Patriotism So Phony, It Even Makes A Right-Wing Blogger Gag

Via Memeorandum, I came across this negative review of a Mitt Romney speech. It struck me because it seems like the only support Romney gets is from the right-wing blogosphere. He doesn’t do well in the polls. But if you ask Hugh Hewitt and his ilk, Romney’s just fabulous, the pick of the litter.

Here’s an exception.

In covering a Romney speech in Michigan, David Freddoso, one of the 50 or so bloggers at National Review’s The Corner, has just bucked the conservative bloggery tide, and for a reason that surprised me: Too much patriotism.

Romney hit some of the themes he needs to — he spoke on being a “Change Republican” and emphasized family values in particular. He also pointed out his support for the Federal Marriage Amendment, which, with Thompson’s rejection of it, makes him unique among the major Republican candidates.

But then he says he’s going to move “In God We Trust” to the front of the new dollar coins instead of the side. Hmmm. I guess I’m all for it, but the crowd took a few seconds to applaud, and I think most people were as confused as I was. Is that a new campaign promise?

Plus, I haven’t seen his delivery this bad in quite a while. (I have seen it this bad before.) He was very slow winding up, and the speech has a lot of really, really lame applause lines. I couldn’t take much more after this one:

“I’ll make sure that our future is defined not by the letters ACLU, but by the letters USA.”

Yes —as previewed earlier — he actually did say that. I wish they’d given Huckabee his seat on the plane.

Barf! This is like something out of the movie “Nashville.”

I think Romney is trying too hard, and being far too transparent in his demagoguery with rhetoric like this. (Are there really conservatives out there who worry about where “In God We Trust” is placed on our currency?) But that fits my image of Romney as politically autistic — out of touch with his fellow human beings in the most fundamental ways. Robotic. Programmed. Cold.

As you can obviously tell, I have a visceral reaction against Mitt Romney. I wouldn’t be likely to vote for any candidate who embraced the social right agenda, but my opposition to Romney goes far beyond his positions, which all seem calculated anyway. Good to see that someone who ostensibly agrees with him has picked up on it.

ADD: Here, the same writer acknowledges he’s “never been a Romney guy.” But he does defend him against those who call the candidate a “slick, empty-suit type” and “a caricature of a car salesman.”

9 thoughts on “Patriotism So Phony, It Even Makes A Right-Wing Blogger Gag

  1. It’s not uncommon for Romney to be ridiculed in the dextrosphere. There’s a very specific chunk of people who love Jesus, tax cuts, and nothin’ else, who seem to like him, but I’d be surprised if he could take a plurality in a right-of-center blogger poll. The only time I’ve ever seen him look like an actual human being was when he didn’t realize he was being taped.

    I’m opposed to him because he was responsible, to whatever extent, for the Olympics. Any candidate who wants my vote only has to promise an Olympic boycott for the duration of his (or her) presidency.

  2. One of the most influential bloggers, Hugh Hewitt, goes far beyond the Jesus/taxcuts stereotype, but he and his co-blogger Dean Barnett (whose writing is actually pretty good) both go all weak in the knees at the mention of Romney, and compulsively highlight his occasional good news.

    Today (Sunday) is a good example. Another website, RealClearPolitics, took a straw poll of a few hundred die hard Republicans who attended a meeting in Michigan. Romney leads the state in the polls already. His father was governor. But nonetheless, Hewitt trumpets his win, saying it was “not just a very big win for Governor Romney, but a very bad knock on Mayor Giuliani and Senator Thompson.”

    “Very big?” It’s a blip at best.

  3. I don’t read Hewitt at all regularly, and I don’t listen to his show at all, so I shouldn’t be so glib in labeling him. Most of what I know about him is that he’s written five books on practical Christianity for the politically minded.

    The right-y blogs I read tend to be libertarian-leaning. Few of those guys seem to have a lot of use for Romney. So I’m biased. I didn’t see how anybody could like Dubya in 1999, either. Or 2000. Or…

  4. I guess Romney’s strategy is to not let anyone run to the right of him, so as to cut off any funding or support leakage to Giulini or whathaveyou. So, I guess his barrels are pointed at Fred Thompson right now. He probably figures he can go moderate at a later date.
    Don’t you feel like Romney needs to go see a Fellini movie?
    He does come off like a slick, aggressive btard who’d drop you like a rock, like he did to Craig, if it suits his needs. Maybe he’d drop America if a better country came along to rule.

  5. Yeah. He just seems ambitious for ambition’s sake. Winning the presidency is the ultimate promotion. Otherwise it means nothing. There’s nothing he wants to do, deep down, other than win and be in charge.

    Reading the recent Lincoln book, “Team of Rivals,” you see how politicians can be motivated by ambition and principle at the same time. I would attribute most of our recent presidential contenders with having principles, even if at times they were persuaded to disguise them. I’d rather have a president I disagreed with but understood where they were coming from than one like Romney who is so completely calculating.

  6. Yeah, he was obviously superb at being a high-powered management consultant at Bain. He should go back to that world. Competitive and calculating, trying to get big ticket $$ for repeatable value. Focused on getting the contract, and then getting more.
    I suppose if you think about it, he’d be the first US president to come out of the services industry. Is that true? That in itself could be timely, since services now make up a huge portion of the economy. Yeah, now that I think about it, his presidency would be timely in that sense. He represents that part of the economy; maybe he’d be their best pitch man.

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