Sunday, August 26, 2012

Own it,'s what you do best

Sometimes it’s obvious when someone writes something with a raging erection.

Kevin D. Williamson over at National Review has a new article, “Like A Boss,” in which he implores Mitt Romney to own his reputation as a rich man.

You want off-the-charts status? Check out the curriculum vitae of one Willard M. Romney: $200 million in the bank (and a hell of a lot more if he didn’t give so much away), apex alpha executive, CEO, chairman of the board, governor, bishop, boss of everything he’s ever touched.

It’s a ridiculous premise — after all, how is doubling down on one of Mitt’s most alienating qualities supposed to win over voters? Doesn’t he know the country is in a deep recession (if not depression) and that flaunting wealth hasn’t been cool for at least a decade? What on God’s ever-melting Earth should anyone in the bottom 99th percentile ever hope to see as presidential in Mitt Romney?

It’s when Williamson tries to answer that question that this article becomes a thing of unintentionally satiric beauty. See, Williamson doesn’t think with his head; he makes like Colbert and goes with his gut — or, more precisely, his other head.

It is a curious scientific fact (explained in evolutionary biology by the Trivers-Willard hypothesis — Willard, notice) that high-status animals tend to have more male offspring than female offspring, which holds true across many species, from red deer to mink to Homo sap. The offspring of rich families are statistically biased in favor of sons — the children of the general population are 51 percent male and 49 percent female, but the children of the Forbes billionaire list are 60 percent male. Have a gander at that Romney family picture: five sons, zero daughters. Romney has 18 grandchildren, and they exceed a 2:1 ratio of grandsons to granddaughters (13:5). When they go to church at their summer-vacation home, the Romney clan makes up a third of the congregation. He is basically a tribal chieftain.

Romney has five sons. And real men beget real men! RAWRRRR! Not like that queer Obama and his mere two children, who barely count anyway because they’re girls! Ha ha! What an impotent non-man! But surely Williamson wouldn’t say that out loud, would he?

Professor Obama? Two daughters. May as well give the guy a cardigan. And fallopian tubes.

I stand corrected.

The article really gets good when Williamson appeals to women’s needs and intellect and — oh hell, there’s no way I can possibly set this up:

From an evolutionary point of view, Mitt Romney should get 100 percent of the female vote. All of it. He should get Michelle Obama’s vote. You can insert your own Mormon polygamy joke here, but the ladies do tend to flock to successful executives and entrepreneurs.

By that logic, women should crumble into sulfur when I’m around. But they don’t. In fact, the only women I never get along with are the high-maintenance gold-diggers with zero personality who think a Bentley really can make an ugly man sexy. And I don’t think they’re as huge a voting bloc as Williamson presumes. Or a big part of the dating pool, fortunately. 

Saleh al-Rajhi, billionaire banker, left behind 61 children when he cashed out last year. We don’t do harems here, of course, but Romney is exactly the kind of guy who in another time and place would have the option of maintaining one. He’s a boss.

That Osama bin Laden was quite a boss himself, I hear.

Given that we are no longer roaming the veldt for the most part, money is a reasonable stand-in for social status.

If you’re a dick.

Romney’s net worth is more than that of the last eight U.S. presidents combined. He set up a trust for his grandkids and kicked in about seven times Barack Obama’s net worth, which at $11.8 million is not inconsiderable but probably less than Romney’s tax bill in a good year. If he hadn’t given away so much money to his church, charities, and grandkids, Mitt Romney would have more money than Jay-Z.

It is time for Mitt Romney to get in touch with his inner rich guy.

Yes, that’s his problem. If only he’d act like the wealthy scion he is, maybe then he wouldn’t be so out of touch with American humans. He wouldn’t have to shoehorn in references to “average” citizens that come off as awkward as right-wing writers’ references to black rappers who ironically support Barack Obama.

Some Occupy Wall Street types, believing it to be the height of wit, have begun to spell Romney’s name “Rmoney.”

But Romney can do better than that — put it in all caps: R-MONEY. Jay-Z can keep his puny little lowercase letters and the Maybach: R-MONEY doesn’t own a flashy car with rims, R-MONEY does billion-dollar deals with Keystone Automotive and Delphi. You want to make it rain? R-MONEY is going to make it storm, like biblical. Rappers boast about their fat stacks: R-MONEY’s fat stacks live in a beachfront house of their own in the Hamptons, and the bricks in that house are made from tightly bound hundred-dollar bills. You have a ton of money? R-MONEY has 200 metric tons of money if he decides to keep it in cash.

I see why Romney is the choice of people who judge the ability of someone to lead the free world by the physical prowess of their possessions. Bank accounts are for sissies — get a nine-car garage for those stacks! What good is money if the weight of it can’t literally crush someone to death?

Now Romney should quit pretending that he’s an ordinary schmo with ordinary schmo problems and start living a little larger. He should not be ashamed of being loaded; instead, he should have some fun with it. He will discover something that the Obama campaign has not quite figured out yet: Americans do not hate rich people. Americans love rich people. Americans will sit on their couches and watch billionaire Donald Trump fire people on television — for fun. Nobody hates Jay Leno for owning seven Aston Martins and 17 Lamborghinis ...

Yes, we have no problem with rich people ... who entertain us, or otherwise don’t aspire to elected office with the intent of enriching the richest at the considerable expense of everyone else, all the while projecting such detached airs that it isn’t clear that they’ve ever looked up the word “hardship,” much less experienced it. We like Donald Trump because he fires people on TV, where it’s safe; a President Trump would be a different matter entirely. President Obama is rich — though not by Williamson’s terms — and we like him. Probably because he cares about the middle class. Romney’s probably never heard the term.

Romney should try to find out whatever the hell happened to fellow gazillionaire William Weld, last seen nodding off in the lunchroom at McDermott Will & Emery, though by no means should he let it be known that he is seeking the advice of another moderate Republican ex-governor of Massachusetts. Weld has occasionally disastrous political judgment (he endorsed Romney in the 2008 primary but endorsed Barack Obama in the general) but he carried off the rich-guy thing with real panache. When it was suggested that his aristocratic background would prevent his understanding the problems of the common man, Weld retorted that his family “arrived in 1630 with only the shirts on their back . . . and 2,000 pounds of gold.” Romney, the millionaire executive/governor/presidential-candidate son of a millionaire executive/governor/presidential candidate, would be blessed to be as comfortable in his own pampered skin as Weld was.

Oh, that unforgettable William Weld. Wasn’t he a great president?

George Romney made his money by being a boss — a leader. Mitt Romney has been the same thing. When things went wrong, people put Romney in charge of them — at Bain, at the Olympics, at a hundred companies he helped turn around or restructure. Bain is a financial firm, but Romney wasn’t some Wall Street bank-monkey with a pitch book. He was the guy who fired you. He was a boss, like his dad, and like his sons probably will be.

And who’s more beloved than a boss? One whose father was a boss! And whose kids are riding his coattails to future bossdom themselves! Ask any worker on camera.

Obama made his money in part through political connections — no, I don’t think Michelle Obama was worth nearly 400 grand a year — and by authoring two celebrity memoirs, his sole innovation in life having been to write the memoir first and become a celebrity second. Can you imagine Barack Obama trying to pull off a hostile takeover without Rahm Emanuel holding his diapers up for him? Impossible.

Can’t you just smell the old-money contempt here? To hear Williamson tell it, not only is Romney’s vulture capitalism the only legitimate way to make money, but it’s also the best practice for running a country. And we peons should desire a president who would make us grovel. Why are we too stupid to see that? No wonder we're not rich!

Elections are not about public policy. They aren’t even about the economy. Elections are tribal, and tribes are — Occupy types, cover your delicate ears — ruthlessly hierarchical. Somebody has to be the top dog. ... Reassuring arch-patriarch — maybe one with enough sons and grandsons to form a pillaging band of marauders? Hillary Rodham Clinton told us that it takes a village, and Mitt Romney showed us how to populate a village with thriving offspring.

I’m thinking that maybe Republicans should run for president of the jungle, where their animalistic (and ironically Darwinist) tendencies would thrive. Leave civilization to the civilized.

Vote this lovely pillaging band of marauders for presidents!
Look at his fat stacks. Look at that mess of sons and grandchildren. Look at a picture of Ann Romney on her wedding day and that cocky smirk on his face. What exactly has Mitt Romney got to be insecure about? That he’s not as prodigious a patriarch as Ramses II or as rich as Lakshmi Mittal? I bet he sleeps at night and never worries about that. He has done everything right in life, and he should own it. And by own it, I mean put it on the black card and stow it in the G6 — or at least in first class, for Pete’s sake.

I suspect the only reason Williamson ended the article here was because he finally climaxed. Nevertheless, he’s given us all a succinct primer into exactly why no decent, compassionate human being should ever vote Mitt Romney for president.

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