Country Club Fantasy

September 18, 2012 § 1 Comment

“Romney’s comment is a country-club fantasy. It’s what self-satisfied millionaires say to each other. It reinforces every negative view people have about Romney.”

  • David Brooks, conservative columnist, September 17, 2012
  • Source: Thurston Howell Romney
  • Context: Brooks wrote a piece for the New York Times criticizing Romney’s comments from a private fundraiser in May which have now become viral after they were leaked by Mother Jones. In it, he describes Romney as being out of touch politically, socially, and culturally. Fact checkers have already pointed out that Romney’s comments about welfare and those on it are false and misleading, but Brooks goes even further, pointing out that many people on welfare are Republicans:

“The people who receive the disproportionate share of government spending are not big-government lovers. They are Republicans. They are senior citizens. They are white men with high school degrees. As Bill Galston of the Brookings Institution has noted, the people who have benefited from the entitlements explosion are middle-class workers, more so than the dependent poor.”

  • On Romney being out of touch, he said:

“First, it suggests that he really doesn’t know much about the country he inhabits. Who are these freeloaders? Is it the Iraq war veteran who goes to the V.A.? Is it the student getting a loan to go to college? Is it the retiree on Social Security or Medicare?”

“First, it suggests that he really doesn’t know much about the country he inhabits. Who are these freeloaders? Is it the Iraq war veteran who goes to the V.A.? Is it the student getting a loan to go to college? Is it the retiree on Social Security or Medicare?”

“It says that Romney doesn’t know much about the political culture. Americans haven’t become childlike worshipers of big government. On the contrary, trust in government has declined. The number of people who think government spending promotes social mobility has fallen.”

“Romney’s comments also reveal that he has lost any sense of the social compact. In 1987, during Ronald Reagan’s second term, 62 percent of Republicans believed that the government has a responsibility to help those who can’t help themselves. Now, according to the Pew Research Center, only 40 percent of Republicans believe that.”

“The final thing the comment suggests is that Romney knows nothing about ambition and motivation. The formula he sketches is this: People who are forced to make it on their own have drive. People who receive benefits have dependency. But, of course, no middle-class parent acts as if this is true. Middle-class parents don’t deprive their children of benefits so they can learn to struggle on their own. They shower benefits on their children to give them more opportunities — so they can play travel sports, go on foreign trips and develop more skills. People are motivated when they feel competent. They are motivated when they have more opportunities. Ambition is fired by possibility, not by deprivation, as a tour through the world’s poorest regions makes clear.”

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§ One Response to Country Club Fantasy

  • Montana says:

    In the end it will be Willard Milton Romney’s own words that that will bring down his seven year run for the presidency. I thank you Romney for speaking your real mind, sure its ugly but it just confirms my feeling that you act more like a Corporation than a person with compassion who realizes that a majority of my country is suffering. Hey the empty chair was a great hit, thanks for the laughs.

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