More disconcerting trouble for Mittens Romney this week, as a new poll shows that with less than 100 days to go before the election, Obama leads in three key swing states. To make matters worse, results of the poll clearly show that much of the President's lead is due to the fact that Romney is completely unpopular with the ladies. Some strategists say that Romney's woman problem is due to his seeming lack of empathy, or his stance on certain hot-button lady issues that rhyme with mirth control, fabortion, squeaquel pay, schmeducation, and baternity leave, and while that may be true, the real reason women are turned off by Romney is that he's incredibly, monumentally patronizing.
In Ohio and Pennsylvania, two relatively boring places that the media will be referring to as BATTLEGROUNDS for the next three months, female voters prefer President Obama by more than 20 points over his Republican rival. Among men, Romney leads, but since 53% of voters are women, Romney's going to have to stop coming across as utterly repugnant to them if he wants a snowball's chance in Moab of occupying the White House.
What's going on? Why do women hate Romney so much? Maybe because he reminds them of a guy they went out with one time, the guy who insisted on explaining how a souffle is made to a professional chef, the tax attorney who tries to go over the finer points of the Higgs boson with a female physics major, the football fan who assumes that all female football fans don't know that there are two different kinds of "safety." Maybe he reminds them of the bumbling Principal on a Disney Channel sitcom, the one that's always trying to ruin all the kids' fun, the hopelessly square one who doesn't get it but acts like he does. GQ's Marin Cogan surmises that Romney probably doesn't mean any harm with his head-scratchingly dumb insistence on things that are not true and offers a generous interpretation of Romney's gaffes as simply mansplainations gone awry,
Going even further back, there's something sort of mansplainy about "I like being able to fire people," and "Corporations are people, my friend!" isn't there? Attacking him on those comments worked because they sounded too facile; they made him seem too entitled. In a weird way, if you see Mitt Romney's gaffes as merely mansplaining, they're somehow more tolerable, because it implies that they come from a lack of self-awareness rather than malice.
But condescending people — men or women — oblivious to their own ignorance are more dangerous to an organization or government than people who know that what they're doing is wrong or evil. People who are aware that they don't know everything have the potential to grow and learn. Even ol' steampunk oil-pumping hearted Dick Cheney went from being a gay marriage skeptic to an advocate after he saw his daughter in a happy same sex partnership. If Mitt Romney's constant, confusing lying is a symptom of a chronic mansplainer run amok, his refusal to acknowledge that he was wrong about anything ever is a symptom that he believes he's fooled everyone — even himself.
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