US – Election 2012 – That’d Be A Real Shame, Mr. Lehrer – 3 October 2012

http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-mitt-romney-big-bird-debate-20121003,0,4344976.story

Okay, I have to say something about The Big Bird Theory. 🙂

I actually glossed over the comment about Big Bird, which was part of a general stream-of-consciousness rant by Romney about how subsidies to PBS put us all in hock to the Chinese, and had to be apprised by the Twitterverse that Romney had surprised a lot of people, daring to threaten a feather on the head of the Great Yellow One like that. But I did catch another part of that a lot of other people seem not to have caught. Let’s look at what he said:

“I’m sorry, Jim, I’m gonna stop the subsidy to PBS…. I like PBS, I love Big Bird — I actually like you too — but I am not going to keep spending money on things [we have] to borrow money from China to pay for.”

He didn’t threaten Big Bird, I guess…unless it was one of those mafiosi kinds of threats. You know the kind: “This is a nice car you have here…it’d be a shame if anything were to happen to it.” That sort of thing. The mafiosi don’t mean that they think it really would be a shame if anything happened to your car. They’re saying if you don’t do what they want, they’re going to smash your car, right? Well, maybe he was saying the same about the Snuffleupagus’s amiable avian friend.

But…if _that’s_ how we’re taking this, we need to get our bearings, because Romney didn’t just say this about a fictional character played by a man in a Muppet suit. Reread the quote. He said it about Jim Lehrer. The moderator of the debate. That Jim Lehrer.

“This is a nice debate you have here. It really would be a shame, though, if you interrupted me while I’m making any of my points, or asked me any questions I don’t wanna answer, know what I’m sayin’? That’d be a real shame.”

Anyone wonder why Jim Lehrer seemed to find it impossible to interrupt anyone while they were speaking tonight? Well, gosh, I don’t know, but don’t you think that might be part of it?

People whose job you are implicitly threatening tend to try not to complicate life for you by asking a lot of pertinent questions. Just sayin’.

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