The Buzz

The Silly Season of Politics

You know you are in the silly season of politics when a Mitt Romney goes to the NAACP convention, gets booed for vowing to repeal “Obamacare,” and the media, ignoring that he also got a standing ovation, go wild with speculation on whether the GOP presidential candidate actually wanted that to happen so he could cadge anti-black votes. 

A Daily Beast writer, to use one example, speculated that Romney and his people felt “that a little shower of boos was perfectly fine because the story ‘Romney Booed at NAACP’ would jazz up their (very white) base.”

It’s difficult to know just how to respond to such commentary, but the Washington Post’s Kathleen Parker hit upon a worthy approach and just the right tone when she conjured up an imaginary conversation “in a Very Secret Meeting” between Romney and an aide:

“Mitt, you know, there’s one demographic we’re worried about.’’

“What’s that, Stu?”

“Well, sir, the Aryan Nation. Their votes? Hanging from the precipice, sir. We have to reel them in.”

“Holy moly, Stu, but how?”

“I have a plan. When you speak to the NAACP next week, we’re gonna have you say ‘Obamacare.’ You’ll get booed, of course, but no Aryan will vote for Barack Obama, I can promise you that, sir.”

“Jumpin’ Jehoshaphat, Stu, that’s sheer genius! But won’t the liberal media figure it out? Won’t they see our plan?”

“With all due respect, sir, don’t be ridiculous.”

Parker goes on to say that Romney vowed to repeal Obamacare because that’s what he always says. And the term Obamacare has become pretty standard political language, used by journalists, columnists, even Democrats. She wonders: “What would the word-parsers have said if he had adjusted his message to be more palatable to a crowd from which no one expected more than basic civility? They would have said he was a deceiver, a shape-shifter, a manipulator and a dishonest broker.”

Parker concludes: “What kind of dogs are they whistling to, one wonders? Trying to stoke the rage of all those ‘very black’ or ‘very Latino’ Mormon haters?”