Mitt Romney has taken the only course available — defending his remarks depicting half of America as welfare moochers.
The smart guys say we'll know in a week to 10 days if the narrative the video so clearly illustrates will hold and solidify a deserved opinion of Romney as a clueless millionaire whose primary aim in running for president is to protect his kind. Again: the video only contributes to abundant evidence that Republican philosophy is to raise taxes on the working poor by elimination of such incentives to work as the earned income tax credit and to cut taxes for the wealthy, particularly on the unearned income of capital gains and dividends.
This philosophy — tax work, not wealth — has already produced an economic catastrophe for the U.S. Romney wants to enhance a losing strategy, to the benefit of a relative handful of plutocrats. Can American voters be duped again? Mitt Romney is not the Music Man. He's selling imaginary musical instruments, yes, but with none of the same charm and likeability. That's what so damaging about the video. Cinema verite.
When conservative columnist Ross Douthat writes the likes of this, (headlined "Our Revolting Elites") you have a problem:
The idea that he would reveal his true political beliefs to a group of people he’s trying to flatter, cajole and spook into giving him more money may be appealing to his critics, but it isn’t necessarily convincing.
What these comments definitely tell us, though, is what Mitt Romney, master consultant, feels his “clients” in the Republican donor base want to be told about this election and what will inspire them to dig deep and give freely to his cause. Assuming those instincts are correct, his comments help illuminate the way many well-off Americans feel about their less-fortunate fellow countrymen — and it isn’t a pretty thing to see.
No indeed. And it will be uglier to watch put into practice, in Washington and, please note, in the Arkansas legislature.
It’s literally rich: Willard, born on third base and acting self-made, whining to the rich about what a great deal in life the poor have.
...After months of doggedly trying to seem more likable, sharing his guilty pleasures like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Snooki, Romney came across as a mean geek, a Cranbrook kid at the country club smugly swaddled in class disdain. He thinks being president is his manifest destiny. His father didn’t make it, so he will — no matter what far-out conservative positions he must graft on to in order to do it.
We’re in search of the real Romney. But, disturbingly, so is he.
ALSO: Great column by Gene Lyons who emphasizes that the working poor who remit payroll taxes are paying a higher effective tax rate, 15.3 percent, than the 13 percent Romney reported on the only tax return he's released.
Remember Al Gore and Love Canal? These easy narratives are hard to shake. Particularly when, unlike in Gore's case, they are true. Let's have Jon Stewart mop up.
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