Reince Priebus thinks Mitt “47%’ Romney and GOP had a good week

While pretty much anyone with any sense would agree Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney had a pretty awful week last week, Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus thinks Romney “had a good week” last week.

“I think that we had a good week last week,” Priebus said on ABC’s “This Week.” “I think in retrospect, in that we were able to frame up the debate last week in the sense of, what future do we want and do you want out there.”

What I’d like to know is what alternate reality Reince Priebus is living in, because the fact that Mitt Romney came under fire from a good number of very credible conservatives after his slew of offensive comments makes it pretty clear Romney had a terrible week last week.


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1 thought on “Reince Priebus thinks Mitt “47%’ Romney and GOP had a good week

  1. Oddly enough, this is probably one of the rare and possibly only moments Priebus has expressed sincerity about the GOP and Romney’s campaign. Romney’s campaign HAS made a departure from conventional wisdom by not moving more toward the center during the general election. Romney may have given lip service to centrism or implied centrism with selective silence, but he and the GOP have sailed along parallel each other toward right wing extremism – toward fundamentally meritocratic, plutocratic, fascistic, Anti-Democratic extremism.

    Romney and his team have tripled down on the positions he has taken in the 47% video, which seems incredible enough, but his 60 minutes interview really clinched the matter when he discussed his 2011 tax return. Romney really does believe in his own exceptionalism and the exceptionalism of the wealthy. He really does believe he is a “job creator” by virtue of his station in life and that “job creators” deserve special treatment for their reserved status. When asked about the low rate revealed in his tax returns Romney stated that he believed it was not only “fair” but justifiable because – as the worn out argument goes – it encourages people (the investor class) to invest, which in turn “creates jobs.” Of course, Romney hasn’t had a job since he left Bain and declined to enumerate the number of jobs he has personally created with his “low” tax return. “Low” in that it is artificially high by his own admission, inflated only in order to keep true to statements made earlier in the year about the nature of his taxes. In truth, he can retroactively change his 2011 return to reflect the even lower rate allowable in the tax code… but I digress.

    Back on point: Exceptionalism and Romney’s “good” week.

    What was captured in the 47% video wasn’t just Romney’s true nature, but rather how apparent it was that the players in that scene consider themselves in exactly the same way: as job creators deserving of gravy and exception. But, it isn’t even the Galtian-Ayn Randish kind of sense that struck me about that video. It was its reminiscence to much older debates about inherent worth, inherited worth, egalitarianism and democracy. The “job creator” idolatry of the GOP, through usage, has essentially created a title of nobility replete with emoluments.

    If that unspoken notion carries, then Priebus is absolutely right. While releasing that video was not part of campaign strategy, if the campaign succeeds in pushing “job creator” beyond the rhetorical then that would make for a colossal victory. If the American public buys into the legitimacy of a financial aristocracy after seeing it for what it truly is, then yes, it was a very good week for Romney’s campaign and the GOP. The American people would have then sanctioned a license to pillage. One could argue that the GOP base has not rejected the wrong-headed stance of “job creators.” Sadly, Pro-Growth Democrats – Obama, Clinton etc. also accept this position with their push for an “innovation economy” which relies on “interdependent” globalization rather than “independent” sovereignty. To be fair, the DNC’s attitude toward private sector dominance of the economy isn’t too far removed from Romney and the GOP. They speak the same language of private sector/corporate investment as the engine of economic prosperity.

    Another thing that struck me about that video, what gnawed on me, was how bluntly it smacked of patronage in action. And by patronage I don’t mean vestigial patronage as in philanthropic giving or even crony capitalism. I mean the etiquette of favor, of good old fashioned institutionalized patronage within an aristocratical system.

    “Is it not a Patron, my Lord, one who looks with unconcern on a man struggling for life in the water, and when he has reached ground, encumbers him with help?”

    “We have all learned that greatness is negligent and contemptuous, and that in Courts life is often languished away in ungratified expectations; but he that approaches greatness, or glitters in a Court, imagines that destiny has at last exempted him from the common lot.”

    That was Samuel Johnson speaking of patronage – the kind of patronage system that the Revolutionary War sought to abolish. One where economic and social mobility was achieved only through the grace (or mercy) of a patron. Patrons being either royalty or nobility.

    It was a fascinating and complex system of economics.

    It is also one of the reasons the Title of Nobility clause was incorporated into our Constitution.

    The purpose of this clause was to safeguard the government from undue influence by foreign states, but more importantly, to prevent a class of nobles from establishing itself which could, in turn, dominate the economy as was the case with the “old world” aristocracies.

    “Financial aristocracy” isn’t my term, by the way, it’s Thomas Paine’s. The development of a financial aristocracy was a massive concern for our fledgling nation. As the seeds of it began sprouting in the first decades of the republic, Thomas Jefferson issued this alarm in 1816:

    “I hope we shall take warning and crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country.”

    We would have done well to heed his advice. He was quite right – the 19th century laid the foundations for a massive transfer of power from the American people to corporate overlords spearheaded by a disconnected and morally bankrupt elite.

    And here we are today.

    Perhaps Priebus did have a good week if he’s looking at the situation from the perspective of permanently shaping or I should say permanently cementing the future. The financial aristocracy is pretty intractable, despite the criticism Romney endured, I saw no response that might lead to dislodging its grapple hold on the economy.

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