03 February 2012

Romney’s OIP Derangement Syndrome by Proxy

Captain America's ShieldLast month in his State of the Union address (PDF download), President Barack Obama said (among other things):

Tonight, I want to speak about how we move forward, and lay out a blueprint for an economy that’s built to last – an economy built on American manufacturing, American energy, skills for American workers, and a renewal of American values.

This blueprint begins with American manufacturing.

On the day I took office, our auto industry was on the verge of collapse. Some even said we should let it die. With a million jobs at stake, I refused to let that happen. In exchange for help, we demanded responsibility. We got workers and automakers to settle their differences. We got the industry to retool and restructure. Today, General Motors is back on top as the world’s number one automaker. Chrysler has grown faster in the U.S. than any major car company. Ford is investing billions in U.S. plants and factories. And together, the entire industry added nearly 160,000 jobs.

We bet on American workers. We bet on American ingenuity. And tonight, the American auto industry is back.

What’s happening in Detroit can happen in other industries. It can happen in Cleveland and Pittsburgh and Raleigh. We can’t bring back every job that’s left our shores. But right now, it’s getting more expensive to do business in places like China. Meanwhile, America is more productive. A few weeks ago, the CEO of Master Lock told me that it now makes business sense for him to bring jobs back home. Today, for the first time in fifteen years, Master Lock’s unionized plant in Milwaukee is running at full capacity.

So we have a huge opportunity, at this moment, to bring manufacturing back. But we have to seize it. Tonight, my message to business leaders is simple: Ask yourselves what you can do to bring jobs back to your country, and your country will do everything we can to help you succeed.
A few days later Mitt Romney, after buying a solid primary victory in Florida, translated that for people who suffer from OIP Derangement Syndrome:
Like his colleagues in the faculty lounge who think they know better, President Obama demonizes and denigrates almost every sector of our economy.
Which prompted Daily Beast columnist Andrew Sullivan’s immediate response to Romney:
8.44 pm. Everything this man says is a lie. He's doubling down on the big lies I tried to counter in that Newsweek piece. The president Romney is describing does not exist. Obama is demonizing and denigrating every sector of the economy? That is a pure lie. As is the repeated lie that Obama is an appeaser. Has Romney understood what has happened to the Iranian economy these past few months? Does he think Osama bin Laden thinks he was appeased?

Let me just say right now: this speech is the most dishonest, manipulative, disgusting series of lies I've heard in a very long time. And its core premise: that the president hates this country, whereas Romney believes in it. As I said: disgusting. I'm with Newt on this. The man will say anything to gain power.
And that’s both the saddest and the most disturbing part. I don’t think Mitt Romney suffers from OIP Derangement Syndrome. He doesn’t actually believe what he says about the President. He knows that as governor of Massachusetts he championed many things he now says are horrible. He understands that his campaign ads and speeches quote Obama out of context even as he demands that people consider his own words in context (which doesn’t actually help him).

But Romney is convinced that he has to sell this line to the Republican electorate in order to become their nominee. In doing so, he both reassures those voters that he’ll play dirty in the fall and confirms a portion of them in their delusions. Romney doesn’t suffer from OIP Derangement Syndrome, but he’s a carrier.

(Photo illustration above by Dean Trippe.)


Nathan said...

It kind of seems like trying so hard to appeal to the people who hate Obama for no real reason will ruin Romney's chances in the general election, but you never know. One thing I've noticed is that voters seem to have very short memories.

J. L. Bell said...

In addition, the voters at the primary stage are quite different from the voters at the final election. One analysis I heard this week was a reminder that the swing voters—those who remain undecided until close to Election Day—usually don’t tune in until a few weeks before. So what’s happening now is an attempt to appeal to and fire up part of the electorate, and to establish public images. The Romney campaign may indeed be jeopardizing the latter goal by going too far on the former.