Slog Music

Music, Nightlife,
and Drinks

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Mitt Romney Is Not Stupid, but He Is Very Unfunny

Posted by on Tue, Sep 25, 2012 at 12:25 PM

You guys, the Mitt Romney airplane windows thing from yesterday was a joke. It was obviously a joke. It had all the earmarks of a Mitt Romney joke: It was about inappropriate subject matter (his wife's recent brush with death), it wasn't funny, and the language was tortured. That's Romney's humor for you.

This is another example of people being overly eager to underestimate Romney's intelligence, and that's dangerous. Of course the man understands why you can't roll down airplane windows. Of course he knows that providing more oxygen to a fire will cause the fire to grow. He's not an idiot, and treating him like he is an idiot is risky business. Let's focus on his real mistakes and stop trying to turn him into a caricature of himself. That's how mistakes are made.


Comments (54) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
What about when he said teachers' unions shouldn't be able to make campaign contributions because it's a conflict of interest? Was that a joke?
Posted by jzimbert on September 25, 2012 at 12:46 PM · Report this
No. It was not a joke.
"When you have a fire in an aircraft, there’s no place to go, exactly, there’s no — and you can’t find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that. It’s a real problem. So it’s very dangerous. And she was choking and rubbing her eyes. Fortunately, there was enough oxygen for the pilot and copilot to make a safe landing in Denver. But she’s safe and sound."

If he had broken off after "It's a real problem." then it could have been a joke.

But because he then followed with "And she was choking and rubbing her eyes." it is not a joke.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on September 25, 2012 at 12:47 PM · Report this
MacCrocodile 3
Well, that's better. I find it much more comforting to think that the man who wants to run this country has no tact or sense of timing.
Posted by MacCrocodile on September 25, 2012 at 12:49 PM · Report this
People used to make the same argument about Bush.

Bullshit then, bullshit now.

He is indeed that stupid.
Posted by GermanSausage on September 25, 2012 at 12:51 PM · Report this
jnmend 5
Who cares if it was a joke or not? The caption "Mitt Romney understands why you can't open this window" is all I wanted for Christmas.
Posted by jnmend on September 25, 2012 at 12:55 PM · Report this
Posted by hereiswheremynamegoes on September 25, 2012 at 12:58 PM · Report this
biffp 7
I call bullshit. Robots don't tell jokes.
Posted by biffp on September 25, 2012 at 12:58 PM · Report this
Man, it took a solid day of mockery before the Romney campaign was like "Um... we might want to clarify that?" Jesus. Do they even HAVE internet over there?

Fucking clownshoes. The lot of them.
Posted by FonsieScheme on September 25, 2012 at 1:13 PM · Report this
How about this morning, when he said he would create a welfare-to-work program for U.S. aid recipients, as if the U.S. does not already extract its pound of flesh for aid received? Was that a joke?
Posted by cheakamus on September 25, 2012 at 1:14 PM · Report this
Fnarf 10
But "you can’t find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft" is still wrong. All of the oxygen inside the aircraft came from outside. You can't open the windows, but the cabin pressurization system is pulling air from outside constantly. That's why you can breathe, fer chrissakes.

The Daily Mail had this gem:
According to aviation experts, opening a plane window would have flooded the cabin with oxygen, fueled the fire and caused a loss of cabin pressure that could have ripped apart the fuselage.
which is a complete load of horse bollocks and certainly didn't come from any aviation expert. While the cabin would depressurize, and people could indeed get sucked out in that initial rush of air, the fuselage would not rip apart and the plane would not crash, nor would there be more oxygen in the cabin than before -- there would be less.

It would get pretty chilly, though.
Posted by Fnarf on September 25, 2012 at 1:15 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 11
@7 is right.
Posted by Will in Seattle on September 25, 2012 at 1:15 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 12
@10 would probably pass out from lack of air pressure, while people used to living on top of mountains would cope fine.
Posted by Will in Seattle on September 25, 2012 at 1:18 PM · Report this
stinkbug 13
Let those NFL refs determine if it was a joke or not.
Posted by stinkbug on September 25, 2012 at 1:26 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 14

The pilots have oxygen because they have full facial masks that deploy with more oxygen than what is in the passenger compartment masks (about 15 to 20 minutes worth).

The plane is only pressurized at high altitude, and that is to match the standard pressure inside the cabin at lower altitudes so people don't pass out. At lower altitudes, even if "pressurized" then there is equivalent pressure on both sides.

If an opening in the fuselage occurs while the plane in under pressure, it is not the air rushing out from pressure that will cause suction, so much as what is called the Venturi effect of air rushing over an opening.

Airplane cargoes are sealed in fact so that fires will burn themselves out. But you don't want that to happen where passengers are as they would suffocate.

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe on September 25, 2012 at 1:29 PM · Report this
Thanks to #6 for the video. From start to finish, his affect makes no sense. If he was joking, I couldn't tell, he didn't pause for laughter, and the mic didn't pick up any laughter (this last proving not very much at all, of course).

But as I said, the main thing is that his mannerisms were incongruous throughout, including when talking about his wife coughing and rubbing her eyes.

PS Also, he needs to either calibrate his instant tanning better or to stop standing in front of the red stripes of a giant flag.
Posted by Warren Terra on September 25, 2012 at 1:29 PM · Report this
Rev. Adam McKinney 16
I never thought that he wasn't joking. And I do think that it's totally fair and appropriate for presidential candidates to make jokes. The problem arises when the butt of your joke--the idiot we all laugh at for not understanding a basic thing--is yourself. Fine for you and me, but maybe not the best thing for Romney, right now.
Posted by Rev. Adam McKinney on September 25, 2012 at 1:30 PM · Report this
Can't we just agree that he's stupid AND unfunny?
Posted by Sahoyah on September 25, 2012 at 1:31 PM · Report this
The summit of Mount Everest is a good mile lower than normal cruising altitude. Yeti jokes aside, no-one lives on top of Mount Everest, though a fair few experienced mountaineers have died at considerably lower altitudes.
Posted by Warren Terra on September 25, 2012 at 1:32 PM · Report this
reverend dr dj riz 19
..didn't the bidens just demonstrate how one acts when you're joking? note to romney, this is how's it's done…
Posted by reverend dr dj riz on September 25, 2012 at 1:36 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 20
IF [humans] NOT [compute $ROMNEY$ output]
THEN [$ROMNEY$ set_delay]
ELSE [$ROMNEY$ find: excuse/pathfile: humor]
Posted by Urgutha Forka on September 25, 2012 at 1:39 PM · Report this
ScrawnyKayaker 21
Not so much a brush with death, as seeing death from across the freeway.
Posted by ScrawnyKayaker on September 25, 2012 at 1:48 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 22

There's a little bit of tittering in the audience, although it's possible that they were laughing at him, not with him.
Posted by keshmeshi on September 25, 2012 at 1:49 PM · Report this
Fnarf 23
@18, Will has a lot of experience living at 38,000 feet in Canada, don't you know. The mountains themselves aren't that high, but the glue in paper bags takes you the rest of the way.

@14, I believe you are mistaken about the rush of air. It's called "explosive decompression", and it can indeed suck people out. There have been a number of incidents where windows or other holes have been blown open. Some people have been sucked out by the rapid pressure change (though at low altitudes the pressure differential might be the other way, sucking air IN). Unless you're right next to the hole, and are not belted to your seat, you're probably safe (though if you hold your breath your lungs might turn to jam.

Anyone who doesn't think it's normal to be worried when your loved ones are on a plane with an electrical fire onboard is even stupider than Romney. He didn't express himself very well, because he himself is obviously slipping in and out of consciousness, but he clearly wasn't joking.
Posted by Fnarf on September 25, 2012 at 1:51 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 24
@7: i believe there's an entire Next Generation episode about Data's efforts to tell jokes. It could be illuminating.

Posted by Max Solomon on September 25, 2012 at 1:53 PM · Report this
SPG 25
Stupidly unfunny.
Posted by SPG on September 25, 2012 at 2:01 PM · Report this
@23 Yuck, yuck.

Sorry, Will in Seattle but Fnarf wins this round.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on September 25, 2012 at 2:10 PM · Report this
Helenka (also a Canuck) 27
He may have a decent enougth I.Q. but his E.Q. - his ability to relate appropriately to people in a wide variety of situations - is severely depleted.
Posted by Helenka (also a Canuck) on September 25, 2012 at 2:10 PM · Report this
He most certainly was NOT joking, just like Bill "No one knows what causes the tides" O'Rielly was not joking. So many people on BOTH sides of the aisle think they understand science; they don't. The public and government acceptance of non-science as science is dangerous. Good governors and reporters understand this, and don't talk about something they know nothing about. They seek out experts in the field before coming to a conclusion.
Posted by sanotehu on September 25, 2012 at 2:13 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 29
@ 15, he was grinning the whole time, and so was Ann. He was joking. Just badly and awkwardly.

I was going to say that Paul should chill because taking things out of context to make the speaker look bad is totally fair play, but if this many of us are truly unaware that Romney was joking, then a word of warning is merited after all.
Posted by Matt from Denver on September 25, 2012 at 2:13 PM · Report this
Watching that, it seemed to start as a joke, you could hear the humor at the window line, but then he remembered that Ann was on board and got serious. If I didn't hate the guy I'd feel bad for him, because he's got that bittersweet feeling of almost losing someone he cares for. Or as the republidiots would say "it's all sweet! You're doing relief wrong!"
Posted by Hanoumatoi on September 25, 2012 at 2:14 PM · Report this
levide 31
If you have to explain it...
Posted by levide on September 25, 2012 at 2:15 PM · Report this
mkyorai 32
@12: you are the stupidest creature I have ever encountered in real life. People accustomed to living at high altitudes would still be at risk, given the difference between habitable high altitude (12,000-14,000 feet) and the cruising altitude for a jet aircraft (35,000 feet). Further, exposure to even the 14,000 foot level requires a long period of acclimation.

Posted by mkyorai on September 25, 2012 at 2:20 PM · Report this
stinkbug 33
Did they green screen in that flag in the background of the video (@6 posted the link)? Something looks odd about the edges of the Romneys.
Posted by stinkbug on September 25, 2012 at 2:26 PM · Report this
biffp 34
@24, I wondered about that. Looks like Romney's delivery to me.…
Posted by biffp on September 25, 2012 at 2:28 PM · Report this
Fnarf 35
@27, Will in Seattle has NEVER won a round, not anywhere, not against anybody. Will couldn't persuade a fat kid to eat a free ice cream cone.
Posted by Fnarf on September 25, 2012 at 2:40 PM · Report this
I love his deadpan style.
Posted by Proteus on September 25, 2012 at 2:40 PM · Report this
Paul's right. It's OBVIOUSLY a joke attempted by someone with no aptitude for humor. He did go to Stanford and Harvard (earning a law AND business degree) and then was smart enough to make $500 Million and, eventually, become one of the most prominent politicians in America. (He also spends LOTS of time in planes.) While his daddy helped, and though Mitt had all the brakes, it's not like Bush who had a President for a DADDY. Romney is many horrible things - spoiled rich kid, shameless corporate raider, flip-flopping opportunist, emotional automaton, empty, power hungry psychopath - but dumb is not one of them.
Posted by SigLNY on September 25, 2012 at 2:42 PM · Report this
Dr_Awesome 38
Bailo: Remember ValuJet 592? Remember why it crashed?…
Posted by Dr_Awesome on September 25, 2012 at 2:44 PM · Report this
Mitt Romney and the Infinite Sadness:…
Posted by SigLNY on September 25, 2012 at 2:45 PM · Report this
Foggen 40
Opening the windows would in fact not let more oxygen it. It might, however, put out the fire due to lack of oxygen. The fire and everyone on board...
Posted by Foggen on September 25, 2012 at 2:51 PM · Report this
biffp 41
@39, should be an Obama ad. That's scary to watch, he really is awkward. "I can't have illegals." "I like the Twilight series, that was fun."
Posted by biffp on September 25, 2012 at 3:19 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 42

Data's first mistake was asking Joe Piscopo for humor advice.


You mean if you *are* belted to your seat, you'll be safe. Keep those seatbelts fastened, folks. It's not just the airlines protecting themselves from liability.
Posted by keshmeshi on September 25, 2012 at 3:24 PM · Report this
Fnarf 43
@42, my sentence structure leaves something to be desired, but "not belted" is still following on from "unless" there. Yes, wear your seat belt (though getting sucked out of the plane is a very tiny part of the reason why).
Posted by Fnarf on September 25, 2012 at 4:15 PM · Report this
Romney's not dumb, but lots of smart people have blind spots about things that are (or seem) obvious to most people. That said, Matt from Denver is right--he was joking, just really badly.
Posted by clashfan on September 25, 2012 at 5:00 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 45

You're right as usual. Carry on.
Posted by keshmeshi on September 25, 2012 at 5:12 PM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 46
I'm not sure he's not stupid. After all, like George Bush and Donald Trump, he has never had to accomplish or excel at anything - it was all given to him. Including, maybe, advanced degrees.

Granted, he's made a lot of money, but that's a lot easier to do when you start of with a lot of money, and his ways of acquiring that money seem quite rudimentary at best: buy a company, drain it of its assets, load it with debt and move on. It's a move he stole from the mafia.

Of course, I don't know the man, and all I see is what's on TV, but I'm not impressed. Even when he tries to sound serious, he comes across as some sort of mediocre salesperson who wouldn't last a pay period in the appliance department at Sears.
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay on September 25, 2012 at 5:16 PM · Report this
Everything Retroactive Man says is both a joke and not a joke. He's Retroactive Man.

Gay Dude for Retroactive Man.
Posted by Machiavelli was framed on September 25, 2012 at 5:17 PM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 48
Oh, and yes, by all means, keep your seatbelt on: one time, Papa Vel-DuRay and I were on a flight that hit a sudden patch of extremely bad turbulence. The plane dropped, and the poor Stewardess (it was that long ago) was thrown up against the ceiling and came down hard on some seats. She ended up having (at the least) some badly bruised ribs, according to the doctor on the plane. They vacated a row of seats (in those days, they didn't overbook, and the public was less boorish) and laid her across it, and the EMT's had to take her off.

Technology for detecting turbulence has improved since then, but I don't take any chances. I keep my belt on.
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay on September 25, 2012 at 5:48 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 49
@ 46, sorry, but he doesn't compare to Bush or Trump quite like that. While it is true that it's easier to make buttloads of money when you're born high up the social ladder, Bush in particular is an example that that's far from enough. If Romney's business practices are exactly as cynical as you describe, it still takes intelligence to pull it off. For example, identifying which companies are ripe for such treatment out of all the available ones takes acute analytical skill and attention to detail. Long hours had to be put in to achieve it. You're right to be appalled, but it was hard work and he didn't just live off a trust fund to make it happen.

What Romney lacks isn't intelligence, but intellectual curiosity. His intelligence could help him overcome that, but he clearly isn't interested. And he's unsympathetic to the needs of ordinary people. Even Bush had more genuine concern, if not the will to really use his position to do anything about it.
Posted by Matt from Denver on September 25, 2012 at 6:27 PM · Report this
So Romney would rather be thought of as an inconsiderate asshole who would joke about his wife's plane making an emergency landing while she and others choked and rubbed their eyes in pain (and fear, I assume) rather than be thought of as Kind of Stupid Sometimes.

Got it.
Posted by rainbird on September 25, 2012 at 6:41 PM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 51
Matt dear, I believe that you underestimate the advantage that comes from surrounding yourself with very smart people and compensating them well. But then again, if that were true, you'd think he would have selected better people for his campaign.
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay on September 25, 2012 at 6:47 PM · Report this
reverend dr dj riz 52
@48 - 50.. fuck...hey you guys, so now we're speculating whether or not he's worse than bush. i never thought i'd live to see the day where i'd miss nixon.
( not that i want to die anytime soon.. i'm lovin every moment of living, but still..)
Posted by reverend dr dj riz on September 25, 2012 at 6:53 PM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 53
Riz dear, did I say Romney was worse (or better, for that matter) than Bush? No. I was just pointing out that it's easier for people of a certain economic class -Romney and Bush's economic class- to not only get ahead, but to look smart when maybe they aren't.

Romney and Bush, despite all their handlers, consultants, advanced degrees, and business "success", don't seem all that bright. Both were more or less set up by their fathers, like the Kennedy boys. But unlike the Kennedy boys, they seem to lack both genuine intelligence and charisma. That's all I'm saying.
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay on September 25, 2012 at 7:54 PM · Report this
reverend dr dj riz 54
cat.. i've calmed down now. ( thank god for edible medicinals).while you're right, you certainly didn't say any such thing, i did run into the prospect of comparison and convinced myself that mittens was indeed worse than bush. that means he'd be the worst president i've experienced in my lifetime.of course, that's fear talking. having observed that fear is a tactic the republicans use to great effect, i should know better. i panicked. but i'm better now. thanks for helping me to calm the frak down.
Posted by reverend dr dj riz on September 26, 2012 at 5:16 PM · Report this

Add a comment


Want great deals and a chance to win tickets to the best shows in Seattle? Join The Stranger Presents email list!

All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC
1535 11th Ave (Third Floor), Seattle, WA 98122
Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Takedown Policy