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I know you are, but what am I?

I’ve noticed increasing use in politics of a propaganda tactic where you accuse your opponent of doing something that you yourself often do (e.g., class warfare). But Romney, in his effort to rehabilitate himself to the Republican base, is taking this to new heights.

In a speech last Friday in Florida, Romney accused Obama of taking advice from the “Harvard faculty lounge”. And last month, Romney used a similar line in a speech about foreign policy, “That may be what they think in that Harvard faculty lounge, but it’s not what they know on the battlefield.”. What’s ironic about this is while it is true that Obama got his law degree from Harvard, Romney himself not only has a law degree from Harvard, he also got a business degree there as well. Plus all three of his children have attended Harvard Business School.

As for his sound bite about Obama taking advice from the Harvard faculty lounge, Romney’s advisor on foreign policy teaches international affairs at Harvard, and his economic advisor for 2008 and 2012 is a star professor at Harvard whose textbook is used at colleges around the country.



  1. TENTHIRTYTWO wrote:

    I tend to think of it less as a propaganda technique and more of a psychological issue: severe projection.

    Another irony to me, as I’m watching the political discourse battlefield looking more and more like the religious discourse battlefield I am so used to.

    Monday, September 26, 2011 at 8:47 am | Permalink
  2. David Freeman wrote:

    I do find it strange that so many idiots went to Harvard and Yale. Don’t get me wrong … many brilliant folks attended these institutions too but if you average them all together, I’d guess they would come up just about average.

    Monday, September 26, 2011 at 11:22 am | Permalink
  3. Jeff wrote:

    The reason tactics like this work is because very few people (present company excluded, of course) bother to do any homework on things like this. They take politicians at their word, which is the equivalent of trusting a pathological liar, and don’t even think to check up on what is being said.

    I’m sure people will hear about this, though, and then Fox will have to get some pundits together to say that it doesn’t matter, Obama and his supporters were missing the point, and that Romney is the unfortunate victim of a left-wing smear campaign. It’s happened before, and it’ll happen again.

    Monday, September 26, 2011 at 11:29 am | Permalink
  4. TENTHIRTYTWO wrote:

    David, the question of precisely *how* they got into Harvard/Yale is probably what really matters.

    Monday, September 26, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Permalink
  5. PatriotSGT wrote:

    1032 – thats easy enough to answer. They wrote a check for the full amount and also probably added a big chunk as a donation.

    Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at 7:41 am | Permalink
  6. Iron Knee wrote:

    Have you *seen* the application for Harvard? I read it years ago, and the first few pages were all about asking if you were related to any of a long list of people (donors I guess). It wasn’t about whether you were qualified to get into Harvard, it was weather you were related to someone. Not surprising that lots of idiots get in, at all. Money is money.

    Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at 10:57 am | Permalink