Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Money, it's a gas: Mitt Romney, car elevators, and out-of-touch super-rich douchebaggery

Look, I think we all realize that people with money can have things that people without money can't. It's just the way it is, however unfair it may be. I certainly have things many people don't, and indeed most of us in the West have things, luxuries, that the vast majority of our fellow human beings don't. You know, like clean running water and penicillin, not to mention cars, high-def TVs, and smartphones.

And of course the more money you have the more you can have, the more you can acquire and call your own. Personally, I can't afford, say, the sort of vehicle that, oh, Kobe Bryant might be able to add to his collection. Just an example, but I'm sure you get the point.

All of which is to say, I don't necessarily begrudge anyone for being rich, even super-rich like Mitt Romney. (How he got rich is another matter, vulture capitalist that he was, destroying jobs and ruining lives in the process. For that he ought to be held accountable, at least at the polls.) No, the problem with Romney isn't necessarily that he has a lot of money but that he's a privileged rich douchebag who likes to flaunt his wealth, and the fact that he's super-rich (i.e., "Romneying"), with seemingly clueless, but nonetheless deeply offensive, disregard for everyone else -- particularly given the unsettling current economic climate, where people have rather more urgent problems than Romney has, like putting food on the table, paying the bills, and caring for their children.

And so this is only going to deepen the privileged rich douchebag narrative (as I'm calling it) that has attached itself to Romney during the campaign, mostly of his own doing:

At Mitt Romney's proposed California beach house, the cars will have their own separate elevator.

There's also a planned outdoor shower and a 3,600-square foot basement — a room with more floor space than the existing home's entire living quarters.

Those are just some of the amenities planned for the massive renovation of the Romneys' home in the tony La Jolla neighborhood of San Diego, according to plans on file with the city.

A project this ambitious comes with another feature you don't always find with the typical fixer-upper: its own lobbyist, hired by Romney to push the plan through the approval process.

Work on the project has not yet begun.

But it may not help Romney — whose wealth has caused him trouble connecting with average folks — to be seen building a split-level, four-vehicle garage that comes with a "car lift" to transport automobiles between floors, according to 2008 schematic plans for the renovation obtained by POLITICO that are on file with the city of San Diego.

No... really?

Again, it's not that he has money and so can afford such things. Whatever. It's obscene, what with all the suffering in the world, including not so far from La Jolla, but I'd be a hypocrite if I said he should be deprived of his wealth -- though he should most certainly be paying higher taxes.

But he's not really a private citizen anymore, he's a man desperately trying to be president, a politician willing to do and say anything to get to the White House. And while he's a douchebag about his wealth, basically because he just can't help himself (Romney is all about Romneying!), he's also been trying to connect to normal, ordinary Americans by presenting himself, on occasion, as a man of the people, as someone in touch with the troubles of the broad electorate, including mostly low- and middle-income GOP primary voters.

But of course he's not. He was a businessman, and specifically a vulture capitalist. And he's pushing a policy agenda that, while lacking in the dirty details, is overwhelmingly plutocratic, specifically featuring much lower taxes for the rich like himself while heaping sacrifice upon sacrifice on those who can least bear any more of the burden of sustaining a sick, twisted capitalist system.

What can we do about it? Well, if Romney wants to have a massive SoCal beach house with an elevator for his cars (and we already know his wife drives a couple o' Cadillacs), fine. Let him spend all the time he wants there after November.

Do you really want an unprincipled panderer and privileged rich douchebag as your president? (By the way, he wants an elevator for his cars but, while governor of Massachusetts, vetoed a bill to improve elevators for persons with disabilities. That says it all.)
Vote accordingly.

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