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July 29, 2012

Newsweek’s Wimp Romney Cover

Newsweek Romney Wimp cover 450

Wimp: a weak, cowardly, or ineffectual person — Websters

Wimp: a weak, ineffectual, timid person. —

If you’re going to take as large and as low a shot as Newsweek does, you’d better be sure that your personality description counts for as much or more as your audacity.

In this case, the name calling is a hostile and imprecise attempt to get a rope around qualities in and about Romney that are terribly awkward. Unfortunately, Newsweek only makes itself look petty and desperate — and certainly doesn’t do the perception of the media any favors — by missing the target.

Romney is a lot of things but a wimp isn’t one of them. A stranger to deference and defiant of opinions that happen to differ from his, he isn’t timid at all when it comes to sharing whatever comes to his mind (or just spontaneously changing it). When you assume that everyone around you is less effectual than you are — in managing a business, a government, an Olympics, your problem falls into a class categorically different from cowardice or weakness. That shortcoming has more to do with hubris.

If the photo, and the laugh, captures the weakness of Romney, what it frames is not timidity, but myopia. Timidity implies you possess certain qualities you’re just hesitant to express. Like the character Chauncey Gardener in the film “Being There,” however, Romney’s more fundamental problem has to do with capacities, not courage — specifically, the lack of sensitivity paired with the absence of self-consciousness.

  • Wayne Dickson

    What could they possibly have been thinking? You say “wimp” and then use a dramatic low-angle shot that makes him look powerful?

  • marcsobel

    Seriously. I think sociopath is a better fit than wimp.  to Romney, there is no such thing as courage, only tactics. Speech is manipulation. Winning is all. Look at the markers. Lack of empathy or understanding of others, exaggerated self image, indifference to other’s pain…
    Now I am not alleging he has a sociopathic brain, but the combination of various environmental effects: authoritarian culture, superiority from his church, entitled wealth, executive bubble, reaction to criticism, view of facts as unimportant.

    • LanceThruster

      It hadn’t occurred to me before till I saw it mentioned elsewhere, even though I was a bit familiar with it through a colleague, but I seriously think it’s possible that Mitt Romney has some degree of Asperger’s syndrome.


      Asperger syndrome (AS), also known as Asperger’s syndrome or Asperger disorder, is an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that is characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction, alongside restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests.

      The colleague with it is quite incredible and brilliant, and I only learned about it through his writings – web page (he’s a professor).

      Mitt, however, to me is just incredibly off-putting and I cannot stand the man on many levels. Granted, I’m atheist so his Sky Daddy mythology leaves me cold, but it’s the whole of his mendacity and sociopathic tendencies (from my perspective) that makes me want to return him, tout suite, to the private sector for good (or ill, as the case may be).

    • Pvpbcoop

      Thank God Obama feels our pain. And cares nothing about winning. And NEVER would try to manipulate anyone with a speech. And who could ever think Obama has an exaggerated self image?! If only Jeremiah Wright had been Romney’s pastor! He may have learned a thing or two.

  • Phil Perdue

    Newsweek might be pressing Romney to double down on his own audacity, although it’s unlikely that he pays much attention to Newsweek anyway. 

  • Catherine McCallum

    Wimpy? I hadn’t thought of him that way. I think of him more as a fucking liar. But I guess they can’t put that on the cover of Newsweek, can they?

    • pvpbcoop

      Tell me you don’t have children! Please! Trashy comment

  • LucianFreudian

    I saw this Kabuki with Dan Rather and George H.W. Bush in 1988. I’m suprised Tomasky set this up so favorably for Romney to “prove” he’s not a “wimp.” Actually, I’m not…

  • Thomas

    Design-wise, it’s cute how the giant insult “WIMP” is pushing Romney’s head over. It is compositionally answering its own question by depicting Romney’s forced smile, roll-with-the-punches response to being pushed around. Yeah, definitely a very weird way to handle a candidate who once lead a group of bullies to hold down a fellow student for a forced haircut. Is the italicized “insecure” a reference to that episode, the repression it suggests?

    Even with its imprecision, it’s a pretty negative cover for Romney; which may make a microscopic difference for the low-information swing voters who will be deciding this election. So in the sense that it may help further retard Republican turnout in November, this is a welcome cover. Still, you have to feel pity for a publication that wants a voice in the discussion so badly that it would be this careless about what that voice is saying.

    • LanceThruster

      Interesting observation. It’s as if he just took one on his glass jaw, and he’s smiling with a look of, “I *meant* to do that!”

  • Wayne Dickson

    Think about what Romney did to his primary opponents. Think further back to what he did at Bain: Destroy workers, destroy their families, destroy their communities, ship the jobs overseas… “I like being able to fire people who work for me.” This guy is not a wimp. He’s ruthless and mean-spirited. Like that or loathe it, that’s who he is. But wimp? No.

  • Cactus

    Congrats to Newsweek for finding probably the only photo of Romney actually laughing.  Did he just fire someone?
    But I agree with Catherine — the word should have been LIAR.
    Cowardly, though, may be to the point.  In my (limited) experience, when you confront bullies head on, they usually run like babies.  And he had to have his posse behind him to be the class bully.  Also, when he says something and gets flack for it, he quickly backs down or denies he ever said it.  Guess he forgot about all those tapes and cell phones.  That may be the insecurity part of it.  He really does act like a fish out of his globe.

  • jonst

    He couldn’t simply be a guy who I disagree with…strongly disagree with, on political, ideological, and philosophical, grounds could he?  No….I guess that is out of style. 

  • Pvpbcoop

    You people are hilarious. I bet Obama reads this stuff and laughs his ass off at how silly you all are. “I’m gonna vote for Obama cause he is poor and he never told a lie. He just really wants to help us. He is sooo nice! He loves his kids. He is the smartest guy ever!!! Our lives are all gonna change cause he actually wants whats best!!! Wow! The first honest politician in history!” You people crack me up.

    • Catherine McCallum

      Oh, I see the problem. You’re a fucking troll.

  • Harley Jacobson

    Have you wondered what a Mormon president would be like?

    The LDS Church believes that darker-skinned people are cursed by God.  That is why Romney said that the “hand of providence” favors the Israelis.

    The comment was racist AND an indication of how Romney would govern from the White House: FROM AN ENTIRELY LDS RELIGIOUS PERSPECTIVE.

    Beware of this guy, he’s a theocrat and he’s very dangerous to America.

    And I’m a Christian conservative, by the way.

    • Seitan_Worshiper

      Not to diminish your larger point, but Israelis (and Jewish people more generally) come in *all* colors – there are Ethiopian Jews, for example, Moroccan and Tunisian and Algerian Jews, as well as Jews whose most recent ancestors hail from Syria and Iraq and Georgia (the former SSR), as well as Sephardim (the descendants of Jews expelled from the Iberian Peninsula in the15th C.), not just those of us whose more recent ancestors came from Eastern Europe.

      Just fyi.

  • Gegr

    Wimp…wishful thinking by a dying publication.

    • LanceThruster

      Are you and “A Guye” some sort of LDS rapid response team (or the same person?) cuz you got less than half a dozen posts between you. You came out of the woodwork to go to bat for the Will-LIAR-d. Are you part of his paid Mitt-Twit following culled from the ranks of the twitterverse?

      It is my considered diagnosis (whatever the actual details of Rmoney’s “condition”) that, in the words of the great and legendary Hank Hill (non-LDS, btw), “That boy ain’t right.”

  • JonathanU

    Unless you are a trained psychologist, who can easily recognize the symptoms of megalomania, Aspergers, etc., I don’t know how useful it is to do this kinda pop-psychology on Romney, or any politician for that matter. Why bother? It is obvious that Romney shifts positions for the sake of his own convenience, that he wants to hide a lot of things, notably his tax returns, that on many occasions, he has displayed an astonishing lack of empathy, and arrogance, and that he says many ill-considered things, apparently without stopping to consider the ramifications of his off the cuff statements. Whether or not it can be placed into some category of clinical psychological disorder is beside the point. It’s always been just Romney being Romney.

    • molly

      Romney being Romney is a damned good reason to keep him away from 1600 PA Ave.

    • LanceThruster

      I actually thought of the classification of Shrubya from a distance as a “dry drunk” was quite helpful.

      The Mitt-bot certainly has exhibited the traits of a bully in his yoot and I see nothing to indicate that he’s shed that chartacteristic with age (I consider smearing others with lies and falsehoods “bullying” and doing so while claiming to be pious [i.e. a church member in good standing] blatantly hypocritical – a character deficiency if nothing else).

      But as someone else offered, just a plain old arsehole pretty much covers it.

  • ColinN

    If I may paraphrase Napolean, and say “Never ascribe to Asberger’s what can adequately be explained by entitled arseholism”

  • Wayne Dickson

    Not my expertise, but I’ve always thought that those suffering from Asperger’s Syndrome can’t “read” the physical affect of others. It’s not that they don’t care. A sociopath can read the affect, but can’t empathize or care. Probably not mutually exclusive, but discrete. [Any experts out there who can clarify?]

  • A Guye

    You start by saying he might have ’some form of Asperger syndrome’ to end in the conclusion he has ’sociopathic tendencies’?
    Would you please buy a copy of Psychology for Dummies – and maybe eat it?
    You are utterly misinformed about both Asperger’s Syndrome and Sociopathy.
    You ought to be embarrassed. But I’m sure you aren’t and won’t be…

  • Gegr

    Your qualifications to judge are what again?
    Thought so.

  • Catherine McCallum

    And grandchildren. What’s it to you?

    Is it trashier to post the word ‘fucking,’ or to lie every time you open your mouth?

  • LanceThruster

    Please! Won’t somebody think of the childrens?

  • LanceThruster

    You are so right. I’m humiliated. I’d hate to think how you’ll interpret my diagnosis of him being a cybertronic robot from the planet Kolob sent to usher mankind into the glorious future where only the white and delightsome surround us.

    What wine would you say goes with the Psychology for Dummies publication? Is box wine OK as long as it doesn’t have a screw top?

    Would you care for me to research your anal retentive characteristics…or are you already aware of what a pompous asshole come across as? I hope I do not appear to be too passive/aggressive but regardless, you are invited to gaze upon my icon’s hand gesture and sit and spin.


  • LanceThruster

    Funny how your concern is about those who should but aren’t embarrassed by stuff in your defense of the Mittarded one (note: no idea what his ack-chew-all IQ is) –

    Bon appétit, d-bag.

  • LanceThruster

    All punched out, eh Guye?

    Hit and run trolling too tiring for you?

    What a wimp!

  • Gegr

    Why are you libs always to angry?  You have the WH.  You have your dream President.  You’d think for once you might be happy.
    Never seems to happen though.
    Perhaps it’s Aspergers.

  • LanceThruster

    Whatsa matter, too much LDS in the 60’s?

    If you’re not angry/outraged, you’re not paying attention. I’m truly sorry you don’t feel I have the bona fides to comment on the Willard Mechanism. I built that comment on my own. The government didn’t build that. Did you build that?

    Thought so.

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