Mitt Romney himself may be a bit of a dead issue, but he represents a section of American civilization, and thus remains (somewhat) worthy of discussion. This "No More Mister Nice Blog" post
discusses Romney's judgment, or lack thereof, when it came to the reading of his own polls. The issue comes down to a simple question: For all of his millions, is Mitt smart?
I don't think he's dumb
dumb, in the Palin-Dubya sense of the term. Truth be told, I don't think Dubya himself displays anything like true stupidity -- the kind of jaw-dropping dumbness one routinely encounters in, say, Dundalk, Maryland. His problem is that his sense of entitlement has made him lazy; long ago, he came to consider intellectual attainment something that you pay other people to do for
Something similar could be said of Mitt. Of course, if you suggest that Romney may not be clever or wise, someone else will ask (not unreasonably): "If you're smarter than he is, why is he rich while you're poor?"
If you go to the post at the other end of the above link, scroll down; you'll find a comment which addresses that very question. I believe that these words -- by a writer who calls himself The Gloves Are Off -- deserve a wider audience:
"Romney was supposed to be the data-driven business genius -- but maybe the business in which he made his fortune is so rigged in favor of the dealmakers that you don't have to be particularly good at it to get stinking rich. Maybe he's just not that bright, even in the area that's supposedly his strength."
Maybe? No, if you've ever worked in the LBO, vulture capitalism "industry" (yes, they actually think of themselves as an "industry"), you would know that most of the guys are not very bright. They hire a lot of bright people who produce the data for them, but you can see their eyes glaze over when they actually have to look at it.
Remember, about 3 out of every 4 businesses acquired by Bain fails. You can bet the data didn't show that when they were purchased.
No, this is not surprising at all...
Another commenter adds:
In addition to Romney's and the GOP's culpable self-delusion, what's fascinating is all those jets showing up at the airport. These were millionaire businesspeople who were not on the Romney campaign, but who still believed he was going to win and were paying their own money to join in the spoils. In other words, it wasn't just Romney and Bain who were incompetent at the data wizardry they relied on, it was the entire cream of the moneyed interests. None of them were capable of reading the data right, or seeing the difference between Romney's press releases and the actual polling reported every day in the press. These are the people who are making financial decisions that affect millions of lives, and are peddling their self-interested economic theories on Capitol Hill. They're all stupid, incompetent, and self-deceived, and they own our country.
So the real question is not "How smart is Mitt Romney?" but "How smart are the folks who constitute the One Percent?" Just as your muscles will atrophy if you get in the habit of paying others to lift heavy objects on your behalf, so too your "leetle grey cells" (to use Poirot's terminology) will atrophy if you go your entire life paying others to do your thinking for you.