Saturday, July 21, 2012

Welcome to Lawrence Welkistan. Don't let the bubbles get in your eyes.

Yes, I am this cool.

One thing that goes on in politics, which can get tiring, is that one side is always trying to tie some stupid thing said by a person or group supportive of the other side directly to the campaign. Sometimes it makes sense and sometimes it doesn't. When ABC news immediately and stupidly tried to suggest, incorrectly, that there was a Tea Party connection to the Aurora shootings, conservative pundits went crazy suggesting a liberal media conspiracy. When Hilary Rosen made her comments about Ann Romney's work life, the conservative media tried to suggest, without any proof, that Rosen was somehow close to the Obama White House. And, unlike some, I don't necessarily try to connect everything every right-wing crazy person says to Mitt Romney, though it would be nice if he disavowed some of it.

This is politics. This is the way it goes. So, I don't want to get too exercised about the fact that a well-known Romney supporter said something incredibly stupid about a Romney ad featuring Barack Obama singing a bit of Al Green. I don't know that it actually tells us anything about what the Romney campaign thinks or about what many of its supporters think, but it is a good question.

Gary Silverman at the Financial Times describes it:

One of the better answers I have found comes from a well-known supporter of Mr Romney – Suzy Welch, former editor in chief of the Harvard Business Review, and wife of Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric. In an appearance on CNN with her husband, Mrs Welch suggested that Mr Obama's personal style and choice of musical material define him as a member of a "different America". I would imagine this is why Mr Romney's campaign included the snippet of Mr Obama singing "Let's Stay Together" at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. They hoped it would convey his otherness. 

"It's the difference between the songs that they're singing," Mrs Welch said. "Mitt Romney didn't exactly do a beautiful job on that song, but think about what he's singing, OK? I mean it's that patriotic song and he goes all the way through it. Then you've got the very cool Barack Obama singing Al Green. That is the two different Americas. Isn't it?"

Really? Two different Americas? Speaking as a pasty white boy who likes patriotic songs as much as the next guy but also loves soul music, what is she talking about? Maybe in her world this signals two different Americas. Maybe she means the difference between Lawrence Welkistan and a truly culturally diverse America. Or maybe this is just an incredibly dumb comment by someone as completely out of touch with huge parts of America as her candidate of choice, Mitt Romney.

Isn't it wonderful that this whole campaign may be defined by other people's definition of what it means to be a real American. Oh, joy.

Here's some Al Green, for your listening pleasure. Hope it cheers you up.

(Cross-posted at Lippmann's Ghost.)

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  • We'd be better off if we all had a little bit of soul.

    By Anonymous Shared Humanity, at 9:39 AM  

  • Notice the audience?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:20 AM  

  • They're just desperate to make their candidate look less like an idiot. An on-going job, really.

    By Blogger Nameless Cynic, at 12:13 PM  

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