August 7, 2012 by Julia
So, when your best* argument against a political opponent is that he is rich, it is in your best interest to appear, well, not rich. If you’re going to set up “rich” as a byword (dog whistle?) for “out of touch,” it seriously does not help your cause if you show that you, too, are rich and therefore–by your own definition–out of touch. This seems like elementary logic, and the man who runs the free world, allegedly an accomplished constitutional scholar in his own right, should have figured this out already . . . NOPE:
Beaten by Mitt Romney in fundraising for the third straight month, President Obama is turning again to one of the Democratic Party’s most lucrative and reliable sources of campaign cash — Hollywood.
But instead of flying all the way to Southern California, the president is making a shorter trip Monday evening to the $15 million beachfront Connecticut estate of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein for a $35,800-per-person fundraiser that’s expected to include screenwriter and producer Aaron Sorkin and actor Anne Hathaway, star of the Batman film “The Dark Knight Rises.” Mr. Obama also will hold a larger campaign event for about 500 people at a hotel in Stamford, Conn., where tickets start at $500 each.
The quick trip should raise about $2.5 million for the president’s reelection fund and for other Democratic Party campaign war chests.
Let me get this straight. The Romneys own a horse, which means they are evil, rich, and out of touch. Barack Obama is friends with various Hollywood celebrities, who are rich and give him tens of thousands of dollars, and is himself also rich, but he is somehow not evil and out of touch. Of course. Makes perfect sense.
Now, you could be thinking, it’s differences in their personalities or histories that make them in touch/out of touch, not their relative wealth. That’s not an unreasonable position, and in fact makes sense. That is not, however, what the Obama campaign wants us to believe. Drawing nuanced distinctions is HARD. Therefore, instead of finding actual examples of Romney being out of touch, they simply point the finger at him and yell, “He’s rich! Get ‘im!” as if that is somehow all they need to make a legit point (in some circles, maybe it is).
Seriously, look at their examples of how “out of touch” Romney is. First, his wife owns a therapy horse because she has MS. There are people seriously arguing that owning a (therapy!) horse and taking care of it makes the Romneys out of touch, especially since they have the nerve to enjoy the (therapeutic!) hobby and participate in the Olympics. Now, leaving out the fact that some children of Obama donors are also avid riders, what in the heck does owning a horse have to do with being in or out of touch? Whether it’s dressage, riding along a trail for fun, or herding cattle, lots of people own horses, and even more simply ride them occasionally. Is the Dems’ argument that someone who rides a horse on his ranch for transportation is in touch, but someone who performs dressage is out of touch? Are they both out of touch? Does it depend how much you pay for your horse’s upkeep? Absolutely mystifying.
Second, Romney is allegedly surprised by touch screens. I grew up with Wawa, so when suddenly it was in the news, I was all like . . . o.O? But, on point, in order to make the “out of touch” argument, MSNBC had to blatantly ignore everything else Mitt Romney said in that portion of his speech. He was not shocked(!) that touch screen ordering existed, he was giving Wawa (well-deserved) props for being an awesome innovator in the free market. This of course directly contrasts with President Obama, who seems to think that the government does all of entrepreneurs’ innovation for them. Clearly, the road in front of the Wawa thought up the idea for the touch screens. Obviously.
Now, my liberal friends reading this are probably screaming about how “You didn’t build that” was taken out of context as well. Actually, no, it wasn’t–and when you add in the rest of his statist rambling, it’s even worse. So yeah, you’re shooting yourself in the foot by telling us to focus on the context, because you just look silly, and you’re getting us to read additional offensive comments instead of just one sentence.
My third and final example is jet skis. Yes, jet skis. Did you know that if you ride a jet ski, you are out of touch? Because only rich people who hate poor people ever ride jet skis. Obviously. Oh, also, you’re a wimp. Of course. (yes, I know that the Right also went after Romney over the jet skiing thing. It was stupid when they did it, too)
I really get the feeling that the Obama campaign is just throwing things at the wall to see what sticks. They know that people are worried about the economy, and apparently have decided that the best way to capitalize on this worry (since they need to draw the blame away from the guy who’s been our president for the last 3.5 years) is to make the class warfare argument. They’ll try anything that fits that narrative even a little bit, and if it doesn’t work, they’ll make up something else for next week. It must be tiring to be a class warrior . . .
*I assume this is the DNC/Obama campaign’s best argument, because it’s the one they repeat the most, and it is the one from which all of the others derive. Personally, I think it’s a pretty terrible argument, but hey, David Axelrod wouldn’t lie to us, right?