19 September 2012
Republicans: obviously inarticulate
Following the appearance of that candid Mitt Romney fundraiser video Republicans are trying to have it both ways. They can't deny their agreement with the gist of what the candidate said, but are desperate to explain why no one should feel insulted by it. Rep. Ryan, Romney's running mate, argues that people are misunderstanding what Romney meant because the candidate himself was "obviously inarticulate" in expressing it. Romney was apparently more inarticulate than we may have thought, since Ryan got the opposite from his talk than everyone else did. According to the congressman, Romney was decrying the fact that President Obama has caused "government dependency" to increase to a critical mass. Ryan seems to have it backwards. If anything, Romney was saying that Obama is President, and has a strong chance of remaining President, because a critical mass of people already are dependent upon government. Beyond that, Ryan ignores the other two factors Romney considers defining for that irreconcilable 47% of the population: a sense of victimhood and a sense of entitlement. It might be more difficult for Ryan to argue that Obama has caused more Americans to feel victimized -- though the Tea Party itself might be evidence for that claim -- or convinced more Americans of their entitlement to food and other luxuries enumerated by Romney. The presidential candidate was clearly looking at a larger picture than the one Ryan paints. Ryan may see himself as an Aaron to Romney's Moses, a more gifted articulator of ideas who makes up for his partner's halting speech. But his apologia for the Romney video throws his own comprehension, not Romney's communication skills, into question.