That sound of tap dancing you hear is coming from the talented, yes, magical, feet of Mr. Mitt Romney. He is trying to explain why he was all for a state wide mandate on health care in Massachusetts, but is now steadfastly opposed to one on the national level.
He is also trying to explain the difference between a "tax" and a "penalty" when it comes to such things. Unfortunately as the words come tumbling out they tend to eddy into whirlpools of confusion and double speak, but that certainly shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.
His staff started this warped ball rolling downhill when senior advisor Eric Fehinstrom called the federal health care mandate a "penalty." A campaign press release followed shortly there after expanding on that thought, calling it an "unconstitutional penalty".
The problem with all that "penalty" stuff is that in Massachusetts then governor Romney enacted a law which required people without health insurance to pay a "penalty." You can see his problem. His campaign people are condemning his opponent in language he framed himself in order to avoid saying he "taxed" someone in the Bay State.
The Wall Street Journal, an arm of the right wing Rupert Murdoch propaganda machine, jumped his ass immediately. They drug him over the coals for not openly repenting for that liberalesque lapse in Massachusetts and for failing to say the Obama mandate was a "tax" on the middle class.
You can say many things about Mitt Romney, but one of them isn't that he doesn't know whose pocket he is in. He quickly issued a statement that said in part: "Well the Supreme Court has the final word and their final word is Obamacare is a tax. So it is a tax."
Then the mad little jig went into over drive. Romney, in an effort to explain the difference between Mittcare's "penalties" and the Affordable Care Act's "unconstitutional penalties," which are actually "taxes," said this: "Actually the Chief Justice in his opinion made it very clear that at the state level, states have the power to put in mandates. They don't require them to be called taxes in order for them to be constitutional."
I'm sure that makes sense somewhere in galaxy far, far away.
Now you know why it took so long for this guy to win the nomination and why there isn't an arch conservative alive in this land who trusts him any further than he or she can throw him.
I'm sure by the debates this fall he'll have all the kinks worked out and the dog and pony show will be performed with breathtaking precision. After all, these things take a lot of work. Rehearsals must be held, costumed fitted, and the choreography finalized.
In the mean time, proving once again he is completely in touch with the struggling working class, Mr. Romney took time out from the campaign to be photographed with his wife cruising on a jet ski. They were spending the fourth of July at Lake Winnpesaukee, New Hampshire where they own a vacation home.
All work and no play makes Mitt a dull boy. Besides, doesn't everyone have a vacation home in New Hampshire?
I suppose they do in his world.
Too bad 99% of us don't inhabit that planet.