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It has been reported by The New York Times that Mitt Romney is now loading up on "Zingers" to use in the debate on Wednesday night. The article provides:

Mr. Romney’s team has concluded that debates are about creating moments and has equipped him with a series of zingers that he has memorized and has been practicing on aides since August.
 

This should be attacked pre-debate so that the framing is ready post-debate. Why is a zinger-filled debate by Romney something that can be attacked? Because what the NYTimes is reporting closely follows the narrative that has built up around the GOP candidate. He's being inauthentic, he's a rich guy trying to buy the election, and he's trivializing the whole process. Let's look at that first point.

HE'S BEING INAUTHENTIC

Mitt Romney is the kind of guy who self-tans before meeting the Latino press. That has to be the most crassly inauthentic thing ever done by a presidential candidate. Moreover, we've seen his "humor" before, and he's not a funny guy. He's told lame-ass jokes about President Obama's birth certificate, about the time his wife was in an airplane that was on fire, and about how he trips a daughter-in-law to win a race or cuts into the front of the food line before his grandchildren can eat. So, if he's going to try to be funny, we know that, like everything else about him, it is not authentic.

As evidence, please consider the 23 Republican primary debates. Do you recall any Romney "zingers" in any of them? I watched at least parts of almost all of them, and all I remember are "self-deportion" and "wanna bet $10,000." There was also the time Romney grabbed Rick Perry on the shoulder and started yelling over him, and who could forget when Mitt was befuddled for about eight seconds and made those Elmer Fudd sounds (Buh-deep, buh-deep, buh-deep, buh-deep), all the while moving his head back and forth like his logic circuits had crossed. So, unless the definition of "zinger" now includes "gaffe" or "blooper," "blunder" or "faux pas," then he doesn't have a history of zinging, although when you consider his 2011-12 primary debates along with those in 2008, he may have been on stage more than any other candidate in history. Let's next consider Lloyd Bentsen.

The above video shows the best debate zinger of all time. Lloyd Bentsen flattened Dan Quayle. The thing is, it came authentically to Bentsen, who was a word-smith, and who had already served in the United States Senate for 17 years before that debate and for six years in the House before that. Moreover, he was the kind of bright person who rose to the rank of Major in the Air Force by the age of 23.

HE'S A RICH GUY BUYING THE ELECTION

In the post-Citizens United world, the spectre of billionaires buying elections has to loom large in the psyche of the people. It is an undisputed fact that Romney is rich, and he may also be a billionaire. It is also undisputed that he's received millions of dollars in direct and indirect aid from other billionaires. Now let's look at that NYTimes quote again:  "Mr. Romney’s team has concluded that debates are about creating moments and has equipped him with a series of zingers ...." As you can see, he's getting the kind of prepping that Miss Texas gets at the expense of the contestant from Rhode Island. Romney probably has a poise coach, a debate coach, "zinger" coaches and a tanning coach.

Mitt Romney has gone out and bought soundbytes just so that he can make them the property of Mitt Romney, Believe in America '12, Inc. Any "zinger" from the GOP candidate will be something bought by him, just as he's trying to buy the election. And just like he bought the primary nod.

HE'S TRIVIALIZING THE PROCESS

This is a debate for the Presidency of the United States. It's not a commercial for hamburgers. Not only does the act of attempting to score debate points with a zippy soundbyte trivialize the whole affair, but the belief that scoring "zingers" is the end-all, be-all for debates underscores the friviolousness. Shouldn't the debates be about who provides a cogent policy and enunciates it with conviction? This seems like more "Conservatism Creep."

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Here's a screengrab of Romney trivializing and finding humor in the death of Americans in Libya

By Conservative Creep, I mean that the conservative movement has crept away from science, has crept away from fact, and they're continually creeping away from many standards of logic, ethical decision-making, factual reporting and legal reasoning in order for their candidates, who aren't the "smart people" to have a chance to muddle up the issues with trivial nonsense. We must not let them. A debate is a debate of ideas and policies, not a battle of advertising slogans.  

WARNING:  Over the jump, I have provided an episode of Mitty Millionaire that takes a very unflattering look at Republicans and how they treat Women, Latinos and others. It also addresses the GOP's trivialization of the debates. Please don't make the jump unless you want to see that kind of satire, and you're 18 years of age or older.
   
 

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tcdup, 88kathy, 2thanks, JoanMar, nomandates

    I would tip you, but the man took away my tips.

    by Tortmaster on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 08:35:54 AM PDT

  •  For all the reasons listed above... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    J Edward, LakeSuperior, nomandates

    I am really looking forward to Mitt being an awkward, inauthentic, unlikeable, not-funny rich guy trying to tell jokes.  We've seen Mitt's idea of "jokes", so I'm not worried.

    In my book, nothing is funnier than awkward people trying to tell jokes that aren't funny.  Maybe I'm not rich enough to get the punch line.

    Going to the grocery store now to stock up on popcorn!

    Ask Osama Bin Laden if he's better off than he was 4 years ago

    by SuzieQ4624 on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 08:46:26 AM PDT

    •  Better get some beer also. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nomandates

      Never promote men who seek after a state-established religion; it is spiritual tyranny--the worst of despotism. It is turnpiking the way to heaven by human law, in order to establish ministerial gates to collect toll. John Leland

      by J Edward on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 08:53:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Pop corn and Milk Duds. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      2thanks, nomandates

      You start chewing on two of the Milk Duds, then add a handful of popcorn! It's just like carmelcorn, but you get chocolate too.  ; )  

      The debates in the GOP primaries involved as many as nine candidates. There really was no time to go deep into wonkish policy. That's what I think scares Romney and his handlers. First off, they don't want to provide policy specifics. Secondly, any policy specific will be, by default, a flip-flop because he's taken both sides of every issue in the pretty recent past.

      That's probably the real reason for the "zinger" meme from Camp Romney, although I also think "Conservative Creep" is also to blame for some of it.

      I would tip you, but the man took away my tips.

      by Tortmaster on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 08:54:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Milk Duds and popcorn at the same time? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nomandates

        Oh, Tortmaster, that is disg- ... wait a minute, I think I am going to have to try that.

        Very nice diary. I think it was a good idea to give a serious satire warning before the jump.

        Conservative Creep has 2 meanings ... and I like them both.

        Another delicious diary by Tortmaster. Thanks Thanks! ;^)

        ps - Not that disgusting Mitt in 2012! (Please donate to Obama).



        Michigan Supreme Court: Democrats nominated 3 women
        Before you give your ballot back,
        Vote Johnson, Kelley, and McCormack.

        by 2thanks on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 09:06:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks 2thanks! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          2thanks, nomandates

          Agree about the warning. It really isn't too much further from the truth, though, for the party of Todd Akin and the candidate of "self-deportation."

          With regard to the Milk Duds and popcorn, try it! If you like salty sweet things, it is divine. If you end up not liking it, however, it can be hard to spit out the taste!  ; )

          I would tip you, but the man took away my tips.

          by Tortmaster on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 09:12:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  You could write a whole book about me. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nomandates

    Hey Ryan, where you goin' with that trans-vaginal probe in your hand

    by 88kathy on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 08:50:46 AM PDT

  •  He does not get respect for women at all (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MaikeH, JoanMar, nomandates

    Neither do his sons.  Last week here there was a story about a family race.  Mitt was losing to his daughter in law who had recently given birth.  Since he was behind he tripped her to win the race.  His son was in awe of his fathers need to win at any cost and expressed no concern for his wife.  I thought this story was as revealing as the "funny story" his son told about the sick dog on top of the car.

    Never promote men who seek after a state-established religion; it is spiritual tyranny--the worst of despotism. It is turnpiking the way to heaven by human law, in order to establish ministerial gates to collect toll. John Leland

    by J Edward on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 08:52:37 AM PDT

    •  There may be a certain type of woman ... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      2thanks, J Edward, JoanMar, nomandates

      ... he kinda gets, but what percentage of the population do they represent? Fifty-percent of the one-percent?

      When I heard that story, J Edward, it was added to the evidence pile in my mind on the theory that Romney has no "filter" whatsoever. At least not a filter that a normal person would recognize.  

      I would tip you, but the man took away my tips.

      by Tortmaster on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 09:04:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Why do they have races anyway? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      J Edward, nomandates

      It's one thing if the kids do that, but grown-ups?

      Well, then again, I guess since they can't have coffee, adult drinks, or card games, they've got to do something for fun.

      261.A wealthy man can afford anything except a conscience. -Ferengi Rules of Acquisition

      by MaikeH on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 09:53:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've always raced my kids ... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        J Edward, nomandates

        ... and would do the old, "On your ..." and then start running. But I never tripped anyone, and if I was in politics, I certainly wouldn't say I tripped a relative.

        You bring up an interesting point, MaikeH. How do certain religions handle the game "Twister"? Is it allowed? What about for teenagers? Coffee is bad, but Twister is the Devil!   ; )

        I would tip you, but the man took away my tips.

        by Tortmaster on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 10:39:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  How old were your kids though? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          J Edward, nomandates

          I bet they weren't married yet.

          The only time I did something similar as an adult was when I arm-wrestled with my father-in-law. We were both drunk though.

          261.A wealthy man can afford anything except a conscience. -Ferengi Rules of Acquisition

          by MaikeH on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 10:44:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Even if one were cynical enough (0+ / 0-)

    to believe it's all about moments or pre-planned marketing devices, doesn't "looking presidential" rank way up there in things you need to do to sell a candidate? How presidential does zingering look?

    •  That's a very good point, The Nose. (0+ / 0-)

      I think it goes to "trivializing" the debates, but it should also stand on its own. It is obviously the strategy of a desperate candidate because this is the one time Romney can look "Presidential" to millions.

      I would tip you, but the man took away my tips.

      by Tortmaster on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 05:18:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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