By Wendy Gittleson/Addicting Info
In a Wisconsin tele-town hall, Mitt Romney entertained the audience with a childhood story, one that regaled the humor of his father closing automotive plants in Michigan and moving them to Wisconsin. After the shutdowns, Romney explained,
“Now later he decided to run for governor of Michigan, and so you can imagine that having closed the factory and moved all the production to Wisconsin was a very sensitive issue to him, for his campaign,” explained Romney, who described a subsequent campaign parade in which the school band marching with his father knew how to play Wisconsin’s fight song, but not Michigan’s.“Every time they would start playing ‘On Wisconsin, On Wisconsin,’ my dad’s political people would jump up and down and try to get them to stop, because they didn’t want people in Michigan to be reminded that my dad had moved production to Wisconsin,” said Romney, laughing.
It’s difficult to pinpoint Romney’s biggest weakness as a campaigner. A member of his own campaign compared the GOP frontrunner to an ‘Etch-A-Sketch,’ while trying to demonstrate Romney’s ability to move to the center during the general election. While a statement like could arguably be seen as comforting if a candidate in a strict ideologue like Rick Santorum, it only served to highlight Romney’s reputation as a ‘flip-flopper,’ a man without conviction.
Just when we think his campaign is done digging trenches, the candidate himself picks up the shovel by highlighting his other Achilles heal, an apparent complete lack of empathy.
The chuckle worthy childhood anecdote that Romney seemed so proud of dramatically changed the lives of thousands of people. The lucky ones were simply forced to uproot their homes and move from Michigan to Wisconsin. The not-so-lucky 4300 people lost their livelihoods. But to Romney, those people weren’t really people. Corporations are people (my friend). Employees are just numbers on spreadsheets.
Gaffes like this leave many scratching their heads. What are his handlers telling him? How is it possible for him to think that saying he (a millionaire many times over) has feared pink slips or that he liked to be “able to fire people” is a positive? Even MSNBC’s Morning Joe was called it a “real blind spot.”
Here’s the video:
But is it a blind spot? Is it possible that showing no empathy is a calculated political strategy? There’s no argument that the Republican party has become de-humanized in the last few decades. Employees have become chattel. Women have become less important than their wombs. Corporations have become bigger, better, more powerful people than those born with DNA. Money has become speech, rendering those without money to near silence.
They’ve even managed to convince a good percentage of voters that unfortunate circumstances are personal failings. To your average Republican voter, healthcare is a privilege, it’s your fault if you aren’t rich, unemployment and food stamps make people lazy, unions and teachers are the enemy, etc.
If a voter believes that the unfortunate are a drain on society, isn’t Romney singing their tune? If the RNC and big money backers believe in profit before people, isn’t Romney simply easing their concerns that he’s at heart a Massachusetts liberal in $5,000 suits? Isn’t Romney simply articulating the 2012 Republican philosophy?