Romney and the DNC: celebrity “Frenemies”
Romney revels in Democratic attacks, argues the estimable Don Fredericks of the latimes.com:
Some folks apparently have too much time on their hands over at Republican Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign office.
The Politico’s Jonathan Martin, who tracks the GOP White House contenders, noted earlier this week that the Romney team has been keeping tabs of all the releases issued by the Democratic National Committee since the ’08 race began in earnest. At first blush, that would seem quite the onerous task. But, as it turned out, the aides couldn’t have been more thrilled with what they found.
Here’s the scoop: Romney easily leads the pack as the prime target of DNC attacks. The candidate’s staff even provided charts!
Lest you think the DNC was asleep at the switch, it responded with yet another swipe at Romney. In this case, the group let none other than Carly Simon do the talking (actually, singing — you can check a performance of her signature tune here) … more
I bet you think this post is about you …, comments the DNC about Romney as if on cue:
The Mitt Romney campaign has been keeping track and noticed today that the DNC has produced more press releases attacking him than other candidates. If there are more Romney releases, that’s just because there always seems to be more than one Mitt Romney running.
Anyway, this one goes out to our favorite Smooth Talking, Flip Flopping, Trooper Faking, Castro Quoting, Varmint Huntin’…Mitt Romney! … more
Romney and the DNC are like celebrity “frenemies,” i.e. “friends in secret yet enemies to everyone else to keep our status.” They provide foils and covers for one another and help each other command attention in the various media. E.g. a frequent Mittwit rejoinder is as follows: the Democrats attack Romney! Ergo: Romeny is not an e.g. liberal. See:
- Romney surrogates reach out to Libertarians with hilarious results
- “Mitt’s stances on issues are nuanced”; applied Mittwit logic
Or our personal favourite instance of non-argument: “I like a candidate the Democrats fear.”
Question: What would you even call a fallacy like this? Someone calls you names. So you then argue that you are now somehow distanced from issues and policies that that someone else advocates and that you, yourself, formerly advocated but now, you claim, you no longer advocate?
How does that follow?
Answer: it doesn’t.
This is ad hominem reasoning times 2: Romney dismisses the charges of the DNC out of hand because the DNC are “liberals” even as he dismisses charges from the right that he is an opportunist who cannot be trusted because, if he is being attacked by liberals, then he must be a genuine conservative, right? Well, of course, because Democrats never attack competitors for political office–those evil knee-jerk liberals only ever attack hard right-wingers who never, ever change their positions–men like Romney, right?
Note how the candidate escapes in a single gesture all the hard questions without ever having answered them! He, he would claim, is innocent by dis-association!
Question: Does anyone actually buy this absurd casuistry?
This is convolution raised to an art form: this is political performance art.