September 18, 2012

The secret video reveals Romney as "the sneering plutocrat..."

"... fully in thrall to a series of pernicious myths that are at the heart of the mania that has seized his party," says Jonathan Chait.
[Romney] believes that market incomes in the United States are a perfect reflection of merit. Far from seeing his own privileged upbringing as the private-school educated son of an auto executive-turned-governor as an obvious refutation of that belief, Romney cites his own life, preposterously, as a confirmation of it. (“I have inherited nothing. Everything I earned I earned the old fashioned way.”)...

The revelations in this video come to me as a genuine shock. I have never hated Romney. I presumed his ideological makeover since he set out to run for president was largely phony, even if he was now committed to carry through with it, and to whatever extent he’d come to believe his own lines, he was oblivious or na├»ve about the damage he would inflict upon the poor, sick, and vulnerable.  It seems unavoidable now to conclude that Romney’s embrace of Paul Ryanism is born of actual contempt for the looters and moochers, a class war on behalf of his own class.
There are plenty of conservatives who will celebrate all of that. Not the "sneering plutocrat" part, but the Paul Ryanism.

Chait is demonstrating how Democrats can stir up antagonism to Romney, but much of that antagonism will be felt by people who were never going to vote for Romney... like Chait himself. I have never hated Romney, he says. Yeah, you didn't hate him because he seemed so bland and ineffectual, and you didn't think he'd win. But Paul Ryan and his crisp conservatism — that, you hate. I'd say Romney ought to avoid sucking up to Chait. That's the McCain mistake: You get liberals to like you, but they don't vote for you, and the conservatives lose interest.

Chait gives it all away when he brings up Ryan and portrays him as contemptuous. "Sneering plutocrat" is a great phrase, and I expect Democrats to take advantage and plunge forward with that meme. But Ryan is no sneering plutocrat. He brings youthful vitality and intelligence to the conservative cause. If Romney seemed like Ryan in the secret video, that's a useful revelation.

IN THE COMMENTS: Crimso said:
Did Chait actually suggest it is wrong to have contempt for looters and moochers? 
And edutcher said:
When you've lost Jonathan Chait...

you've really started to scare the Lefties. 

69 comments:

Andy R. said...

The best thing about Romney's disgusting lurch to the right is that if/when he loses it might finally knock a little sense into the Republican Party. The big fear was that Romney was going to lose as a bland ineffectual moderate and then the Republican Party would decide to triple down on the crazy. But losing with a true believer on the top of the ticket (plus Paul Ryan!) might finally let the Republican Party know they are off the rails.

Eventually there will be shift in power in the United States, and as a concerned citizen, I would really prefer if one of the parties isn't crazy.

Victor Erimita said...

The Democrats and their ideological mind bots like Chait think everyone hates achievers as much as they do. The polls say otherwise. Here's hoping they get their big Pauline Kael moment in November.

America's Politico said...

This was what the WH Axe said today at the meeting with NYT, NPR, PBS, MSNBC at the K-street shop. Me thinks that the election is passed Romney.

If you were on Mars and you could participate in the election, would you vote for Romney as an ALIEN?

No one wants Romney to win. No one in the MSM.

Ergo: POTUS wins.

I, as a member of CORE (COmmittee to Re-Elect) the greatest and the best POTUS, am so happy. So happy.

The Roller said...

When all of this fake whinging by those in the lame scream media subsides, more voters just might come to the conclusion that Mitt was correct.

And this does help our SCOAMF's chances of more years.

Shaloha.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=daV7hvK7NGw

Tim said...

The election was always about competency and America's traditions v. the incumbents manifest failures and need to reshape America into something it was never meant to be.

This video clarifies (for those who haven't been paying attention yet) the election, and the shrill attack from the alienated Left (redundant, I know...) only shows they understand they cannot win if their affirmative action president's only argument for reelection is to protect the tax users, the unproductive classes, the free-riders.

Obama's "I believe in wealth redistribution" stance is a dead-bang loser.

Seeing Red said...

The true believer/Nero is sitting in the WH - well, he's flying around on AF 1 hoovering up the cash & partying while our embassies burn, or AQ raises their flag.

Nice party you have there Andy, 100 million dead in the 20th century alone isn't enough for you?

Unknown said...

Better a sneering plutocrat than a clueless socialist.

rhhardin said...

A plutocrite on the other hand is a discerner of wealth.

rhhardin said...

Plutocrats don't eat the seed corn.

America's Politico said...

Jill @ NYT to Elite Reporters in the Media:

--> Hey, no one, I mean no one should refer to our POTUS youtube video from 1998 at Loyola U. If anyone does, I will bury you and roast you at your house.
---> AM I clear?
All in unison: CRYSTAL

Crimso said...

Did Chait actually suggest it is wrong to have contempt for looters and moochers?

Man in PA said...

Paradoxically, those who use the word "sneering" that way are actually sneering.

chickelit said...

re: "Sneering plutocrat"

Romney sneers? Like Cheney did? I looked up the definition of sneer to make sure. He doesn't.

Chait is projecting--like Andy S. did here when he tried to get that Scrooge McDuck meme to stick to Romney.

Plutocrat may be a little harder moniker for Romeny to shake because he is wealthy.

Just being honest with words.

Tim said...

"But Ryan is no sneering plutocrat. He brings youthful vitality and intelligence to the conservative cause. If Romney seemed like Ryan in the secret video, that's a useful revelation."

This is exactly what Chait and the Left fear: a young, vibrant, intelligent conservative who not only understands the moral hazard of an overly generous social welfare state, who not only understands the fiscal insanity of an unfunded social welfare state, but who also understands the politics of fostering dependency, that if the social welfare programs become just a safety net, are put on sound fiscal foundation, the Democrat power-grip erodes significantly, and so too then does their power in government.

This terrifies Chait and those like him.

DKWalser said...

Romney doesn't come across as a sneering plutocrat to anyone who recalls the testimonies at the RNC of those Romney helped when out of public eye. He spent time and money to help those who needed his help. That's not how sneering plutocrats act.

whswhs said...

Chait appeals to the notion that Obama wanted to "help" the people he referred to as clinging bitterly to guns and religion and nationalism. And perhaps he did. But what Chait misses is that Romney wants to help the 47% of the population he thinks will never vote for him—by getting them to depend on themselves and their own efforts and not on the government. And as someone who is financially strained, but who supports himself by his own work, I think Romney has it right—independence and supporting oneself really are better for people. Unearned transfer payments are an addiction that's hard to give up, but that doesn't mean the people who consume them are better off.

But it hardly surprises me that a liberal thinks only liberals are capable of knowing what's good for people better than the people themselves do.

William H. Stoddard

JL said...

Chait is demonstrating how Democrats can stir up antagonism to Romney, but much of that antagonism will be felt by people who were never going to vote for Romney... like Chait himself.

True. It's about stirring up the base. Must get the hate flowing strong, so that it will carry them to the polling site to vote on election day.

Ordinary people probably won't be very shocked to learn that a politician talking shop to donors says something the opposition party hates.

chickelit said...

Andy S. said...
The best thing about Obama's disgusting lurch to the left is that if/when he loses it might finally knock a little sense into the Democratic Party.

FTFY

Sam L. said...

"Eventually there will be shift in power in the United States, and as a concerned citizen, I would really prefer if one of the parties isn't crazy."

Me, too, Andy S. I think we disagree on which party that is, though.

edutcher said...

When you've lost Jonathan Chait...

you've really started to scare the Lefties.

Lyle said...

Romney please listen to Ryan. He's got It figured.

shiloh said...

Apologies to sneering plutocrats ...

Tom Spaulding said...

Where are the results of the Great Obama?

In what ways are we better off? By what metrics?

LibProgs don't like their reflection in the mirror, so they hate the guy that's holding it up.

Trust me, Libs, the pain you are feeling will go away once you vote for your country, not for your 8th grade model UN president. He is a construct built of all your mistaken ideals. A false prophet, and he will lead you nowhere.

Obama's Dream of Dependent America cannot exist now. In order to win 51% of the vote, he has alienated the Makers that he needs to feed the Takers, and the Makers can afford to leave or withdraw and wait him out.

And they will. See: France.

Hari said...

"Far from seeing his own privileged upbringing as the private-school educated son of an auto executive-turned-governor as an obvious refutation of that belief, Romney cites his own life, preposterously, as a confirmation of it."

Going to private schools instead of public schools makes a child "privileged" Going to public schools then seems to make it more likely that you will depend on the government for the rest of your life.

As for being born the son of an auto executive, recall that the auto executives did not fare nearly as well when the Democrats were bailing out the automotive unions during the GM bankruptcy.

And finally, Romney is the son of a governor. So how is Jimmy Carter's grandson doing?

Tom Spaulding said...

Eventually there will be shift in power in the United States, and as a concerned citizen, I would really prefer if one of the parties isn't crazy.

What are you concerned about. Or whom?

You're trying to suggest Joe Biden, Sheila Jackson-Lee, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Charles Rangel, Chuck Schumer and Barack Obama represent the "sane" party?

GTFO

DKWalser said...

For some more stories of Romney's personal charity, go here: http://tinyurl.com/9e7b4cw and view the four interviews. It's not the behavior one expects from a sneering plutocrat.

shiloh said...

"Jimmy Carter's grandson doing?"

He's not running for C-in-C, but congrats on your red herring/non sequitur ...

edutcher said...

Andy R. said...

The best thing about Romney's disgusting lurch to the right is that if/when he loses it might finally knock a little sense into the Republican Party. The big fear was that Romney was going to lose as a bland ineffectual moderate and then the Republican Party would decide to triple down on the crazy. But losing with a true believer on the top of the ticket (plus Paul Ryan!) might finally let the Republican Party know they are off the rails.

As opposed to the Julia Party, right?

Eventually there will be shift in power in the United States, and as a concerned citizen, I would really prefer if one of the parties isn't crazy.

Who's gonna break it to Hatman that shift is going to be to the Right?

shiloh said...

Apologies to sneering plutocrats ...

No, it won't save you.

So, Zero's up by 8 in a poll that skews D +8.

Care to go back to the Black Rock poll? That's D +13.

America's Politico said...

NASA got a communication from Curiousity on Mars:

Ground controller: Hello Curiousity! Who will you vote for: Romney or Obama:
Robot from Mars: Who cares for Romney? No one on Mars wants to vote for him. We love earth and we love POTUS Obama.

Hari said...

Shiloh,

My point was that having a father who is a politician is neither necessary nor sufficient for being successful.

rcocean said...

Still the most boring election ever. This one makes Dole vs. Clinton seem interesting.

Maybe the debates will stir some interest.

YoungHegelian said...

No, Chait doesn't hate Romney. Chait hated Bush, remember? Chait was also the sort of navel gazing & insufferably smug asshole that he thought expressing his hatred for our at the time President made the world a better place.

Chait & Franklin Foer have a lot to answer for in turning The New Republic into toilet paper.

Cedarford said...

Growing up the child of privilege as the son of a wealthy Jewish doctor, Jonathan Chait sure gets a lot of milage sneering at others of privilege and private schools.

Of course Chait was too dumb to get into medical school, so he became a journalist instead. And got steady employment via the network of fellow progressive Jews in the media.

Michael said...

"You get liberals to like you, but they don't vote for you, and the conservatives lose interest"

This is exactly right.

elkh1 said...

Romney is a competent plutocrat.

Obama is an incompetent autocrat who rules by decrees: executive orders to circumvent the laws passed by Congress.

edutcher said...

shiloh said...

Jimmy Carter's grandson doing?

He's not running for C-in-C, but congrats on your red herring/non sequitur ...


Sorry, genius, but secretly recording that meeting turns out to be a felony.

That herring's about to be pickled.

Anglelyne said...

The revelations in this video come to me as a genuine shock.

Just looked up this guy's birth date. Son, it's probably a bad sign when a woman 15 years your senior, and you know, a woman, reads your stuff and thinks, "Christ, what a silly old woman."

ricpic said...

Moochers need love too!

Synova said...

"The big fear was that Romney was going to lose as a bland ineffectual moderate..."

Oh BS, Andy.

Dems have been portraying Romney as a dangerous right-wing crazy man since this campaign season started. I got told today by regular old guy, ancient vet in a wheelchair that "Romney is told what to do by the Tea Party" and "Boehner wants to disband the VA and leave veterans hanging."'

So the Democrat's strategy is successful.

There is NO upside to any Republican for being either a moderate or a decent human being. The lying Democrats convince those who trust them that Romney is far far from "moderate" and it's the Republican's fault for not fielding more moderates?

There's nothing in it for them. Not a thing.

Michael K said...

"Eventually there will be shift in power in the United States, and as a concerned citizen, I would really prefer if one of the parties isn't crazy."

Then why do you vote for the crazy one ?

Synova said...

"Did Chait actually suggest it is wrong to have contempt for looters and moochers?"

Yeah.

And I've seen more than one other remark out there that affirms that being a moocher is bad, that's why it's so awful that Romney said that 47% don't pay income tax and rely on government. Because relying on government is an insult and is a bad thing to say about anyone.

It might not be explicit, but implicitly they're all saying that depending on the government and government aid is bad.

Michael K said...

Apparently, the fund raiser was over a month ago. THe story is that Carter's grandson took the secret tape and gave it to the DNC. They have been sitting on it until the time they thought they needed it. This must be the time. Panic ! ESpecially when they see 75% of CNBC viewers loved Romney's interview.

Talk about an exploding cigar !

Michael K said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Tim said...

"But Ryan is no sneering plutocrat. He brings youthful vitality and intelligence to the conservative cause. If Romney seemed like Ryan in the secret video, that's a useful revelation."

This is exactly what Chait and the Left fear:...


They fear someone who won't age out as a Presidential contender for the next 30 years.

Joe said...

The US, as most governments, is ruled by a plutocracy. How can anyone be surprised by this?

SteveR said...

The new and frequent real and Mobied deep left commenters on this site over the last few months have clearly given the impression that they are worried about the election. Ironically nothing about the anti-Romney rhetoric is any worse than what many conservative (and not so conservative) Republicans have already said. So what? Your guy is a terrible president, you know it and most Americans do as well.
Today may be the day that the reality starts to hit. Four more years of Gilligan lol

Hagar said...

The recording was made May 17th. It really pissed me off when Brian Williams on the NBC Evening News today omitted that little fact, deliberately I think, and made it seem like it happeneed this weekend to weave it into the NBC context.

Larvell said...

Isn't it interesting how, when a Republican attacks an Obama quote, the press feels obliged to assert as a "fact" that the quote was taken out of context, to explain the larger point Obama was inartfully trying to make, to brand the Republican as a "liar," and to practically explode with rage at the idea that there are a finite number of Pinocchios in the world. But when Romney says something, the press meekly accepts the worst possible construction put forward by Democratic flaks, and thinks the only story is "How could Romney have committed such a gaffe?"

Hagar said...

There is much wrong with the distribution of incomes in the Unites States at present, but it is not nearly as bad as it would be if Jonathan Chait got to be the judge of "merit" and the power to reward accordingly.

LilyBart said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Godfather said...

FDR was a smiling plutocrat.

JFK was a swinging plutocrat.

John Kerry was a posturing plutocrat.

None of them worked for their money (well, maybe Kerry did; I don't know enough about his home life to say).

I don't think Democrats can make a plausible case that you shouldn't vote for plutocrats.

Mitt was born to a rich family, but he decided to make it on his own. I guess that makes him a self-made plutocrat.

He's running against a guy who got into the 1% by writing two semi-fictional memoirs. And who has performed as president about the way someone with that resume would be expected to perform. A lot of people thought he's be better than that, but he wasn't. We've got to let him go.

PatCA said...

"the poor, sick, and vulnerable."

Does Chait honestly assert that the masses of people on aid are such?

Balfegor said...

Re: CNBC viewers loving the remark -- CNBC's Santelli is the man who brought us the tea party. Kind of. The man who let the future Tea-Partiers know they were not alone, at least. Their audience is probably a lot more pro-market than the average.

Re: Chait -- the man's whole schtick is about viscerally hating people he opposes politically. He's carefully cultivated his little knot of atavistic resentments, fears, and hatreds, so it's hardly surprising that he'd eventually come out snarling with hatred of Romney too. Hatred is his thing.

Hagar said...

The F. in John F. Kerry stands for Forbes, his mother's maiden name. It is believed he inherited somewhare around $200 million.

AllenS said...

Jonathon Chait is a Journolist member. This fact needs to be brought up every time he posts something. He is a liar and fabricator of events. He represents the shit-stain underwear of people who write for a living.

John Lynch said...

I have a mental list of partisan hacks that I don't read. If a writer will never write anything that I can't find somewhere else, they go on the list. If the only consistent position they hold is defending whatever their side is saying on a particular day, they go on the list.

I notice that there's a lot of turnover. Very few hacks can keep it up for more than a couple election cycles. They may still be writing, but no one is reading.

Some writers start off interesting but turn into hacks. I think it's from reading the other hacks. Rarely a hack will develop their own voice and become interesting. I can't think of one offhand, but I'm sure it's happened.

crosspatch said...

"much of that antagonism will be felt by people who were never going to vote for Romney"

That's exactly the same conclusion I came to, as well. It is really going to register as a negative with folks who weren't going to vote for him, register as a positive with the conservatives.

But I think there is another group that this will register as a positive with and that is the "old school" working class Democrat who is starting to get tired of public service unions getting rich at the expense of the members of the industrial unions who are having increasing taxes taken from their pockets to pay for what amounts to jobs for life for government employees.

Between what Romney said and the settlement agreement with the Chicago teachers union, particularly after the concessions the industrial union members are giving, I am going to be surprised if there are any working class Democrats left in 5 years.

The Democratic Party is going to consist of millions of people trapped in dependence to government programs they can't get out of because a better job means more in lost benefits than the new job brings in pay increase. These people are basically trapped on welfare and can't get out without taking a cut in the total income even if they try to move up a rung on the ladder.

In 5 years the party will be the very poor on welfare and a rich elite offering them goodies for their vote and that's about it. The Democrats main goal at this point seems to be just getting 51% on the dole so they have a permanent lock on government.

It is no wonder that people are leaving the Democratic Party in droves.

Hank Seiter said...

I've long said liberals, particularly liberal Marxists, define their "compassion" by how much they can empower government to coerce ever higher level of taxes from the middle-class in order to grow their entitlement plantation to their political benefit.

That fact is we have a redistributionist affirmative action president who is himself a filthy rich one-percenter who has hypocritically regaled us with the leftist platitudes like "spread the wealth" and misappropriated the Bible's truth that we are our brother's keeper. Despite self-righteously invoking the latter on more than severl occasions this world-class hypocrites still has a Kenyan half-brother George who lives in a wooden hut built from pallets. And we have Joe Biden who gave all of $384 to charity in 2009. The reason arrogant liberal Marxists sneer at and loathe Mitt Romney is the inconvenient fact he voluntarily donates more money to charity and his church IN ONE YEAR than the vast majority of posturing liberals will give in a lifetime ... even many limousine and lear jet liberals!

Google "Who Really Cares" and you'll see that it's conservatives (not that Romney is a conservative) who give more money, more time, and more blood to help those less fortunate.

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Moneyrunner said...

Headline you won't see in America's state controlled media:

Another day, another disaster: So what now for Afghanistan?


Kim Sengupta reports on a chaotic 24 hours that saw the Allies in disarray, the exit strategy seemingly in tatters and a dozen killed by a suicide bomb

The decision announced yesterday to cut back on joint operations undertaken by international and Afghan forces raises crucial questions about the key plank of the exit strategy from the 11-year war which has proved costly in lives and money.

The move is also a significant propaganda coup for the insurgents, coming just after their assault on Camp Bastion which resulted in the destruction of warplanes worth $200m. For the British and coalition troops, the announcement in Washington will only highlight the mistrust which has been the inevitable consequence of 51 deaths inflicted by their supposed Afghan brothers-in-arms.
>

Let's summarize the way Team Obama has managed our affairs with Islam during his regime. Bush left him a war that was won in Iraq and a Middle East that was quiet. Four years later the followers of Mohammad are rioting all over the world, screaming "Death to America," they have killed one of our ambassadors to a country whose leader we overthrew in a war that was waged without even a legal fig leaf, Egypt is now in the stage where Iran was just after the Shah departed, our "exit strategy" for leaving Afghanistan won't work because the troops we are training there are killing our troops - in record numbers.

And all this while racking up more debt than any of Obama's predecessors - and most of his predecessors combined. More people have given up looking for work than are finding jobs. Corporate earnings are headed down again. Races are at each others throats while Team Obama stoked a war between men and women. Religions are being placed under the yoke of government bureaucrats - except for Islam which expresses it's unhappiness by killing those who insult them. The American President is despised and ridiculed despite having bowed to kings and dictators.

I would like to think it's sheer incompetence, because the alternative is too scary to contemplate.

And this clown wants to renew his term in office?

Lord, please give us a break, we solemnly pray.

Saint Croix said...

The revelations in this video come to me as a genuine shock.

As opposed to a phony shock or an exaggerated shock. When you stick the word "genuine" in front of words that don't need it, it means you're afraid people aren't going to believe you.

If Chait was really shocked, then he would not accept this out-of-context quote as proof of anything. He would demand the whole tape. He would want to hear the question. He would want context.

Chait wants none of those things. He already knew Romney was a "sneering plutocrat." This out-of-context quote is thus used to prove Chait's own prejudices.

Romney, at his press conference, made several references to this. Not to Chait specifically, but to journalist practices of the left.

"Gee, I wish we could see the whole tape."

"It would be nice if we could hear the question. I wish they would release the whole tape."

With remarkable patience Romney is reminding the journalist left about stuff like doing your job. Don't push your ideology out onto the world. Find out facts. Dig for facts. We need more facts!

Where's the tape? Play it. The whole tape.

Contrast Breitbart to Mother Jones. The Sherrod incident? How did journalists react? What did they want to hear? The whole tape. You need to put quotes in context. If journalism is your game, that's how you play it.

TheThinMan said...

JFK: "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."

The clear meaning of which is: "Don't be a lazy moocher off government goodies; get a freakin' job and pay something TO the government for a change!"

How far we've fallen in 50 years as a society when the Democrat's central theme is now a Republican's "gaffe."

Clyde said...

I don't like Chait-speech. I think there's a code for that!

John Galt said...

The most revealing part of Chait's comment is his whining that "[Romney] believes that market incomes in the United States are a perfect reflection of merit." This comment reveals so much of the liberal mindset and plan. Markets do not ascribe merit, just value, to goods and services. The critique of markets that they are not perfectly "meritorious" (whatever that means), is not a serious critique at all, but rather a dishonest attack brought by people who fundamentally dislike markets.

What Chait and his ilk are really saying with that comment are two things: First, that central planners (like them) are needed to redistribute according to "merit" (which they will define and ascribe), since markets are "imperfect" in that respect; and, secondly, and most basically, that they resent the outcomes of markets because smart people like them are not sufficiently appreciated by markets. That's the core of it. There is utterly no connection between their critique of markets and any policies that actually help people they purport to care about. It's about power, ego and leveling for its own sake. If their policies happen to make everyone worse off, well, there's always denial and blaming the other side to cover that flaw.

Jeff H said...

When do you suppose was the last time Chait gladly forked over some of his own pocket change to a guy on the street with a tin cup or dirty clothes?

mariner said...

Who has "lost" Jonathan Chait? Certainly not Obama.

Chait will vote for Obama, and try to influence others to do the same. There was and is no chance he would ever vote for a conservative or a Republican.

ken in sc said...

A Scrooge McDuck comic book, that I remember from my youth, taught me more about economics than any of the classes I had in college. In the comic, a tornado came and blew open Scrooges safe. His money was blown all over town and everyone went around picking it up with wheelbarrows and buckets. They all felt rich and quit their jobs. All the stores were closed for lack of employees. Scrooge planted a garden and opened a produce stand. He charged exorbitant prices but he was the only source of food. By the end of the story, Scrooge had all his money back and everyone else went back to work like they did before.

Saint Croix said...

nice one, Ken.

Scrooge McDuck rocks.

Minicapt said...

1. While the infamous and possibly illegal video was made in May, it apparently bumped about YouTube until rescued by Carter #3; who, as he advertised his find to those needing it, also made mention of his unemployed status.

3. J.F. Kerry did not collect much as an inheritance as his father was not the Kerry with the gold; Kerry's education was financed by an aunt; he married an heiress after his Vietnam tour, and divorced her when politics intervened; having discovered that a Senator's salary did not support the Kerry lifestyle, he then married the Widow Heinz.

3. J. Chait wishes to be an intellectual challenger, but he is capable only achieved only of challenged status, and simple.

Cheers