Assuming you’re not into the whole “shaving some possibly gay kid’s hair” bit, if there’s one thing that corporate humanoid Mitt Romney is truly awful at (besides being consistent), it’s being funny The man looks and acts like the stuffy characters from Caddyshack and sounds like a Pat Boone sedation every time he painfully attempts to appear relatable to anyone without a Swiss bank account (remember the wawa gaffe?). He looks an acts like the Eugene Levy , stiff straight man in nearly every situation, but only he has the comedic timing of a Steven Hawkings’ voice modulator. So it’s fairly safe to conclude that comedy should impose a restraining order on Romney.
Over the weekend, Mitt Romney decided to go birther but claims that he was just cracking wise.
Speaking about his Michigan roots, he said, “No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place that we were born and raised.” (Huffington Post)
Oh yeah, the old “I’m native-born and white and the other guy is some black Kenyan” bit. But I thought robots were made in Japan; hence, Romney should be Japanese.
Well, the insanely garrulous Chris Matthews, who has been known from time to time to actually fulfill his journalistic obligations and call foul play, erupted into a paroxysm of righteous journalistic indignation when this very subject was brought up by RNC chairman Reince Priebus.
The MSNBC host lambasted Romney’s birther joke, Romney’s consistent claims that Obama imported his domestic policies, and accused the Romney campaign of trying to foreignize the president. Ironically enough, the RNC chairman’s name is Reince, which isn’t exactly cookie-cutter American sounding.
“That cheap shot … was awful,” Matthews said, referring to the joke. “It is an embarrassment to your party to play that card … you are playing that ethnic card there.”As Priebus apparently laughed and co-host Joe Scarborough tried to get a word in, Matthews continued, “you can sit there and giggle about it, but the fact is your party is playing that card.”
“You think Mitt Romney’s playing the race card?” Scarborough asked.
“There’s no doubt he did,” Matthews said. Co-host Mika Brzezinski speculated that Romney may have said what he said because he is an “awkward joker.”
Priebus said Matthews was just trying to “push his brand” with his “monologue.”
“It just seems funny that the first joke he ever told in his life was about Obama’s birth certificate,” Matthews said. (Huffington Post)
Even though Romney, a man who is whiter than a Michael Bolton concert, is clearly trying to secure the white vote in order to squeeze out a slim majority in the general election (see his welfare attack ads), I tend to believe that the Romney campaign is just trying to paint the president as being some sort of unamerican foreigner–a fairly consistent theme among the Republican fringe. But when you have nothing to run on but fear and fear itself, it’s very easy to look at a guy named Barack Obama with a rather unique lineage and paint him as being some freakish foreigner, despite the fact that Obama is a pretty mundane family man who does nothing but drink tons of beer as of late. It doesn’t get any more American than that.
And when Priebus did what every casino capitalist conservative has done in painting Obama and his policies as being “European” (a.k.a, socialist), Matthews became unglued again.
From Think Progress:
PRIEBUS: But I think Obama’s policies have created a sense that for whatever reason, he’s looking to guidance [from Europe] as far as health care is concerned, as far as our spending is concerned …
MATTHEWS: What? Where do you get this from? This is insane! You mean the Keynesian fiscal policy — you mean the fact that every president we’ve had has tried to offset the economic cycle with stimulus going the other direction is somehow European? … What’s this got to do with Europe and this foreignization of the guy? You’re doing it now! Saying he’s influenced by foreign influences? You’re playing that card again. What’s this European thing of yours? What are you up to with this constant that he’s not really domestic?
PRIEBUS: You don’t think the take-over of our health care system called Obamacare is a problem for most Americans?
MATTHEWS: Let me tell you some history, sir. Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt pushed for that, Truman pushed for that, were they all under the influence of Europe? Where do you get this from?
PRIEBUS: I’m not going to get into a shouting match with Chris, so you guys can just move on.
MATTHEWS: Because you’re losing, that’s why.
PRIEBUS: Garbage, garbage.
MATTHEWS: It’s your garbage!
First of all, there’s no such thing as getting into a shouting match with Chris Matthews as the man has no indoor voice. Secondly, it’s hardly a ‘shouting match’ when somebody [Priebus] makes an accusation or a tosses an unfounded opinion into the mix and then the other person [Matthews] calls that person out. Perhaps it’s because Priebus and company are so used to the corporate meme running the MSM that they are so taken back when a journalist actually does their job.
Watch it yourself here:
Michael is a comedian/VO artist/Columnist extraordinaire, who co-wrote an award-nominated comedy, produces a chapter of Laughing Liberally, wrote for NY Times Laugh Lines, guest-blogged for Joe Biden, and writes a column for MSNBC.com affiliated Cagle Media. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, and like NJ Laughing Liberally Lab if you love political humor from a progressive point-of-view. Seriously, follow him or he’ll send you a photo of Rush Limbaugh bending over in a thong.