Well if we accomplish nothing else this week, at least all of us slackers now know exactly what Mitt Romney really thinks about us. The magazine "Mother Jones" glommed onto a surreptitious cell phone video of the Mitt speaking to donors in Florida this past May. It was not a gathering for the hoi polloi. Reports are the Romney people charged $50,000 a plate to be there. Given the price of the chicken served Romney no doubt felt quite at home and comfortable. He was, after all, among "his people."
This is what he had to say, "There are 47% of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47% who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe government has a responsibility to take care of them, who believe they are entitled to health care, food, to housing, you name it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what."
"My job," he continued, "is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility for their lives. What I have to do is convince 5 to 10% of people who are independent, that are thoughtful, that look at voting one way or the other depending on, in some cases, emotions, whether they like the guy or not."
Sports fans, you have just caught a glimpse of the true soul of Mitt Romney and the republican party. On MSNBC and CNN the talking heads are yammering about what a gaffe it was, how it capped off a couple of bad weeks for the candidate, yada, yada, yada. Make no mistake about it, Mr. Romney, in the company of a bunch of very well to do white folks, said, with perfect diction and in a relaxed and polished delivery, exactly what he really believes. He can claim it was "not elegantly stated," as he did in a hastily called press conference last night, but the fact of the matter is, given the crowd he was speaking to, it was perfectly stated.
Of course his facts were utterly false, but that has never stopped any conservative, or at least any wealthy conservative from considering them pure gospel.
MSNBC's Alex Wagner broke down the statistics this morning. 44% of those who don't pay any federal income tax, or payroll tax are elderly and retirees. 30.4% are the working poor, you know those people who serve up your hamburgers, and restock the shelves at Walmart. They are receiving tax credits for their children. Another 5% are students. The other categories are splintered and include 3,000 Americans who made over $2 million last year, but because of deductions got out of paying any taxes. A total of 18.1% of Americans pay no federal income taxes, or payroll taxes, not 47%. 25% of Americans get tax refunds at the end of the year, but do pay payroll taxes.
Mr. Romney's own running mate had to use federal money to get through college. Did that make him, at least for a while, part of the mythical 47%? I hate to tell you this Mittster, but the vast majority of us aren't sitting around on our arses waiting for the old welfare check to come rolling in so we can buy more cheap beer and pork rinds.
Obama's campaign manager, Jim Messina said, among other things, "Its hard to serve as president for all Americans when you disdainfully write off half the nation." He threw out other words like, "shocking" and such. I don't know why he, or anyone else in the Obama campaign should be shocked. Who did they think they were running against, the ghost of Mother Teresa? The fact is, when it comes to real life for most Americans, Mr. Romney is a complete sociopath. He is utterly disconnected with every citizen of this country who makes less than $150,000 or so per year. If you aren't in the country club with him, you are part of the problem. And he is here to make sure the problem goes away, or at least shuts up.
Mitt has hinted that the offending statement was taken out of context and to understand what he was truly trying to say you have to see the whole video. At the same time he stood by the substance of his "inelegant" words. Oh just fess up buddy, you put it exactly how you see it from your perspective.
One can say many things about this presidential election. What we can't say is that there is no real difference between the candidates, at least not any longer.
Just don't grow old, become disabled, get sick, or lose your job to some guy in a Hanoi sweat shop. If you do you'll become another member of the cursed 47%. You'll be one more drag on the economic dynamic who refuses to take responsibility for him or herself. You will be one of the shunned who is called "unclean."
And people wonder why I'm a democrat.