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Build It Big, Mitt

The New York Times is losing its damn mind over Mitt Romney. Look at what they’re now writing about him: [1]

On Dunemere Drive, it seems as if just about everyone has a gripe against the owners of No. 311.

The elderly woman next door complains that her car is constantly boxed into her driveway. A few houses over, a gay couple grumbles that their beloved ocean views are in jeopardy. And down the street, a widow grouses that her children’s favorite dog-walking route has been disrupted.

It’s a piece about how rich La Jolla people are complaining about what the Romneys are doing to their house there. So Mitt hates the elderly, homosexuals, and widows, is what the Times is saying.

You have to read the whole story to believe it. It’s a disgrace that’s so far beyond serious it’s almost funny. The Times reporter uses this wealthy suburban neighborhood pissing match as a stand-in for everything they judge that’s bad about Mitt Romney. Get this graf:

But many of the residents of this exclusive tract in La Jolla say they are rankled by what they see from their decks and patios as the Romneys’ blindness to their impact on the neighborhood. And personal politics is fueling their frustration as much as anything else, several days of interviews with about a dozen residents suggest.

The Times spent several days and talked to a dozen people to write a story about how these prisspots hate the Romneys. How petty are they? Look:

Three houses away from Mr. Romney is Mark Quint, a Democrat who said that he is tired of watching neighboring homeowners bulldoze small beach houses to make way for McMansions, fearing a “nightmare of construction.” He sees a discrepancy in Mr. Romney’s ambitious renovation plan.

“The only thing he wants small is government and taxes,” Mr. Quint said. “He likes big houses, big families and big religion.”

I am normally against McMansions, but in this case, I say: Build it big, Mitt. Build it big and obnoxious, just to spite these pluperfect jackasses. If you send pay my way, I will drive a big ol’ RV — one with all kinds of Jesusland stickers on the back — across the country a week before Christmas park it on the street outside, and in full view of your neighbors, say, “Shitter was full” [2]as many times and as loud as you want me to.

The people at that paper are beyond self-parody. They’re going to end up making people vote for Romney just to tick off the Times.

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24 Comments To "Build It Big, Mitt"

#1 Comment By Kit Stolz On June 7, 2012 @ 3:05 am

Really? People are going to vote for Romney just to irk the Times?

Well, to annoy liberals, maybe.

Hell of a way to run a railroad.

#2 Comment By Rod Dreher On June 7, 2012 @ 3:39 am

No, not really. As a general matter, though, the more these ridiculous partisan attacks on Romney happen, the more likely many conservative voters who may not much like the guy are to decide that they’re going to get behind him. Though maybe I’m projecting. I don’t have much enthusiasm at all for Romney, and if I vote at all, I’m not going to say who I’m voting for. But boy, are these attacks on Romney making me sympathetic to the guy. I didn’t think anything could make me feel for the Catholic bishops, but then the Times et alia stepped in, and …

#3 Comment By JonF On June 7, 2012 @ 6:27 am

In other breaking news, it is reported that the Romneys hang their toilet paper the wrong way– the fiends!

#4 Comment By Raffarin4024 On June 7, 2012 @ 7:18 am

Annoy the media, vote Romney.

On a more serious note, I much prefer Romney to someone like Gingrich or Santorum. He seems more reasonable, experienced and moderate.

#5 Comment By SketchesbyBoze On June 7, 2012 @ 7:26 am

I love those days when Rod wakes up in full curmudgeon mode (remember “Newtie Two-Loos”?). This post is classic. What a fun way to start the morning.

#6 Comment By Sheldon On June 7, 2012 @ 7:40 am

Let me make sure I understand. The Times has a piece that you think is unfair about how Romney’s neighbors don’t like what Romney is doing to his house, and that will make you more likely to vote for Romney? Would you like me to send you examples of the kind of pieces Fox News, say, runs about Obama? Or don’t those count, for some reason?

There’s a lot at stake in this election – not least what happens to the least among us. This post was beneath your usual level of seriousness.

#7 Comment By JohnE_o On June 7, 2012 @ 8:15 am

But boy, are these attacks on Romney making me sympathetic to the guy. I didn’t think anything could make me feel for the Catholic bishops, but then the Times et alia stepped in, and …

The Pavlovian Response is strong in this one…

#8 Comment By Connie On June 7, 2012 @ 8:46 am

Well, I remember the Times writing similar articles when the Clintons moved to Chappaqua many years ago (although they tempered that with a favorable article last month about how well Hil & Bill have gotten along with their neighbors). I don’t think it’s Mitt, it’s the rich in general. There’s a lot of subtle mocking of all the people in that article.

#9 Comment By Heatherer On June 7, 2012 @ 8:52 am

Any chance you’d be willing to write a little more about the “if I vote at all” comment? At the ripe age of 28, I’m so frustrated and disillusioned with politics that I’m tempted not to vote… by I’ve always been taught that such an attitude throws away the freedom I value and that others have fought for. I’m always considering voting “present” for the purpose of showing I care and am paying attention but there’s no one I can reasonably vote for. That’s sounds nice and meaningful, but I tend to think it will just get written off as accidentally pushing the button before having made my choices.

#10 Comment By Polichinello On June 7, 2012 @ 9:42 am

I like this quote:
For partisan candor it was hard to top Karen Webber, who lives several blocks away and dislikes the heightened security measures. “If this were Obama,” she said, standing near bright orange barriers restricting access to Dunemere, “I’d probably be fine with it.”

La Jolla has some interest in safeguarding their aesthetics, I’ll grant. Of course, the biggest sinner when it comes to using up every green square inch are Chinese immigrants, but good luck getting them to give two sh*ts about SWPL aesthetics.

It looks like Romney’s going to expand into the green lot adjoing his house. It’ll probably look better than 80% of the other houses in that neighborhood.

#11 Comment By MBunge On June 7, 2012 @ 9:49 am

“But boy, are these attacks on Romney making me sympathetic to the guy.”

However, years of people accusing Barack Obama of not being an American, and one Republican after another refusing to denounce such nonsense, apparently doesn’t stir such sympathy.

Does it ever occur to you, Rod, that there’s a reason why your mouth waters every time you hear that bell?

Mike

#12 Comment By Geoff Guth On June 7, 2012 @ 9:53 am

Yeah, turning to rich, cranky neighbors complaining about the Romney mcmansion is more than kinda silly.

On the other hand, as cultural issues go, do you really want to vote for someone who would have the bad taste to buy or live in a mcmansion in the first place? Romney may have lost the aesthetes’ vote (not that there’s many of them out there).

#13 Comment By Andrea On June 7, 2012 @ 10:05 am

Oh, I don’t know. I might find Romney’s home renovation habits annoying too if I lived in his neighborhood. To a certain extent, I think this kind of story is useful for telling voters more about the person they might be voting for. It’s the Times, so of course it’s from a rarified, eastern liberal point of view. I don’t think it is likely to have much of an impact on how people vote. Those who read the article already have their minds made up. I’m not inclined to vote for Romney but it’s because I disagree with him politically, not because he’s rich or Mormon or his wife likes dressage.

#14 Comment By TWylite On June 7, 2012 @ 10:35 am

Also, I heard he once checked out of a 10-items-or-less supermarket express lane with 11 items. The nerve of that imperious plutocrat!

#15 Comment By James On June 7, 2012 @ 12:09 pm

Rod, your “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” reference had me in tears!

As for the Romney house, it might not be bad. His old house in Belmont, Mass., and his vacation home in Wolfeboro, N.H., are both pretty nice.

#16 Comment By Chris On June 7, 2012 @ 1:41 pm

You know what the most unappreciated line in that Christmas Vacation clip is: “Have you checked our shitters honey?” Big smile every time I see this clip.

#17 Comment By Bubba On June 7, 2012 @ 1:45 pm

Not only are these people petty, they’re clairvoyant, objecting to his plans for an 11,000 sq ft house a full three years before his candidacy, apparently aware of his intentions before he was…

#18 Comment By Bruce Ross On June 7, 2012 @ 2:45 pm

Um … from an excerpt you quoted:

“And personal politics is fueling their frustration as much as anything else, several days of interviews with about a dozen residents suggest.”

Maybe you should vote for Romney to annoy privileged La Jolla liberals, but I don’t know that the paper deserves the grief here.

#19 Comment By Monterey On June 7, 2012 @ 3:43 pm

I hear Mitt eats children–which is worse than eating dogs, of course…

#20 Comment By Turmarion On June 7, 2012 @ 5:01 pm

As a general matter, though, the more these ridiculous partisan attacks on Romney happen, the more likely many conservative voters who may not much like the guy are to decide that they’re going to get behind him. Though maybe I’m projecting.

Yes, you’re projecting. John E. is right….

To me, such goofy attacks from or towards either candidate are like static that I just tune totally out. They have not the slightest effect on whom I’d tend to vote for or be more sympathetic to. In fact, for me “like”, “be sympathetic to”, and “willing to vote for” are all separate and unconnected categories. which, IMO, they should be.

#21 Comment By Church Lady On June 7, 2012 @ 5:06 pm

You might change your mind if Romney built a McMansion in Fayetteville, Lousiana, right next door to yours. The question here is, would Romney be the kind of neighbor you’d want? Would your concerns be petty and laughable to you?

#22 Comment By TycheSD On June 7, 2012 @ 5:11 pm

I live in San Diego, and am familiar with the neighborhood. Yes, I’m sure there are prissy neighbors who would complain about anything, but doing major construction in this tight neighborhood is going to put a lot of people out. Have you done a Google Maps search of this street and the address? It’s completely built up and tight already.

The NYT might be off-base here, or not. The article was in the Homes section of the Times, not on the front page. And, it’s actually news in La Jolla, California that would be publicized nationally about any person running for president, including people like John Kerry.

What about the part about Romney telling some guy on the beach to stop smoking weed? What’s that about?

#23 Comment By Bubba On June 7, 2012 @ 7:11 pm

“What’s that about?”

Control. And rules. And obedience. But not to zoning rules and the process required to build ginormous houses.

#24 Comment By EddieInCA On June 7, 2012 @ 11:11 pm

I remember when you said “Lock and Load” when it came to Sarah Palin, Rod.

This seems like one of those posts you’ll regret a week from now.