Political Animal


August 31, 2012 10:31 AM Romney’s Genius Grazes the Stars

By Ed Kilgore

I understand that different observers will have different assessments of any one political communication, and that ideological convictions and partisan proclivities will have an impact on them. I, for example, intensely dislike Paul Ryan—I mean, really, personally, dislike him in a way I haven’t disliked a politician since Tom DeLay’s heyday. And that’s why I defied all reason and gave his acceptance speech the damning grade of A-minus.

But Lord, I shouldn’t have read Fred Barnes’ assessment of Mitt’s speech from last night. I’ve been telling myself all week that the two people I should not read are Fred Barnes and Jennifer Rubin, whose adulation of The Leader might reach new heights somewhere along the winding path through the poppy fields that leads from the Chinese Cultural Revolution to Juche Korea.

There it was, though, at the very top of the aggregator: “Romney Aces Convention Test,” by Fred Barnes—not “Romney Passes Convention Test,” but “Aces.” Fred even cackles at the wasted effort of faint-hearted Romney advisers who thought they needed to “lower expectations” for the speech. It was brilliant! And best of all, it pinned Barack Obama to the mat, because Mitt’s got a real jobs plan, and Obama doesn’t!

I want to shake him and say: Fred, Fred, that ain’t no jobs plan, that’s a jive-ass collection of goals and slogans designed to create 12 million jobs like I’m designed to become a major-league shortstop.

I mean, give the speech a positive assessment and predict Mitt’s on the way to victory, fine. But let’s don’t pretend the man is Demosthenes, okay? Time to put down the crack pipe!

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.


  • c u n d gulag on August 31, 2012 10:43 AM:

    When Mitt spoke, Pericles wept.

    But no one could hear him, because Socrates was still laughing at Clint's use of the chair, and his clever take on 'The Socratic Method.'

    Socrates NEVER thought of asking questions of any empty furniture!
    He probably thought he'd have gotten some better answers if he did.

    And then he rememberd his disciples.
    "Oh," Socrates thought, "If only that Plato had 1/2 the personality of that chair!"

  • T2 on August 31, 2012 10:48 AM:

    Ed, I'm a little lost here...you give Ryan a "grade of A-minus" for a speech filled with blatant lies just because the people he gave the speech to liked being lied to? I wonder how my life would have turned out if I'd just knowingly lied about every major point along the way. I doubt it would be an A-minus. Lets please call a liar a liar and let it stop with that. Paul Ryan is nothing less than a cold, calculating, ego-driven ladder climber who apparently has no problem using any means to get to the top. That kind of person is a Fail in my book.

  • LAC on August 31, 2012 10:51 AM:

    Fred Barnes' assessment of anything political is the equivalent of leaving a burning bag of poo on a doorstep.

  • Zorro on August 31, 2012 11:06 AM:

    I hear that the first time Mittens played golf, he got a hole-in-one on every hole!

    It was, of course, miniature golf,

  • biggerbox on August 31, 2012 11:12 AM:

    As someone who used to really enjoy reading his college library's copy of 'Korean Today' magazine, I have to say that Juche get-down is one of the funniest things I've seen in weeks.

    Fred Barnes, not so much.

  • sjw on August 31, 2012 11:13 AM:

    Fred Barnes' lickspittle "hackosity" is rightly legendary.

  • Bo on August 31, 2012 11:18 AM:

    Ed, before you skewer The MittWit too much for his "promise" of 12 million new jobs over the next four years, please look up the BLS/Moody's Analytics projections that actually predict about 11.8 million new jobs based upon current conditions and indicators of growth.
    In other words, The MittWit "promised" what experts are already anticipating WITHOUT any benefit of his supposed "plan". Sounds to me like Willard may just be guilty of "leading from behind" . . . or more likely, determining which way the parade is heading and rushing to the front (as if to lead it).
    Whatever else may be said, I doubt that the GOP circle-jerk will produce any real or lasting bounce for their "dynamic duo". I am very curious about what the coming post-convention polling will show.

  • Bo on August 31, 2012 12:06 PM:

    I am been entirely too negative in my comments about the GOP circle-jerk. So here's one good thing that came out of it. We can now quit calling The MittWit the "presumptive" nominee of his party and more accurately call him what he really is . . . the "presumptuous" nominee of his party.

  • J on August 31, 2012 12:59 PM:

    Kind of an irony --another take from the convention is that the "empty chair" is actually--Mitt Romney--and by the way, now, after all the hoopla, dishonesty, insincerity and outright lying--
    one wonders......
    *****Where are the tax returns?****

    "The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons," ---------Emerson

  • Joe Friday on August 31, 2012 12:59 PM:

    'Honey Boo Boo' Ratings Top the Republican National Convention

    How would one delineate which you were watching ?

  • J on August 31, 2012 1:04 PM:

    Meant to add this link--in the mail comes the 9/13/12 edition of Rolling Stone Magazine--- with a money holding working class kicking Mitt Romney on the cover--- and in enormous letters "Greed and Debt The True Story of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital" by Matt Taibbi


  • Whippet Good on August 31, 2012 1:06 PM:

    I just loves me a good old Funky Get Down Juche Party!

    Fred Barnes has no Seoul.

  • Everybody Knows on August 31, 2012 1:24 PM:

    Definition of drama queen: Wildly exaggerate your victimization at the hands of anyone you don't care for, then turn around and shower vast accolades over the smallest utterance of those you do like, without rhyme or reason other than personal preference.

    We got us a whole party of drama queens. Old GOP, meet the new DQP.

  • I Am Ill on August 31, 2012 1:30 PM:

    We will be happy under our new beloved leader. We will dance and be full of joy. Much pageantry, much smiles as he leads us out of the slavery of freedom.