Auto-Quixotic Asphyxiation

By Miles Leicher

To those who would accuse Mitt Romney of being politically tone-deaf, he has a message for you: “La la la la la…I’m not liiiiiiiistening!

Or at least that seems to be the current theme of his campaign. On the heels of such recent fumbles as “I’m not concerned about the very poor,” and “I like being able to fire people,” Romney penned an op-ed for the Detroit News in which he attacked President Obama’s 2009 bailout of the automobile industry. Which might have gone over well, except for that said paper happens to circulate in Detroit. Now, Mitt isn’t known for his human-like qualities, but even actual robots are going, “ERROR! ERROR!”

“This was crony capitalism on a grand scale,” Mitt wrote. “The president tells us that without his intervention things in Detroit would be worse. I believe that without his intervention things there would be better.”

While Mitt Romney is free to believe whatever he likes (cough, Planet Kolob, cough), the general consensus of economists seems to be that, without government assistance, Detroit would have been reduced to a scrapheap of despair, roamed by despondent raccoons and jumpsuit-wearing zombies. Think Detroit, but worse.

Even Clint Eastwood – no great fan of Obama himself – showed up in a Super Bowl ad to more or less say, “I may sound grumpy as hell, but even I’ll admit that things are getting better.” Which miffed a few people who felt like he was being overtly political, but that’s bound to happen in any national ad that doesn’t feature polar bears drinking soda pop. Mitt apparently took that reaction as his cue to pipe in with, “Remember that guy who showed up at your darkest hour and stopped you from bleeding out? Yeah, f**k him. Seriously, this guy can read a room about as well as The Situation can read a book.

With the Arizona primary on the horizon, one can only imagine the political minefield Romney will be wading through. But given his knack for alienating Republican voters, I’d be disappointed if it were anything short of an op-ed on the scourge of elderly drivers, a speech titled “Mexicans are My Amigos” or fashion piece on how everyone looks like a d**kweed in a bolo tie.

If that sounds outlandish, that’s because it is – but a week ago we would’ve said the same thing about crapping all over the auto bailout in the Detroit News.