Like many other fans of AMC’s hit TV show Mad Men, I noticed the strange little shot it took at Mitt Romney’s father during the most recent episode, but thought some of the reaction to it might have been a tad overheated. Now that David Axelrod has come along to set me straight, and make it clear the remark was part of liberal media synergy on behalf of the Obama 2012 campaign, I apologize for my earlier reluctance to express outrage.
The comment in question came from a character who works as a Republican political operative, circa 1966. He snorted that George Romney was a “clown,” and didn’t want his boss, New York’s Republican mayor John Lindsay, appearing with him.
Considering that the character in question works for the liberal wing of the Republican Party, and George Romney was comfortably nestled under that wing, this scene was a bit of a stretch, but it’s always possible he was supposed to be nursing some sort of personal grudge against Romney. Such things happen quite often on Mad Men, where much of the drama comes from watching personal affairs derail carefully planned business ventures.
George Romney was a public figure of considerable prominence within the party, and served as the governor of Michigan at the time, so it’s not wholly unrealistic that his name might come up during a political conversation. On the other hand, there was no particular reason the writers needed to insert that conversation into the episode. George Romney has not been previously mentioned on the show, and has not affected the plot. He was insulted on one of television’s most popular shows because the writers and/or showrunner Matthew Weiner, a professed liberal, wanted it to happen.
George Romney passed away several years ago, but Tagg Romney stepped up on Twitter to defend his honor, declaring that his grandfather “was as good a man as I’ve ever known. Inspirational leader, worked for civil rights, promoted freedom. We need more like him.”
Then a man cut from entirely different cloth, top Obama political advisor David Axelrod, went before the cameras of CBS News on Tuesday morning to remark that George Romney’s son Mitt was “oblivious to the experiences of everyday people” and “must watch Mad Men and think it’s the evening news” because “he is just in a time warp.”
Of course, the idea of a henchman to our famously aristocratic, high-living President insulting someone else as being “out of touch” is funnier than anything Mad Men has offered recently… although the adventures of series protagonist Don Draper at a Rolling Stones concert were pretty close. Unlike Mitt Romney, Barack Obama knows about the experiences of ordinary people, because his caddies just won’t shut up about them.
Also, you know how liberals are always wailing about Republicans using “code words” and “dog whistles” to communicate with their followers? Well, the current season of Mad Men is all about racism, as the fictional ad agency featured on the show has finally gotten around to hiring a black woman and a Jewish man. The former hire was an accident, resulting from a practical joke against another ad agency. Casual racism drips from the lips of many characters on the show, mingling with the even thicker sexism that already stains their chins.
And that’s what Mitt Romney thinks the world is like right now, according to Obama’s top political operative! Why, the Romney campaign must be just like Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, complete with a token black girl who isn’t allowed to sit at the front desk – despite her excellent skills and qualifications –because, as one character on the show explained, it simply wouldn’t do for clients to see her when they first walk in the door.
Leaving Mad Men aside, this recurring meme about understanding the “experiences of everyday people” is arrant nonsense. Very few members of the political class, from either party, could reasonably claim to live “everyday” lives. Barack Obama most certainly cannot. He’s never lived such a life. As with so many other things, he gets a pass on this because of his politics, which liberals perpetually conflate with both empathy and morality. If you’re a man of the Left, you instinctively understand “everyday people,” no matter what your resume looks like, in much the same way that liberal politics provide absolute insulation from charges of racism, greed, or warmongering.
Furthermore, the idea that we need leadership that understands those everyday experiences, at some gut level, is both intellectually vapid and a sop to Big Government ideology. It presumes that government will be running our everyday little humdrum lives, so we’d better make sure the top guy is properly empathetic before he takes over our money, business arrangements, and health care.
If we had a properly limited Constitutional government, we wouldn’t become so invested in this absurd fiction that we actually hold achievements and distinction against candidates for executive office. We’ve had years of ruinous “leadership” from a man whose early life is shrouded in mystery, and never held a real job, but we need to re-elect him because his most likely opponent is a guy who made millions in the private sector… and we sure wouldn’t want that. It might take us on a nostalgic trip to an era when successful businessmen were admired, and the government actually had a budget.