Monday, August 27, 2012

Weird Science

If you've read this site for any length of time over the past several months, or listened to the podcast for that matter, you know that an ongoing frustration for me has been trying to put into words just what the hell makes Mitt Romney so weird. Other than referencing the Uncanny Valley, which Romney falls squarely into, there's just no way to truly sum up his various oddities, tics, awkward linguistic bloopers and so on, all of which seem to stem from his complete lack of empathy and inability to function like a normal human being.

Alex Pareene over at Salon once summed it up pretty well, and for that he deserves kudos:

"He seems incapable of natural conversation and frequently uncomfortable in his own skin. He’s simultaneously dorkily earnest and ingratiatingly insincere. He suggests a brilliantly designed politician android with an operating system still clearly in beta. He once tied a dog to the roof of his car and drove for hundreds of miles without stopping and some years later thought that was an endearing story. All video of him attempting to interact with normal humans is cringe-inducing, as a cursory YouTube search quickly demonstrates. (Martin Luther King Day, Jacksonville, Fla., 2008: Mitt poses for a picture with some cheerful young parade attendees. As he squeezes in to the otherwise all-black group, he says, apropros of nothing, 'Who let the dogs out? Woof, woof!') He seems to have been told that 'small talk' is mostly made up of cheerfully delivered non sequiturs... If Nixon was epically, operatically weird — the sort of president the nation that produced Charles Manson should expect, let’s say — Romney is uninterestingly weird. First reel of 'Blue Velvet' weird, without a hint of that subterranean layer of rot and perversion underlying the whole thing. Upon returning to his childhood home in Michigan for a 2012 campaign event, Romney noted that the trees were 'the right height.'"

Well, again to the site's credit, Salon has now put together what it calls the Mitt Romney Master Gaffe List -- and scanning through it may not help you to understand why Romney's such a weirdo, but it definitely proves that he is one.

Salon: Mitt's Master Gaffe List/8.27.12


Drew said...

"...there's just no way to truly sum up his various oddities, tics, awkward linguistic bloopers and so on, all of which seem to stem from his complete lack of empathy and inability to function like a normal human being."

Pure genius.

Tuba Terry said...

Every time you bring this up, it gets harder and harder to resist the urge to click "Save"

APro said...

Mitt lives a very sheltered life, in a tall and exclusive ivory tower away from the rest of us. Reading through his gaffes really showcased how little he understands of the world at large. Also, the first thought that came to my mind was that people who live so high up are not getting enough oxygen to the brain.

Which leads to very illogical thinking and speech. And that impression also sums up a large percentage of those who lead the Republican Party.

Anonymous said...

I live in Utah. Romney is exactly like any wealthy active member of born and raised in the LDS church. They are raised from childhood to treat non-members in a stand offish manner; smile, but keep them at arms lenght; and that it is ok to lie, cheat, and steal from a non-member because "they aren't us."

They keep apart from the rest of us to remain "pure." Unless they can convert you, they have little to no regard for you.

America is just getting to see it on a national stage.

TheReaperD said...

It seems to really come from the fact that he can't act naturally. His goal, his purpose, is to get elected into office. Though you can get a lot of the way there with big corporate donations and large media campaigns, it still requires some portion of the US population to actually like you and your policies enough to vote for you. That is where Romney runs into a problem. That group will not knowingly vote for a sociopathic rich corporate robber baron that wants to free the rich from taxes, laws and accountability while shifting that burden to the middle class and poor. The whole Mormonism thing gives them an issue too. Their solution? Create a false persona based on what the voter base wants to hear. This solution has two major problems. One, to completely set aside your own personality and adopt a false persona takes a naturally gifted liar with a lot of experience. Though Romney has the experience, he does not have the natural aptitude (Obama has both). Two, what the voting public wants to hear changes from time to time and is contradictory. Add to this the fact that everything he says gets recorded and he has a real problem with old policy positions biting him in the ass. So, the instructions from his campaign managers probably sound something like this:

"OK. Now I need you to say policies that the American public wants to hear without saying anything about actual policies that you can be quoted on later. Also, don't say anything that would give the hint that your a rich tax dodger that owned a company that shipped jobs overseas. Avoid anything that might make the people realize that someone has to pay the taxes and if it isn't the rich, it's them. Anything involving the Mormon religion or practices, right out. You need to pander the the extreme right, including the Birthers, while not alienating moderate voters. And above all, act natural."