As a follow-up to jk's earlier post today, I've thought about this I guess from more of a political point of view. Initially I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt - politicians tend to play to their crowds at fundraisers like this, mostly because they've paid a ton of money to share the room with them. And, generally speaking, those crowds lean farther from center than the average voter.
But man, after taking a couple days to think it over, I'm with everyone that thought it was a calamitous mistake. Because it not only showed the contempt he has for the average American. But it also showed just how horrible he is at crisis management - some might even call it the 3 a.m. call test.
Think back to the late Monday press conference, where he only took two questions, and pretty much hemmed and hawed through a feeble attempt to defend his speech. Then the awkward attempt to try and blame Obama for making it about class, the refusal to provide any specifics on how his plan would help the 47% he just trashed, the inability to get any prominent republican to give a full-throated defense of his remarks...it's been a total tire fire.
Contrast this with Obama's handling of the Jeremiah Wright videos four years ago. It took a few days, but when it was really about to hit the fan, Obama Went out and delivered an amazing speech on the role of race in modern American society, a speech that is on the short list of events that sewed up the nomination, and eventually the presidency, for him.
All the politics aside, however, I think what's going to resonate here is the absolutely insensitivity of these remarks, which, combined with his reprehensible attempts to attack Obama for "sympathizing with terrorists" last week, really play into the one, five word, theme that I've hoped all along would prevent Romney from getting elected:
Mitt Romney is an asshole. A giant, major league asshole. He's not a Bobby Knight asshole, where he screams and yells at you and makes your life generally miserable, but at the end of the day he gets results, and in a drill seargant way you actually respect him at the end. No, he's a Francis from Pee Wee's Big Adventure type of asshole. He's a smug, undeserving, entitled prick whose daddy made a ton of cash, and so he decided he could use that money to buy and do whatever he wanted. Like G.W. Bush, he was born on third and thought he hit a triple, but with the added dickish-ness of sneering at anyone he deems unworthy that has the audacity of even stepping up to the plate.
In his world, the John Galt-ian titans of business are to be revered and worshipped at every opportunity, because they got there through sheer hard work, grit, and determination, and the peasants should be grateful they allow them to work for them. Those that disagree with his viewpoint are shiftless, unmotivated moochers. They are losers unworthy of his sympathy or assistance, because they just suffer from a victim mentality, and so they deserve their lot in life, because they refuse to take personal responsibility for their own financial failures. If only they have the drive and desire that he does, they wouldn't be where they are.
In a sane world, this should be the end of Romney's candidacy. Here's hoping we live in a sane world.