In yet another example of the juvenile mental capacity of Mitt Romney, he is once again obsessing over a single word extracted from a speech by President Obama. This time Romney is flabbergasted that Obama would encourage supporters to vote by advising them to eschew negative outbursts and direct that energy to getting themselves and others to the polls.
The now familiar refrain is “Don’t boo, vote,” to which he added “Voting is the best revenge.” Romney appears to be unable to comprehend the meaning of that statement. He thinks it has something to do with actual vengeance and retaliation. In fact, it is a paraphrasing of the well-known aphorism “The best revenge is living well,” that first appeared in the Hebrew scripture, the Talmud, over two thousand years ago. It’s meaning is unmistakably positive in that it advocates a rejection of vengeful behavior in favor of a more productive focus on improving one’s own lot in life.
Nevertheless, Romney latched onto these remarks like a frenzied piranha. He demonstrated his inability to employ rational reasoning skills and his preference for childish tantrums and name-calling. He literally escalated his rhetoric to another attack on Obama’s patriotism by misquoting the President and then countering the misquote saying, “Vote for revenge? Let me tell you what I’d like to tell you: Vote for love of country.” So Romney thinks that Obama and his supporters (at least half of the population) don’t love their country. That’s not really a surprising position for Romney who also said that half the nation are moochers that it’s not his job to care about.
The Romney campaign has made it their mission to mangle the President’s words throughout this election cycle. It is a strategy that he resorts to because he is unable to make a positive argument for his candidacy. Here are some examples of the low-brow context mangling that Romney has made the centerpiece of his campaign:
“You didn’t build that.” This is a deliberate misquoting of Obama who was actually referring to roads and bridges, not the private businesses that Romney has tried to imply were the subject of the remarks.
“The private sector is doing fine.” This is another misrepresentation where Obama was correctly making a relative comparison of the private sector, which has grown over the past three years, to the public sector, which has been shrinking.
“We tried our plan and it worked.” Here Romney deliberately asserted that Obama was referencing his own record and implying that it had achieved complete success. In fact, Obama has consistently said that more needs to be done and this comment was plainly referencing the success of the Clinton era policies as opposed to the failure of the GOP’s years under Bush’s policies.
“[Obama] removed the requirement of work from welfare.” Romney made this accusation that is directly refuted by the facts. What Obama did was to permit waivers for states that could affirm their progress in moving people from welfare to work, and allowing them flexibility to enhance their programs. It’s a modification that Romney himself had requested when he was governor of Massachusetts.
“I actually believe in redistribution.” This was purposefully clipped from a much longer statement wherein Obama was praising entrepreneurs and the free market, while also seeking to improve the parts of government that provide services like schools, roads, etc.
Of course, Fox News has been instrumental in helping Romney to advance these phony messages. And that is true in this most recent case as well. The “revenge” scandal has been plastered all over Fox News and its web sites. They have no problem with these infantile tactics because it fits so perfectly with the stunted maturity level of their remedial audience.
For the record, Obama is in good company paraphrasing the “best revenge” meme. Here are some others who have found it to be a useful vehicle for expressing a positive course of action:
- The Talmud: The best revenge is living well.
- Benazir Bhutto: Democracy is the best revenge.
- Frank Sinatra: The best revenge is massive success.
- Ivana Trump: Looking good is the best revenge.
- Marcus Aurelius: The best revenge is to be unlike him who performed the injury.
That last one is particularly appropriate. Obama would do well to heed that advice and be as unlike Mitt Romney as possible. And here is a handy, shareable version of this information to disseminate to your friends and family to inspire them to vote on Tuesday: