The way Obama and Romney employed these stereotypes are not actually equivalent. Both behind-closed-door comments were profoundly condescending, but only Romney explicitly wrote off the people he’s describing. As Slate’s William Saletan notes, Obama embedded his bitter- clingers characterization in a longer riff about why it’s important for Democrats to keep fighting for blue-collar votes. Romney’s remarks were more dismissive and therefore should prove more politically damaging: “I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives,” he said, of millions of his fellow countrymen, and left it at that.He then asks that we
set aside the short-term politics for a moment. What does it say about our culture that the people funding presidential campaigns on both sides of the aisle seem to regard their downscale fellow countrymen as a kind of alien race, to be feared and condescended to in equal measure?The obvious idiocy of this "argument" is that Romney first blames the mythical 47% and they writes them off while Obama see's the creation of narrow minded bigots as a failure of public policy and outreach and demands that we do better. The "short-term" politics are likely to be less important than now might seem to be the case.
However, the longer-term political implications are that the left-half of the neoliberal political world is going to continue to try and ameliorate the ravages of market capitalism, albeit insufficiently and sporadically, while trying to convince their fellow citizens to be less bigoted and fear-filled.
This dynamic, indeed, helps to explain the decline of the Republicans as a national party and their increased reliance on voter suppression and lies.