Mitt Romney’s turn of phrase, Binders Full of Women, has become the meme from the second Presidential Debate. But all of the bloggers and wags and commenters have missed the real point buried in that statement.

Mr. Romney, after all of his years in college and business and running for governor, didn’t know any women qualified to assume posts in his cabinet. And Mr. Romney’s inner circle of advisers and confidantes didn’t know any women qualified to assume posts in his cabinet.

I can’t even fathom how someone who is supposedly so successful could be so entirely lacking in social, business or political contact with over half of the American population. This lack of understanding of women and culture and society underlies many of the misguided planks in his platform. This is truly one of the most frightful things about Mr. Romney and his campaign.

11 Responses to Ignore the Binders, It’s the Real Truth Behind That Statement To Fear

  1. forgotmyscreenname says:

    Ed, we’ve had four years of someone with a complete lack of understanding of people, culture and society, America or its economy — and no signs of improvement.

    • Ed Heinzelman says:

      but I would prefer the status quo to going back to the era of Mad Men.

    • PJ says:

      FMSN,

      You are lying about the improvements this nation has seen over the course of four years. GDP is up, the stock market is up, corporate profits are up, financial industry profits are up, CEO compensation is up, manufacturing is on the rise, and unemployment is down.

      Your paltry attempt to paint Obama with characteristics belonging more appropriately to Romney is pathetic. Romney is oblivious to the realities of everyday people, and what is worse, his entire approach is one which further renders average people as little more than hapless vassals by cementing an economic structure that prevents average people from assuming control of their private lives and their economic livelihoods.

      Obama, on the other hand, has expressed a clarity about historical prosperity and American ideals absent in Romney’s vision. Though, I would say Obama trends too closely toward Conservatism – that is his main fault. Romney’s vision is fundamentally UnAmerican in that it subverts what our founders envisioned and why they developed the republic in the way that they did. The entire Conservative agenda eschews the founders’ enlightenment design. Romney’s vision of America is viewed through the lens of a privileged and disaffected Russian atheist whose bitterness is matched only by her hypocrisy. Romney has repeatedly demonstrated how remote he is from American culture, society, and from the American people. But, FMSN, you are incapable of recognizing that aren’t you?

      You are unable to honestly criticize Romney – evaluate his weaknesses, his faults… in typical Conservative fashion you are only able to try to turn the tables. I wonder, FMSN, are you able to recognize and articulate any of Romney’s weaknesses? The binder issue and Romney’s attitude toward women is one glaring weakness, but there are others. You obviously disfavor Obama in this election, but until you can adequately, knowledgeably, and intelligently defend Romney on any issue (including women’s issues) rather than diverting to Obama, your opinion remains slanted and meaningless. You don’t really express informed opinion, you merely parrot propagandist talking points and comment with typically propagandist method.

  2. Super Id says:

    Romney did have a female lt governor and a female chief of staff.

  3. Gretchen McDonald says:

    forgotmyscreenname has forgotten more than her name. Remember Bush?

  4. Sue says:

    FMSN: Obama’s understanding of people, culture and society led to the signing of the Ledbetter act.
    Unless you don’t consider workplace issues (workplace equity, workplace culture and the place of work in our society) a part of people, culture and society, in which case you have just reinforced Ed’s point.

  5. PJ says:

    Romney’s binder blunder reveals a great many problematic concerns for evaluating Romney’s character and fitness for office. Ed, you give an excellent example: his apparent lack of networking contacts that might bring to his attention any number of women candidates. It is really inexcusable. It speaks volumes about his thirty years of business experience. Bain had no partners outside of the old boys’ network – zero partners who were women and zero partners who were minorities. All were chosen from the elitist of Ivy league sectors. No minorities in senior management and Bain’s record of diversity was grossly below the national average: Only 10% of Bain’s vice presidents were women while Romney headed the firm. So much for diversity in corporate management. Another reason public service shouldn’t model corporate management. In this case, another example for why managing Bain Capital points to Romney’s unfitness for public office.

    Romney’s narrative at the debate was also completely false. He didn’t seek out women to fill senior positions. MassGap, the organization that compiled the “binders” in an effort to recruit more women for government posts approached Romney’s administration prior to Romney’s election – while he was still a candidate for office. Yet, hearing Romney tell it, one might believe he was proactive in diversifying his cabinet. He was not.

    While his administration initially hired a number of women (thanks to MassGap, not Romney’s own initiative), by the time he left office that number had fallen below the national average. In addition, his policies while governor of Massachusetts were not favorable toward ensuring equality in the workplace. Perhaps most revealing: He signed an executive order (and in a surreptitious manner) revoking the state’s affirmative action provisions, effectively gutting the state’s ability to enforce affirmative action laws. What that executive action did was obliterate civil rights for potential and existing state employees. He essentially returned state government to the corrupt spoils system – the patronage system of which he is so familiar with in his corporate experience. This alone speaks to his Anti-Democratic approach to governance.

    Romney isn’t committed to equality in any realistic way because Romney’s worldview is antiquated, reminiscent of distant days when cronyism, corruption, and patronage ruled the day – the archaic principles that still thrive in the private sector and especially within the corporate realm.

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