Home > Election 2012, Political Game-Playing > Romney and the NAACP

Romney and the NAACP

July 12th, 2012

Romney goes to appear before the NAACP. The big story in all the news outlets? He gets booed. But is that the real story? Most news reports talk about the booing mostly, as well as scattered heckling among the crowd; few mention that he received an ovation after he finished speaking. Businessweek mentions the ovation in their article; however, their original headline, “Romney Gets Ovation at NAACP After Boos‎,” was quietly changed later to just “Romney Booed at NAACP During Speech Criticizing Obama.” Andrew Sullivan’s take: “But I think [Romney] gets points for showing up.”

I don’t think Romney should get points for anything but political game-playing. The media, meanwhile, deserves scorn for hyping that very game. Romney and Obama get booed and heckled at various events; why is it such a huge story when it happens to Romney at the NAACP, especially when such a thing is expected? And why go to such lengths to de-emphasize the positive responses, which are, after all, more noteworthy?

Consider when Bill O’Reilly interviewed sitting president Barack Obama in February 2011; O’Reilly was extremely disrespectful, interrupting Obama dozens of times (remember when a reporter interrupted Bush once, and Bush stopped and scolded the reporter?). Were the newspaper stories about O’Reilly’s behavior? Hell, no. The “liberal media” is scared witless at the prospect of reporting truth when it makes conservatives look bad or liberals good; they know they’ll get labeled “liberal” and will suffer for it. Playing into conservative stories, meanwhile, gets them no scorn and loses them no ratings.

Romney understands this; it’s why he was so flummoxed when a Fox reporter actually pitched him a few tough questions. It’s why he knows he can flip-flop like a dying fish and dispense outrageous lies and not have to answer much for it. The media will not call him on stuff like that.

As they will not call him for playing the NAACP as he did. Romney wanted to be booed there; that’s what gets him points. He obviously cannot say much of anything to that audience that will make them want to vote for him, so why appear? The answer is so he can stir up empathy, get people to respect him for his “bravery” in standing up to a hostile crowd, and as a bonus, he can make the people and the organization appear biased, unfriendly, and ungracious.

And he knew the press would lap it up; he even scheduled an interview at (of course) Fox News after the NAACP speech, so he could play up how he was poorly treated by those disrespectful people. His campaign is even openly saying that he expected to be booed, playing up the “telling it straight” courage line, while at the same time punctuating the “biased and disrespectful” NAACP angle.

It was a political play, and the NAACP essentially gave him exactly what he wanted. I think that if they hadn’t reacted badly to his hits against the ACA, he probably had lines ready to deliver which would be more likely to get booed.

Categories: Election 2012, Political Game-Playing Tags: by
  1. Troy
    July 12th, 2012 at 15:32 | #1

    Romney saying he was going to take away ObamaCare was . . . odd.

    ObamaCare serves the poor very well, with its 133% of FPL and below (household income of $15,000 for single and $25,000 for family of 3) enrollment into Medicaid, and the insurance subsidies for people buying their own plans (a family of 4 making $45,000 would pay $3000 and get a $8000 subsidy).

    Of course, the question of who’s paying for this needs to be asked, since if we just raise income taxes on the poor and middle class then premium support is not really a subsidy at all.

    These two programs will cost about $200B/y in total ($110B in subsidies and $100B in Medicaid). To put this in perspective, this is about double what Obama wants to raise by not renewing the Bush income tax rate on the top bracket.

    I think this is the true battle being fought, the right trying to avoid having to pay for FDR’s program (they’re on the hook for $2.5T in the social security trust fund they notionally have to pay back by 2033 or so — that’s $125B/yr right there alone), LBJ’s Medicare (untold trillions of expose this decade and next).

    Democrats have to come to the top 5% to shoulder these burdens since that’s were 33% of the income is and the great bulk of the discretionary income.

    Republicans say they can’t pay it because as the “job creators” they’ll stop hiring people, but that’s bullshit. The ongoing baby boom retirement is going to be an immensely stimulative process — 80 million consumers spending their social security checks and getting health care is going to hire tens of millions of Americans — but only if these benefits are FUNDED.

    And to fund them, we’ve got to raise taxes on the top 5% quite alot, back to pre-Reagan levels eventually.

    That’s a pretty ugly prospect if you’re making $200,000 or more in this country — you’re looking at double the tax burden they currently pay.

    And that’s just the Federal level, there’s also state tax burdens that are probably going up.

    But the Ryan Plan is a rejection of all that. Instead of tax raises on the wealthy, tax cuts. And spending cuts too.

    Republican “Got Mine F— You” policy preferences will push this nation over the falls this decade, should Romney win and the Senate fall too.

    But even if Obama holds on, I don’t see any positive policy changes coming.

    Things didn’t have to get this bad, but we’ve been making some colossally bad decisions for the past 10-15 years, and they’re all just compounding on each other now.

    $600B/yr trade deficits, tax cuts on millionaires to create trillion-dollar deficits (essentially borrowing instead of taxing), sending millions of jobs overseas . . .

    I’d like to think Japan is not as screwed up as the US. Alas, I can’t tell. Not looking too good そちの方, either.

  2. Tim Kane
    July 12th, 2012 at 23:37 | #2

    Romney apparently has $100 million in IRA accounts. The most you can put in there a year, as a married couple, tax free, is $6000 a year. You can, as I understand it, put more in there than that, but how much I don’t know, and that would then be tax deferrable – you pay the tax when you take it out.

    Think about that: Romney has $100 million sitting in a tax defferable status.

    That can mean only one thing, in my mind. He believes that the future tax on that money is going to be less than the tax when he put it in there.

    Also, consider this: most rich people of his persuasion probably do the same thing.

    No wonder those guys are on a crusade for tax cuts. I’d love it if some progressive wave passed through and jacked up the rates on withdrawals of excess money from IRA (above the $6000) to be at the 90% level.

    As in the movie Trading Places, as Eddie Murphy said, “seems like the worst thing that could ever happen to rich people is that you make them poor.”

    No one deserves that more than the Rich in this country.

  3. Luis
    July 13th, 2012 at 09:53 | #3

    Seems like I was ahead of the curve on this one, albeit only by hours. I can only suppose that it was pretty obvious. A few hours after I posted this, I started seeing people saying essentially the same thing I did. Lawrence O’Donnell did almost a whole show on it, although he started with the “tone deaf” and “stupid” theory, the correct interpretation held after that. Sullivan has not yet taken back his naive praise, but has posted extensive quotes from others saying what I said.

    Most significantly, I saw a video clip of Romney being booed. He stood there, smiling. Not trying to defend himself, not even a vacant “deer in the headlights” smile. But a smug, confident smile, like he’s thinking, “Yeah, go ahead and boo, you idiots. You’re giving me exactly what I want and need.” He just stands there with that shit-eating grin and lets the boos roll.

    He ABSOLUTELY wanted that to happen. Zero doubt about it.

  4. Tim Kane
    July 13th, 2012 at 12:16 | #4

    Perhaps MS-NBC is wisely checking in at blogd.com before they go on the air. You should get a cut.

    I think the booing was Romney at the NAACP. This was a no lose proposition for Romney. Obama won North Carolina by only a few thousand votes (14,000), and so, if Romney can pick off only a few votes here and there, he might flip that state back to him.

    Meanwhile, unemployment amongst African-Americans is something like a staggering 40%. I work with some African Americans at a call center, and we got a new guy two months ago, a former tax official at the IRS (lost that position after trying to go independent), he told another person there that it took him two years of looking to get a measly $10 an hour 34 hour a week (on a good week)job. That is staggering. Then the other guy look at me and said, for African Americans unemployment is 40% and even if you get an interview, if you don’t know someone inside the company you will not get the job.

    So MANY African Americans are not fairing to well under Obama. And some would have to be smoldering with resentment over this situation.

    I’m sure Romney goes to the NAACP conference, gives a speech and figures he might be able to pull off enough to make a difference. Meanwhile he can use the Boos he got to good effect on the other end. It’s a can’t miss.

    I don’t know how many African Americans are in North Carolina. There’s nearly 10 million people there, I think one could say that at least 10%, and probably more, are African American. Given how poorly African Americans have fared under Obama, Romney ought to be able to get at least 14,000 of those folks with a half decent attempt at a speech if he promises them better employment opportunities. I should think he should get a great deal more than 14,000. For North Carolina alone, it was worth it for Romney to go to the NAACP conference and give a speech. The fact that he got booed will bolster his position with the racist base of the Republican party.

  5. Troy
    July 14th, 2012 at 03:58 | #5

    from http://electoral-vote.com

    “Remember back in 2004 when a Republican-allied group managed to attack candidate John Kerry on his supposed strength–his time as commander of a swift boat during the Vietnam war? Some Republicans are now worried the same thing is happening to Mitt Romney. His supposed strength–his business experience at Bain Capital”


    Just what we need now, another Harvard “MBA” president to finish the job the “Establishment” has done on this country 2001-2006. Well, 1981-2006 most like.

    Where did they find this guy???

    tho I did read a rumor that Rice will be his VP pick. My god we are a nation of idiots.

  6. July 14th, 2012 at 15:36 | #6

    Yes, watching Romney give the speech, I’m sure he was expecting the booing. If accusations that he flew in supporters to cheer during the speech are true, would it be too conspiracy-theoryish to suggest that those same supporters could possibly be the ones to start the booing? I still refuse to say “Obamacare” — it’s not as bad as the “Democrat Party” insult, though.

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