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The Files Will Get Out
March 14, 2013 11:20 AM   Subscribe

Mitt Romney's damning '47 Percent' video and the new politics of privacy
posted by Artw (112 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite

 
THE "47 PERCENT" WAS IN THE ROOM

The 47 percent was filming from inside the house!
posted by phunniemee at 11:26 AM on March 14, 2013 [26 favorites]


Political campaigns will always remember this. So will CEOs, lawyers, bankers, and anybody discussing anything that's potentially explosive. They will do everything they can to prevent anyone, whether guest, staff, donor, press, or employee from surreptitiously recording video or audio.

Or, oh gee, maybe, I don't know, stop saying shitty things.
posted by phunniemee at 11:29 AM on March 14, 2013 [79 favorites]


You'd think, eh?
posted by Artw at 11:30 AM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


That was my initial thought too. But if you can't trash the poors openly at a $50,000 a plate dinner, what's the point of being rich?
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:32 AM on March 14, 2013 [23 favorites]


Meet Scott Prouty, the 47 Percent Video Source

Scott Prouty, Big Damn Hero, if I might add:
When I got off the phone, I did the obvious: I Googled him. The initial results were worrisome. I found mug shots for two men with that name who had been arrested. But then I located a proclamation (issued by the mayor and town council of Davie, Florida) that the source had mentioned earlier. On September 25, 2005, a car had plunged into a canal along I-75 and sunk into the water. Prouty, then working at motorcycle dealership, rushed to the scene. A tall fellow with a strapping build, Prouty jumped into the water and, using a knife provided by a fellow employee, cut the seatbelt, freed the unconscious woman in the driver's seat, and handed her to a coworker who revived her with CPR. Prouty, who had noticed there was a child safety seat in the car, kept diving into the dark water in search of a child. But there had been no one else in the car. The proclamation noted that Prouty and two of his coworkers had taken "valiant and swift lifesaving actions in the face of an emergency without thought to their own safety" and declared them "lifesaving heroes." I also found a local newsletter with a photo of Prouty and his colleagues being honored by the Weston City Commission for their heroism (his name was misspelled "Proudly"). The picture did not match either of the mug shots, and I saw that one of the other Proutys was incarcerated in Wisconsin, while the other seemed to be from a different part of Florida. I was relieved.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:35 AM on March 14, 2013 [30 favorites]


> maybe, I don't know, stop saying shitty things.
"The more secretive or unjust an organization is, the more leaks induce fear and paranoia in its leadership and planning coterie. This must result in minimization of efficient internal communications mechanisms (an increase in cognitive "secrecy tax") and consequent system-wide cognitive decline resulting in decreased ability to hold onto power as the environment demands adaption.

Hence in a world where leaking is easy, secretive or unjust systems are nonlinearly hit relative to open, just systems. Since unjust systems, by their nature induce opponents, and in many places barely have the upper hand, mass leaking leaves them exquisitely vulnerable to those who seek to replace them with more open forms of governance." Julian Assange, 2006
posted by anthill at 11:41 AM on March 14, 2013 [32 favorites]


Heroic, yes, but it's not like we all thought Romney was Mother Teresa and then the video came out and we were all like, o snaps
posted by angrycat at 11:42 AM on March 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh man oh man oh man, and the gallingest thing about this is that the very same, selfsame, shit-eatingly same ogres who say that private individuals should not be incensed about the stripping away of their privacy rights in their own private lives because they "shouldn't worry if they have nothing to hide"--these are the ogres who will continue to mandate that everything they do and say is veiled in impenetrable secrecy.

SIGH.
posted by psoas at 11:42 AM on March 14, 2013 [33 favorites]


Either it wasn't publicized at the time or I just missed it back then, but wow but that bit about the Chinese factory is fucked up. The whole "47%" bit is predicated on the delusional fantasy that poor people are living it up on welfare, but he actively acknowledges that those women are living in awful conditions and then openly signals that he just doesn't give a fuck. That is the worst. Holy shit, what a miserable fuck bag. My lord.
posted by invitapriore at 11:43 AM on March 14, 2013 [46 favorites]


Yeah the part about the Chinese factory really shocked me, too. That, to me, tips him over from being a clueless plutocrat to an immoral sociopath.
posted by Aubergine at 11:44 AM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


angrycat, I do think it was a reality check for those of us who would like to think that even rich, out of touch people don't have a complete hatred for the rest of us.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:45 AM on March 14, 2013 [6 favorites]


Do you know what isn't going to get out?

Romney's tax returns, unlike every other national candidate
posted by C.A.S. at 11:45 AM on March 14, 2013 [14 favorites]


The most telling thing was Romney's frenetically evolving storyline from he didn't say it, to he said it and didn't mean it, to he said it wrong, to he said it and he meant it all over the course of about two weeks.

The man is a craven moron who had no business being an actual candidate for president.

Scott Prouty is a hero. Well played, sir.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 11:48 AM on March 14, 2013 [22 favorites]


My guess is that the bit about the factory worker in China didn't get much circulation because it can't be reduced to a pithy soundbite, like the 47%.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 11:57 AM on March 14, 2013


Also, the myth that an American can make it if they try dies really, really hard.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 11:59 AM on March 14, 2013 [6 favorites]


I watched his interview on 'The Ed Show' last night. I was impressed.

And ... let me repeat my comment from last September:
Damn...if the Internet can raise $703,000 for the bullied bus monitor, Kerry Klein, surely it can raise a ton of 'thank you' cash for the person who filmed the devastating Romney 47% video. Please come forward. I'm in it for $100. Who is with me?
At the very least he should get an invitation to have dinner with President Obama and the First Family! Oh, and let him stay overnight in the Lincoln bedroom.
posted by ericb at 12:04 PM on March 14, 2013 [8 favorites]


The video illustrates pretty clearly the mindset a lot of people have. They think you are an fool if you take the job they offer that pays crumbs and you are a deadbeat loser if you don't.

Romney knows full well how much he benefits for government programs, tax incentives, and handouts of all types. He's a slick businessman when he takes advantage, but the single mother is a leech when she does.

Sometimes I can't tell if people like him are truly delusional or just trolling.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:05 PM on March 14, 2013 [22 favorites]


This really drives home the fact that Romney wasn't just shooting the shit to a few other 1%-ers, he was delivering a speech in a room with a bunch of the 47%-ers serving food to he and his contributors.

It's one thing to denigrate half of America as lazy leeches, but hey, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. It's another to say this kind of thing while the people you are denigrating are in the same room, working for less than you earn in a millisecond, serving your food and cleaning up after you. It bespeaks a kind of entitled, robotic inability to recognize as a human being a man or woman who is standing a few feet away from you while you belittle them.
posted by googly at 12:06 PM on March 14, 2013 [68 favorites]


My guess is that the bit about the factory worker in China didn't get much circulation because

... It wasn't about Apple or Foxconn.

My favorite bit from TFA: "I felt an obligation to release it," Prouty told Ed Schultz. "You shouldn't have to be able to afford $50,000 to find out what the candidate actually thinks."
posted by rtha at 12:07 PM on March 14, 2013 [24 favorites]


Prouty also appeared on HuffPost Live today. Here's the video [33:13].
posted by ericb at 12:09 PM on March 14, 2013


Relevant advice from Stringer Bell.
posted by quadog at 12:10 PM on March 14, 2013 [8 favorites]


This really drives home the fact that Romney wasn't just shooting the shit to a few other 1%-ers, he was delivering a speech in a room with a bunch of the 47%-ers serving food to he and his contributors.

It's one thing to denigrate half of America as lazy leeches, but hey, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. It's another to say this kind of thing while the people you are denigrating are in the same room, working for less than you earn in a millisecond, serving your food and cleaning up after you. It bespeaks a kind of entitled, robotic inability to recognize as a human being a man or woman who is standing a few feet away from you while you belittle them.


They're gonna need food tasters if they keep it up.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 12:10 PM on March 14, 2013 [7 favorites]


There's a corollary to the rule about always being nice to the staff that includes not dissing them as lazy bums to their faces.
posted by immlass at 12:10 PM on March 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


I'm glad this article was posted but zomebieflanders' linked article is clearly superior. The weird tangent about the ubiquity of cameras/surveillance at the end really sucked the energy away from what should have been the focus of the article.
posted by antonymous at 12:14 PM on March 14, 2013


invitapriore: "Either it wasn't publicized at the time or I just missed it back then, but wow but that bit about the Chinese factory is fucked up. The whole "47%" bit is predicated on the delusional fantasy that poor people are living it up on welfare, but he actively acknowledges that those women are living in awful conditions and then openly signals that he just doesn't give a fuck. That is the worst. Holy shit, what a miserable fuck bag. My lord."

In case anyone else is curious, here's that bit quoted from the full transcript.
'I say that because there's the percent that's, "Oh, you were born with a silver spoon," you know, "You never had to earn anything," and so forth. And, and frankly, I was born with a silver spoon, which is the greatest gift you could have, which is to get born in America. I'll tell ya, there is—95 percent of life is set up for you if you're born in this country. And I remember going to—sorry just to bore you with stories—but I was, when I was back in my private equity days, we went to China to buy a factory there, employed about 20,000 people, and they were almost all young women between the ages of about 18 and 22 or 23. They were saving for potentially becoming married, and they worked in these huge factories, they made various small appliances, and as we were walking through this facility, seeing them work, the number of hours they worked per day, the pittance they earned, living in dormitories with little bathrooms at the end with maybe ten rooms. And the rooms, they had 12 girls per room, three bunk beds on top of each other. You've seen them.

And around this factory was a fence, a huge fence with barbed wire, and guard towers. And we said, "Gosh, I can't believe that you, you know, you keep these girls in." They said, "No, no, no—this is to keep other people from coming in. Because people want so badly to come work in this factory that we have to keep them out, or they'll just come in here and start working and try and get compensated. So, we—this is to keep people out." And they said, "Actually, Chinese New Year, is the girls go home, sometimes they decide they've saved enough money and they don't come back to the factory." And he said, "And so on the weekend after Chinese New Year, there'll be a line of people hundreds long outside the factory, hoping that some girls haven't come back and they can come to the factory. And so, as we were experiencing this for the first time, for me to see a factory like this in China some years ago, the Bain partner I was with turned to me and said, "You know, 95 percent of life is settled if you're born in America." This is an amazing land. And what we have is unique, and fortunately it is so special we're sharing it with the world. I'm concerned about the future, but also optimistic as I said, and I look forward to getting America back on track, and having people plan on bringing their ideas and their dreams to this country. We get big dreamers, by the way. Oh, I just, we didn't talk about immigration today. Gosh, I'd love to bring in more legal immigrants that have skill and [unintelligible]. I'd like to staple a green card to every Ph.D. in the world and say, "Come to America, we want you here." Instead, we make it hard for people who get educated here or elsewhere to make this their home. Unless, of course, you have no skill or experience, in which case you're welcome to cross the border and stay here for the rest of your life.' [Audience laughs.]
posted by whitecedar at 12:14 PM on March 14, 2013 [8 favorites]


That was actually one of the interesting things about the interview, that Prouty basically realised Romney was a bit of a dick when he started calling on the wait staff to hurry up and serve the food already.
posted by TwoWordReview at 12:15 PM on March 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


At the very least he should get an invitation to have dinner with President Obama and the First Family! Oh, and let him stay overnight in the Lincoln bedroom.

Except that would drive a bigger wedge between Republicans and Democrats, and not just in the House and Senate.

There's a corollary to the rule about always being nice to the staff that includes not dissing them as lazy bums to their faces.

That was my initial thought too. But if you can't trash the poors openly at a $50,000 a plate dinner, what's the point of being rich?


And when your party is wound up by a guy yelling at an empty chair with the straw man of an enemy, you're also the party that is bolstered by bullshit reasons why you're not going to win an overwhelming majority. If you take away Romney's talking points that don't discard the people who clearly hate his policies and his private-sector past, he doesn't have a lot to say that will energize the big-spender donors.

And the comment about the Chinese factory was discussed in the original 5,817 comment "my job is not to worry about these people" post (warning: long load time, may crash smart phone browsers).
posted by filthy light thief at 12:17 PM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


[Romney speaks]

Ugh. It's like looking at my News Feed.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 12:18 PM on March 14, 2013


the bit about the factory worker in China didn't get much circulation

I think this was as much an artifact of the social media-driven news cycle as anything. There were multiple released excerpts and people may have assumed they had already seen "the" video.
posted by dhartung at 12:19 PM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Between the filling the binders with women and stapling green cards to the PhDs, we nearly elected a man who cannot distinguish between human beings and office supplies.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 12:19 PM on March 14, 2013 [47 favorites]


At the very least he should get an invitation to have dinner with President Obama and the First Family! Oh, and let him stay overnight in the Lincoln bedroom.

Do it privately. Surely the Secret Service can stealthily get Prouty into the White House without anyone knowing.
posted by ericb at 12:21 PM on March 14, 2013


we nearly elected a man who cannot distinguish between human beings and office supplies.

Switched at birth?
posted by phunniemee at 12:23 PM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Reading the part about the Chinese factory workers in context, I don't see what is objectionable.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 12:24 PM on March 14, 2013


I'm glad this article was posted but zomebieflanders' linked article is clearly superior. The weird tangent about the ubiquity of cameras/surveillance at the end really sucked the energy away from what should have been the focus of the article.

Shrugs. Fun as giving Romney another kicking is and as much as Poutry deserves a shout out I think the universality of it is just as interesting - this could happen to any person or institution - If there is something to leak then it will leak. Diplomats and climate change researchers not excepted.

And I expect you will see people trying to patch that with camera bans and whatnot, but it will fail.
posted by Artw at 12:26 PM on March 14, 2013


Reading the part about the Chinese factory workers in context, I don't see what is objectionable.

Are you kidding? These remarks show him to be someone who gets wistfully sentimental over a vision of an American labor market straight out of Dickens, in which workers are so desperate for any kind of paying work (even work that by his own account pays pitifully small sums for ridiculously long hours) they'll risk clawing their way through razor wire to try to get it.

Romney looks at the situation for factory workers in China and doesn't think, look at how desperate all those people are for a tiny bit of freedom from the oppression of economic exploitation and poverty. He thinks: That's what America should be more like. Americans should be so desperate for money to put food on the table they'll do and put up with anything to make a dime. That's how it should be.

That's what makes those remarks so disgusting.
posted by saulgoodman at 12:33 PM on March 14, 2013 [35 favorites]


Like I said before, if I worked for Xe/Blackwater I'd be adding "Secure Catering" to my list of services offered.
posted by benito.strauss at 12:35 PM on March 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


I was rather charmed by the detail from an earlier story that Prouty originally brought his camera with him because he had been staff at a fundraising dinner that President Clinton was appearing at, and Clinton came back into the kitchen and thanked the staff and shook hands and posed for pictures with people, so he thought Romney might do the same. It's like a fairy-tale moral: treat working people like human beings and it may come back to help you later.

And of course, it was Carter's grandson that helped him get the video out. And Obama that pissed off Romney. It's kind of like a Democratic presidential Voltron!
posted by tavella at 12:36 PM on March 14, 2013 [48 favorites]


Reading the part about the Chinese factory workers in context, I don't see what is objectionable.

Romney’s Bain Capital Invested in Grotesque Chinese Sweatshop, Detailed at Boca Raton Fundraiser
A report recently released by the Institute for Global Labor and Human Rights reveals that while Romney was deeply invested at a firm called Global-Tech, low pay and horrific conditions were status quo at its Chinese appliance factory.

... Charles Kermaghan, director of the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights, asks: “Does Mr. Romney seriously believe that young men and women in China are racing to climb over fortress-like walls topped with barbed wire, just to get a poorly paid job at Global-Tech? Or is it possible that the barbed wire and armed guards are meant to lock the Chinese workers in and strip them of their legal rights?”

From April 1998 through August 2000, Romney and his Brookside Capital Partners Fund, a Bain affiliate, poured around $23 million into the Global-Tech sweatshop in Dongguan, China. Among the details outlined in the report were the following:
Factory workers made 24 cents an hour in 1998 and less than $2 a day. Wages in Global-Tech were less than 2 percent of U.S. wages.

As CEO, Romney appears to have been uninterested in calling for improvements at the facility. Today, the sweatshop is still a horror where starvation wages prevail and workers’ rights are nonexistent. Overcrowded, filthy dormitories; rotten food; routine 15- to 16-hour shifts; and backbreaking 105- to 112-hour, seven-day workweeks are the norm.

The appliance factory has 800 student "interns" -- 16-years-olds forced to work repetitive, exhausting 15- to 16-hour shifts on assembly lines with no overtime pay.
On Feb. 16, 2012, Mitt Romney brought hypocrisy to new heights, assuring the public that “We will not let China steal jobs from the United States of America.”
posted by ericb at 12:37 PM on March 14, 2013 [11 favorites]


I disagree, I read it that he was saying that Americans are lucky because Americans have it much better in America, and its a privileged to be born in America as opposed to China.

He thinks: That's what America should be more like.

I don't see that at all, mind pointing me to the passage where that becomes clear to you?

ericb,

What Bain does is objectionable, but Romney's story aint.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 12:39 PM on March 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


I think the part you missed is that Romney was touring that factory so that he could buy it and produce cheap goods for an American market. He's one of the very few people in the world that can change the conditions for workers in China (by improving living conditions, paying higher wages, etc) and change the conditions for workers in the US (say, by forgoing higher profits and keeping jobs in-country), but his only thought is, "America! Fuck Yeah!"
posted by muddgirl at 12:48 PM on March 14, 2013 [12 favorites]


One of the few people proportionally.
posted by muddgirl at 12:49 PM on March 14, 2013


Bartender, eh? "Look. The people you are after are the people you depend on."
posted by seemoreglass at 12:49 PM on March 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


Reading the part about the Chinese factory workers in context, I don't see what is objectionable.

I agree, and I came here to post the entire quote from the transcript as well. The thrust of his story seems to be that it sucks to be poor, economic opportunities are terrible in much of the world, and that America has a pretty good situation overall.

Though I have no love for the guy. And the notion that living in the US means you don't have any legitimate poverty problems is pretty problematic for someone trying to run the country.
posted by lostburner at 12:50 PM on March 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Maybe it's some kind of psychological defense mechanism. Maybe these new Robber Baron types running roughshod over everything are just determined to bring everyone down to their level so they can feel vindicated. If they can reduce everyone else to being willing to do anything to make a buck, maybe that makes them feel like their own willingness to do anything for a buck is less morally repugnant. Maybe it's just a particularly destructive form of self-rationalization.

I don't see that at all, mind pointing me to the passage where that becomes clear to you?

There's no single gotcha line that makes it clear. It's the way the different topics of his remarks are juxtaposed and the inferences he leaves implicit for the listeners. He's not so stupid as to just come right out and say what he's dancing around, but what he's implying--that American's have to compete with what he spins as Chinese factory workers' overwhelming desire to work--is pretty clear. He tips his hand a bit in the following bit:
And so, as we were experiencing this for the first time, for me to see a factory like this in China some years ago, the Bain partner I was with turned to me and said, "You know, 95 percent of life is settled if you're born in America."
What does seeing all these workers and their awful working conditions bring to mind for him and his partners as they prepare to make mint off of the long hours these people will continue to work for only a "pittance"? Their first thought is not how unfortunate it is that the Chinese workers have it so bad. It's to think of how easy American workers have it in comparison. That gives his real commitments away.
posted by saulgoodman at 12:50 PM on March 14, 2013 [9 favorites]


His statement is also self-contradictory in a way that is so unique to Romney's brand of mealy-mouth platitudes. America is full of people looking for handouts (don't forget the 47%...) He wanted to build a factory in China. Chinese workers are desperate for jobs (unlike American workers). But America is a beacon of prosperity and freedom and we are turing away skilled workers at the borders. Which is why, I guess, he's building a factory in freedom-hating China.
posted by muddgirl at 12:53 PM on March 14, 2013 [11 favorites]


No, no, no, people. Obama's the "divider-in-chief". He's the one promoting class warfare. Real Americans realize that there's no such thing as class in America.

Romney is a pig, and the epitome of everything that's broken in this country today.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 12:53 PM on March 14, 2013 [7 favorites]


Rubio at CPAC: Liberals are “freeloaders”
posted by Drinky Die at 12:57 PM on March 14, 2013


Their first thought is not how unfortunate it is that the Chinese workers have it so bad. It's to think of how easy American workers have it in comparison. That gives his real commitments away.

Oh come on, any America sufficiently privileged and insulated enough, who never traveled to a bad part of town, or saw up close extreme poverty, often has the same reaction when they travel to the third world: "I'm really, really lucky."

FFS, I think Romney is close to Satan, but his story does not reveal what you think it does.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 12:58 PM on March 14, 2013


The thrust of his story seems to be that it sucks to be poor, economic opportunities are terrible in much of the world, and that America has a pretty good situation overall.

Well he does also immediately chuckle about how worthless the foreigners without PhDs are as immigrants. But most telling, I think, is that he sees all of that and even though he mentions that he "employed about 20,000 people" there he doesn't finish up with anything like "and so then we made it so that they only had to work 12-hour shifts instead of 16-hour ones!" or "and so then we let them live just 6 to a room instead of 12 to a room!"

And of course any Americans working mere 12-hour shifts or living only 6 to a room already have it great, I mean 95% of their life is just set up for them!
posted by XMLicious at 1:03 PM on March 14, 2013 [6 favorites]


It's not that he thinks he's "really really lucky." It's everything he says after that point.

(But the more I think about it... visiting an industrial town and thinking, "Gosh, American sure are lucky!" is also quite blindingly privileged. We, too, have workers who live three-to-a-bunk.)
posted by muddgirl at 1:04 PM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Drinky Die: "Rubio at CPAC: Liberals are “freeloaders”"

I'm sorry but did the dude who represents friggin' Florida just call someone else freeloaders?

Florida receives more federal funds than any other state, both in total dollars and on a per capita basis. In fact, based on total volume, Florida's take is 50 percent higher than No. 2 Texas.

Dude has cojones.
posted by zarq at 1:06 PM on March 14, 2013 [18 favorites]


Scott Prouty, as Compared to Sam Wurzelbacher
I kept thinking while I was watching the left’s accidental hero of 2012 of the right’s accidental hero of 2008, Joe the Plumber. The Republicans and the right used Samuel Wurzelbacher, who was neither named Joe nor was a (licensed) plumber, as a convenient cudgel against Obama, and Wurzelbacher was delighted to play along, reveling in the fame that came his way as a result of his frequent Fox appearances during the 2008 campaign.

Prouty, by contrast, never sought notoriety during the campaign, and even now, well, he’s being hailed today, and properly so, but I’d be very disappointed and frankly quite surprised if he becomes some kind of slatternly MSNBC fixture who shows up to mouth half-coherent DNC talking points as Wurzelbacher has on Fox, and run a crappy and stupid race for Congress. Prouty sounded last night as if he wants to seize on this opportunity to do the kind of work he cares about and help working people or union people in some way. Wurzelbacher was a show horse and a blowhard, playing to a movement that loves show horses and blowhards provided they’re blowing the approved notes. He changed nothing.

Prouty is a serious and earnest person who is actually trying to help working people and who did make an enormous difference. Their notoriety and how they gained it and the purpose to which they used it tells us not only something about them, but about the two sides as well.
posted by ericb at 1:11 PM on March 14, 2013 [15 favorites]


"They are leeches, the lot of them, lazy, and broke,
and deserving of nothing but spite!
May they starve in the street! May they vanish from sight!"
"This recorder is on." "I misspoke."
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 1:14 PM on March 14, 2013 [39 favorites]


Oh come on, any America sufficiently privileged and insulated enough, who never traveled to a bad part of town, or saw up close extreme poverty, often has the same reaction when they travel to the third world: "I'm really, really lucky."

...While in the middle of buying up all the houses in that bad part of town and speaking about his luck on the real estate market to an elite crowd of $50,000 a plate party-goers?

Sure. I buy that. Far from showing him to be an out of touch elitist who openly admits to having nothing but contempt for nearly half his fellow Americans, Romney's remarks actually show him to be a proudly-defiant, every-man who's always thinking about the little guy first and foremost.

(Another quibble I have to make with your analogy is that in context Romney's remark clearly isn't about how lucky he and his Bain Capital buddies are--it's about how easy American workers have it compared to these workers and how grateful they ought to be. If he had meant to say how lucky he felt not to be one of those desperate Chinese workers, he sure did a lousy job of it.)
posted by saulgoodman at 1:17 PM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Interesting to look back at Ben Smith's (September 18, 2012) "terrific timeline of how the person behind the camera at that $50,000-a-plate campaign dinner tried to make the video go viral well before Mother Jones dropped its bombshell."*
posted by ericb at 1:17 PM on March 14, 2013


He's not so stupid as to just come right out and say what he's dancing around

I don't read the same things you do, and you have listed the reason right there.

We're looking for a hidden subtext in *that* speech? We're saying that Romney had something offensive to say about the poor and tried to hide it on that day in that venue?

That seems monumentally unlikely. In that place at that time there is no reason to believe that Romney was speaking anything other than what was on his mind.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 1:18 PM on March 14, 2013


The Bartender Who Recorded the Romney 47% Video is From Boston
The bartender who recorded and released the infamous 47% video of Governor Mitt Romney speaking at a fundraiser revealed his identity tonight on MSNBC, and it turns out he’s from Boston.

... As Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod said on MSNBC Wednesday night, “I’ve always felt that cities like Boston and Chicago, politics are in the water…You have to hand it to him – he handled it in a pretty shrewd way.”
posted by ericb at 1:20 PM on March 14, 2013


FFS, I think Romney is close to Satan, but his story does not reveal what you think it does.
MisantropicPainforest

Yeah, it does. This is the same speech in which he goes on to describe 47% of Americans as lazy leeches so dependent on the government teat that he'll never be able to convince them that they "should take personal responsibility and care for their lives".

You're trying to talk about the China story in isolation, and maybe in isolation you could argue your point. But literally the entire speech is about how America consists of a huge number of lazy bums who only envy the rich. It's really hard not to read the China story in that context as contrasting the hardworking, job-hungry Chinese with the worthless masses of Obama voters too far gone to be saved.

We're looking for a hidden subtext in *that* speech? We're saying that Romney had something offensive to say about the poor and tried to hide it on that day in that venue?

That seems monumentally unlikely. In that place at that time there is no reason to believe that Romney was speaking anything other than what was on his mind.


You mean beyond the standard implied subtext when someone is ranting about the poor and "welfare queens" and the like what they mean are minorities?
posted by Sangermaine at 1:20 PM on March 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


Prouty is a serious and earnest person who is actually trying to help working people and who did make an enormous difference. Their notoriety and how they gained it and the purpose to which they used it tells us not only something about them, but about the two sides as well.

Thumbs up to this. It's apparent after seeing him talk that his handling this with intelligence and integrity was a big part of it blowing up the way it did.
posted by invitapriore at 1:21 PM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


No--he said what was on his mind quite plainly. He describes going on a tour of the new Chinese factory he and his buddies just bought, and being shocked to discover how eager Chinese people are to work, in contrast with American workers, who get 95% of everything just handed to them. There's no need to dig any deeper. That's just what he's saying, in plain English.
posted by saulgoodman at 1:23 PM on March 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


I also don't see much objectionable about the China story. I just wish he'd thought it through a little.

Being born in American gives you basic advantages, right? He said that, and I believe it. What he doesn't seem to get is that being born rich also gives you basic advantages. Are the workers in the factory in China leeches? No, of course not. They are doing the best they can in the situation that they find themselves in (a situation that exists through no fault of their own) and if they demanded more from the government or their employer then who could blame them? Yet, according to Romney, the poor and working class in the US are leeches.

Funny how he only recognizes some of the advantages he was born with. The ones that he shares with millions of others. The ones that he shares with only a tiny fraction of the population? Those he doesn't see.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 1:25 PM on March 14, 2013 [10 favorites]


Except the reason he tells that story is to convince everyone that his privilege isn't special, that he's just like everyone else in America. And calling him privileged carries no weight, because we are all privileged.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 1:26 PM on March 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


David Corn seems to have real journalistic talent for spotting what might seem like small items that could be history changing. Recall that he was the only person to read a boring Robert Novak column regurgitating propaganda delivered from Dick Cheney's office and realize that it might be evidence of a federal crime by outing a CIA agent. This was a turning point in the bulletproof popularity of George W. Bush, a scandal leading to the trial and conviction of Scooter Libby. The trial opened a window on the collaboration between cooperative Washington journalists and the White House propaganda machine. Collateral damage was the trashing of the careers of beltway stenographers such as Judith Miller and Tim Russert. David Corn was the one that picked up on a trivial item that started the ball rolling.
posted by JackFlash at 1:30 PM on March 14, 2013 [23 favorites]


You have to take context into account. He was telling an anecdote about what happened when he went to tour a factory he just acquired. He only even pulled out this anecdote to try to deflect some of the criticism the factory had already generated in advance of his campaign. He was rationalizing his then decision to buy the factory, and trying to rationalize why it was justified to move those operations to China. It was justifiable, in his narrative, because clearly the Chinese know what it means to really want those jobs. America as a nation, so this argument goes, needs to be able to compete with labor forces like those found in China that are willing to do the work at great personal sacrifice. He doesn't have to make the connections for this audience to get that point because they already get it, believe me. The ungrateful Americans that populate this kind of rhetoric are practically all they think and talk about.
posted by saulgoodman at 1:31 PM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Like I said before, if I worked for Xe/Blackwater I'd be adding "Secure Catering" to my list of services offered.

They're known as Academi now. And don't forget to add "CIA Asset" to your resume.
posted by homunculus at 1:31 PM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think the debate we are having about what Romney meant in his China story explains why; it didn't get as much attention as the 47% bit.

I think the real issue is that a mealy-mouthed, double-talking lip-flapper like Romney is hard to pin down even when he's talking to his buddies. He has no inner core of convictions, except maybe "me first!" so he just spits out a word salad of things he thinks might appeal to his audience. He probably doesn't even know what he meant by the China story.
posted by emjaybee at 1:34 PM on March 14, 2013 [8 favorites]


Florida receives more federal funds than any other state, both in total dollars and on a per capita basis. In fact, based on total volume, Florida's take is 50 percent higher than No. 2 Texas.

What an incredibly misleading statement. You're completely ignoring tax money sent to Washington. Here's a better chart.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 1:41 PM on March 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


Chinese workers are great because they are so grateful to be exploited! So grateful, in fact, that they'll sneak in to work unless barbed wire is strung around the place! American workers, by comparison, suck because they want a minimum of respect and money, and refuse to kiss my ring.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 1:41 PM on March 14, 2013 [16 favorites]


What an incredibly misleading statement. You're completely ignoring tax money sent to Washington. Here's a better chart.

Well I guess that chart makes Texas look better...
posted by Artw at 1:47 PM on March 14, 2013


Yeah... if "total volume" means the absolute number of dollars received above tax dollars contributed, at three hundred billion Florida is simply #3 instead of #2. Whereas Texas is shown as a donor state in that chart losing $400bn, or about as much per capita as Florida takes in.
posted by XMLicious at 2:38 PM on March 14, 2013


XMLicious, if I recall didn't that Texas thing change recently (like in 2011)? I'm not sure but this chart is from 2009. Still doesn't change the Florida point though nor the fact that most of the states in the red are Republican strongholds.
posted by JakeEXTREME at 2:52 PM on March 14, 2013


Oh, no, I agree with you; I'm disagreeing with omdtlp and saying I do not think zarq's statement was "incredibly misleading" or completely ignoring taxes paid.
posted by XMLicious at 3:16 PM on March 14, 2013


Oh, no, I agree with you; I'm disagreeing with omdtlp and saying I do not think zarq's statement was "incredibly misleading" or completely ignoring taxes paid.

It's incredibly misleading to say that Florida is the worst when it's in the middle of the pack.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 3:17 PM on March 14, 2013


Huh. What I got out of his China anecdote was basically that he was deflecting "silver spoon" criticisms by making the outrageously stupid (but very common among the very rich) claim that everyone in America was born with a silver spoon compared to the rest of the world, so the relative size of his spoon should be disregarded. And then he was so tone deaf and clueless that he illustrated his claim that all Americans are super rich and privileged just like him by telling a story about how he bought a factory in China so a bunch of Americans could lose their jobs to illustrate how incredibly rich those now-jobless Americans are.

I don't understand how anyone can get "That's what America should be more like" out of what Romney said. It was "look how lucky Americans are" (discounting how much luckier he is than all other Americans), not "look how America ought to be."
posted by The World Famous at 3:18 PM on March 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


Scott Prouty, '47 Percent' Videographer, Likely To Take Job With United Steelworkers
posted by Drinky Die at 3:23 PM on March 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


It's incredibly misleading to say that Florida is the worst when it's in the middle of the pack.

Did you read what I wrote? By the "total volume" measure, at least, Florida is not in the middle of the pack, it's the third-highest recipient of federal dollars after taxes even in that list which you linked to, so I really don't think I or zarq are the ones being incredibly misleading here.

Unless I missed it (which I might've, since I keep images turned off by default and that site seems to like embedding text in images) your link doesn't do a per-capita calculation so I can't comment on that.
posted by XMLicious at 3:25 PM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Scott Prouty, '47 Percent' Videographer, Likely To Take Job With United Steelworkers

Right on.
posted by tripping daisy at 4:04 PM on March 14, 2013


I am really glad this got posted. The pull quote really struck me as symptomatic of the entire campaign - nobody who didn't have the money really knew what romney thought
posted by rebent at 4:04 PM on March 14, 2013


Big props to Mr. Prouty. I hope he sees some sort of upside to this and that he doesn't get victimized by the right wing.

That said, the MSNBC video labels him as "Scout Prouty, 47% Videographer" but that's incomplete. Personally, I think he's 47% videographer, 53% bartender, 100% hero.
posted by ooga_booga at 4:13 PM on March 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


... Charles Kermaghan, director of the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights, asks: “Does Mr. Romney seriously believe that young men and women in China are racing to climb over fortress-like walls topped with barbed wire, just to get a poorly paid job at Global-Tech? Or is it possible that the barbed wire and armed guards are meant to lock the Chinese workers in and strip them of their legal rights?”

No, the fence isn't there to imprison the workers, and it shows an ignorance about China to suggest that it does. There's no need for a fence, because if they ran off it would mean forfeiting wages.

There really are tens of millions of young rural peasants* who would consider this factory job a step up and would jump at the chance. Cities are flooded with these immigrant workers, and this bottomless supply of labor keeps wages low (but still higher than they could earn farming, which is what their families have likely done for generations).

What Romney describes may sound horrific to Americans, but to me it sounds like an average Chinese factory. As for the fence and gate, I'll observe that the Chinese absolutely love fences and gates. Everything of any importance has walls and gates. It's quite possible that these serve as much as a status symbol for the factory as a security device.

This isn't to say the workers are treated well, but they're not abused in the way you think. Factory bosses chronically run late on payments (because workers won't leave if they're waiting on a paycheck) and force workers to work consecutive shifts to meet overly aggressive deadlines. But by "force", I don't mean physical violence, I mean "Xiaoxiao over there will work three shifts in a row, if you can't do that too, we'll find somebody else who can".

There's an interesting documentary called China Blue that touches on this stuff. I think it's on Netflix.


* calling someone a peasant in English is pejorative, but it's an actual legal designation in China (农民 = "farmer", but translated as peasant).
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 4:26 PM on March 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


the bit about the factory worker in China didn't get much circulation

By the way, the disagreement in this thread is a good example of why the China bit didn't get out there. Nobody but the most desperate argued about the meaning of the 47% comment, the Republicans basically had to take it on the chin. The China bit is open to interpretation.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 4:31 PM on March 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


Seriously, the problem with the China bit is that it's bad too many levels. It's like he's so incompetent that even his self-destruct button doesn't work right.
posted by The World Famous at 4:59 PM on March 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


By the way, the disagreement in this thread is a good example of why the China bit didn't get out there. Nobody but the most desperate argued about the meaning of the 47% comment, the Republicans basically had to take it on the chin. The China bit is open to interpretation.

This is the part I just don't get. Exactly how is it open to interpretation? You'd have to be deaf, dumb and blind not to realize that Romney (and corporate titans of his ilk) have been employing people in China (and Vietnam, and Malaysia, and Myanmar, etc.) AT THE EXPENSE OF HIRING AMERICAN WORKERS precisely because it adds to their bottom line. Good for them, bad for the country as a whole. And they have the nerve to say that anyone who brings it up is fomenting class warfare. Bullshit, plain and simple.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 5:02 PM on March 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


True, Benny Andajets. But then there are so many other levels of bad in that anecdote. There's the fact that he can never talk about anything without it being about him buying a factory or being friends with professional sports team owners or owning multiple Cadillacs or whatever. There's the fact that the whole point of the story was to be dismissive of people who accuse him of being super rich and out of touch, and the way he does that is by telling a story about how the experience of buying a factory to outsource jobs made him reflect on how lucky he is to be an American. There's the fact that his anecdote about how Americans have it so easy that they don't have to wait in droves outside a factory fence to get a job is actually a story about how he outsourced American jobs, thereby putting those "lucky" Americans in exactly the same position as the Chinese workers waiting outside the fence hoping to get a job. And it just goes on and on. The story is like an onion, and you can peel away the layers as long as you like, but ultimately there's nothing left but you with tears streaming down your face.
posted by The World Famous at 5:11 PM on March 14, 2013 [29 favorites]


By the "total volume" measure, at least, Florida is not in the middle of the pack

And the "total volume" measure, not adjusted for anything at all, is not a really good indicator of...well, anything at all. You might as well congratulate Canada for being a better steward of the environment than the United States because the latter emits ten times as much carbon.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 5:17 PM on March 14, 2013


But my point is that it's not "immensely deceptive" to cite actual facts, at least not compared to your response. If you think another metric should be examined then say so, don't claim that someone is being immensely deceptive and is ignoring a factor they aren't and then link to "proof" which says the exact same thing without pointing that out, such that only people who actually follow the link and thoroughly sift through the data will notice.

(And I, personally, would say that even the other number examined in that article, what we're calling "total volume" after taxes with a single additional adjustment of being divided by the state GDP, isn't a really good indicator of anything either. The effects of having an enormous population, enormous economy, an enormous chunk of the electoral college, the second longest coastline out of all the states, and being the cultural and economic hub of the entire Caribbean are all compounding and multiplicative and shouldn't be elided by a linear metric that puts a state with those advantages at a two-thirds-less-negative ranking compared to a place like Alaska with no population and a large fraction of its land mass above the Arctic Circle.)
posted by XMLicious at 5:47 PM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Exactly how is it open to interpretation?

Several examples have been provided in this thread.

The larger context of Romney's campaign and attitude towards the poor don't matter a whit during a FOX & Friends Sunday Morning political gabfest. Attention is narrowed down to specifically what was said at that moment. For better or worse that's how soundbite politics works.

In fact I suspect if you were to put on your cynic's cap you yourself could craft a pretty good light dismissal of the liberals' typically negative response to a story about the tremendous opportunities we are offered here in America. It's a lot harder with the 47% thing.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 6:55 PM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Dow's Big Streak Points To Recovery.

So, Mitt, how do you like them apples?
posted by ericb at 7:12 PM on March 14, 2013


> Except that would drive a bigger wedge between Republicans and Democrats, and not just in the House and Senate.

There's this mysterious idea that I just can't understand - that Mr. Obama has to be totally totally nice to the Republicans no matter what or something bad will happen, even while those same Republicans are claiming he's a Muslim, a Communist and not even American.

Mr. Obama's very existence is that wedge. Nothing, nothing at all he could do is going to change that one bit.

(And no overnight guest he could have would be as hard to justify as Bush's gay prostitute overnight guest...)

Overall this story makes me very happy. The fact that the guy who did this turns out in fact to be an honest-to-goodness "dive in the water and risk your life" hero makes me even happier.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:26 PM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


> They're gonna need food tasters if they keep it up.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:29 PM on March 14, 2013


The people you are after are the people you depend on. We cook your meals, we haul your trash, we connect your calls, we drive your ambulances, we guard you while you sleep...Do not fuck with us.
posted by gottabefunky at 9:43 PM on March 14, 2013


The story is like an onion, and you can peel away the layers as long as you like, but ultimately there's nothing left but you with tears streaming down your face.

I agree with your whole comment, The World Famous. But what he was not saying, which was suggested upthread, is that the U.S. should be more like China, or U.S. workers more like Chinese workers.

I think to get his whole meandering train of thought we have to look what he's saying prior to the silver spoon bit, which is this:
"By the way, both my dad and Ann's dad did quite well in their life, but when they came to the end of their lives, and, and passed along inheritances to Ann and to me, we both decided to give it all away. So, I had inherited nothing. Everything that Ann and I have we earned the old-fashioned way, and that's by hard work and...I say that because there's the percent that's, 'Oh, you were born with a silver spoon,' you know, 'You never had to earn anything,' and so forth. And, and frankly, I was born with a silver spoon...."

Basically his train of thought is
1) Yes, Ann's family and mine had money but we gave away our inheritance and started from scratch [I am generous as well as being a self-made man];
2) BUT with all humility and gratitude I have to say it's true that I was born with a silver spoon--because I was born in AMERICA!
3) We have it so good here, everything is perfectly set up for us to succeed;
4) Oh yeah and if you don't believe we have it good, you should see China! Those people are so desperate they will work for nothing under terrible conditions!
5) Americans are so lucky, and it's awesome because we are going to share our awesomeness with the rest of the world.

There is nothing hugely wrong with any of those statements except that they are completely tone deaf, and made worse because he couched them between one joke that things would have been easier for him if he were Mexican, and a second "joke" at the expense of immigrants with no "skill or experience" who want to come to the U.S. But he's not dogwhistling or anything; nothing so sophisticated; he's being quite open. He's kind of free-associating as he rambles and not even realizing he's getting himself in deeper and deeper. He's trying to hit all these different points and doesn't realize at all how it comes across in the context of Bane, of his contemptuous attitude toward (not-PhD holding) immigrants, and of the comments about the irresponsible 47%.

When you put it all together it's a mess. He wants to say that being born in America is the best thing ever and ALSO joke that he would have been better off if his dad had been Mexican--that right there kind of encapsulates the incoherence and obliviousness of his thinking.
posted by torticat at 2:53 AM on March 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


To understand these words best you have to look at what Romney actually did. As pointed out already:

Romney called almost half of the United States population leeches.
Romney is/was shipping jobs to China where those people have it so bad.

There isn't any ambiguity. No misunderstandings. The cold hard fact is that Romney never wanted to help America. He only wanted to help himself and his ultra-rich buddies. If Romney wanted to help America, he would hire American. If he cared about the Chinese workers he would've improved conditions (they didn't). So again I point out he was just a greedy asshole.
posted by JakeEXTREME at 6:04 AM on March 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


When you put it all together it's a mess. He wants to say that being born in America is the best thing ever and ALSO joke that he would have been better off if his dad had been Mexican

The best part of that is that his dad actually was Mexican.

And the whole thing about giving away their inheritance is such complete malarkey. By the time George Romney died, Mitt had already become a bazillionaire by using the money and advantages that came from growing up as a rich kid with everything handed to him. That whole line of thought just makes me furious.
posted by The World Famous at 6:34 AM on March 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


I agree with your whole comment, The World Famous. But what he was not saying, which was suggested upthread, is that the U.S. should be more like China, or U.S. workers more like Chinese workers.

It's strongly implied. He was telling a story about when his own company outsourced jobs to China followed shortly thereafter with a few hand-waving remarks about how lucky American workers are in contrast and how he remains optimistic despite his concerns about America's future. He's saying, implicitly, see, here's why companies like mine move our business to China: The people there really want to work. In contrast, American workers are born so privileged they're too spoiled to appreciate a job. Saying someone is born with a silver spoon in their mouth is conventionally an insult, implying not only that they were born to a wealthy family, but that they've been spoiled and given more than they deserve. "If America wants to stay competitive, it needs workers who really want to work, too, or guys like me will just keep sending all the jobs to China," that's the conclusion Mitt's leading his listeners to with these words. He might not have said any of that outright, but it's definitely the subtext and it's not a new message at all. It's a theme that a certain core of the "Movement Conservatives" have been echoing for decades now.
posted by saulgoodman at 6:37 AM on March 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Here's a secret - the barbed wire is not really there to keep the other eager workers out. That was a lie.
posted by bq at 8:44 AM on March 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


This isn't to say the workers are treated well, but they're not abused in the way you think. Factory bosses chronically run late on payments (because workers won't leave if they're waiting on a paycheck) and force workers to work consecutive shifts to meet overly aggressive deadlines. But by "force", I don't mean physical violence, I mean "Xiaoxiao over there will work three shifts in a row, if you can't do that too, we'll find somebody else who can".

That's pretty much exactly the way I thought they were being abused, and I will repeat that the idea that the walls and barbed wire are there to keep eager workers out is striking naïveté.
posted by bq at 8:50 AM on March 15, 2013


Here's a secret - the barbed wire is not really there to keep the other eager workers out. That was a lie.

I thought it was precious that Mittens thought that.

This man wants the nuclear codes, and he's either gullible or stupid enough to believe that.

We really dodged a bullet.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:13 AM on March 15, 2013


At CPAC Romney tells the GOP: ‘Learn from my mistakes’.
posted by ericb at 11:51 AM on March 15, 2013


The Newest New Romneybot 3.0
posted by homunculus at 2:21 PM on March 15, 2013


Oh my.
CPAC Event On Racial Tolerance Turns To Chaos As 'Disenfranchised' Whites Arrive

Scott Terry of North Carolina, accompanied by a Confederate-flag-clad attendee, Matthew Heimbach, rose to say he took offense to the event's take on slavery. (Heimbach founded the White Students Union at Towson University and is described as a "white nationalist" by the Southern Poverty Law Center.)

"It seems to be that you're reaching out to voters at the expense of young white Southern males," Terry said, adding he "came to love my people and culture" who were "being systematically disenfranchised."

Smith responded that Douglass forgave his slavemaster.

"For giving him food? And shelter" Terry said.

At this point the event devolved into a mess of shouting. Organizers calmed things down by asking everyone to "take the debate outside after the presentation."
posted by tonycpsu at 3:32 PM on March 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


"It seems to be that you're reaching out to voters at the expense of young white Southern males," Terry said, adding he "came to love my people and culture" who were "being systematically disenfranchised."

Man, I have no polite words for people who think like this. They want the South to rise again, but they're the ones holding it down.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 3:42 PM on March 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Not really sure this should be the CPAC thread, but boy do these guys have either a lack of self awareness or a sincere belief the outside world cannot see them.
posted by Artw at 7:06 PM on March 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Go to the bottom of that CPAC article that Artw posted, and watch the video. Check out the young woman in the blue sweater at the front of the room for some fun.
posted by benito.strauss at 7:25 PM on March 15, 2013


Tea Party Patriots - A Movement On Fire at CPAC 2013
posted by homunculus at 7:29 PM on March 15, 2013


I'm really hoping that CPAC guy is a troll of some sort, because it's bad even by CPAC standards.

When asked by ThinkProgress if he’d accept a society where African-Americans were permanently subservient to whites, he said “I’d be fine with that.” He also claimed that African-Americans “should be allowed to vote in Africa,” and that “all the Tea Parties” were concerned with the same racial problems that he was.

At one point, a woman challenged him on the Republican Party’s roots, to which Terry responded, “I didn’t know the legacy of the Republican Party included women correcting men in public.”

He claimed to be a direct descendent of Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

posted by Drinky Die at 7:42 PM on March 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Further Googling shows he is a for real white supremacist.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:36 AM on March 16, 2013


Whither whistleblowing: Where have all the leaking sites gone?
posted by Artw at 11:41 AM on March 16, 2013


Bruce Schneier: The Internet is a surveillance state
posted by homunculus at 4:42 PM on March 16, 2013


Though regarding Schneier's point about NSLs, that may be changing:

Federal Judge Finds National Security Letters Unconstitutional, Bans Them
posted by homunculus at 4:49 PM on March 16, 2013


Federal Judge Finds National Security Letters Unconstitutional, Bans Them

Isn't that A Really Big Thing? I noticed it on some web site, but it seems weird that I'm not seeing it everywhere.
posted by benito.strauss at 5:25 PM on March 16, 2013


I'd think it would be a Big Thing, but even if it doesn't reach a lot of news sites, I'm happy. I hope the appeal fails.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 6:07 PM on March 16, 2013


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