I've got it. Mitt Romney really wants to be the President. He just doesn't want to be your President. Unless "you" are a person who is currently sitting inside a G6. He said the following thing at a fundraiser:
All right -- there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent on government, who believe that, that they are victims, who believe that government has the responsibility to care for them. Who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing [...] my job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives...
There is something surprising about this statement -- other than it being one more piece of evidence that Mitt Romney is actually an Obama senior campaign staffer who was hired to make sure Obama looks like the only viable choice for president. When you watch the video of Romney's answer, the most surprising thing is how effortless and natural he sounds.
Gone are the pauses, and shifty glances, and the broad, terrified smiles that make him seem like he has a severed human hand in his suit pocket. The answer danced gracefully out of his mouth as if it were something he didn't need rehearsed and focus-grouped. That is the truly terrifying thing. It might be what he actually believes.
Peggy Noonan thinks that a staffer has been pouring poison into his ear. But that didn't sound like rehearsed rhetoric, did it? It sounded like a man finally able to kick it with his crew.
Hey Mitt, I dig it. At the end of a long, grueling day you just want to go home, tighten your tie, hook your belt buckle, put on your suit coat and really just not let yourself go the way you never can on the campaign trail. When the harsh spotlight of public scrutiny is gone for the day, a man is free to finally let none of it hang out.
This is what Mitt Romney did at this fundraiser. He finally got to relax, kick on his loafers, button up the top button, and take a gigantic dump on slightly under half of America.
What can we learn from this unguarded moment? That Mitt Romney sees 47 percent of us as a sad horde -- a phalanx of delta minuses in our khaki suits going to jobs at McDonalds and returning home to stare neutrally at a plate of government cheese.
We 47 percent of non-tax payers will never vote for Mitt, because he will take away our cheese.
There is a problem with this vision. Not that it's paranoid, but that it's factually wrong. Let's gently brush aside for a moment that this 47 percent of Americans living an unpatriotic life of terminal dependency is actually comprised of war veterans, kids with college loans and seniors who have paid into the system for their whole lives -- ignoring that weeping, cancerous lesion on the body politic for a moment -- we learn that many of the people in that 47 percent are actually Republicans.
According to the New York Times, the people who are most reliant on government programs to survive are often the least likely to support them. States that are most dependent on government aid are all solidly Red. I'm not making this up. There is, at least among conservative leaning states, an inverse relationship between the amount the government makes your life better, and the amount you appreciate the government making your life better. I guarantee, this is the one statistic that makes James Carville want to kill himself.
It's an eye-opening, fear-inducing, bathtub-sitting revelation about American politics. It is the poisonous flower growing from a root of American individualism that should have been cut off while George Washington still had that fictional axe. As of now, it is so woven in with the American myth that there might be no way to kill it. People who need government assistance believe they would be better off without it.
There is this myth of rugged individualism that comes from our nation's founding, except when our nation was founded it was made up of 99 percent poor, illiterate, desperate peasants and one percent Founding Fathers. You can bet that those 99 percent would have loved the idea of health care. But nowadays, you're not truly free unless you could die of winter. America!
The fact that Romney doesn't see it is the strangest thing of all. People on the dole do not vote their interests. Reagan saw it. Hell, Bill Clinton saw it. Barack Obama even saw it, and he was born in Liberia.
So Romney is in the trenches fighting class warfare against his own troops. It's actually states like Massachusetts, where people pay into the system more than they get out, that support Obama. But then Tiny Tim keeps voting against paid sick leave.
This is doubly frustrating, because Democrats have been trying for decades to convince the people in the social safety to vote for them without using words like "poor" or "dependent" or "low" or "lower" or "class" or "lower class," but the working poor still stick to Republicans like white on white. And Romney just straight up fired them from America. He laid of 47 percent of Americans for poor performance.
We'll see if these unemployment numbers move the needle at all.
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