What Romney’s “I enjoy firing people” Gaffe Really Reveals About Him

Courtesy of Paul Krugman from Digby’s Hullabaloo:

. . . Romney’s sense of privilege, and a relationship to the world around him that is alien to most Americans and reinforces everything that is wrong with the 1% in America.

The key part of what’s off-putting about the gaffe isn’t the first part about liking to fire people, so much as the second part about “who provide services to me.” Liking to fire people is bad enough, but this is the real kicker.

When it comes to basic services like healthcare, almost no one in America sees the relationship that way. Most of us wouldn’t speak of “firing” our health insurance company. No matter how much we might detest our insurance company, we probably wouldn’t describe the experience of removing ourselves from their rolls an enjoyable one.

Mitt Romney isn’t at fault for having been privileged, he’s at fault for having no sense that other people aren’t:

Romney talks about paying for health insurance as if it were the same as getting a pedicure, hiring an escort or getting the fancy wax at a car wash. It’s a luxury service being provided to him, and he doesn’t like it, he can take his business elsewhere. Romney’s is the language of a man who has never wanted for anything, never worried about where his next paycheck would come from, never worried about going bankrupt if he got sick.

It is the language of an entitled empowerment utterly alien to the experience of most Americans, who feel victimized and bled dry without recourse by these rentier corporations. Romney sees himself as in charge of the relationship between himself and these entities. Most Americans don’t. That’s why the statement rankles and feels so off-putting to us. The mention of enjoying the act of “firing” them is just icing on the cake.

 The divide between Romney’s experience and the experiences of most Americans is vast.  Most of us can’t imagine firing our insurance company because – as sucktacular as they are – we can’t risk being without their half-assed, unreasonably priced sevices.

, , , , , ,

  1. #1 by Richard Warnick on January 13, 2012 - 10:25 am

    There are not a lot of choices in the health insurance market, so what do you do? The small company I used to work for had a couple of employee pregnancies and knee operations one year, so the insurance rates got jacked up. The principals worked out a deal with another insurer, and something similar happened again the next year. Finally, they dropped employee health insurance altogether in favor of health savings accounts.

    If the ACA takes full effect, soon we shall all face a mandate to buy private health insurance at whatever monopoly rates the corporations want to charge. Health insurance premiums jumped 8-9% in 2011. Without the individual mandate, they tell us premiums will skyrocket another 10-25%.

  2. #2 by brewski on January 13, 2012 - 11:48 am

    Looks like the censorship Nazi is back in action.

    • #3 by Glenden Brown on January 13, 2012 - 12:25 pm

      try re-writing your comment and see if you can make it non-troll and it won’t get tossed into the troll bucket – where you have not been censored, we’ve simply applied an a rating to your comment so readers know.

  3. #4 by cav on January 13, 2012 - 12:06 pm

    Ayup. But the presumption of ‘Nazihood’ is just that.

    Of all of the thousands of people I’ve had to ‘rub-out’, I experienced not even a tiny nano-moment of joy in the doing.

  4. #5 by Rico on January 13, 2012 - 12:41 pm

    Sometimes I deliberately aim for the bucket.

    Just sayin.

    • #6 by Glenden Brown on January 13, 2012 - 12:45 pm

      It’s a temptation and most of us can resist anything except temptation.

  5. #7 by cav on January 13, 2012 - 1:19 pm

    I can resist temptation, it’s everything else…

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: