It is not my intention or desire to beat up on the mothership or my colleagues at The Daily Beast, but as a Republican who is trying to bring a shade of conservative balance to the site—even though to most movement conservatives I am a RINO (Republican in Name Only) or a squish (soft Republican)—I feel compelled to speak out when I think basic standards of fairness, balance, and decency are abridged.
My fellow columnist Michael Tomasky recently wrote that Mitt Romney is “a spineless, disingenuous, supercilious, race-mongering pyromaniac who is poorly intentioned.” Incendiary stuff which you would think, given the heat of the charge, was motivated by some credible evidence. Yet, Tomasky’s fuel for the ugly flame was that Romney said the word “Obamacare” at his NAACP speech—a term embraced by Obama and his supporters, and with which the president’s campaign raises money.
Hardly chastised, perhaps emboldened in the search for controversy and outrage simply as a means to drive traffic, Tomasky in a column this week brands Romney a “wimp.” And in the article, he says Romney is “kind of lame, and he’s really … annoying.” (Why the ellipsis? Is that a pause as if to say, “I have to think about this. Then, aha! Yes, annoying?”) Tomasky continues, accusing Romney of having “all the sincerity of a hostage,” being more “weenie than wimp,” displaying “political cowardice,” being “nasty and whiny,” being “weenie-ish” even, and, worse, “a weenie Republican.”
The headline for the Newsweek cover accompanying the photo of Mitt: “Romney: The Wimp Factor—Is He Just Too Insecure to Be President?” For those who remember, this is a knockoff of the famously controversial Newsweek “Wimp Factor” cover in 1987 ridiculing George H.W. Bush. Ironically, Tomasky declared the 1987 cover “not entirely fair.”
But now, it is.
As proof-points for Romney’s “wimpiness,” Tomasky cites gaffes, whining, and flip-flopping. One could argue that President Obama would also qualify as a wimp as measured by these criteria, and, yet, we hear no such invective hurled toward the incumbent.