You Can’t Spell “MITT ROMNEY” Without M-O-N-E-Y


AT A TIME when poverty is at record levels, and the income gap between rich and poor is the highest in almost half a century, it is telling that the Republicans have decided to run a candidate who is basically a younger, handsomer version of Rich Uncle Pennybags. Is there anyone who better exemplifies the One Percent than Willard Mitt Romney? Heck, even his name sounds like it’s a unit of currency: The dollar’s up against the romney, Wolf, while the yen’s holding steady. Remember, you can’t spell MITT ROMNEY without M-O-N-E-Y.

Despite being, by all accounts, a relatively frugal multi-millionaire—he thinks flying first class is a waste of money, and so on—Romney has managed to cast himself as the Unlikable Rich Guy. Consider:

  • He’s worth a quarter of a billion dollars, although no one knows how much exactly, because a lot of that dough is parked in Cayman Islands tax shelters and secret Swiss bank accounts.
  • He amassed this grotesque fortune while at Bain Capital, a company that made money buying companies, restructuring them to run more efficiently (by laying off workers and closing plants), and then selling them at a profit—a business model that can charitably be termed sleazy.
  • He owns a shit-ton of real estate, and so many automobiles that, at one of his many manses, he constructed an elevator for his fleet of cars.
  • Before a half-empty stadium in Detroit, he lauded the resurgent American auto industry (which he would have allowed to go bankrupt) by declaring that some of his wife’s cars were Cadillacs.
  • He blew $77 grand on a freaking dressage horse, and then wrote it off.
  • When trying to present himself as an auto-racing fan, he remarked that some of his closest friends were NASCAR owners.

Then, this weekend, he defined “middle-income Americans” as those making between $200-$250k a year; when pressed on this preposterously out-of-touch statement, he qualified it by saying he meant household income, not personal income. And then, yesterday, this video got leaked:

Remember back in 1992, when George Bush père didn’t know how to use the scanner at the supermarket? This is like that, but with compound interest. Mitt is totally fucking clueless. At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if he were photographed lighting $100 bills on fire.

(Actually, that would surprise me. Romney’s attitude toward wealth is so reverential, so solemn, he makes the very idea of being rich seem like a drag. The most outlandish thing he’s ponied up for—other than his campaign—is that dressage horse. Which is maybe not what you or I would blow our money on. Mitt needs to take a page from the hip hop handbook and spring for a diamond-studded grill, or new rims for the tour bus, or something equally extravagant. What’s the point of accumulating all that coin if you don’t even enjoy it? When James Mayer Rothschild became obscenely wealthy in the 19th century, he bought Château Lafite, the best vineyard in the world; Romney doesn’t even drink coffee.)

Romney at his kitchen table.

As if his complete ignorance of how most Americans live were not enough, the key plank in his campaign platform is to cut taxes on the rich, and to pay for the loss in revenue by gutting welfare programs. Romney might as well call himself Dooh Nibor, because he’s Robin Hood in reverse. If there were any doubt about his intentions if elected, the selection of Paul Ryan and his fuck-the-poor budget eliminated them, sure as a Romney/Ryan ticket would eliminate as many “entitlements” as they could get away with.

Given that the election is supposed to be about the economy, which continues to flop about like a dying trout on the deck of a fishing boat, it boggles the mind how anyone below the $200,000 “middle-income” threshold would consider voting for him. I’m talking about the alleged 47 percent of the population who “believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it,” as Romney elegantly phrased it in that leaked fundraiser video.

Indeed, Mitt’s most ardent supporters are 1) casino owner Sheldon Adelson, who stands to save so much under Romney’s tax plan that he’s offered to pony up $100 million to help defeat Obama; 2) Edward “Hoisted on His Own” Conard, a Bain man, who wrote a book this year arguing that what America needs is more income inequality; and 3) aging blue-movie star and plastic-surgery cautionary tale Jenna Jameson, who explained her position thus, in between sips of Cristal: “I’m very looking forward to a Republican being back in office. When you’re rich, you want a Republican in office.”

Although the Queen of Porn cannot speak for all rich people, plenty of whom prefer Obama, she is at least nakedly honest about her motives. Then again, Romney himself has been unequivocal about tax cuts for the “job creators”; it’s the one thing he hasn’t waffled on. I mean, he’s not even trying to pretend that he gives a shit about us “lower income” Americans. All 47 percent of us. Which means that if Romney takes the White House, it won’t be Jenna Jameson who gets fucked.

A Romney presidency would be grotesque.

About Greg Olear

Greg Olear (@gregolear) is a founding editor of The Weeklings and the author of the novels Totally Killer and Fathermucker, an L.A. Times bestseller.
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14 Responses to You Can’t Spell “MITT ROMNEY” Without M-O-N-E-Y

  1. Rachel Pollon says:

    Brills. (My slang for brilliant.)

    Fave lines:

    At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if he were photographed lighting $100 bills on fire.

    Romney might as well call himself Dooh Nibor, because he’s Robin Hood in reverse.

    (And I somehow missed this piece of info…)

    3) aging blue-movie star and plastic-surgery cautionary tale Jenna Jameson, who explained her position thus, in between sips of Cristal: “I’m very looking forward to a Republican being back in office. When you’re rich, you want a Republican in office.”

    It is astounding that anyone making less than his self-described middle class income of 200,000 would vote for him.

    Good god, help us.

    • Uncle Joe Weekling says:

      Obama’s campain should just feature Obama shrugging hopelessly in front of images of Mitt Romney with captions such as ‘Romney wants to fuck you, but you’re paying for dinner’.

      Jenna Jameson wants a Republican in office. Jenna Jameson also wanted plastic surgery. Jenna Jameson is not what you’d call ‘a wise decision maker.’ Those plastic funbags are almost as repulsive as Romeny’s business ethics.

    • Major Weekling says:

      Thanks, Rachel. I love the Jenna Jameson angle, because it’s so blatantly self-interested. I just don’t understand why people don’t get that Mitt is only interested in Mitt.

      • Uncle Joe Weekling says:

        in Britain ‘mitt’ is slang for hands— specifically grabby, greedy hands.

        The name suits Romney. It fits him like a glove.

  2. Gloria says:

    Killer last line, Greg.

  3. Jeffro says:

    As someone who grew up in southern Virginia (and has since self-exiled to one of the most progressive locales in Virginia: Charlottesville) and was raised in the Southern Baptist church (and have also since self-exiled), it always has and always will baffle me how the lower middle class — and even the upper lower class — vote so consistently against their economic interests by voting Republican. You’d think it was genetically predetermined.

    Listening to the leaked fundraiser tape, I can only be reminded of what really drives those (whites) in the lower middle class and upper lower class to vote this way: the idea that everyone on welfare is walking around with the latest iPhone, receiving a monthly block of cheddar cheese and a monthly check from the government to buy lottery tickets and to pay for their latest pregnancy, their sixth.

    It’s about race, at least it is where I was raised. I don’t really give two shits if someone tries to pretend it’s not. Whenever you hear someone refer to another as “sucking on the government teat,” there is a very specific image that person has in mind.

    There’s a reason the birther movement exists that portrays Obama as an “Other” and that 34% of Republicans actually believe Obama is a secret Muslim.

    If you want to really hear some crazy shit, go to a Southern Baptist church right now during election time. I had the unpleasant experience of going to church with my parents the first Sunday after the 2008 election and I shit you not that the preacher began with: “‘Preacher,’ someone asked me earlier today, ‘Do you believe Barack Obama is the Antichrist?'”

    And instead of dispelling what is obviously crazy as all get out, he responded: “You know, I can’t tell you that but what I do know is that we need to pray for America, and pray hard.”

    • Major Weekling says:

      There’s a great quote by Steinbeck: “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.”

      Nuf said.

      Thx for reading, Jeffro.

  4. Caleb Powell says:

    Aaaaarghhhh! This is such schlock. Beginning w/the headline. I realize I’m entering into the “Halls of Agreement” and most readers here are Mitt-haters and rubber stampers. Do you know Obama said, almost word for word, the exact same thing about $250,000 being the cut off for middle class? The above article wasn’t written to convince anyone to change their mind, but geeee, I think political commentary should be convincing and written for those who disagree. This is neither. Any right-of-center independent reader would come here, and leave thinking, “I don’t like the right, but one thing is certain, the left is worse.”

    See, I will vote Obama, I’m ok with higher taxes, I’m pro-choice blah blah blah, but I respect the right and don’t think they’re a bunch of clueless hypocrites or assholes. Yes, there are fringe and hard-line conservatives I have problems with, but those who vote red make up half our electorate, roughly. They’re not all that bad.

    I’d rather live in a country w/lots of millionaires than in one with few. I think Mitt’s a decent guy, and he is fielding too many straw man attacks. For example, the horse was a gift that Mitt bought to alleviate Ann’s breast cancer. Yes, that’s what rich people do, but it qualified for a $77,000 rebate, and that’s legal, and shouldn’t bug anyone. I don’t hate his money, and I don’t know why anyone does, and I don’t know why the left only hates right-wing money. Why not go after Ariana Huffington (doesn’t pay her bloggers but sold for 325 million) or Nancy Pelosi (underpaid immigrants on her vineyards) etc. Or Al “Mansions and Jets for me but not you” Gore. Why? Because the left only hates rich conservatives.

    Money and taxation come down to the philosphy of economy. Smith or Marx? Friedman or Keynes? Do taxes and entitlements really help the poor, or do the poor benefit more from a flourishing market? Do higher taxes stifle or stimulate the market? Does greater tax revenue come from higher production and lower taxes? Questions like these are where the argument should be made.

    Mitt’s a rich guy. He’s a good guy. For a conservative his views on abortion (he actually has said abortion is ok in cases of rape and incest) and health care are relatively ok, and he appealed to a left leaning populace in Mass. If for some reason he won (I think it’s unlikely), we’d still be a fine country, and we’d still move forward.

    • Major Weekling says:

      1. Obama wants $250k to be the cut-off for the highest bracket, and everyone making more than that to pay a bit more. Not the same as defining that group as “middle income.” Show me a link to him saying that; if he had, I’m sure someone in the MSM would have picked up on it.

      2. The point of this piece is only that it’s interesting that the GOP has nominated a stereotypical Rich Guy in a time of financial hardship. You don’t think Romney is the embodiment of money? That anything about him doesn’t reek of wealth and privilege?

      3. I wrote this BEFORE the Mother Jones tape got leaked, and had to work that part in. So it wound up getting lost in a sea of similar pieces. But, I mean, even people on the right recognize what I’m talking about.

      4. Interestingly, my Republican friends on FB all read this one, and commented along the lines of “don’t agree, but it’s funny.”

      5. Until about a month ago, I would have agreed that Mitt was a decent guy, ran Mass pretty well and from the center, etc. Now? I’m not so sure. He’s sure to be beholden to the big money interests, and will do their bidding, and his foreign policy gaffes — he’s screwed up just about everything he’s done overseas — scare the shit out of me. If he were president now, we’d be at war with Iran now.

  5. Caleb Powell says:

    1. Here: WSJ & Mitt Romney Thinks $250,000 a Year Is Middle Class – And So Does Obama Biden has said this, as well.

    2. Yes. Romney has money. Doesn’t bug me.

    5. We’re not going to war with Iran. Zero chance unless there’s a catalyst like 9/11.

    It comes down to a complex argument about economics, and whether big money interest is beneficial to society. Here’s not the time or place, but in a proverbial nutshell…

    I was born in Taiwan, and later lived/traveled 8 yrs overseas as an adult, mainly in the developing world (Brazil, Thailand, S. Korea, Taiwan, UAE, Denmark, Africa). I’ve been interested in politics/economy since college, but living overseas has probably influenced my thought more than my readings in university. My conclusions are that socialism only works when it is democratic and after wealth has been created. You cannot help the poor without wealth. The more money is invested, consumed, and respent, the better for an economy. ie – A dollar spent or invested five times over a year will create more tax revenue than a dollar spent twice. Lower taxes can give incentive. Incentive is necessary for stimulus. Wealth does not always mean it’s a zero sum game, namely, wealth does not necessarily come at the expense of the poor. With corruption and kleptocracies, it does, and there are times when wealth does comes at the expense of the poor, in places that receive aid and don’t use it for their people, or where workers have no unions or right to organize. Yet in regulated democratic countries, whether in Scandanavia, Canada, or here, the rich are not stealing from the poor, for the most part, and when they do they risk prison. Ken Lay, Bernie Ebbers etc. The SEC is not perfect, but it’s presence is tangible.

    Yes, you’re a funny guy, and when I saw the headline I figured what might be coming, but I just don’t hate the rich, nor do I think Mitt is nearly as bad as portrayed. Mitt’s not as bellicose as Bush (and it can’t be proven, but I doubt we’d be in Iraq without a 9/11, despite the role oil etc. played). Mitt’s chances of winning are less than 5%, and so this may be moot, anyway.

    • Major Weekling says:

      The WSJ and the blog are unconvincing. Obama didn’t define it that way, in those words, explicitly, as Romney did.

      But we can at least agree on your last point: we have six more weeks to kick Mitt around; after that, he can go back to his dressage horses and his mansions, and I will turn my attention to Obama.

      Also: I pray you’re right about Iran. (And I’m not convinced Obama won’t start up with them, either, BTW…he seems willing to bring it to anyone).

    • I’m not convinced by the hyperbole that anyone who thinks the super-wealthy should pay more taxes “hates” the rich, or that paying 3-6% more in income tax when you make literally millions of dollars each year amounts to a “punishment.” It is reintroducing wealth into nation. If the United States allows one to become so wealthy, what is the harm in giving some of it back? Taxes have suddenly become synonymous with punishment but, in fact, the fair payment of taxes allows the nation to thrive. If Romney continues to categorize the poor as villains, then he has stepped away from any possible characterization as a “good guy.”

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