I don't drop by TPM much anymore, but I did yesterday, and saw Josh Marshall's post about Romney's 47% comments. I was trying to figure out why I so agree with Josh that the 47% speech will grate on pretty much anybody who hears it, and is effectively the last nail in the coffin of the Romney campaign. I think this is the reason:
Mitt Romney is like that really annoying guy at your office who truly believes that he’s the only one doing any work.
There’s a subset of humans who feel the same way—there’s pretty much one in every office, and regardless of their actual competency, they cling relentlessly to the belief that the success or failure of the group depends on their (theoretically) selfless sacrifice. Everybody knows who they are, and there’s always a certain amount of eye-rolling at meetings when they start to talk. They’re not usually such douchebags that you’d fire them outright, and you might let them head up a project or two if there’s nobody better. But the group wouldn’t ever put them in charge of anything REALLY important because they’re just so…unsettlingly deluded about the way things really are. The group, deep down, understands that. When push comes to shove--when it’s time to put somebody in charge of a really important project--the group will pick a man or woman with a more balanced outlook and genuine competence.
I think this is how Romney (and it’s true of the most ardent members of the Republican base) has always functioned. He believes he’s working hard, making special sacrifices, and is more than willing to take on the figurehead role. In a year when the party was falling apart anyway, he got to head up a bigger than usual project. But deep down, most people understand that having a take charge attitude and an unerring belief in the quality of your work--is not the same as actually being qualified to be in charge. So Mitt is not going to be elected President. The 47% remarks confirm the presence of the delusion that makes him a no-go.
(I think this message applies to the diehard base of the Republican Party as well—whatever their status, they believe they’re the only ones doing useful work—and I think the 47% comments spell trouble for them, too. Cat’s out of the bag, and they’re outta here.)