’t envy rich people as PUTZ Romney said. What they do do is hate it when rich people (and since Corps are now people :roll:, I’ll nclude them here) don’t pay their fair share of taxes. Not paying ANY taxes in any one year goes way beyond not paying their his fair share. And, if he’s seen as trying to hide this as well, I think that’s the sound of shite hitting the fan.

    Also, how many on FOX and in the House (I’m looking at you Michele Bachman) have branded as freeloaders and worse those who are on the lower end of the income scale for not paying any federal income taxes. People who don’t earn enough to pay Fed income taxes, do pay the regressive sales tax and most other applicable taxes. (The lying bastards who diss these people on FOX fail to mention that FACT. And, how much you want to bet that if Green’s speculation about Romney’s paying ZERO in Fed income taxes is true, FOX will do all it can to turn this around in Romney’s favor.)

    This is the law when it comes to those who don’t make enough for the Fed govt to tax their income (and most receive a refund up to the amount of the federal standard deduction) which is fair and legal and how our progressive income tax laws were meant to work. When I was in college and worked two jobs, I still didn’t make enough to pay fed income taxes and received this refund. Many Americans have received this refund even those who work for FOX when they were in college if they worked. How easily they “forget” this. And, this should not be changed. People who earn more should pay more federal income tax and those who earn less should pay less. Getting to keep more of your disposable income to save and spend if you’re not in the 1% which is the majority of us is not only fair, but with more money to spend, it makes good economic sense in terms of the multiplier effect on the economy.

    When someone is in the highest tax bracket in 2012 (35% which is not the effective income tax rate paid because it’s reduced by deductions and exemptions) like Romney they are paying the lowest in earned income tax since the 1950′s on their ordinary earned income although it is much higher than the unearned income tax on capital gains which is 15%.

    From the little we know of his finances, he’s not paying ordinary income tax since he stopped earning a salary (although that has been called into question recently with the ludicrous “retroactive retirement” crap and if he earned a salary at Bain whilst working at the Olympic thiing). For arguments sake, If he only received unearned income, he paid the cheaper 15% rate on his capital gains from investments in Bain, etal. And, if all the tax loopholes (where he is able to shelter his unearned income) available to him made it possible for him to pay ZERO in taxes in any one year, that may be perfectly legal but that won’t sit well with the American public.

    If Green is right in his speculation about this and as Romney has literally not been forthcoming and transparent in releasing these tax returns, he will be seen by the American public as a sneaky, lying bastard who got away with fiscal murder whilst they were not privy to those same tax loopholes reserved for the 1% and had to pay their fair share whilst Romney got to keep his. And, then tried to cover it up?

    That’s something the American public won’t likely forget or forgive any time soon given it effects them directly and indirectly.

    • secularhumanizinevoluter July 17, 2012 at 9:44 pm #

      DAMN it gets me hot when a woman talks all smart an stuff!!!!!

  5. newdealdem1 July 17, 2012 at 10:11 pm #


  6. ladywalker68 July 18, 2012 at 12:44 am #

    Awesome post, Taylor. And newdealdem1….WOW!!!

    Not that there is an identical parallel, but unless his team gets a clue, Mittens is on his way to becoming what John Kerry was to GWB back in 2004.

    Bush’s approval ratings weren’t all that great, but Kerry never was able to get traction against him because Kerry allowed Team Bush and the Swiftboaters to define him. I mean, if Kerry through one slip of “I was against funding the war before I was for it” got him labeled with being a flip-flopper, then from the debates, his history, and the now infamous “Etch-a-Sketch” moment, Romney looks like a jumping bean having some sort of seizure.

    And Romney’s defiance about releasing his tax returns reminds of Kerry thinking he could ignore the Swiftboat attacks and they would just go away. If Romney thinks common folk look at his refusal to release his tax returns as a sign of strength, he needs to think again. The more he digs in, the more he looks as if he has something really big and horrible to hide. I can only conclude he does have something to hide that he believes will really damage his candidacy.

    Kerry got a bump after the convention, but it seemed strangely suspicious to me that every time Kerry pulled ahead in the polls, “coincidentally” there was a-generic-terror-related” event reported that took the headlines and Bush pulled back ahead because he was the War President, and you should never change presidents when you are in the middle of a war, right????

    And while he has his faults, I would take John Kerry in a heartbeat over Mittens any day. Sure, they both have more money than God, but at least John Kerry served his country, which is more than you can say for the last 3 presidents.

    My guess is that it will be a close race and I agree that nobody can predict what will happen in November. But if Team Romney doesn’t get a grip soon, or pending some disaster for Obama, Mittens can look forward to a close race that he will lose by about the same margin that Kerry lost in 2004. Just my little humble conjecture for the moment.

  7. jjamele July 18, 2012 at 9:07 am #

    My guess is that it will be a close race and I agree that nobody can predict what will happen in November.

    Yikes, you’ve just wiped out pretty much every show on MSNBC!!

    BTW, did you catch Rachel Maddow last night? I love her politics, but she was at her condescending, “aren’t I cute” worst last night when she opened by pretending to pass out from boredom trying to utter the words “Tim Pawlenty.” In typical Rachel Maddow style, she proceeded to beat a bad joke to death, doing in three times in less than a minute.

    Hey Rachel? You are a brilliant political analyst and the best interviewer on television. You are a little too pedantic and ponderous for my taste, but you fulfill a very important function and you do it very well. But please, please, cut the distasteful snobbery- Vice Presidential picks aren’t really supposed to be “exciting,” and I’m quite certain that Romney doesn’t give a damn if you find Tim Pawlenty boring. Neither do I.

    Save comedy for the comedians, and the smug crap for the other side, ok?

    • ladywalker68 July 18, 2012 at 9:31 am #

      Oh, gee….sorry to disappoint MS-N-BO’s-Pocket …my mistake, I guess we drop the MS now???

      Yes, I have to agree with you about Rachel on every point. And, somebody who kept me sane through the 2004 election and after right up until she turned into an Obot Transformer for the 2008 primary was Stephanie Miller. She is so droolingly goo-goo-ga-ga for Obaba and nothing is his fault at all, she just became too vomitimous for me to listen to anymore and it is a shame because her Right Wing World segment and some of the mocking of stars can be hilarious. But I just can’t stomach the Obama worship long enough to get through to the funny stuff.

      • jjamele July 18, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

        You mean Stephanie Check Out My Sexy Liberal Show Tour BTW Obama is SuperAwesomeAmazing and if you are Dissatisfied just Shut Up you Whiny Progressives you Remind Me of Colicky Babies (here’s an hi-LARIOUS clip of a baby crying) breathless laugh have I mentioned My Sexy Liberal Show in the past Thirty Seconds Miller?

        Pass. And pass on Beaver Jokes, Celebrity Stack, the endless interviews with Miller’s comedian buddies, etc. etc. ETC.

        • ladywalker68 July 18, 2012 at 10:37 pm #

          Yep. That’s the one! You nailed it……ROTFLMAO!!!!!

.... a writer is someone who takes the universal whore of language
and turns her into a virgin again.  ~ erica jong