Political Animal


April 17, 2012 9:49 AM Plutocratic Pride of America

By Ed Kilgore

In the latest of what is likely to become a long series of efforts to come up with an effective way to deal with the interlocking issues of income inequality and his own wealth, Mitt Romney’s trying to apply his foreign policy mantra of “No Apologies!” to plutocrats, treating them (and himself) as sort of a national treasure. Check out this passage from a speech to Tea Party supporters in Philadelphia yesterday:

“If I’m so fortunate to become president, I will not apologize for America’s success at home, and I would certainly not apologize for America’s success abroad,” Romney said to cheers from the crowd of several hundred members of the Independence Hall Tea Party Association.

B’lieve you need to send this message back to the ol’ wordsmithies, Mitt. You don’t have to have a lot of faith in the power of inequality as an issue to think it’s a bad idea to treat the rich-getting-richer as a bright spot in an economy which you persist as describing as ruined and faltering. And it’s equally dubious to conflate the individual success of some Americans at getting and spending with national pride. Perhaps Romney is anticipating the Olympics (a subject he does know something about), when Americans will indeed exhibit a collective interest in the competitive exploits of individuals representing us. But I’m not sure that dynamic extends to the “game” of gross individual accumulation of wealth. Does, say, Sheldon Adelson’s ability to harvest billions from the fleshpots of Macau make you proud to be an American? When Obama suggests the very rich should pay their fair share of taxes, is he “apologizing” for America’s success? I don’t think so.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • stormskies on April 17, 2012 10:08 AM:

    During this pathetic speech buffoon Romney spotted one of the Tea Party members holding his sign demonstrating his stupidity that said "Keep gobermint away from my Medicare". Buffoon Romney did a high five with this stupid person and said " I totally agree"..........

  • Danp on April 17, 2012 10:12 AM:

    Republicans in general confuse the concept of "American Exceptionalism" with what religious people used to call "pride", as defined by one of the seven deadly sins.

  • delNorte on April 17, 2012 10:27 AM:

    The 99%ers cheering on the success of the 1%ers is kind of like the pig cheering the farmer's success in the pork trade.

  • rea on April 17, 2012 10:40 AM:

    What else should I be? All apologies
    What else could I say? Everyone is gay
    What else could I write? I don't have the right
    What else should I be? All apologies

  • TCinLA on April 17, 2012 1:24 PM:

    Further proof that the way you understand a Mormon like Willard is to remove the second "m."

    But he's doing a bang-up job of showing how the old Southern slaveocracy got the majority of Southerners, who didn't own slaves and who actually suffered economically from living in a slave economy, to go fight and die for Ol' Dixie - the Tea Party is proof that the ability to vote against your own interests is not limited to Southern white trash.

  • boatboy_srq on April 17, 2012 3:03 PM:

    Phrasing is interesting here. Note that he didn't discuss apologizing for "America's success in domestic policy" but apologizing for "America's success at home," and the same for "abroad." That could be construed either as the venue for the "apology" delivered (or not) or as "apology" delivered for domestic or foreign policy. Is Romney suggesting that he won't apologize for "American success" anywhere, or that he won't apologize for treating the Iraq debacle and the death of the Great Society as good things? I don't think either statement is particularly acceptable - or that it's in any way consistent with his actual behavior - but the distinction could be significant.