[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]
"You'll get your chance in a moment. I'm still speaking."I'm with Charles Pierce on this:
-- Willard "Mitt" Romney, to President Obama in the Oct. 16 debate
Wow. To me, this was a revelatory, epochal moment. It was a look at the real Willard Romney, the Bain cutthroat who could get rich ruining lives and not lose a moment's sleep. But those people are merely the anonymous Help. The guy he was speaking to on Tuesday night is a man of considerable international influence. Outside of street protestors, and that Iraqi guy who threw a shoe at George W. Bush, I have never seen a more lucid example of manifest public disrespect for a sitting president than the hair-curling contempt with which Romney invested those words. (I've certainly never seen one from another candidate.) He's lucky Barack Obama prizes cool over everything else. LBJ would have taken out his heart with a pair of salad tongs and Harry Truman would have bitten off his nose.This, as Pierce explains, is the "Dickhead Willard" who periodically pops up among Romney's known public personae -- toppling over from "Snippy Willard", who sometimes is just an exchange away from "Lofty Willard," the schmoozy salesman who has suckered every Republican in the country and a few independents too.
And Romney bitched endlessly — endlessly — about the rules, and why this uppity fellow on the other stool was allowed to speak before he was spoken to, and why he didn't get to speak at length on whatever he wanted to speak on because, after all, he is the CEO of the stage. Jesus Christ, I'd hate to play golf with the man. He's the guy who counts to make sure you don't have too many wedges in your bag. He knows every cheap subsection of every cheap ground rule, and he'll call you on every one of them. You couldn't get a free drop out of him with thumbscrews, and forget about conceding any putt outside two inches. And then, on the 18th hole, with all the money on the line, he kicks his ball out of the rough and denies up and down to the rules committee that he did it. Then he goes into the clubhouse bar and nobody sits with him.
Dickhead Willard has a habit of showing up whenever some plebeian has the audacity to challenge him or put him on the spot. He appeared twice during Tuesday's debate -- first during the whole snide attack by Romney that led up to the "You'll get your chance" moment, then later, when Romney began haranguing Obama about his pension, before the president's snappy retort ("I don't look at my pension. It's not as big as yours") shut him up.
The last was Romney kicking his ball out of the rough: The rules of the debate stipulated that the candidates would not direct questions at each other, and yet there Romney was, haranguing the president of the United States like a petulant child about to roll on the floor in a tantrum. But then, we already know that for guys like Romney, the rules are for everyone else.
I dunno about you, but as bad as Romney's politics and policies are, the worst aspect of his prospective presidency might be having to put up with this guy on my TV for the next four years.
Dickhead Willard has been around a long time. We've seen him many times before: Back when Ted Kennedy dubbed him "Multiple Choice" in 1994; when a reporter in 2008 challenged him on his "lobbyist free" baloney; when audience members in Iowa laughed at his claim that "corporations are people"; when he explained how he liked to fire people.
So I made a mashup of all those great Dickhead Willard moments, punctuated by the now-definitive "You'll get your chance" moment.
And let's hope we see more of Dickhead Willard tonight. Because he makes it obvious that the whole "Lofty Willard" persona is as much a lie as his claim to not want to overturn Roe v. Wade.