The media is still having fun kicking Mitt Romney, even more than a month after the election, and their obsession has become bizarre if not inexplicable. Romney represents success, procreation, decency and financial competence, all the things the left hates — in or out of election season. But because in their hearts they know these are good things, liberals just can’t let Mitt go. It’s like the creepy loser in high school who can’t stop talking about the quarterback — even after the quarterback has graduated.
The Washington Post has been particularly obsessed with Mitt, with a front-page piece on Romney and a Dana Milbank piece excoriating Romney for going to Disneyland instead of offering his services to Obama. But the absolute bottom came in a piece by The Post’s Gene Weingarten. In his December 9th “Below the Beltway” column, Weingarten explored “how Mitt’s old-fashioned values lost all the single ladies.”
It’s not just that Weingarten was beating this horse again; it’s the cowardly way he went about it. Weingarten is too much of a punk to simply come out and say he hates Romney. So instead, he used a feminist avatar. His column is in the form of a conversation with his friend, the loud feminist Gina Barreca. Barreca attacks Romney in sick and personal ways while Weingarten dutifully reports it all. He’s just repeating what someone else said, you see.
But before getting to Barreca’s nonsense, we should pause here and dwell on just how despicable Weingarten’s tactic is. It’s like the scene in the film “Pulp Fiction” where Quentin Tarantino, the director of the film, appears as a character named “Jimmy.” Jimmy is only on screen for about two minutes, and his only purpose seems to be to say the n-word over and over again. This was Tarantino’s way of venting some racism by using a secondary character (imagine if Mel Gibson had tried it!). Tarantino’s encore to Jimmy is his upcoming film “Django Unchained,” which is set just before the Civil War. Judging by the trailer, Tarantino will violate black characters in savage and pornographic ways. But see, the main character is black, and winds up killing a bunch of racist whites. So that makes it OK. (Tarantino has also never had an original idea, but that’s a different story).
Using an avatar is the coward’s way of expressing unpleasant thoughts, or of bullying an opponent, without having the guts to get your hands dirty. It’s also classic liberal journalism — “sources say that you don’t care about poor people,” “some people think you’re an airhead,” etc. While Weingarten sits there sucking his thumb and taking notes, Barreca vents. These are all verbatim quotes:
— “Mitt Romney is a terrible, terrible date, and single women, who are forced into the perpetually ghastly state of potential date appraisal, sensed that immediately.”
— “Romney is the guy who takes you out to his club, because he’s comfortable there. Then he either orders for you or tells you what’s good and gets petulant if you don’t order it, because he’s TOLD you what’s good, and it’s the chateaubriand, it is NOT the pasta primavera. He’ll be chummy with the maitre d’ — he respects status — but abusive to the busboy.”
— “Chivalry is the opposite of good manners. It’s infantilizing. It’s contempt masquerading as politeness. The chivalrous guy is establishing roles; he is the protector, you are Limoges. Your job is to let him be masterful.”
You know, while I was reading this slop my neighbor Sarah came over. Sarah is a hunter and tea partier. I told her I was reading Gene Weingarten.
“Oh God,” she said, “that gasbag? He hasn’t been funny for years, if he ever was. In 2009 he took a buyout from The Post, but he never took the hint. Gene: it’s over. The whole cutesy, middlebrow, below-the-Beltway-get-it-nyuck-nyuck, Dave Barry-lite thing. It was played out 10 years ago. Now it’s just sad. A fat, disgusting sad sack. Please go away.”
But Sarah, I said, Gene is in conversation with feminist writer and humorist Gina Barreca!
“Dear Lord, then there’s Maude. Hey Gina, 1973 called — they want their everything back. This is a woman who manages to reinforce the very stereotypes that she has dedicated her pathetic career to dismantling. According to Gina, women are intelligent creatures who think about the exact same stuff as men — except when confronted with a leader who, despite having a record of success and the ability to give America the same, reminds them of an awkward date. Then they can think of nothing else other than him trying to open a door for them, and that’s how they vote. Brilliant! A sad, insufferable dingbat.”
I was going to tell Sarah that was a little harsh, but she was gone.
Mark Judge is the author of A Tremor of Bliss: Sex, Catholicism, and Rock ‘n’ Roll.