Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Politics of Neener Neener

Steve Benen examines a speech by Mitt Romney on the economy that got a bit of media coverage. Not only did it play fast and loose with the facts (Jonathan Chait picks it apart here), Steve looks at the way the speech came across.

Watching the Republican’s remarks, I was annoyed by the breathtaking dishonesty, but I was also struck by something that seemed rather new to me: Romney’s immaturity. His arguments weren’t just wrong; they were silly. If the political discourse were in any way grounded in fact, this was the kind of speech that would laugh Romney off the national stage, with sensible people agreeing that the guy just isn’t ready for the big kids’ table. Grown-ups don’t feel the need to create fantasy lands where their wishes are true.

The speech seemed like it had been written by a high-school student who’s preoccupied with Rush Limbaugh’s radio show and assorted right-wing Twitter feeds. I couldn’t take Romney seriously yesterday because Romney no longer cares enough to take himself seriously.

Frankly, this isn’t really new. The Republicans have been doling out petulance and juvenile arguments for a very long time. It is as if they have decided to take a position purely out of spite and never give in. They don’t want to win the argument; they want to end it and tell you they won because they said so, nyah neener neener. And they assume that the voters are stupid enough to go along with them.