Silver foot, meet lying mouth

Martin H. Simon/ABC

Martin H. Simon/ABC

Christ mambo-dancing buff-carpenter Jesus. What an eejit the Romney is.

The EXCLUSIVE – Romney on Debates: Obama Will ‘Say Things That Aren’t True’ interview with George Aloysius Snuffleupagus is compelling viewing in the same way as is, say, America’s Funniest Home Videos.

There you have babies doing themselves injuries on glass coffee tables or bonking themselves in the eyes with sporks, accompanied by whacky boing noises and a laugh track, which you must admit is prime entertainment.

Over at the ABC, it’s very much the same – George tottering toward the fragile coffee table of journalistic integrity with a determined look*, while the Romney spouts inanities and calumnies, in between bouts of bashing itself very hard over its own head with, in turn, a natty white picnic chair, an ornamental plant and George’s left shoe, with a soundtrack of wingnut tears and Rush-Limbaugh-clutching-at-his-heart noises.

It defies belief. You must go and read/watch the whole thing. I suspect the lefty blogs will be all over it like nuns on a chip, so I’m just going to pick out a few of my favourite bits from George’s blogpost, rather than even trying to lampoon the entire thing…

The former governor told me he’s tempted to use Ronald Reagan’s famous line against President Carter in a 1980 debate, “There you go again” — the same line that Bill Clinton turned on Romney and the Republicans at the Democratic convention in Charlotte.

Do it, Mitt. Try and crack a snappy one liner that only non-Zombie Reagan could get away with, and which only Former President Bubba O’Bill could get away with recycling. Wait for some opportune moment, perhaps when President Obama has said something entirely true and innocuous about Obamacare giving people access to affordable healthcare. When you see your moment, do that smug, stiff turn-to-camera face you always use when you’re about to deliver a quip, and drop it in.

“There you go again.”

Try not to say “nigger” or “boy” or “darkie” at the end of that sentence, by the way. None of those would go down well. Then do your odd little laugh, smirk, cut, print. It will be a hit.

Obama will stagger under the force of your wit and babble incoherently (rather than, say, calmly ripping you a new arsehole in front of the entire world), and the Oval Office will be yours.

Romney told me the debates “may well be” the campaign’s make or break moment.

“Sometimes there’s something big that happens and they become deciding. Other times, it’s like, well, nothing really changed. We’re in the same spot we were before the debates. I can’t predict what’ll happen. But I think it’ll be revealing one way or the other,” he said.

The debates will either be decisive or indecisive, but will be revealing one way or the other.


Moving on.

“Well you know, beating an incumbent is never easy. The president exudes an air of likability and friendliness, which is endearing,” Romney told me.

It’s like an aerophobic Trobirand islander talking about snow.

The vocabulary may be there, but when Mitt says words like “friendliness” or “endearing” he… well, he thinks those things are something you exude, as if they are produced in android nice-glands somewhere beneath the magic undies and then pumped out through ducts in his synthetic skin. Except the whole system is on the fritz.

Democrats say Romney’s plan would cause a $2000 tax hike on the middle class – something Romney disputes and points to a number of studies that say his plan to cut taxes will not increase the deficit, including one by Harvard professor Martin Feldstein.

Feldstein says Romney’s math will work, but he would have to eliminate the home mortgage, charitable, state and local tax deductions for incomes greater than $100,000.

When I pressed Romney on that point, he conceded that he actually hadn’t read the Feldstein report that he and Paul Ryan cite on the campaign trail.

“I haven’t seen his precise study,” he said.

Mitt is, at core, a senior businessman. Indeed, a Chairman, CEO, and Sole Shareholder.

This – for those of you lucky enough never to have worked in a company run by a Romney – means that for the last thirty years, Mitt has not needed to read stuff.

It means that Mitt has risen high above the level in the company (and, I suspect, the campaign) where the actual work is done, where people read studies and analyse data, and occasionally attempt to craft (more or less) convincing narratives. These workers – who are called Associates, or Vice Presidents when the company wants them to think they are important – these actual workers write memos.

These memos are summarised into less and shorter memos by people slightly more senior, then less and shorter and more senior still, until there is a single memo addressed to Mitt, which is slipped onto his desk by his secretary and which says “tax cuts good, not deficit raise, economists say yes, yay olympics”.

Mitt will stick that memo into his slimline briefcase amongst dozens of other memos and gant charts and gender diversity policies that he will also never read, and which will all be thrown away unread a month from now when Mitt forgets his security pass and spills his decaf mocha full fat grande latte into the briefcase while trying to press the alarm button in the lift.

Chairman, CEO, and Sole Shareholderers also don’t have to answer questions very often, and certainly not outside friendly board meetings or corporate bumph videos. Mitt has spent the last thirty years having people say yes to him while he’s lying face down in a corporate trough like Ayn Rand at an all-you-can-scoff bourbon and bullshit buffet.

Now, apparently, some of the ladies and gentlemen of the media, and the President of the United Fucking States would like to ask Mitt some questions about stuff that he didn’t read.

The next few weeks are not going to be pretty, boys and girls.

Number one, reduce tax burdens on middle-income people. So no one can say my plan is going to raise taxes on middle-income people, because principle number one is keep the burden down on middle-income taxpayers,” he said.

Romney defined middle income as $200,000 to $250,000 a year and less.

Editor’s note: This blog has been updated to reflect that in responding to a question from ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, Mitt Romney defined middle income for Americans as $200,000-$250,000 and less.

“Number two, don’t reduce the share of taxes paid by the wealthiest. The top 5 percent will still pay the same share of taxes they pay today. That’s principle one, principle two. Principle three is create incentives for growth, make it easier for businesses to start and to add jobs. And finally, simplify the code, make it easier for people to pay their taxes than the way they have to now,” he said.

When I asked if he and his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, would specify which loopholes they would close in order to pay for the tax cuts, Romney said he’s relying on his experience as Massachusetts governor.

Nice editor’s note. I give it ten minutes into the first debate before the new arsehole ripping begins. Five more minutes until Romney begins to shudder and fizz, and three or four after that until smoke comes out and a tiny autistic alien being escapes from Mitt’s head on a little ejector seat.

[Image: Martin H. Simon/ABC. Unless ABC would like me to take it down, in which case I apologise unreservedly and beg to be excused so I can fix that right now. And sorry about the note immediately below this.]

* Over at Cole’s comment thread, which contains much win, commenter lonesomerobot notes the following:

Wow Snuffalufagous, really?

a tough stand-in for a president who basically lies in debates.

So, are you going to put that in quotes or something? Or is that just your way – repeating something your interview subject said without adding any clarity?

Rhetorical, I already know the damn answer.

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