It Wasn’t Just A Joke

Mark Halperin is Time magazine’s senior political analyst and also a regular “contributor” on MSNBC. His job at the “liberal” network, as far as I can tell, is to tell liberals things they could hear on, say, Fox.

Today was no different. He told Andrea Mitchell:

I think Mitt Romney was making a joke. We’ve seen, particularly when he’s in Michigan, when he jokes about the heights of trees—and the left is gonna say I’m making a huge excuse for him.

Well, at least he got that last part right. And for her part, Andrea Mitchell, interviewing Jen Psaki, Obama’s traveling press secretary, compared the Romney birther appeal to President Obama’s real joke about Romney strapping his dog to the top of his car for a 12-hour ride:

He made a joke about Seamus the dog the other day…that was another ad-lib kind of thing…

Yeah, I suppose you can compare a joke about a dog crapping on himself in a crate on top of Mittens’ car to, uh, the black President of the United States not being a proper American. I can see the similarity there, can’t you?

Look, the truth is that Romney, after jumping on the Throw Todd Akin From The Train bandwagon this week, has to show the many crackpots in the GOP some love.

Their feelings have been hurt and there’s nothing like a racist joke to raise their spirits.

About the Romney birth certificate reference, king of the crackpots, Rush Limbaugh, initially said, “Right on! Right on!” and then later got a little more nuanced:

As you can imagine, the media is in a tizzy. The media is in a tizzy…Romney gets up to the microphone. It’s his turn to speak, and he test-drives that line about nobody’s ever had to ask to see his birth certificate…I’m going to tell you what. You know, I’m gonna make a prediction for you. It’s going to be fascinating to watch. The Obama-bashing at the Republican convention is going to be delicious. It’s going to be five-star-restaurant type stuff. I mean, you’re going to love it. You are going to eat it up, all the Obama-bashing. And I’ll bet you what’s happening right now is the networks are trying to figure out how they can avoid airing any of it.

So, to Limbaugh, Mr. I Hope He Fails, what Romney did was no joke, but a test-drive of “all the Obama-bashing” that will go on at the Republican convention.

You’re going to love it. You are going to eat it up,” said the beefy, bigoted broadcaster.

And that, my friends, is why what Romney did was not merely a joke.



  1. writer89

     /  August 24, 2012

    Let’s see if we can straighten this out for Mr. Halperin. Mitt Romney DID put his dog in a crate on top of his car. He hasn’t denied it. However, President Obama DOES have a valid birth certificate and WAS born in the United States. So one joke is based on something that really happened, and the other is based on a lie. See the difference? Unless Halperin is a birther. Always a possibility. But assuming he’s not, somebody needs to explain the difference. Like if Romney made a joke about Obama’s ears, that would be in bad taste, but funny, and based on reality. On the other hand, if Obama made a joke about Romney’s huge sex organ, that would be… well, I guess we’d have to ask Ann about that. But after this remark today, we do know that Mittens has a pretty good sized pair on him.


  2. RDG,

    Romney should can his voter outreach staff; he does like to fire people.

    Then again, maybe the strategy is to resurrect Jim Crow voter suppression laws, energize enough white voters still angry over Welfare Queens loading up on subsidized sirloin, and hope Karl Rove’s dark money can scare enough elderly television viewers watching distorted Medicare “non-partisan” public service announcements to unwittingly place their health-care safety net in peril.

    Because Romney has no real solid base of support or history of long-standing principals defining who he is or how he would govern as president, his constituency has always been the ‘anybody but Obama’ contingent. He rolled the dice and picked Paul Ryan because he was losing and needed a running mate popular with the ideological right, even if Ryan’s congressional resume contradicts his Objectivist philosophy — like accepting twenty million dollars worth of Obama’s socialist stimulus cash.

    It’s telling that Mitt Romney, the embodiment of a wealthy empty suit, is the Republican Party’s presidential nominee. The only rationale I can see why he has spent the last dozen or so years running for president is because the White House can’t be bought outright (not yet, anyway), leaving him the onus of purchasing the presidency via the messy electoral process: pandering to Dittohead ‘birthers’ and right-wing evangelicals is simply a pathway to achieve his personal ambition.

    He can’t energize sock monkey-waving social conservatives by touting his record as Massachusetts’s moderate, pro-choice champion of “Romneycare” without creating a shockwave of cognitive dissonance strong enough to choke a chorus of rebel yells. Instead, he has to ape the mental malaise common among Sean Hannity fans. It’s been an awkward performance. He is not a stupid man and it must be taxing glad handing people he pays private security guards to keep a reasonable distance away from his multiple residences.

    The upcoming Republican National Convention plans to reintroduce Mitt Romney to America; an effort will be made to put a human face on the nominee. I hope this staged endeavor features Mitt, Hank William Jr. and Donald Trump lounging around a cracker barrel, cracking ‘birther’ jokes with Sheriff Arpaio. After the laughter has died down they can then display genuine sadness that America has an illegal alien in the Oval Office. Even though drinking whiskey is against Mitt’s religious beliefs — as are releasing income tax documents — maybe he’ll send the Tennessee delegation into a flag waving frenzy when accepting Hank’s offer to take a pull. It’s too bad Sarah Palin won’t be in attendance. Having her jump over the old country store stage set on a red, white and blue motorcycle would undoubtedly set off a thunderous chorus of USA!, USA!

    To paraphrase Vonnegut: And so the national tragedy goes.


  3. Jane Reaction

     /  August 25, 2012

    Seamus doesn’t sound like a Mormon name for a dog.


    • The original spelling may have been Shame-Us, making it much more understandable as a “Mormon name for a dog.” And Mittens, anticipating his future protracted career as a presidential candidate, changed the spelling but not the pronunciation.


  4. It’s too bad Joseph Smith didn’t have a better sense of humor. Rather than turning an ancient tribe of Israel into Indians, he should have had Jesus fly over to Ireland, gather a clan of Celts,
    and then deposit them somewhere around the Great Lakes. Instead of Moroni, Nehi and Alma, today’s Morman could have Rancy McCandles, Spoof O’Duggan and Mugs Blarney to contemplate over decaffeinated tea.


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