Some of you may recall a line from a grade school poem – “Much that well may be thought cannot wisely be said.” Words do have consequences; and just because you think them does not mean that you should let them spew forth from your mouth. Romney’s recent rant about the “lazy, mooching 47%” is taking its toll on Republicans in tight races in states like New Mexico, Nevada, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, to name a few. The panic has set in, and Republicans are coming out of the wood work to renounce the infamous 47% comment.
Here is some of the commentary so far:
Veteran GOP strategist Jim Dyke: “We’re losing, and when that happens—it doesn’t matter if it’s a Republican or Democratic campaign or whether the campaign has been run masterfully or has been total crap—when the election gets closer, people start to get nervous.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Romney’s current fundraising spree following 47-Gate: “He needs to be talking about the economy and not in Utah. He’s not going to get beat because of money. He ought to be running in Ohio and Florida like he’s running for governor and running in Virginia like he’s running for sheriff.“
GOP strategist Ford O’Connell warned that Romney’s remark could excite the Democratic base and hurt down-ticket Republicans: “Republican Senate candidates in moderate-to-left-leaning states who need to keep the Democratic base pacified and still pull a sizable portion of independents in order to win could very well be hurt by this.”
Some of those down-ballot Republics were quick to renounce Romney’s comments. Susanna Martinez, the Republican governor of New Mexico, who has in the past insinuated that Democrats believe “welfare is a way of life,” sought desperately to distance herself from this latest Mittstake:
New Mexico has many people who are living at the poverty level and their votes count just as much as anyone else.
Contenders for the Senate: Scott Brown (R-MA), Linda McMahon (R-CT), Dean Heller (R-NV), Ovide Lamontagne (R-NH), Mark Meadows (R-NC), all backed away from Romney’s derisive comments. Perhaps the most blistering set down came from the likes of David Brooks:
“…he really doesn’t know much about the country he inhabits… doesn’t know much about the culture of America,” “doesn’t know much about the political culture,” “knows nothing about ambition and motivation,” and “his interpretation of how the country works is a country-club fantasy.”
Former aide to George W. Bush, Mark McKinnon also weighed in:
Well, the release of the Romney tape was a moment that certainly revealed something about him. But not what I was hoping for. Just the opposite. It reveals a deeply cynical man, who sees the country as completely divided, as two completely different sets of people, and who would likely govern in a way that would only further divide us.
Why is all this a poison pill for Republicans down-ballot? Because Romney is spewing Republican ideology first introduced by Eric Cantor, and expressing the need to raise taxes on working class Americans. Earlier this year Cantor raised the notion that 47% of working Americans paid no federal taxes because they were fortunate enough to hold shitty jobs and qualify for earned income credit, mortgage interest deductions, tax exemptions for the elderly and disabled, and child tax credits. As a result they received federal income tax refunds – so they essentially pay no federal income taxes. According to Republican calculus, these poor, elderly, and/or disabled Americans need to have their taxes raised; and as Eric Cantor said back then, they are mooching off the top income earners who pay taxes.
Well, Romney and other millionaires proved much of Eric Cantor’s contention to be grossly untrue. His 2010 tax return showed he paid so little in taxes that Moocher Mitt seemed to decide “that’s it – I won’t release any more returns for Americans to see what a freeloading parasite I really am.” How then can Mitt turn around and with a straight face accuse hardworking janitors, nurses, bus drivers, taxi-cab drivers, and waitresses across America of being freeloaders on the government’s dime? How could he make such a statement, when he stuffs his dollars in every offshore crevice that would hold them, just to avoid paying federal taxes? Network news is still absorbing the shock, and still tallying all the constituents Mitt has insulted thus far.
One potent question we might ask is, how can Candidate Mitt claim a desire to put us all back to work and to improve our current circumstances, when he holds us in such great contempt? In a sense we are all like those men from that factory that Bain closed. Having built the platform from which their overlords announced that their careers were over, these men felt like they had been made to build their own coffins. For them and for working Americans everywhere, voting for Romney would simply be déjà vu. Considering every jobs bill that they have killed, Romney’s comments, and Eric Cantor’s commentary on raising taxes on half of America, voting for any Republican would be reminiscent of those men who were coldheartedly forced to participate in their own demise. Our vote is just a means to an end – the Republican ticket has no real use for us other than a conduit to power. Don’t build that last platform, America. Right now, Romney needs you more than you need him. It’s time he and the Republicans learn a lesson in humility.