Stupid is as stupid does: The ship of fools

A week after the presidential election, a group of about 600 rich Republicans took a “conservative cruise of a lifetime” to the Bahamas, sponsored by the National Review.

New York magazine has the details. The diplomatic way of saying it is, “these people are really out to sea.”

Some of the gems …

“Who sent Obama here to destroy America?” a fiftysomething woman asked me one evening over dinner, as if it were a perfectly reasonable question.

…and …

As we drained the Pinot Noir, [Kevin] Hassett gave his audience the insider’s view of the Romney campaign, describing how its election-monitoring software crashed on November 6 and Obama was probably behind it, “because those guys are so evil.”

The table grumbled in assent.

“The thing we have to understand is, these are people who don’t have any morals,” said Hassett. “They’ll do anything. I’m one of their No. 1 targets. I mean, they really want me bad.”

… and …

After dinner was a program called the “Light Side of the Right Side.” A frenetic, tightly wound man named James Lileks, a National Review columnist from Minnesota, warmed up the crowd with one-liners: “If we can put a man on the moon, we can put 50 million Democrats up there as well!”

… and …

At other times, things got a little too old-fashioned for comfort. I met a man near the railing who was there as a caregiver for a 70-year-old National Review cruiser from Palm Desert, California. He was gay and seemingly liberal and had come on the cruise only to push his boss around in a wheelchair. As he smoked a cigarette, he recounted a conversation the two had about the ship’s largely Indonesian and Filipino staff.

BOSS: You notice none of the workers are white.

CAREGIVER: Except the managers upstairs.

BOSS: Well, that’s the way it should be.

It goes on like this for a couple of thousand words, but it’s a fascinating story. If you start reading it, you can’t put it down. It’s like watching a car accident in slow motion. You want to turn away, but you watch because you just can’t believe it’s happening. Read the whole thing here.

Ah, the humanity!

Here’s Mitt Romney‘s plan for tonight’s presidential debate (from the National Review).

Romney’s advisers have a simple strategy: They want their candidate to balance his finely tuned arguments with personal warmth. Since Romney is a reserved man, his advisers acknowledge that it will be difficult for him to endear himself to the country, especially under the hot studio lights. But they consider it critical. “This is really about introducing him to the country,” a Romney adviser says. “It’s the largest audience he has ever had. Everybody’s watching.”

So the key to winning the debate is to appear human? He hasn’t tried to appear human during the past six years he’s been running for president?  Good luck with that.