The 53 Percent Are at the Trough, Too
I thought Mitt Romney was smarter than that.Not in the sense of having been caught on video in a surfeit of candor. That can happen to anyone in his position (although, candidate Obama’s similar experience in 2008 should have taught him a lesson). No, I thought Romney was smart enough to recognize the 47-percent-don’t-pay-taxes trope for the imperious canard that it is.Romney’s Conservatism Of The Heartless
There are obvious mitigating factors: such as that those with no federal income tax liability pay other taxes, including FICA and state and local income taxes, or, in the case of seniors, have simply retired from the workforce. And set aside, too, the fact that the middle of the worst economic crisis since the Depression is not the optimal time to look at data on unemployment insurance and food stamps. As Ramesh Ponnuru and Mike Konczal have written, the 47-percent figure shifts with economic circumstances, and most individuals who are captured by it will pay federal income taxes within two years.
Mitt Romney is smart enough to know these things.
I thought I was the only theocon Romney had lost, or just about lost, with his 47 percent talk. Guess not. May this be an indication that Romney has inadvertently done a good thing for American politics: brought back economics as a pressing moral concern for religious conservatives.The “Utter Disaster” for Romney
I eagerly await Pat Buchanan’s column weighing in on the 47 percent debacle. Remember Pat’s “conservatism of the heart”? We have here Romney’s conservatism of the heartless.
More than anything else, what makes this video damaging is that it confirms what most Americans already suspect about Romney: he holds at least half the country in contempt, including many of the people that normally vote Republican. It isn’t just that Romney expresses contempt and pity for “anyone who isn’t going to vote for him,” as Barro says. What makes this stand out as exceptionally arrogant is the fact that he clearly has contempt for many of the people who were likely to vote for him. This is another self-inflicted wound that comes from Romney’s willingness to say whatever his supporters want to hear regardless of the merits, and it’s another reminder why more Americans dislike Romney than like him. It remains to be seen how many will opt to sit out this election, but this could hardly have come at a worse time for a flailing, wounded campaign.Only Rush Limbaugh and the FOX news talking heads think this is not a game changer and it is because it reinforces what people suspected about Romney - he is an out of touch plutocrat.