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my job is is not to worry about those people
September 17, 2012 4:00 PM   Subscribe

As internal leaks from the Romney camp suggest a campaign in serious disarray, and poll-of-polls meta-analyses show him with little time to recover his position before November, Mother Jones has acquired video from a private Romney fundraiser at which the candidate said of Obama supporters: There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. Ezra Klein puts aside the political ramifications and crunches the numbers about who does and doesn't pay income tax in America. The Romney camp responds to the leak.
posted by gerryblog (5817 comments total) 187 users marked this as a favorite

 
Romney: "Our message of low taxes doesn’t connect…so my job is is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."

Welp. That's a line that's going to play in attack ads or the debates.
posted by jaduncan at 4:03 PM on September 17, 2012 [29 favorites]


"As the governor has made clear all year, he is concerned about the growing number of people who are dependent on the federal government"

The Romney campaign then went on to explain that that particular minute and seven seconds was recorded on opposite day and "la la la, I can't hear you!"
posted by sendai sleep master at 4:03 PM on September 17, 2012 [7 favorites]


Romney goes on to say that those people pay no taxes. I don't know about any other health-care supporters, but I pay a higher percentage of my income into taxes than Mitt Romney does. And that's in the year he'll tell us about. But he's right about one thing: He will never get my vote.
posted by tyllwin at 4:05 PM on September 17, 2012 [170 favorites]


At 13% over the past few years Romney barely pays income taxes.
posted by 2bucksplus at 4:05 PM on September 17, 2012 [11 favorites]


I'm still miffed that with a Republican majority in the house and senate, that it's still a blame game with Obama. Did Obama really veto every good idea that the Republican majority supported?
posted by filthy light thief at 4:06 PM on September 17, 2012 [8 favorites]


Too bad his moment of honesty had to be on hidden camera.

At least those 49 percent of people know what republicans think of them now.
posted by Ad hominem at 4:06 PM on September 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


This is a damning video. I sincerely hope it gets widespread attention. I got a popup to donate $5 to Mother Jones... if this is what they are presenting, damn right I will.
posted by HuronBob at 4:07 PM on September 17, 2012 [20 favorites]


I'd love to hear about these people that aren't dependent on the federal government. Do they have their own standing military? Do they hire out someone to test all their medications before they take them? Certainly they use private aircraft (since they don't drive on federally-funded interstate highways), but what private service is doing air traffic control for them? It must be a very interesting life.
posted by 0xFCAF at 4:07 PM on September 17, 2012 [415 favorites]


This is a campaign in full circular firing squad mode right now.
posted by 2bucksplus at 4:08 PM on September 17, 2012 [25 favorites]


At 13% over the past few years Romney barely pays income taxes.

Given the Bain tax writeoff model (high risk, but write off the losses in one company and keep the gains in another), it's arguable that he received more in tax rebates than he paid. Certainly a comparison of the Bain and Romney accounts would be interesting. He's a Bain equity holder, so it's easily calculated.
posted by jaduncan at 4:08 PM on September 17, 2012 [7 favorites]


At least those 49 percent of people know what republicans think of them now.

Lots od protestation that that's the OTHER people Mitt is talking about would be what I would expect.
posted by Artw at 4:09 PM on September 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


we're getting into "live boy, dead girl" territory
posted by telstar at 4:09 PM on September 17, 2012 [36 favorites]


Also, I'm interested to see if this goes higher up the news cycle than internet discussions. The video is on YouTube, so it could go viral, and the MSM likes it's "viral" subjects, because they can link back to it, poll interactions on twitter, and other soft pseudo-news, instead of going out of the office and talking to people.
posted by filthy light thief at 4:10 PM on September 17, 2012 [8 favorites]


The "entitled to food" bit should be played on repeat every commercial break that the Obama campaign can afford.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:11 PM on September 17, 2012 [89 favorites]


The mantra of a "personal responsibility" magically divorced from social structure is the central delusion of the contemporary right wing.
posted by Rumple at 4:11 PM on September 17, 2012 [161 favorites]


So this Republican party they have in the USA, they don't think people are entitled to food, housing and health care? God damn.
posted by Sternmeyer at 4:11 PM on September 17, 2012 [51 favorites]


They left off the "...and I would've gotten away with it if it wasn't for you pesky kids!" at the end of that response.
posted by PenDevil at 4:11 PM on September 17, 2012 [27 favorites]


I voted for Obama. I also paid income tax. I will show my tax returns if Romney will show his.

(seriously)
posted by Flunkie at 4:11 PM on September 17, 2012 [72 favorites]


He's "concerned about the growing number of people who are dependent on the federal government"? Certainly has a weird way of showing that concern, given that he's trying to make their lives worse.

... Oh, wait, I see. Concerned about them, not concerned for them. It's hard to keep up with all this (unconscious?) dogwhistling; sometimes it looks like English for a minute before I remember how to translate it.
posted by RogerB at 4:12 PM on September 17, 2012 [29 favorites]


"Our message of low taxes doesn’t connect…so my job is is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."


I don't see how this will bother Republican voters one bit, it appears to be exactly what they already think.
posted by Cosine at 4:12 PM on September 17, 2012 [25 favorites]


I'm still miffed that with a Republican majority in the house and senate
The Senate is majority Democratic.
posted by Flunkie at 4:13 PM on September 17, 2012 [7 favorites]


It's sad that Romney can't catch a break.


HAHAHAHAHAAHAHA!
posted by uraniumwilly at 4:13 PM on September 17, 2012 [18 favorites]


Man. It's looking more and more that the Romney campaign has already written-off the independents and has decided to whip the hard right into a froth, in hopes of getting them to turn-out in big numbers. That would explain Mitt's dive into the deep end of the nutjob pool.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:14 PM on September 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


I just posted this comment about 45 mins ago in the last open Romney thread, glad someone could make an FPP out of it (I'm too scared to make a US Politics FPP, esp as my first haha). The story is starting to get picked up by the news outlets, it will be interesting to see how he spins this one "it was taken out of context" etc. etc.
posted by 1000monkeys at 4:14 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


I love that, flunkie. Someone should make that a thing: I, too, am willing to disclose my taxes if Mitt Romney Romney will disclose his in exchange.
posted by tyllwin at 4:15 PM on September 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


God, I just wish everyone who didn't pay federal income tax would vote for Obama, since Romney conveniently overlooks that approximately a metric shit tonne of people who he derides for this are Republican and going to vote for him. Imagine if he were right, and this 47% figure all voted as a group for Romney--he'd lose by something like 75%-25%, I reckon.
posted by MoonOrb at 4:15 PM on September 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


I voted for Obama. I also paid income tax. I will show my tax returns if Romney will show his.

I can't imagine that not being a lot of people's reactions.
posted by Artw at 4:16 PM on September 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


Being concerned about the number of people dependent on the federal government can come out quite different, depending on if you put the emphasis on "number" or "people"
posted by ckape at 4:16 PM on September 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


The Romney camp already released a statement in response. It barely addresses it at all; the statement is more or less "Romney cares about everyone! Obama's economy sucks." It doesn't in any way attempt to explain, deny, or modify the original comments.
posted by Justinian at 4:17 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


The extra bizarre thing is that, even if you accept the false premise that 47% of Americans don't pay taxes, that 47% includes a lot of Republicans who will vote for Romney no matter what, and a lot of folks who are up for grabs.

He didn't just slag off a bunch of poor Democrats, he slagged off a bunch of poor Republicans and independents, too.
posted by gurple at 4:17 PM on September 17, 2012 [7 favorites]


I... confess. In the deepest, darkest corner of my heart, I admit that I believe I am entitled to you-name-it.

I am glad I said that. I feel free, liberated.

Next, could I have some food and housing? Winter is coming.
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:17 PM on September 17, 2012 [63 favorites]


They'll probably be looking at what the polls are saying. If it looks like I'm going to win, the markets will be happy. If it looks like the president's going to win, the markets should not be terribly happy. It depends of course which markets you're talking about, which types of commodities and so forth, but my own view is that if we win on November 6th, there will be a great deal of optimism about the future of this country. We'll see capital come back and we'll see—without actually doing anything—we'll actually get a boost in the economy. If the president gets reelected, I don't know what will happen. I can—I can never predict what the markets will do. Sometimes it does the exact opposite of what I would have expected. But my own view is that if we get a "Taxageddon," as they call it, January 1st, with this president, and with a Congress that can't work together, it's—it really is frightening.

So basically Romney really has no economic plan beyond appeasing the confidence fairy by giving a sacrifice to them job-creators?
posted by the cydonian at 4:17 PM on September 17, 2012 [33 favorites]


It has only just dawned on me that the GOP is running a Dickens villain for president.
posted by meadowlark lime at 4:18 PM on September 17, 2012 [234 favorites]


I posted this extended Twitter post from Ezra Klein in another thread, but I'll repost it here since I feel it adds context with the Klein piece from the OP:
Here’s the policy two-step behind Romney’s remarks: Republicans have spent years cutting income taxes and increasing things like the Child tax Credit. This means fewer people pay income taxes. So whenever you hear a stat like "47% don't pay income taxes," remember: Reagan and Bush helped build that. These tax cuts for the poor were partly in order to make further tax cuts for the rich political palatable. But now that fewer people pay income taxes as a result of GOP policies, they’re being called lazy and dependent. And thus the GOP's tax cuts are being used to make a case that the rich are overtaxed and that the less-rich are becoming dependent. Which thus leads to a policy agenda of tax cuts for the rich and cuts to social services for the non-rich.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:20 PM on September 17, 2012 [146 favorites]


It has only just dawned on me that the GOP is running a Dickens villain for president.

This is not the punch line. The punch line is that he is the most electable guy they had out of an -array- of Dickens villains.
posted by Archelaus at 4:21 PM on September 17, 2012 [176 favorites]


Message: I could care less
posted by slapshot57 at 4:21 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


A classic gaffe; Romney caught saying what he truly believes.
posted by 2bucksplus at 4:22 PM on September 17, 2012 [45 favorites]


I don't see how this will bother Republican voters one bit, it appears to be exactly what they already think.


Yup, this is my reaction too. Not all republican voters, but many of them. A lot of poor people think that there is this mythical other type of poor person who is bad and takes advantage of everyone. Lots of racism involved there and lots of self-hating classism. Everyone has that one neighbor who is on disability but can mow their lawn or whatever.

I don't see this as the bombshell that a lot of people are thinking it is.
posted by the young rope-rider at 4:22 PM on September 17, 2012 [41 favorites]


The elderly skew Republican.

The elderly also make up a large chunk of the 0% taxers.

Did Romney just call a good chunk of his base moochers and parasites?
posted by bonehead at 4:22 PM on September 17, 2012 [19 favorites]


To protect the confidential source who provided the video, we have blurred some of the image, and we will not identify the date or location of the event, which occurred after Romney had clinched the Republican presidential nomination.

I'm sure they've figured it out. And I wouldn't want to be that person tonight.

. I didn't realize it. These guys in the US—the Karl Rove equivalents—they do races all over the world: in Armenia, in Africa, in Israel. I mean, they work for Bibi Netanyahu in his race. So they do these races and they see which ads work, and which processes work best, and we have ideas about what we do over the course of the campaign. I'd tell them to you, but I'd have to shoot you.

HA HA HA HA ha ha oh you're not joking

without actually doing anything—we'll actually get a boost in the economy

I knew he had a plan!

Hoo doggie. This kind of thing is almost never heard outside those small clusters of donors. And it's kind of a big deal.
posted by Miko at 4:22 PM on September 17, 2012 [8 favorites]


"Entitled to food" -- it's almost too good to be true!
posted by Houstonian at 4:22 PM on September 17, 2012 [10 favorites]


It has only just dawned on me that the GOP is running a Dickens villain for president.

You had a typo there.
posted by uosuaq at 4:22 PM on September 17, 2012 [21 favorites]


Lots od protestation that that's the OTHER people Mitt is talking about would be what I would expect.

I think the 47 percent he is talking about know he means them. I think a certain percentage of people agree with Romney. I don't think everyone else will agree with Romeny's philosophy, which boils down to "fuck those mooches, thinking they deserve gruel and a hot grate to sleep on"
posted by Ad hominem at 4:22 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


I pay for all my own food and health care (through my employer), but I still think I'm entitled to it, regardless of having a job. I also pay tons of federal income taxes, but I voted for Obama anyway because I am capable of abstract thought and realizing that it's not worth having a moron for a President so I can pocket a few extra thousand dollars at the end of the year. God, the level of disdain this guy has for the average working man is substantial. Are really not, as American citizens, able to expect that we are entitled, yes, entitled, to food and basic health care?

I hope this video gets traction.
posted by gagglezoomer at 4:23 PM on September 17, 2012 [46 favorites]


"My werk is nie te bekommer oor die mense."

As I thought, it sounds just right in Afrikaans.
posted by Kinbote at 4:23 PM on September 17, 2012 [18 favorites]


I read this MJ article earlier today and was astounded. I think we have all wondered what politicians really think, and here it is; most Americans are beneath Romney's consideration. Most Americans are money-grubbing pigs just begging for handouts. Not quite the picture of America that you usually see in Republican ads.

I also loved this bit of Romney-speak: What he's [Obama] going to do, by the way, is try and vilify me as someone who's been successful, or who's, you know, closed businesses or laid people off, and is an evil bad guy. And that may work.

Huh. You mean the truth might actually work? Well, well. I sure hope so.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:24 PM on September 17, 2012 [10 favorites]


Obama2012 has tweeted a response: Messina on Romney: "It’s hard to serve as president... when you’ve disdainfully written off half the nation.” OFA.BO/Qkjfn6
posted by maudlin at 4:25 PM on September 17, 2012 [51 favorites]


Also, I'm interested to see if this goes higher up the news cycle than internet discussions. The video is on YouTube, so it could go viral, and the MSM likes it's "viral" subjects, because they can link back to it, poll interactions on twitter, and other soft pseudo-news, instead of going out of the office and talking to people.

A Google News search for "romney video" shows that at the very least it's on the blog sections of ABC, CNN, the Washington Post, the WSJ, CBS, Time Magazine, the NYT, USA Today, and a bunch of larger city papers.

I don't see this as the bombshell that a lot of people are thinking it is.

Maybe, but with Obama at 48%-49% of likely voters, Romney has to capture pretty much everyone who's undecided. This doesn't help that.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:25 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Really, that might be the least presidential thing someone has ever said.
posted by Ad hominem at 4:26 PM on September 17, 2012 [60 favorites]


I think this could turn out to be a big deal. Romney is running out of time, and he's just not going to be able to win by just turning out his base. He needs to convert a majority of the "toss up" states, almost all of which are leaning toward Obama, and he's going to need many of the undecided voters to do this.

Voters for whom this message really resonates are already firmly in his camp. This video makes him look like a calculating, rich, out of touch dick. It also makes the election become more about how he keeps fucking stuff up rather than about how the economy isn't where Americans would like it to be.
posted by MoonOrb at 4:26 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Also, remember that one of Romney's attacks against Obama is that he's dividing the country. This steps all over that.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:27 PM on September 17, 2012 [10 favorites]


I don't see this as the bombshell that a lot of people are thinking it is.

I agree. Anyone who hasn't already decided not to vote for Romney doesn't think he's talking about them. It's not sporting of him to insult a big chunk of his base, and yes, that's what he's doing, but the people who support him think he's insulting someone else entirely.
posted by town of cats at 4:27 PM on September 17, 2012 [12 favorites]


Is this likely to mean that the Republicans won't have a stranglehold over the House of Representatives, and the ability to obstruct Obama over the next 2-4 years, though?
posted by acb at 4:27 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


It has only just dawned on me that the GOP is running a Dickens villain for president.

It has only just dawned on me that this election is turning into the B plot of Batman Returns.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:27 PM on September 17, 2012 [22 favorites]


Did Romney just call a good chunk of his base moochers and parasites?

Worse. He called them Obama voters.
posted by cortex at 4:28 PM on September 17, 2012 [23 favorites]


It has only just dawned on me that the GOP is running a Dickens villain for president.

SCROOGE MCDUCK 2012
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 4:28 PM on September 17, 2012 [28 favorites]


That would explain Mitt's dive into the deep end of the nutjob pool.

Everybody knows you never go full nutjob. Check it out. Richard Nixon, 'Tricky Dick,' look nutjob, act nutjob, not nutjob. Wiretapped offices, covered up. Evil, sho'. Not nutjob. You know Ronald Reagan, 'The Gipper.' Slow, yes. Alzheimers, maybe. Star Wars in his head. But he charmed the pants off the nation and won two elections. That ain't nutjob. George W. Bush, "Dubya." Infantile, yes. Nutjob, no. You went full nutjob, man. Never go full nutjob. You don't buy that? Ask John McCain, 2008, "Sarah Palin." Remember? Went full nutjob, went home empty handed.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:28 PM on September 17, 2012 [152 favorites]


@KagroX: Well, Romney insulted 100% of the British, so the trendline is looking good.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:29 PM on September 17, 2012 [11 favorites]


It also makes the election become more about how he keeps fucking stuff up rather than about how the economy isn't where Americans would like it to be.

I think this is a big one. Romney is starting to look like a fuck-up. No one wants to vote for a fuck-up.

And his whole campaign is about how he's a competent businessman. Constant displays of incompetence undermine that message.
posted by mr_roboto at 4:29 PM on September 17, 2012 [25 favorites]


Of course the totally whacked out people who are already decided to vote for Romney are still going to vote for Romney despite this. But it might help some of the non-whacked-out-but-not-really-paying-attention-yet people to decide their vote sanely.
posted by Flunkie at 4:29 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


States Vary Widely in Number of Tax Filers with No Income Tax Liability

Take a look at the map.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:30 PM on September 17, 2012 [43 favorites]


People earning so little that their taxes net out to zero -- those lucky bastards. Somebody needs to make sure they have less money.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 4:30 PM on September 17, 2012 [71 favorites]


I honestly don't see how this is going to hurt Romney with the crazy base. They think he's talking about somebody else, even when they themselves fall into that bullshit 47% number. I mean, I am related to a lot of those people, and they really think he's talking about Them. (Them being defined as "people I don't like and/or fear" for various really unpleasant, bigoted reasons.)
posted by skybluepink at 4:31 PM on September 17, 2012 [16 favorites]


> It has only just dawned on me that the GOP is running a Dickens villain for president.

It's even better than that; he's a blaxploitation villain. Wouldn't he be great in Craig T. Nelson's role if they remade Action Jackson?
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:31 PM on September 17, 2012 [9 favorites]


I honestly don't see how this is going to hurt Romney with the crazy base

I agree it won't hurt him with most of the base. I agree that it will hurt him with the fair-minded middle, the people he admits think Obama's "not a bad guy."
posted by Miko at 4:32 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


This is like one of the classic Nintendo game end-bosses. Romney Takes His True Form!

...and it is the the twenty-times forwarded e-mail my aunt from South Carolina sends me weekly about people buying lobster with food stamps.
posted by gagglezoomer at 4:32 PM on September 17, 2012 [14 favorites]


Republican philosophy frequently borrows from feudalism, where serfs, cotters and villeins paid shares to the landowner, who probably felt like he supported them, by allowing them to work for him, which in fact defines entitlement. The irony is that Romney doesn't acknowledge that the money supply is a public mechanism that is entitled to its taxes based on profit, not share. If only most Democrats knew this as well (who see it the way Romney does, but with added charity for relief).
posted by Brian B. at 4:33 PM on September 17, 2012 [24 favorites]


If it looks like I'm going to win, the markets will be happy. If it looks like the president's going to win, the markets should not be terribly happy. It depends of course which markets you're talking about, which types of commodities and so forth, but my own view is that if we win on November 6th, there will be a great deal of optimism about the future of this country. We'll see capital come back and we'll see—without actually doing anything—we'll actually get a boost in the economy. If the president gets re-elected, I don't know what will happen. I can– I can never predict what the markets will do. Sometimes it does the exact opposite of what I would have expected.

God what a mealy-mouthed dickwad. "If Obama is re-elected, this bad thing is going to happen. Maybe. It just depends. Maybe the opposite will happen. I'm not very good at predicting this stuff."
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:34 PM on September 17, 2012 [35 favorites]


I don't think anyone is arguing that this leak will hurt Romney with his base. But he needs a solid chunk of independents (sorry, "independents"), and while many of those are Republicans with paper bags over their heads, the way this leak emphasizes his campaign's twin themes of arrogance and incompetence is going to make grabbing that chunk even harder.

Nobody loves or fears Robocop when he keeps slipping on banana skins he drops in his own path.
posted by maudlin at 4:34 PM on September 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


"Entitled to food" -- it's almost too good to be true!

Yes. I wonder how airtight Mother Jones' sourcing on this is. Anyone remember the Bush National Guard ratfuckery that cost Dan Rather his job? That story came only slightly earlier in the campaign season and gave the Republicans something to distract the media with right up until the end of the campaign. This late in the game, I trust no one.
posted by vibrotronica at 4:34 PM on September 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


Add the fact that he thinks the middle class makes 200-250k a year, top 3% territory and you have a man who is in this for only personal gain and self aggrandisement. He will probably lose but what does he care? He's still stinking rich. Keep in mind he "only" made 374k in speaking engagements in 2010.

Republicans have gone so far off the rails it's pure spectacle to watch. It won't get better in 2016 either, Christie, Jeb, who do they have?

OT: I see the Flanders' are out in force!
posted by Max Power at 4:34 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


the markets should not be terribly happy

I'm no economist but I'm not sure this is even true. Continued Obama leadership is great for certain industries. And he's a known quantity, equalling some measure of stability in his fiscal policies. There's not much left to cut - I'm honestly not sure how much more budget and debt slashing will goose production and get money flowing through people who can spend it, which seems like our real issue.
posted by Miko at 4:37 PM on September 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


people buying lobster with food stamps.

In the old days, you knew a kid was poor because he brought lobster for lunch. Those rich kids had sandwiches with store-bought bologna.
posted by ifandonlyif at 4:37 PM on September 17, 2012 [20 favorites]


...his campaign's twin themes of arrogance and incompetence...

Oh, that's perfect.
posted by mr_roboto at 4:37 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


I see the Flanders' are out in force!

I believe that is spelled "Flandereses."
posted by MoonOrb at 4:37 PM on September 17, 2012 [13 favorites]


The 47% figure is bunk, by the way. That's Federal income tax. It doesn't count payroll taxes.
posted by unSane at 4:37 PM on September 17, 2012 [14 favorites]


There we go... it just hit the top result in Google News. Looks like we'll be seeing this for a few cycles at least.
posted by Kinbote at 4:39 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yes. I wonder how airtight Mother Jones' sourcing on this is.

You're wondering if the video is authentic?
posted by mrnutty at 4:39 PM on September 17, 2012 [17 favorites]


It's as if Romney has alien-hand syndrome. The conscious part of him wants to be president, the unconscious part really fucking doesn't want to.
posted by ifandonlyif at 4:40 PM on September 17, 2012 [31 favorites]


Anyone remember the Bush National Guard ratfuckery that cost Dan Rather his job?

Video feels like a different story. "That's a Mitt Romney impersonator, it's all an elaborate ruse!" is not a credible outcome. The context is clearly contemporary. What's the ratfuck angle? What's the sourcing surprise?

The possibility that the outcome will be a shrug certainly exists, but upending the presumed authenticity of the video doesn't seem to.
posted by cortex at 4:41 PM on September 17, 2012


Nobody loves or fears Robocop when he keeps slipping on banana skins he drops in his own path.

Hey! Leave Robocop out of this!
posted by Artw at 4:41 PM on September 17, 2012 [16 favorites]


All the "retooling the message" stuff makes me nervous. I keep waiting for them to play the homophobia card like Bush II did (was that 2004?). God, that sucked to see work. I wish I felt that it wouldn't work again.
posted by Morrigan at 4:41 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yes. I wonder how airtight Mother Jones' sourcing on this is. Anyone remember the Bush National Guard ratfuckery that cost Dan Rather his job? That story came only slightly earlier in the campaign season and gave the Republicans something to distract the media with right up until the end of the campaign. This late in the game, I trust no one.

From the MJ post (emphasis mine):
Mother Jones has obtained video of Romney at this intimate fundraiser—where he candidly discussed his campaign strategy and foreign policy ideas in stark terms he does not use in public—and has confirmed its authenticity. To protect the confidential source who provided the video, we have blurred some of the image, and we will not identify the date or location of the event, which occurred after Romney had clinched the Republican presidential nomination.
Now, apparently these have been posted to Daily Kos over the last couple months by an anonymous poster in bits and pieces, which is why it hasn't gained any traction prior to this. However, I'm pretty sure the staff at MJ and David Corn were aware of the Rathergate precedent and did a ton of due diligence, and although I would be lying if I said I'm not a little bit worried myself I have a much better feeling about this one.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:42 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Speaking as a Brit who was 100% insulted by Romney and didn't give a toss - which, I feel, is all of us - the take-away from that incident was "what a maroon" followed up, some time later, by "he said we couldn't run the Olympics but, eh, I think we did".

I don't know for sure how the US saw the Olympics, but I'd hope that we weren't seen as incompetents. If anyone feels like comparing his analysis of how it was going to go against how it actually went, feel free...
posted by Devonian at 4:42 PM on September 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


Hey! Leave Robocop out of this!

Dead or alive, you're voting for me!
posted by cortex at 4:42 PM on September 17, 2012 [8 favorites]


Just like clinging to guns and religion, right?
posted by Ideefixe at 4:43 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Way to take people's attention away from your Libya bungle, Mittens!
posted by Mister_A at 4:43 PM on September 17, 2012 [8 favorites]


I think this is the only time that I've heard even a smallest spark of passion in Romney's voice. The only time that I didn't think he was parroting talking points, spending most of his effort to get the words out correctly rather than feeling that the words were his. This is really the only time that I believe that he believes what he's saying. It's really rather of remarkable that he hasn't mustered even this small amount of passion for anything except for a politically toxic rendering of standard GOP points. Terrible at lying, only delivers passion when it hurts him... how'd he ever get into politics?
posted by Llama-Lime at 4:44 PM on September 17, 2012 [18 favorites]


The thing is, they're obviously aiming their campaign right at the crazy base, hoping to drive turnout, and score one last mean-white-people victory. If we go by the 27% crazification factor standard, that may only be 27% of the population, but it's a bigger chunk of the people who always vote.
posted by skybluepink at 4:44 PM on September 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


I don't know for sure how the US saw the Olympics, but I'd hope that we weren't seen as incompetents. If anyone feels like comparing his analysis of how it was going to go against how it actually went, feel free...

Not to derail, but I don't think so. You had awesome music and James Bond and the Queen and a mayor named Boris. We were mainly pissed at NBC's coverage of it.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:45 PM on September 17, 2012 [13 favorites]


Ho Lee Shit.
posted by KathrynT at 4:45 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


This story is on the front page of www.nytimes.com now.
posted by Ike_Arumba at 4:45 PM on September 17, 2012 [7 favorites]


The Card Cheat: "> It has only just dawned on me that the GOP is running a Dickens villain for president.

It's even better than that; he's a blaxploitation villain. Wouldn't he be great in Craig T. Nelson's role if they remade Action Jackson?
"

And with his prior history as a prep-school bully, he's like the middle-aged version of the standard teen-movie villain! He's hitting ALL the well-known tropes!

All he needs to do now is turn into a giant snake on Election Night...

(In which case, we can mark off BOTH "Disney villain" and "Buffy villain" on our bad-guy bingo cards.)
posted by Strange Interlude at 4:45 PM on September 17, 2012 [49 favorites]


ROMNEY/ZABKA 2012
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:47 PM on September 17, 2012 [9 favorites]


There was a time back about November when the other Republican candidates were talking about the candidate they really didn't like - Mitt Romney. I always wondered what could make him more odious to Bachmann than Newt (or vice versa). I guess we are finally seeing his soulless pettiness.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 4:48 PM on September 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


This kinda reminds me of the haircut thing.
posted by ethansr at 4:49 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Devonian
Wife and I thought the opening was an adorable tongue-in-cheek affirmation of England's role in western culture. Good show!

But yeah, I don't see how this video stops the bleeding of the romney campaign. Next disaster: Funding will dry up as Wall Street hates a loser.
posted by slapshot57 at 4:50 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


The always disgusting Reince Priebus backs up Romney, saying that he was "on message".
posted by maudlin at 4:50 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


i come from a poor area and i grew up poor so most of my social group from that time was/is also poor. my facebook wall is constantly filled with people who i know benefited from welfare (some for multiple generations) talking about those people who don't work hard and don't earn their own living and just want free handouts. i've never found a way to reliably wind someone out of that particular maze. i imagine i'll see my wall filled with support for the things said in this video.
posted by nadawi at 4:51 PM on September 17, 2012 [30 favorites]


FTFMJA: Describing his family background, he quipped about his father, "Had he been born of Mexican parents, I'd have a better shot of winning this."
posted by laconic skeuomorph at 4:52 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


On a more serious note, fuck you Mitt Romney. You are a parasite. You are projecting your loathsome sense of entitlement on the people who work long hours at shit jobs to keep a roof over their heads. You are not a builder-- you're a thief and a destroyer.
posted by Mister_A at 4:53 PM on September 17, 2012 [120 favorites]


Romney and Obama are exactly the same. There are no differences between them.

#ISayThatJokingly
posted by Ironmouth at 4:53 PM on September 17, 2012 [9 favorites]


I think this is a big one. Romney is starting to look like a fuck-up. No one wants to vote for a fuck-up.

And now, the Obama campaign needs to throw Romney an anchor. They need to keep needling him, keep him making the stupid statements. It needs to be obvious that the GOP is going to lose, period, come November.

Why? Because that's one of the things that not only swings voters -- nobody likes voting for a known loser -- but suppresses the base of your opponent, because nobody wants to even bother voting for a loser.

And if they aren't there voting for Romney, they aren't there voting for anybody else. It's why the Dems were shellacked in 2010.

Throw anchors. Throw *many* of them. You want to shatter Mitt Romney's chances.
posted by eriko at 4:55 PM on September 17, 2012 [51 favorites]


Ann Richards' quote about being born on third base and thinking he hit a triple has rarely been so on point.
posted by immlass at 4:55 PM on September 17, 2012 [72 favorites]


i come from a poor area and i grew up poor so most of my social group from that time was/is also poor. my facebook wall is constantly filled with people who i know benefited from welfare (some for multiple generations) talking about those people who don't work hard and don't earn their own living and just want free handouts. i've never found a way to reliably wind someone out of that particular maze . . .

I'm from the poorest state in the nation (or #49, depending on what AL is doing this year) and it's the same way with me. The explanation is plain and ugly, though: racism. What's worse is that they would deny that with every breath in their body, and would do so honestly. It is a hell of a trick.
posted by Countess Elena at 4:56 PM on September 17, 2012 [44 favorites]


"Let them eat cake," said Mitt Romney.
posted by sallybrown at 4:56 PM on September 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


States Vary Widely in Number of Tax Filers with No Income Tax Liability

Take a look at the map.


That there is a fascinating map, really worth taking a look. Why the fuck doesn't the south pay taxes? There's some kind of important truth about American politics in there, but I can't quite wrap my head around it.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 4:57 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't see this as the bombshell that a lot of people are thinking it is.

It remains to be seen how this will be picked up by the MSM media. So far FoxNews is ignoring it, why ABC, NBC, CBS and CNN link to it on their homepage, though not prominently. This may or may not become a thing.

I'd love to see Obama bring a DVD player to the debates and just start off by playing the video.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:59 PM on September 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


The always disgusting Reince Priebus backs up Romney, saying that he was "on message".

What else is he going to say? "We done fucked up"?
posted by PenDevil at 4:59 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yes. I wonder how airtight Mother Jones' sourcing on this is. Anyone remember the Bush National Guard ratfuckery that cost Dan Rather his job? That story came only slightly earlier in the campaign season and gave the Republicans something to distract the media with right up until the end of the campaign. This late in the game, I trust no one.

The major domo lizard man, Reince Preibus, said Romney was on message. This shit is real and not being denied by the campaign.
posted by Ironmouth at 4:59 PM on September 17, 2012 [9 favorites]


When I picture "entitled to food," I picture Simon's Cat opening his maw and pointing.
posted by mudpuppie at 5:01 PM on September 17, 2012 [64 favorites]


Sorry I don't have a link handy, but studies have shown that many (most?) people who receive government assistance, including unemployment benefits, social security payments, and medicare, do not believe that they receive any government assistance. I'm not quite sure how to square that, except via willful ignorance.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 5:01 PM on September 17, 2012 [19 favorites]


I honestly don't see how this is going to hurt Romney with the crazy base.

It won't, but the crazy base isn't nearly as large as you think it is. It is very *loud*, but it's not large. If the crazy base, and only the crazy base, votes for Romney, it will be one of the most sickening beat downs in the history of US Presidential Elections.

Indeed, it would look a lot like 1980 and 1984.

You need your base active, but you need your base active and encouraging others to vote. Because the people who need a little encouragement are who win the elections.

Of course the GOP base will be out there, in force. So will the Dem base. It's the people who identify GOP or Dem who *aren't* automatically going to vote that you need to convince.

And having your candidate write off nearly 50% of the population to save his base? Bad. Very bad.
Mondale bad.
posted by eriko at 5:01 PM on September 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


I keep clicking over to intrade to see if Obama shares zoom up in price, but they're stubbornly holding at about 66%.
posted by MoonOrb at 5:01 PM on September 17, 2012


Of course, what's the Free Republic reaction?

"It needs to be said. If he loses the election for speaking like this then we have to face the fact that the country is over. Demographics are not in our favor."
posted by KathrynT at 5:02 PM on September 17, 2012 [9 favorites]


Actually, I'll go one step further. When I picture a Romney presidency, I picture this Simon's Cat video, except that the ending would be more like Romney wrestling the baseball bat away and turning it on the cat.
posted by mudpuppie at 5:05 PM on September 17, 2012


Bloomberg: Today, Mitt Romney Lost the Election
posted by 2bucksplus at 5:05 PM on September 17, 2012 [8 favorites]


This video where Romney talks about a sweat shop Bain Capital purchased in China appears to be from the same event. The portion of the video where he believes that the barbed wire and watchtowers are to keep potential low wage workers out and not to intimidate workers is particularly startling.
posted by Public Policy at 5:06 PM on September 17, 2012 [26 favorites]


A Facebook friend just posted, "A Republican can't enjoy his dinner unless he knows somebody else is hungry."
posted by Senor Cardgage at 5:06 PM on September 17, 2012 [150 favorites]


I honestly don't see how this is going to hurt Romney with the crazy base

It's not. But it's not just that they're crazy; they've developed an attitude that is so dependent on self-confirmation that it's almost hilarious.

It's really as simple as this: right-wing bloggers all think that running for office is like writing a right-wing blog, and you are very popular and well liked by your peers if you are an asshole and are convinced whatever you said or did just pissed off a liberal somewhere. Meanwhile, there is the real world, where this doesn't work.

That was Sarah Palin in a nutshell. They truly believed she would sweep the nation because of how much she pissed off liberals by being a nasty piece of shit. So they think it's great that Romney looks like a nasty piece of shit. Because that is literally the language they understand and they don't realize that we're all telling them they're idiots in human language.

We are going to experience 24 hours of right-wing spin about how amazing Romney is for "speaking the truth" because he started talking like Rush Limbaugh while the rest of the country remembers that we all think Rush Limbaugh is a motherfucker.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:06 PM on September 17, 2012 [102 favorites]


This bit from the NYTimes piece just makes me wonder about the utter cluelessness of Romses and his campaign managers
Mr. Romney’s figure of 47 percent may come from the Tax Policy Center, which found that 46.4 percent of households paid no federal income tax in 2011. But most households did pay payroll taxes. Of the 18.1 percent of households that paid neither income taxes nor payroll taxes, the center found that more than half were elderly and more than a third were not elderly but had incomes under $20,000.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:06 PM on September 17, 2012 [31 favorites]


Hey, and someone notes a big category of people who don't pay taxes and are completely dependent on federal money.

US Military in combat zones.

Romney just called them leeches.

It needs to be said. If he loses the election for speaking like this then we have to face the fact that the country is over.

Good! Yes! Exactly what we want them to think. Despair is their enemy. The more depressed they are, the less of them vote. Let the party of voter supression supress their own vote in disgust.

Bloomberg: Today, Mitt Romney Lost the Election

Rats always flee a sinking ship.
posted by eriko at 5:06 PM on September 17, 2012 [21 favorites]


The explanation is plain and ugly, though: racism. What's worse is that they would deny that with every breath in their body, and would do so honestly. It is a hell of a trick.

oh, yes, absolutely. my state is always somewhere between 45-48 on poverty rankings/low education/high teen birthrate/stds/etc. i would say that it's 75% racism, 25% self-classism/temporarily embarrassed millionaire syndrome. sometimes i wonder if they unknowingly keep that 25% to keep convincing themselves it isn't simple racism.

it's also not just the crazy base. someone who i consider moderate to liberal finds himself talking ignorantly about welfare and drug testing and "the wrong element" moving in. he's a non-voter, but i know people who are similar who do believe obama has sullied the office and will vote against him - people i know have voted democrat in the past.
posted by nadawi at 5:07 PM on September 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


ABCnews.com is headlining the story now as is The Drudge Report. The latter links to a New York Times article that has the video.

Ok, this might just stick around for a while.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:07 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Of course, what's the Free Republic reaction?

Well, At least we get som hillarious spin on Free Republic. That 47% aren't dependent on government just because they are losers, Obama has enslaved them. Romney is a secret freedom fighter!
posted by Ad hominem at 5:08 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Fuck the doomed."
posted by charlie don't surf at 5:08 PM on September 17, 2012 [8 favorites]


It's worth noting that even without the 47-percenter comments, there's other appalling shit in these videos. He makes a racist joke about being more electable if his parents were Hispanic instead of White, he says that he's sharing his consulting staff with Netanyahu (who is at this moment trying to force the US into a war with Iran before Election Day by publicly calling him out), he shows an appalling lack of sympathy towards people in Chinese sweatshops that Bain was possibly involved with, and he refutes his "we built that" comment by saying Americans start out with a huge advantage.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:10 PM on September 17, 2012 [25 favorites]


Loving the comments at the NYTimes blog: So this would-be president despises 48 or 49 percent of all Americans. This just in: It's mutual!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:10 PM on September 17, 2012 [25 favorites]


Romney doesn't sound like a Dickens villain, he just sounds like an everyday right-wing blogger or commenter. I've seen that nonsense about half the country not paying any taxes repeated hundreds of times on Redstate.com and their ilk.
posted by octothorpe at 5:10 PM on September 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


I have to admit Romney is right on one point: I do feel entitled to healthcare. Being a human and all.
posted by DU at 5:10 PM on September 17, 2012 [25 favorites]


"A Republican can't enjoy his dinner unless he knows somebody else is hungry."

"I'm thankful that I have everything I want and that no one has anything better." Betty Draper...or Mitt Romney?
posted by sallybrown at 5:10 PM on September 17, 2012 [16 favorites]


"him"=Obama
posted by zombieflanders at 5:11 PM on September 17, 2012


Can I take this opportunity to encourage EVERY ONE OF YOU to please double check their voter registration status and make sure they are active?

I have not had any changes to my name or address, have voted in the past year, and learned today that I was expunged from the voter registry in Virginia - a swing state.

My brother moved - we share the same unusual last name, and I did not/have not lived with him, nor was I registered at one of his addresses. Somehow, for some reason, he got a notice at his new address asking ME to confirm my registry. I stop by the voter registration counter today, only to learn that I have been removed from active registry, even though none of my personal information had changed whatsoever, and I have been an active voter.

Please please please double check. You can do it online usually, or stop by the DMV - at the DMV I went to, they had a totally separate counter just for this stuff, and I did not need to stand in line or take a number.

It IS worth your time.
posted by raztaj at 5:11 PM on September 17, 2012 [156 favorites]


Awaiting the 'We are the 53%' tshirts to emerge.
posted by knapah at 5:12 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


@joshtpm: Today's news is like back in 2008 when they finally found the Michelle/"Whitey" tape & proved Barack was Huey Newton's live child #ohwait
posted by zombieflanders at 5:12 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


This video where Romney talks about a sweat shop Bain Capital purchased in China appears to be from the same event. The portion of the video where he believes that the barbed wire and watchtowers are to keep potential low wage workers out and not to intimidate workers is particularly startling.
posted by Public Policy at 5:06 PM on September 17 [+] [!]


That is like a kick in the stomach.
posted by bq at 5:13 PM on September 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


it's also not just the crazy base. someone who i consider moderate to liberal finds himself talking ignorantly about welfare and drug testing and "the wrong element" moving in. he's a non-voter, but i know people who are similar who do believe obama has sullied the office and will vote against him - people i know have voted democrat in the past.

Yes, this. "Crazy base" didn't really reflect what I meant, and was a poor choice of words on my part. (Late, typing quickly, apologies.) I think more what I'm getting at is "crazy base + people who are NOT going to vote for Obama, no matter what."
posted by skybluepink at 5:14 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think the most damning quote is the implication that if you pay no income tax that you don't take personal responsibility for your own life. Basically, its just a big "Fuck you if you're poor." Not cool.
posted by gagglezoomer at 5:17 PM on September 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


All I can think of is what the late, great Molly Ivins said about George W. Bush: poor George. He was born on third base and thinks he hit a triple. I can't help but think this of Mittens right about now.
posted by NoMich at 5:18 PM on September 17, 2012 [11 favorites]


Awaiting the 'We are the 53%' tshirts to emerge.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2932545/posts?page=8#10
posted by mrnutty at 5:18 PM on September 17, 2012


Lemme do that again:

Awaiting the 'We are the 53%' tshirts to emerge.
posted by mrnutty at 5:19 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Why is this a surprise to anyone? His VP pick Paul Ryan has been saying that half the country doesn't pay income tax and is freeloading off people who work for a living pretty much nonstop. It's bullshit, of course. 82% of the people pay taxes, and the majority who don't are either elderly or very poor, with incomes under $20K.

Perhaps this "revelation" will force people to listen to what the GOP ticket has already been saying.
posted by zarq at 5:19 PM on September 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


I think the 47 percent he is talking about know he means them.

No, they don't. The 47% ratio concerns federal income tax, but has been presented as "47% don't pay taxes at all". So anyone who pays state taxes but not federal taxes will consider themselves part of the 53% that "supports" the other "lazy, leeching" 47%.
posted by ymgve at 5:19 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


The Card Cheat: "ROMNEY/ZABKA 2012"

SWEEP THE ELECTION, JOHNNY!
posted by Strange Interlude at 5:20 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


If only I were a working class stiff or a conservative Catholic Latino so I could vote for someone from a party that considers me their base but has utter contempt for me
posted by availablelight at 5:20 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


What ever happened to government for the people?
posted by ChuraChura at 5:21 PM on September 17, 2012


What ever happened to government for the people?

no way that's dirty socialism
posted by elizardbits at 5:22 PM on September 17, 2012 [21 favorites]


Awaiting the 'We are the 53%' tshirts to emerge.

1. They tried this with a website a year ago and it got laughed off the internet.

2. Yes, what Romney really wants to talk about in light of this is personal tax rates. That's a winner for him.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:23 PM on September 17, 2012 [7 favorites]


Not to mention using a definition of "people" that Romney and company might not fully be on board with.
posted by Flunkie at 5:23 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


What ever happened to government for the people?

Shit, throw in "by" and "of" while you're at it.
posted by mudpuppie at 5:23 PM on September 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


Just like clinging to guns and religion, right?

Except the point of that statement in context, which no one ever seemed to follow through with when discussing it, was that he was making a sympathetic statement about the difficult situation many people were in. This is very much the opposite of that.
posted by psoas at 5:24 PM on September 17, 2012 [20 favorites]


No, they don't. The 47% ratio concerns federal income tax, but has been presented as "47% don't pay taxes at all". So anyone who pays state taxes but not federal taxes will consider themselves part of the 53% that "supports" the other "lazy, leeching" 47%.

I don't think people parse stuff that way. I don't think people who Rebublicans have been trying to vilify for years are suddenly going to think "Oh, he doesn't mean me." people just see more of the same shit piled on higher and higher.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:25 PM on September 17, 2012


This will absolutely cost him votes. I know a number of people who are turned off by the Republican ticket's general social attitude but were open to the idea of giving a new person the chance to fix the economy. ("Obama's plan just hasn't worked and Mitt, while a douche, is a reputable businessman," that sort of thing.) These people look a little more askance each time Mitt tumbles into exactly this kind of easy to avoid error. Basically, each gaffe makes Mitt look dumber and thus less capable of fixing a complex economic situation, makes these particular swing voters question whether Mitt is smart enough to take the reins.
posted by sallybrown at 5:26 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


The people who need help are the same people Romney and Bain have been laying off in droves!
posted by snsranch at 5:26 PM on September 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


What ever happened to government for the people?

"People" means "the right kind of people." Not the commoners, by gum.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:26 PM on September 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


I typed a bunch of angry WHRGRBL, but really, it boils down to this: his either deliberate mischaracterization or inadvertent underestimation of both Obama supporters and undecided voters will not help his campaign.

I pay a MUCH higher percentage of my taxes than you did, Mr. Romney. If you won't invest in this country yourself, why the hell should you think you should run it?
posted by smirkette at 5:27 PM on September 17, 2012 [29 favorites]


relevant
posted by elizardbits at 5:28 PM on September 17, 2012 [15 favorites]


Why the fuck doesn't the south pay taxes? There's some kind of important truth about American politics in there, but I can't quite wrap my head around it.

At a guess, I'd say that's in large part due to the economic legacy of the Civil War and the abolition of slavery. I think Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote something about that sometime in the past few years. I am actually supposed to be working right now, so no time to find a cite for that just now.
posted by yasaman at 5:28 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


The fact that America doesn't believe its poor are entitled to food, health care or shelter is pretty evident isn't it? If you're lucky you can get them, but not everyone is lucky.
posted by bleep at 5:29 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Reposts from the old thread:

The Freeloader Myth, Ramesh Ponnuru, The National Review, 28 November, 2011

Conservatives Embrace Romney's 47% Remarks, Rosie Gray, Buzzfeed Politics, 17 September, 2012
That Romney video was leaked to gin up our base. Bookmark this tweet.— Kyle Raccio (@kyleraccio) September 17, 2012
Raccio later explained in an interview with BuzzFeed that "it only serves to excite the conservative base into knowing that Mitt Romney understands the situation we’re facing in the country."

"Mitt Romney needs to be vocal about that because I don’t believe the majority of Americans want so many people on the government dole unchecked," Raccio said.
posted by ob1quixote at 5:29 PM on September 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


"As the governor has made clear all year, he is concerned about the growing number of people who are dependent on the federal government"

The Romney campaign then went on to explain that that particular minute and seven seconds was recorded on opposite day and "la la la, I can't hear you!"
posted by sendai sleep master at 4:03 PM

No, if you'll notice he's concerned about the growing number, not the people.
posted by JauntyFedora at 5:29 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


So I posted in one of the political threads already that while I haven't voted since the 2000 election (for a lot of different reasons, some maybe good, most of them probably lame, don't yell at me), the DNC speakers had reinvigorated my desire to be a part of the decisions that get made for me. Even though I live in Texas, which likely skew to Romney, I will get out to vote this time and vote for Obama (and for probably any other non-GOP candidate which might be running).

I even went out almost two weeks ago to the public safety office, got my driver's license updated and got the voter registration card dealie. When I check CanIVote.org, it tells me I'm good to go, so that is excellent news.

Seeing this leaked video just buttresses my arguments to myself that at the age of 30, it's time to get involved again. No more excuses for sitting these things out like I've been doing.

I remember in a thread a while back when someone was trying to convince me to vote and pointed me to some kind of awesome nonpartisan fact sheet that was probably from the League of Women Voters, but I can't remember. If anyone can point me to such resources (either by replying here or by MeMail), I would really appreciate it.
posted by King Bee at 5:30 PM on September 17, 2012 [41 favorites]


I pay about half my upper-middle-class anywhere-but-NYC (alas where I live) income in federal, state, and city taxes. I also gave the max to Obama in 2008 and am doing so incrementally this year too. Canvassed too and will again. I'm proud to pay four times Mitt 's tax rate, the moocher.

Entitle yourself, you clueless arrogant richie rich prick.
posted by spitbull at 5:30 PM on September 17, 2012 [26 favorites]


Can I take this opportunity to encourage EVERY ONE OF YOU to please double check their voter registration status and make sure they are active?

Click canivote.org to find out if your registration is in order. You can also change your address or register at this website if you need to.
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 5:32 PM on September 17, 2012 [24 favorites]


Why is anyone surprised that Romney says things to Republican fatcats that are in line with what we know Republican fatcats want to hear? Romney would praise the tenderness and palatability of roasted infant if he thought that was what his audience wanted to hear. He is the epitome of the empty suit who stands for nothing.

And I'm just not convinced that there is such a thing as an "undecided voter" at this point. I think there are a bunch of people who hem and haw when asked about voting who have no intention of voting anyways.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 5:32 PM on September 17, 2012 [7 favorites]


'Romney shot himself in the foot this week, then re-loaded, and shot the other foot'
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:32 PM on September 17, 2012 [11 favorites]


"Our message of low taxes doesn’t connect…so my job is is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."

Fuck you, Romney.

I've never been inclined to talk about money but fuck it. Our household earns within the top 1% (just barely) and we would happily pay much, much higher taxes. We consider that taking responsibility, for the country. That country you purport to care so much about that you want to lead? That one?

Shit, I'm not even a citizen, although I've been eligible to apply for many years now. So I am saying, I'll happily pay much higher taxes without even having the ability to vote (for Obama).

In conclusion, fuck you.
posted by gaspode at 5:32 PM on September 17, 2012 [58 favorites]


Remember that part in the Bible where Jesus refused to heal the sick or feed the crowd, and said, "YOU PEOPLE always believe you're entitled to something"?
posted by NorthernLite at 5:33 PM on September 17, 2012 [153 favorites]


I found this helpful to unwind the '46%' figure.
posted by tayknight at 5:34 PM on September 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


The T-shirt I'm picturing goes something like:

hey Mitt
I feel entitled
TO SOME RESPECT
posted by uosuaq at 5:34 PM on September 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


'Romney shot himself in the foot this week, then re-loaded, and shot the other foot'

Swear to God, I'm starting to think that the Republicans want to throw this Presidential election, while they focus on the state and local elections. Because the mistakes Romney's campaign are making is simply ridiculous. I

f you wrote this shit into a movie, it wouldn't sell, because everyone would say "No way a Presidential campaign would repeatedly be this dumb. No way. Rewrite this script and stop sending me this hack crap."
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:40 PM on September 17, 2012 [9 favorites]


'Romney shot himself in the foot this week, then re-loaded, and shot the other foot'

At the rate he's going, he's going to manage to shoot a third foot by Thursday.
posted by eriko at 5:40 PM on September 17, 2012 [18 favorites]


Odd how the only way to square a strong desire to "cut taxes" with the disdain for people who pay no taxes is through a warped moral lens.
posted by odinsdream at 5:41 PM on September 17, 2012 [7 favorites]


Comment of the night so far: "Is it 47% on a likely-voter basis? Or among all adults?" -- Nate Silver
posted by Zonker at 5:41 PM on September 17, 2012 [8 favorites]


I can not wait for the gold that comes out of Steve King's mouth on this one.
posted by jason_steakums at 5:42 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well the thing is, I don't think who pays taxes really matters. In my opinion, this goes back many years to the Welfare Queen myth of the Reagan era, Maybe I am the real racist here, but the key part is not the taxes but the remark about people being "entitled" and comments opining he would win if he was mexican. He isn't really asking for rational thought on who pays taxes. He is saying all non-whites and some unspecified number of white trash at losers, beneath his contempt. Guys like Romney always like to say that if minorities just took responsibility and stopped feeling entitled they would stop being poor. They really believe Mexicans get special treatment denied to white people. This is just more of the same. Plenty of people see right through it.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:44 PM on September 17, 2012 [16 favorites]


This is down to Romney's utter lack of empathy.

He is absolutely incapable of grasping how people who aren't like him to three decimal places will feel when they hear him say things like this. Hell, he couldn't even understand how David Cameron-- who is like him-- would feel when he criticized British handling of the the Olympics.

We have reached a dangerous moment.

An opponent who is not prepared to accept defeat but sees a checkmate coming will try to overturn the board... or worse.
posted by jamjam at 5:45 PM on September 17, 2012 [8 favorites]


It has only just dawned on me that the GOP is running a Dickens villain for president

And it just dawned on me that this is pretty much Mitt's Sideshow Bob moment:

Sideshow Bob (after evidence is presented that he committed voter fraud: "Because you need me, Springfield. Your guilty conscience may move you to vote Democratic, but deep down you long for a cold-hearted Republican to lower taxes, brutalize criminals, and rule you like a king. That's why I did this, to save you from yourselves."
posted by FJT at 5:46 PM on September 17, 2012 [13 favorites]


f you wrote this shit into a movie, it wouldn't sell, because everyone would say "No way a Presidential campaign would repeatedly be this dumb. No way. Rewrite this script and stop sending me this hack crap."

This. And yet, even so, just about half the electorate is apparently still planning to vote for the guy. Amazing.
posted by Forktine at 5:47 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Every Republican running for office this year needs to be asked on camera if they agree with what Mitt Romney said here and with their own party Chairman having his back on it.
posted by jason_steakums at 5:47 PM on September 17, 2012 [25 favorites]


I'm not a Rachel Maddow fan, but she's got David Corn (the author of the original article) on tonight at 9e.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:51 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


'Romney shot himself in the foot this week, then re-loaded, and shot the other foot'

Heh, that was on Friday. Before this came out. If we're playing by hangman rules, this is an arm. The Democrats were smart to play the word "Barack", as everything I see on the web implies that the Republicans can't spell it.
posted by Lemurrhea at 5:52 PM on September 17, 2012 [10 favorites]


But wait....if the goal is lower taxes, i.e. paying less in taxes, then wouldn't the people who pay the least in taxes be the ones to be praised and emulated?


Lower taxes are good, but people who pay no taxes are bad?

(I am mostly be rhetorical here. You don't actually have to answer that question.)
posted by gingerbeer at 5:52 PM on September 17, 2012 [16 favorites]


I can not wait for the gold that comes out of Steve King's mouth on this one.
PREDICTION:

Romney owes America an apology, because fetuses don't pay taxes, but obviously fetuses don't vote for Obama, because fetuses are patriots.
posted by Flunkie at 5:52 PM on September 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


I wonder if Ann Romney pays income taxes.
posted by akgerber at 5:54 PM on September 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


How Jimmy Carter's Grandson Helped Leak the Secret Romney Fund-raiser Video
posted by Knappster at 5:57 PM on September 17, 2012 [16 favorites]


This reminds me quite a bit of The Beast from Transmetropolitan saying that he considers his job as President well done if 51% of the country has food to eat.
posted by jason_steakums at 5:57 PM on September 17, 2012 [10 favorites]


Like jamjam, I do feel worried about what Romney's people will try when they get desperate. Political hail-marys can be very ugly.
posted by benito.strauss at 5:58 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Ta-Nehisi on the tape:
One theme in Chris Hayes book Twilight of The Elites is the notion that an elite cut off from the rest of society actually degrades. It comes to think of itself as intrinsically better than the rest of society, that it's success is a strict matter of providence. Effectively the elite becomes divorced from reality. What is most jarring about Romney's comments here is that divorce, that sense that Romney's grasp of America is so thin, that he believes that half of it is dismissible strictly on the grounds of laziness.

I don't really know what to say about a man who believes that one in two Americans believe that the government has a responsibility to care for them." Romney is right. Obama does start off with a big lead, but that is because he would never enter the race conceding that fully half the country was beyond his reach. A politician conceding that sort of field-position is an embarrassment to himself, and his political party.

posted by FJT at 5:58 PM on September 17, 2012 [18 favorites]


Drudge headline: ROMNEY GETS REAL: OBAMA SUPPORTERS 'DEPENDENT ON GOVERNMENT'

Fox News still isn't mentioning on its homepage. CNN is now presenting it prominently, as is CBS News.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:59 PM on September 17, 2012


And yet, even so, just about half the electorate is apparently still planning to vote for the guy. Amazing.

Unfortunately it is the team mentality. Many people identify themselves as "Republican" and no matter how poorly their team is playing this year, they will continue to root for them.

And once again I am left wondering what it is about America that Conservative Politicians "love", because it sure as hell isn't the people. They are contemptuous of the poor, homosexuals, women, non-Christians, non-whites and "Ivory Tower pin-heads" Anybody from California or New York. Anybody who accepts "entitlements." By my estimation that leaves about, what....3 people living in Alabama?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:59 PM on September 17, 2012 [13 favorites]


David Corn on Hardball earlier today.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:00 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


I work providing legal services to low-income people, essentially helping them get their supposed "entitlements": social assistance of various forms, preventing evictions. So that's shelter and food (being Canadian, health care is sorted, and I haven't had one of the weirder health care cases).

And I will admit that occasionally, VERY occasionally, there are people who work to scam the system, who are not willing to try. It's a fact of life that it'll happen, there will always be a few. But the thing I've noticed is that it's always for peanuts, and the efforts to suss them out costs more than is saved, and there is serious collateral damage (cf the guy I'm dealing with now who has been assessed as owing $1000 because he made exactly $1200. If he made $1201 he wouldn't owe that. Seriously?)

And even more, the people who are doing this, to a person, have a back history of serious child poverty, abuse, mental health issues, etc. So you know what? They're damn well entitled to it, because we as a society have failed them in the past and continue to fail them.

So yeah. Food, shelter, health care: we are all entitled.
posted by Lemurrhea at 6:00 PM on September 17, 2012 [72 favorites]


Yeah, Rachel Maddow is leading with the video.
posted by tommyD at 6:01 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


You wish they weren't entitled to food, Mitt Romney. Then they would just do you the favor of dying off—and wouldn't be around to laugh in horror at your car elevator and to vote for a black guy. I bet he's legitimately confused as to why he's doing this badly.
posted by theredpen at 6:03 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Of course, what's the Free Republic reaction?

posted by KathrynT


"May I add that despite some people’s views, the contrast between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama couldn’t be greater. Has anyone seen bigger moochers than the Obama family? Golfing, jet setting, living large... all on the taxpayers’ backs. And thumbing their noses at us the whole time. All they did was win a game show, and then turn the levers of power over to their commie handlers. Mitt Romney on the other hand, really is a successful man by any rational measure. No comparison whatsoever."
posted by Sebmojo at 6:05 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Gordon Gekko for president
posted by ninjew at 6:06 PM on September 17, 2012


How Jimmy Carter's Grandson Helped Leak the Secret Romney Fund-raiser Video

A minor point, but I kind of weirdly love the fact that the grandson of a former president is describing himself as out-of-work and working stuff like this to get a job. As compared to being handed a cushy position from party people, and all that.* It's small, but it's something.

I'm aware that he might be getting various advantages from his family's income - that he can afford to be out of work and such. But it's something.
posted by Lemurrhea at 6:06 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


So apparently there's more left to be leaked. I hope so, and I hope they make it a steady drip drip drip into October.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:06 PM on September 17, 2012


f you wrote this shit into a movie, it wouldn't sell, because everyone would say "No way a Presidential campaign would repeatedly be this dumb. No way. Rewrite this script and stop sending me this hack crap."

Don't be stupid, be a smarty!
Come and join the Grand Old Party!
posted by acb at 6:07 PM on September 17, 2012 [14 favorites]


Yes, Obama is a moocher. These are the people who thought Bill Clinton was a disgraceful hillbilly and were relived when the refined airs of George W. Bush entered the White House.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:07 PM on September 17, 2012 [12 favorites]


@blakehounshell: Romney statement a big deal for this main reason: Obama camp will say it denigrates the elderly, troops.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:08 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hey, remember when Sarah Palin said she could see Russia from her house and we thought that was the craziest shit that could happen in a presidential campaign?

I guess we're going to spend the next two months finding how much fun it is to watch Obama beat Romney like a pinata.
posted by dry white toast at 6:08 PM on September 17, 2012 [10 favorites]


Why the fuck doesn't the south pay taxes? There's some kind of important truth about American politics in there, but I can't quite wrap my head around it.

Many of the poorest Americans live in the South. I imagine the counties of California's Central Valley also have a large percentage of people who don't pay Federal Income Tax.
posted by oneirodynia at 6:09 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Did anyone get the name of the guy David Corn said was hosting the event? And WTF is up with the weird orgy fundraiser connection?
posted by zombieflanders at 6:11 PM on September 17, 2012


Marc Leder hosted the May 17th dinner that was recorded.
posted by gladly at 6:13 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Why the fuck doesn't the south pay taxes? There's some kind of important truth about American politics in there, but I can't quite wrap my head around it.

Yeah, not sure where you're going with that, but the map of Filers with No Income Tax Liability seems to me to superimpose relatively neatly with both this map and this one. I think they might be related for historical reasons in a way that's not extremely difficult to understand, and that might not be deserving of fury aimed at the entire region, but maybe that's just me.
posted by mediareport at 6:14 PM on September 17, 2012 [7 favorites]


So I guess the security on the private fundraisers is going to triple, eh?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:15 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Mrs. Romney: "...[Mitt Romney's father, George] was on relief, welfare relief for the first years of his life...."

So, if I am following all this correctly the young George Romney, believed he was a victim, and would vote for Obama if he could ?
posted by taro sato at 6:15 PM on September 17, 2012 [27 favorites]



So I guess the security on the private fundraisers is going to triple, eh?


Until they perfect robot and/or monkey butlers, someone still has to serve the food.
posted by gladly at 6:15 PM on September 17, 2012


So, if I am following all this correctly the young George Romney, believed he was a victim, and would vote for Obama if he could ?

It's getting harder all the time to believe that he'd vote for his son.
posted by yoink at 6:17 PM on September 17, 2012 [16 favorites]


someone still has to serve the food

Was anyone else thinking before reading that link that Jimmy Carter's grandson turned out to be a kid waiting tables at the fundraiser who had his phone handy?
posted by mediareport at 6:19 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hey, remember when Sarah Palin said she could see Russia from her house and we thought that was the craziest shit that could happen in a presidential campaign?

In the name of pedantic accuracy, it was actually Tina Fey who said that. Of course, the scary (and hilarious) part is that it is so believably a Palin utterance, that's how it's gone into our collective memory.

Doesn't make any of the rest of this circus less cray-cray. Excuse me, Mr. Would-Be President, your veneer of competence is crumbling.
posted by Superplin at 6:20 PM on September 17, 2012 [9 favorites]



That there is a fascinating map, really worth taking a look. Why the fuck doesn't the south pay taxes? There's some kind of important truth about American politics in there, but I can't quite wrap my head around it.

I had a long winded rant all ready to go, but on preview, what mediareport said
posted by ElGuapo at 6:20 PM on September 17, 2012


Well, I certainly wouldn't buy a used car from that man.
posted by scruss at 6:21 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's like America feels what Tom Cruise felt like in A Few Good Men when Nicholson blew his stack and admitted he ordered the Code Red.
posted by MoonOrb at 6:21 PM on September 17, 2012 [13 favorites]


Phone call from 30 minutes ago:
[Cell phone: RINGRINGBUZZZ!]
Hello?
"Hello, is Mr. Herr Doktor there?"
Speaking.
"Hi, I'm John Smallberries for [some organization]--"
Please, would you put me on your do-not-call list?
"Sure. I'm really sorry to bother you."
It's not that, it's just that somehow my cell number has gotten on all these lists. I don't mean to be rude-- what does your organization represent?
"Well, I'm calling to find out how you intend to vote in the upcoming election. To see if you plan on voting for Obama."
What is your organization's position?
"We're trying to see if there's anything we can do to encourage you to vote, and see if there's anything we can provide in terms of information to help you make a decision."
Ok, but what is your organization's position? You'll have to excuse me, but I've gotten a lot of calls, and sometimes it's not clear what they're really representing. Who do you plan on voting for?
"I'll be voting for Obama. Our organization is working in support of Obama."


Now, up to this point, I've been pretty curt, because like I said, I've gotten a lot of calls on my cell phone, and sometimes it's from someone working for some organization, and they ask if you're voting for X when they're really in support of Y, and it's annoying as fuck. I felt pretty crummy cuz I realized how much of an asshole I was sounding like, but as soon as I heard that he was clearly in support of Obama, I just lost my shit and starting laughing. I get back into the conversation:

Well, sorry if I sounded rude. Have you seen the video released today of Romney? The one that was secretly recorded at some dinner?
"No, I've been here all day."
"Wait... I think I heard of it. Did he say something about Mexicans?"
Man, it's almost 9! You've GOTTA look this up. Go to motherjones.com. Watch the video. I think you'll understand why I'm laughing and can't keep a straight face right now, and you'll know what my position is.
"Ok... what is your position?"
You HAVE to look this up. But yeah, no, my position is that it's pretty tough to vote for someone who thinks half the country are a bunch of losers. Anyway, sorry for being curt earlier. I'll be voting for Obama, like I did last election. Take it easy, and good luck man!


I cannot wait for election day. I'm taking that day and the day after off just so I can watch this insufferable asshole lose.
posted by herrdoktor at 6:21 PM on September 17, 2012 [41 favorites]


I have never been so excited for a presidential debate!
posted by triggerfinger at 6:22 PM on September 17, 2012 [10 favorites]


CNN is now presenting it prominently, as is CBS News.

USA Today. Wall Street Journal. Washington Times (though unsurprisingly editorialized). Yep, it's out there.
posted by psoas at 6:23 PM on September 17, 2012


So, if I am following all this correctly the young George Romney, believed he was a victim, and would vote for Obama if he could ?

Considering that the older George Romney was an early supporter of civil rights (as a Republican!), supported labor unions relatively often, did a lot to advance affordable housing for the poor, and was critical of the Vietnam War, he could have been Obama's running mate.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:23 PM on September 17, 2012 [19 favorites]


I thought is was very significant that Netanyahu refused to criticize Obama this last weekend on Meet the Press and said that Obama & Romney's positions were essentially the same with regard to Iran. Netanyahu hates Obama and has been very critical of the President and supportive of the more aggressive rhetoric from Romney (who is also a close friend and with whom he shares political consultants). Netanyahu went beyond being non-commital to actually providing a little cover for Obama with the pro-Israel lobby. That says to me that many of Romney's allies have already written off any chance of him winning and are now moving in to the panic mode where they try to make nice before the election so they arn't totally shut out for the next 4 years.
posted by humanfont at 6:23 PM on September 17, 2012 [13 favorites]


The Worst Thing Romney Has Said About Americans Yet
posted by homunculus at 6:24 PM on September 17, 2012 [10 favorites]


Kudos to the person who took and leaked this video.
posted by Eyebeams at 6:26 PM on September 17, 2012 [21 favorites]


Into every politician's life a few bad misspeaks or awkward moments of truth are revealed. Romney just seems to sprout them like he was planted in fertilizer. The seer number of unforced errors that man makes, makes him look like a fucking amateur. The real story at this point should not be the fact that Romney is going to lose, and at this point they may as well cancel the debates and let Ryan concentrate on retaining his House seat, but that so many people will vote for him anyways.

Romney is just too reactive, too slow to learn the rules of a General Election game, too full of panic and lashing out without any sense of coherence, too much of a self-entitled asshole, too unlikeable to win at this point. The Obama campaign must be choking with all the gift wrapped red meat Romney throws to the floor.
posted by edgeways at 6:28 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Worst Thing Romney Has Said About Americans Yet

When Pierce is on a tear, he is on a tear:
We are coming rapidly toward a devastating confluence of two colliding panics. The Romney campaign is panicking about itself, and the Republicans are panicking about the Romney campaign. He cannot come back from this, honestly. This is who he is. This is what he believes the world to be. Half the electorate already thinks he's a fake, which means he's not a very good one. There's really only one campaign left to him now.

Unfortunately for American politics, that means only one thing. It's going to get extraordinarily dirty extraordinarily fast. There is going to be pale birtherism and barely covert racism. The body of Ambassador Christopher Stevens is going to be exhumed and used as a bludgeon. There is going to be poor-baiting, and gay-baiting, and ladyparts-baiting, and probably baiting of things I haven't thought of yet. The polite part of the campaign is going to be Romney's effort to convince You that he was really talking about Them when he was calling people moochers and sneak thieves. He wasn't talking about Your Medicare or Your Social Security. Naw, he was talking about Their greed for what You have. That's going to be the polite part of the rest of the campaign, reinforced in the lower registers by a few million in ads to make sure You remember who They are.

There ain't no goin' back, as the song goes, when the foot of pride comes down. Ain't no goin' back.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:29 PM on September 17, 2012 [39 favorites]


It made the "complete election coverage" page of Foxnews.com (prominently, admittedly), although it's nowhere to be found on the front page, where it is presumably squeezed out by stories like "Pennsylvania City Considers Dog Ban In Downtown" and "Bowhunter Tracking Wounded Elk Attacked by Grizzly," and--ironically--"Latino Voters Favor Obama Over Romney by 2 to 1 Margin."

Wait, this just in. The margin is now 3 to 1. No, make that 4 to 1. Hold on, I'm getting an update...Sorry folks, the numbers are moving too quickly now to keep up.
posted by MoonOrb at 6:30 PM on September 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


Obama campaign just sent the video to the whole email list as well.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:32 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow, zombieflanders, that was one amazing quote. Dead on.
posted by Superplin at 6:33 PM on September 17, 2012


Frank Rich: My Embed in Red - A week steeped in right-wing media reveals a Republican Party far more despairing than the lamestream knows.
posted by homunculus at 6:34 PM on September 17, 2012 [7 favorites]


Marc Leder hosted the May 17th dinner that was recorded.

Who apparently doesn't hew to Traditional American Values:
According to the New York Post, Leder throws a pretty mean party.

His “wild end-of-summer bash was the talk of the Hamptons this year,” the Post reported last December. “At the Bridgehampton home that Leder rented for a whopping $500,000 a month, guests cavorted nude in a pool and performed sex acts, while scantily clad Russian women danced on platforms. Dancers at the party also twirled flaming torches to booming beats.”
Obama campaign just sent the video to the whole email list as well.

And posted them to the official Twitter account.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:34 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


The (negative) impact of this is greatly exaggerated. This is what 100% of Republicans and a large fraction of independents believe. I'm sure we all have relatives who post crap like this on their Facebook walls to dozens of "likes."

If anything, I could see this energizing the Republican base.
posted by dirigibleman at 6:34 PM on September 17, 2012 [8 favorites]


Hahaha fox news is critical of Obama for "seizing" on the video. Probably have people lined up to tut-tut over Obama's disgraceful politicizing of the issue.

Man, I thought Romney's Libya stuff was bad, but it just gets worse and worse, it is like a nightmare for that guy. Rolling Stone and Chris Mathews are right, this is worse than the typical " food stamp president" nonsense because now Republicans are talking shit about white people.
posted by Ad hominem at 6:36 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


I have never favorited so many comments in one post in my life.
posted by 4ster at 6:37 PM on September 17, 2012 [16 favorites]


Nothing will keep the media chasing the bouncing ball like a good old fashioned sexy-party!
posted by slapshot57 at 6:37 PM on September 17, 2012


You mean those folks who receive government checks?
posted by edgeways at 6:39 PM on September 17, 2012


You know if Romney just sews his mouth shut he still might be able to win this thing.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:41 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


This reminds me quite a bit of The Beast from Transmetropolitan saying that he considers his job as President well done if 51% of the country has food to eat.

Warren Ellis commented a while back that his Twitter feed keeps filling up with Transmetropolitan references every time a new Romney story breaks. Looks like he won't be getting much chatting done until November, dunnit?
posted by howfar at 6:42 PM on September 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


If Romney sews his mouth shut it's be a fun debate.
posted by edgeways at 6:44 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is good news for Mitt McCain.
posted by feloniousmonk at 6:44 PM on September 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


Superplin, do you mean specifically about seeing Russia "from her house?" Because she did say one can see Russia from Alaska (which seems only marginally less stupid as a claim of expertise in foreign relations than being able to see Russia from one's house).
posted by AwkwardPause at 6:44 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ladies and gentlemen, it's not even a Dickens villain. It's 1990s Farley-Spade feel good comedy villain Ray Zalinsky.
TOMMY: But the Callahan Factory has been in my family for seventy years; you can’t just shut it down.

ZALINSKY: Son, you gotta look at it from my point of view: Callahan’s a premium name, that’s what I’m buying. I can make the parts in one of my factories, put them in a Callahan box, and sell them in my stores at a premium price. Why keep your factory going when all I want’s the damn box?

TOMMY: I’ll tell you why, because there’s a town involved here. Callahan Factory’s the only thing keeping it alive.

ZALINSKY: Look, believe it or not, I’m providing a service, I’m thinning the corporate herd. The weaker animals always go. So the kids cry when you tie old tiger to a tree and shoot him, but that’s life. America’s in a state of renewal. We’ve gotta have the strength to tie a few factories to a tree and bash them with a shovel. Meanwhile, if I can grab your share of the market, put a little coin in my pocket, by being the asshole, well, what the hell? Know what I mean?

TOMMY: Boy, you sure are different in your TV commercials.

ZALINSKY: What the American public doesn’t know is what makes them the American public, alright? Hell, folks believe me when I tell them: we’re not just building automotive components here, we’re adding horsepower to American industry. Yeah, television’s been good to me, son. “I make car parts for the American working man, because that’s what I am, and that’s who I care about.” Heh! The truth is: I make car parts for the American working man, because I’m a hell of a salesman, and he doesn’t know any better.
posted by deanklear at 6:45 PM on September 17, 2012 [61 favorites]


Yes, AwkwardPause, I meant the specific "I can see Russia from my house" comment. Which, as you point out, is only very slightly dumber than what she did say, but with so much of this campaign season being about misquotes and misleading statements, I figured we should try to be as specific and accurate here as possible.

God knows there's still plenty left to mock, anyway.
posted by Superplin at 6:47 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


I think the key bit of news is that Romney's campaign staff was already willing to talk shit about him before this story even broke (see the Politico link in the FPP). If his staff, brain trust that it is, collapses before the debates, he might really flame out. I think he's probably done, but certainly done if a staff exodus begins.

Honestly a lot of this sort of inside baseball trash talking showing up even in otherwise relatively places like Politico reminds me a lot of the McCain campaign after the Palin announcement turned really south.
posted by feloniousmonk at 6:47 PM on September 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


Judging from a very unscientific poll based on the a couple of people I went to high school with that I haven't blocked on Facebook yet, Romney is speaking right to his sweet spot. They are disgusted with "Them," the ones who feel entitled to food and housing, and I think what they ultimately want is for "Them" to die. This is thinly-veiled ethnic cleansing rhetoric, at the grass roots. I don't think it's what the GOP is talking about, but it's what the base is taking away from it, and it is what they are just about ready to start talking about out loud if they continue to be encouraged.
posted by Lyn Never at 6:48 PM on September 17, 2012 [14 favorites]


relatively friendly
posted by feloniousmonk at 6:48 PM on September 17, 2012


LA Times:
Romney’s problem in the days to come will be that it revealed a public figure who is not just disdainful of the size of the American bureaucracy, but of the millions of people who stoop to relying on, say, unemployment benefits. That brings in quite a few more of our fellow citizens who merely fell on hard times, hardly lifetime chiselers.
The Republicans have been playing "despise the poor" card for so long that they have become enured to their own message and so have had to up the stakes by adding in the middle class, elderly, and unemployed-- all of whom receive "entitlements." I don't really understand how they can reconcile the Pro-Family stance with the "you are scum because you don't pay any Federal Income Tax." Children are a big tax deduction and the family of four, living in their own home might be a Leave-it-to-Beaver 50's ideal apparently beloved by the Far Right, but that house and those kids are big tax right-offs for the middle class.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:50 PM on September 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


To me, Mitt Romney is a stone cold businessman who doesn't give two shits about you unless you are wealthy and powerful. When people complain about things Obama does that aren't enough or that go against what they'd like to see done, I sympathize but I think it is fairly clear that Obama actually genuinely cares that you are dissatisfied.

Unless you are dripping with wealth and power, I don't feel it is exaggerating to say that Mitt Romney could not care less about you. He would really rather you did not exist. You're a speck of dirt to be swept away.

America is not a business and there are people who need help. Wealthy people want breaks - they don't need them. But it is pretty clear that the wealthy is who Mitt aims to help, because he sees himself in them. That's why he sounded that way in the video, because he felt like he was amongst other wealthy people.

Mitt Romney is absolutely not running for president to help anyone who needs it, or frankly to do anything but the bare minimum for the non wealthy. Him and Ann have given off quite the vibe that they think he should be king. And the more they talk and give interviews, the more they come off as annoyed that they can't just have him appointed president without a vote from these lower classes of people.
posted by cashman at 6:50 PM on September 17, 2012 [15 favorites]


It's as simple as this. The widespread delusion that one's success is owed to one's own merit, diligence, intelligence, or effort *justifies* and rationalizes privilege and hierarchy. Wealth, in other words, is an entitlement of the fittest. Thus is capitalist class structure presented as a natural fact, inflected with racial hierarchy, and sold back to the masses as their fate to be transcended in the sweet fucking hereafter. And working people keep falling for it. Or having it shoved down their throats with a healthy side order of fear.

Romney believes he is better than you unless you have more money than he does. He believes he "inherited nothing," just made the best of being the son of a governor/CEO who went to the finest schools and lived in a basement apartment until he figured out how to make 300 HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS AND YOU CAN TOO! The entire ideology has the verisimilitude of an infomercial.

In reality, he's no more intelligent or charismatic or hard working than the guys who used to cut his grass before he fired them for being more Mexican than his dad for pete's fucking sake. Probably less on all three scores, just better educated and capitalized.

He's a class warrior. Look how at ease and natural he seems in these comments, not at all his stiff and awkward presence when talking to riff raff. Here he fluently says what he believes which is that he's rich and so are his friends in that room and if you aren't it's your own fault for being stupid, lazy, unhealthy, insufficiently faithful, or born the wrong color, gender, sexuality, or class.

I loathe this man every bit as I loathed George W. Bush, maybe more adjusting for comparable points in their histories.
posted by spitbull at 6:51 PM on September 17, 2012 [50 favorites]


God Save the United States of America and its Constitutional foundation. Based on the majority here, He may be the only one who can.
posted by crushedhope at 6:51 PM on September 17, 2012


Mitt Romney Is The 47%, According To Mitt Romney
posted by zombieflanders at 6:51 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


i wonder what romney feels about his fast offerings and those who receive that help.
posted by nadawi at 6:52 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think a big part of the 99 percenter Republican issue is that they don't realize that they don't pay taxes, and if they do, could not even tell you what they paid in taxes last year.
posted by Brocktoon at 6:56 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


And with apologies to Brian Blessed: This has been Mitt Romney's worst week in politics since last week.
posted by Zonker at 6:59 PM on September 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


In case anyone's interested in reading a reaction from the other side there are a couple of interesting things and a couple of eye-rollers in Jonah Goldberg's take.
posted by mediareport at 7:01 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think food is entitled to housing in my mouth.
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:01 PM on September 17, 2012 [21 favorites]


I wonder if Obama ever imagined that he could win this election by pretty much not saying much of anything at all or, when he does say something it can be something pretty much totally uncontroversial to normal people like "women deserve equal rights!" and see his approval ratings skyrocket. The GOP is doing all the work for him.

Part of me almost thinks this is some sort of elaborate troll by the GOP so to set themselves up for a sweep in 2016.
posted by triggerfinger at 7:02 PM on September 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


oh my god mittens you can't just ask people why they're poor
posted by elizardbits at 7:03 PM on September 17, 2012 [27 favorites]


If Scrooge McDuck himself watched that video I do believe even he'd do a facepalm.
posted by Podkayne of Pasadena at 7:03 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Ladies and gentlemen, it's not even a Dickens villain. It's 1990s Farley-Spade feel good comedy villain Ray Zalinsky.

I seriously googled "Romney Ray Zalinsky" the other day to see if anyone else had made that connection. Nice one deanklear!
posted by Sreiny at 7:04 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


triggerfinger - my thought since the primaries has been that the gop isn't actually attempting to win the presidency. they're trying to stack congress/state positions with frothy-mouth conservatives to lay groundwork for 2016.
posted by nadawi at 7:04 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


mrnutty: "Awaiting the 'We are the 53%' tshirts to emerge."

Colonel Shikishima: Memories are short.
posted by mkb at 7:04 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


To me, Mitt Romney is a stone cold businessman who doesn't give two shits about you unless you are wealthy and powerful

I was thinking earlier about why people get into politics. Palin, god love her-- actually got onto the city council because she was interested in her town. Obama, has his community organizer background. Plenty of state, local, and national politicians are interested in making their part of the world a better place (albeit according to their personal definition of "better.") With Romney, I don't get that feeling at all. As we have seen he has no definition of "better." He can be for public healthcare or not, pro-life or pro-choice. He really doesn't give a shit. It's whatever, dude, just so long as he gets elected. I'm not even convinced that he will be catering to the desires of his rich buddies. What he really wants is the prestige of the office. The prize. The historical recognition of his life. That is a really, really bad reason to become President.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:05 PM on September 17, 2012 [60 favorites]


He has to double down really. He can't back down, we know how he feels about apologies. I'm sure the campaign will do the calculus itself and realize the only way out is go full top hat and monocle. Change the campaign song to Puttin on the Ritz. Do all appearances with a cravat and a huge diamond stickpin. White kid gloves, the whole works. Even better if he can produce a 75 foot schooner off some cape somewhere or another. The only problem is he has to ditch the Utah trappings and embrace the blue-bloods. This may backfire and they may see him as not only a cad but a bounder. This really is the most interesting race since the guided age.
posted by Ad hominem at 7:07 PM on September 17, 2012 [13 favorites]


to set themselves up for a sweep in 2016.

They won't have to wait that long; Republicans are poised for a sweep of the Senate in 2014, when 20 of the 33 seats up for election are Democratic seats.
posted by mediareport at 7:07 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


The thing about blowing the presidency, nadawi, is that if no one turns out to vote for your guy, they also don't vote for your other guys downticket. This is just a disaster for them, full stop.
posted by emjaybee at 7:08 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


David Corn is on Lawrence ODonnell now: some new things out in Mother Jones tomorrow.
posted by madamjujujive at 7:08 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


@ezraklein: From the reporters who were there, "No Apology" sounds like a fair summation of Romney's hasty presser.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:08 PM on September 17, 2012


@hollybdc: Romney says his argument wasn't "elegantly stated" but suggests he stands by the jist of his message in the video

@hollybdc: Romney walks away when asked if they are "core convictions" and what he believes. Just three q's
posted by zombieflanders at 7:10 PM on September 17, 2012


The (negative) impact of this is greatly exaggerated. This is what 100% of Republicans and a large fraction of independents believe. I'm sure we all have relatives who post crap like this on their Facebook walls to dozens of "likes."

If anything, I could see this energizing the Republican base.
posted by dirigibleman at 9:34 PM on September 17 [+] [!]


I'm inclined to agree with you, what with all the "surely, this..." stuff that's happened in the past, but I have faith that my fellow Americans will see, as I have, how much of a dick this man is, hear the dickish things he has to say in an obscenely earnest dickishness, understand that sometimes dicks win, but then realize that with this video, his campagin's response, and the fallout in the media, that he's also a loser. Some people like dicks. Nobody likes a loser.
posted by herrdoktor at 7:11 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


In the link above there is the response from the Romney cam which says, "Mitt Romney wants to help all Americans" and all I can think when I see that response is "Its a Cookbook!"
posted by Podkayne of Pasadena at 7:12 PM on September 17, 2012 [47 favorites]


emjaybee, if you convince the liberals and the middle that the presidency is won, and keep stoking the hate fires, you'll get enough conservatives out to shore up what needs to be shored up.

and yeah, media report - exactly - keep getting congress (and states) more conservative so that most government actions are either stalling or moving towards the right, while playing the victim about the presidency.
posted by nadawi at 7:12 PM on September 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


The historical recognition of his life. That is a really, really bad reason to become President.

Every time I try to figure out the reasons Mitt is running, for some odd reason I visualize the MeFi Deleted Posts Greasemonkey scripts and all the various reasons FPPs get the axe that don't cut the mustard. Then his candidacy sort of makes sense for a bit and but then it doesn't. Very weird.

I am sure it isn’t this way, but I also toy with the idea that Mitt, if actually elected, would get to the WH and just not know what to do with himself. Like getting there was all the fun but the destination just did not hold the charm that the brochures promised.
posted by lampshade at 7:13 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


To SERVE the people... to?
posted by blue_beetle at 7:14 PM on September 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


The (negative) impact of this is greatly exaggerated. This is what 100% of Republicans and a large fraction of independents believe. I'm sure we all have relatives who post crap like this on their Facebook walls to dozens of "likes."

If anything, I could see this energizing the Republican base.


Mayyyyybe, but see the thing is, clicking "like" on Facebook doesn't actually cost anything. It seems likely to me that there are a significant number of people who express views against their interest in public, and even in polls, who will not actually turn out to vote against that interest when push comes to shove. Human beings are remarkably good at managing cognitive dissonance, and, while there are undoubtedly plenty of lemming Republicans, I suspect that there are also quite a few people who'll applaud this rhetoric and then weirdly find themselves too busy to vote come polling day.
posted by howfar at 7:15 PM on September 17, 2012


but I also toy with the idea that Mitt, if actually elected, would get to the WH and just not know what to do with himself. Like getting there was all the fun but the destination just did not hold the charm that the brochures promised.

Kind of like when Palin won the governorship of Alaska and quit after less than 2 years. To this day I'm convinced that she quit because it was a lot more hard, dull work and a lot less glamor than she thought it was going to be. Plus FOX news was calling and what she really wanted to do was travel around and wave to cheering crowds and sign autographs and stay at 5 star hotels and what the job required her to do was read a lot of reports and listen to a lot of people drone on about policy and so she said "Fuck it."
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:18 PM on September 17, 2012 [38 favorites]


Completely non scientific, no basis in anything but speculation: I think Mittens wants to be president because he has daddy issues, he wants to achieve something his dad would be proud of him for. He just seems like such an over-compensating asshole to me, not to terribly unlike Bush Jr.
posted by edgeways at 7:19 PM on September 17, 2012 [7 favorites]


I'm just glad long term that a second Obama term means we can have a chance at a semi sane Supreme Court for a few decades to counteract the shifting right wing.
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:20 PM on September 17, 2012 [9 favorites]


Don't count on it. They are some stubborn old coots and and the justices that everyone thinks are getting ready to retire may decide to hang on for another 4 or 5 years.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:23 PM on September 17, 2012


"Energize the base" is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings.
posted by davebush at 7:26 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


yeah it'll probably be tough to pry any of the conservatives off the court but a couple more of the liberal votes might not mind retiring and being replaced by someone with a few more years to go
posted by slapshot57 at 7:28 PM on September 17, 2012


50 days left and Romney's still shoring up the base.
posted by 2bucksplus at 7:28 PM on September 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


From the AP, Mitt made the following statements:

"Republican Mitt Romney says a video clip in which he called nearly half of Americans "victims" was "not elegantly stated" and was "spoken off the cuff." But he says President Barack Obama's approach is "attractive to people who are not paying taxes."
Romney spoke to reporters Monday evening in a hastily called news conference after the emergence of a video in which the GOP presidential nominee told donors that almost half of American voters "believe that they are victims."
The Republican nominee did not disavow the comments but said they were made during a question-and-answer session. He said it was indicative of his campaign's effort to "focus on the people in the middle."

posted by HuronBob at 7:29 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I wonder how Mitt would characterize these supporters of his campaign in Mississippi, who admit to deserving welfare and hating Obama (because they are white, they say).

Unfortunately, many people will believe Romney's numbers, because they heard it on the news, and because they don't understand what he was really doing with his bogus analysis.
posted by Brian B. at 7:31 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


How does that statement improve the situation for Romney in any way at all?
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 7:31 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


So this Republican party they have in the USA, they don't think people are entitled to food, housing and health care? God damn.

That's not just "the Republican party in the USA", that is the whole basis of Capitalism: you're out of high school and you don't have a job? Well then fuck you, you have not earned the privilege of getting the basic necessities of life (which all other life forms on this planet get automatically). We're the apex predators, we have to pay for it!.
posted by SarcasticSeraph at 7:33 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is starting to remind me of that scene in The Dead Zone when Sheen uses that baby as a human shield.
posted by 4ster at 7:33 PM on September 17, 2012 [14 favorites]


If this Redditor isn't working for OFA, someone needs to get on it pronto:
This should be Obama's next ad. I call it "Victim."

Narrator: At a private fundraiser, Mitt Romney recently said the following:

Romney: There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims.

Narrator: Really, Mitt? Anyone who votes for Obama is dependent on the government?

Person X: I'm a doctor.
Person Y: I'm an engineer.
Person Z: I'm a small business owner.

Person X: I paid more taxes than Mitt Romney.
Person Y: I paid more taxes than Mitt Romney.
Person Z: I paid more taxes than Mitt Romney.

Person X: I voted for Barack Obama.
Person Y: I voted for Barack Obama.
Person Z: I'm voting for Barack Obama.

Narrator: Sadly, Mitt, it seems like the only person who believes they're a victim...is you.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:35 PM on September 17, 2012 [95 favorites]


Maybe Mitt hasn't learned the First Rule of Holes: When you are in one, quit digging.
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 7:36 PM on September 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


@NickKristof What will Romney do for an encore? Condemn people who don't save enough for a weekend house? Use #RomneyEncore hashtag

@degreesofgray The bottom 47% expect the government to pay for their car elevators #RomneyEncore

@Granniegal If i ever find out which one of you lowly half-millionaires is taping my private speeches I will Bain you #47Percent #Romneyencore

@prof_rebuke "I'm speaking to the real Americans, the ones who pulled themselves up by their boat shoes..." #RomneyEncore

@nrothstein First debate : 'I'll bet you the million in my pocket that your voters don't pay income taxes'-- Romney #romneyencore

@BenJoBubble "You people don't even take proper care of your Cadillacs." #RomneyEncore
posted by madamjujujive at 7:36 PM on September 17, 2012 [13 favorites]


How does that statement improve the situation for Romney in any way at all

Fox news will spin it as having closed the book on the matter, and Romney will begin trying to say that he's already addressed it and doesn't have to keep talking about it.
posted by tyllwin at 7:36 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Nosing around, the reaction among conservative bloggers is interesting:

1. It's ironic that Obama's campaign, which wrote off working class white voters as a planned part of its 2012 strategy ("The 2012 approach treats white voters without college degrees as an unattainable cohort") is decrying Romney for attacking working class voters.

2. Despite all the excitement among press monkeys and partisan political junkies, most of these oh-so-election-making gaffes pass unnoticed by the average voter.

I can find something to agree with in both of those.
posted by mediareport at 7:38 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Maybe Mitt hasn't learned the First Rule of Holes: When you are in one, quit digging.

Personally, I'm buying the guy a backhoe.
posted by HuronBob at 7:38 PM on September 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


Lemurrhea: "The Democrats were smart to play the word "Barack", as everything I see on the web implies that the Republicans can't spell it."

_H_U_S_S_ _ _
posted by notsnot at 7:38 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ezra Klein, longform tweeting again:
What I like least about Romney's comments is the idea that the working poor don't "take responsibility for their lives. The thing about not having that much money is you have to take responsibility for things the rich take for granted. That's the thing about being rich: it buys you services and ease. You get to focus on what you want to focus on. The problem for the poor, often, is they don't have time or energy to focus on the things that make you rich. Romney was able to sell his dad's stock to pay for school. He didn't have to work to support his sisters at age 17. And good for him! That's the dream. But to look at the working poor and say they don't take responsibility? It's backwards. And that matters, as if Romney is president, his understanding of what stands between the poor and prosperity will inform national policy.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:40 PM on September 17, 2012 [72 favorites]


Of course they're decrying Romney's attack. Driving a wedge between a candidate and their base is like skunking someone in cribbage. Not always possible and never necessary, but damn satisfying.
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 7:41 PM on September 17, 2012


Althouse: I don't see anything bad in there at all.
posted by unSane at 7:41 PM on September 17, 2012


This is really late in the game to still be shoring up your base. "Your base" doesn't win elections, it keeps you from losing them horribly while you work the middle.
posted by edgeways at 7:45 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


@jesseberney: Every time something horrible happens to Romney, remember he must think it's not as bad as releasing his taxes would be.

@neeratanden: For those thinking that all statements blow over, just remember "macaca" happened in August.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:46 PM on September 17, 2012 [12 favorites]


Republican Mitt Romney says a video clip in which he called nearly half of Americans "victims" was "not elegantly stated" and was "spoken off the cuff.

Do you know what helps with that problem, Mittens? A teleprompter.
posted by Lemurrhea at 7:46 PM on September 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


The Real Romney Captured On Tape Turns Out To Be A Sneering Plutocrat
posted by zombieflanders at 7:48 PM on September 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


I think the tax return point there is a good one. Not only does it make it look even more like his tax returns contain something on par with having taken the tax evasion amnesty in 2009, it also keeps the subject alive.
posted by feloniousmonk at 7:50 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


The thing about this video is that it plays into some well-known cognitive biases. Other people fail because they're lazy/deserve to; I struggle because blacks/liberals/insert "other" of choice are ruining things for everyone.

My mother told me that she was against Obama because extending unemployment benefits just let people be lazy. Her evidence? She sees job postings "all the time" in the paper. This is a woman who came to the states with 4 children and no money, and was able to feed them only because of government help. Your tax dollars paid for her (and her children) to go to school. She works for an auto company, so every year during the plant furlough, she applies (and gets) unemployment. But she has her McMansion because she worked really hard, unlike those people out there collecting unemployment now.

When I reminded her about the government assistance, and the fact that she was only able to work so hard because she left me at home to provide childcare starting at the age of 7, she left the room.

I know it's tempting to gloat over Romney's Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Week, but remember that he's pretty much playing to peoples' worst tendencies. As the past ten years have so painfully taught us, that's seldom a bad bet.
posted by snickerdoodle at 7:51 PM on September 17, 2012 [42 favorites]


This is the ugly other side of the coin of the pervasive "My wealth and priveleged family and I pulled ourselves up by our bootstraps" narrative which dominated the conventions.

The logical continuation and practical effect of that argument as it translates into policy is:
"We pulled ourselves up by our bootstraps, why the FUCK can't you?"
posted by cacofonie at 7:53 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I want to thank Mitt for making me reconsider my answer to the George W. Bush "Miss Me Yet?" billboard.

The answer's still the same, but I did reconsider.
posted by Mad_Carew at 7:55 PM on September 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


This is a woman who came to the states with 4 children and no money, and was able to feed them only because of government help. Your tax dollars paid for her (and her children) to go to school. She works for an auto company, so every year during the plant furlough, she applies (and gets) unemployment.

This is what I want to hear more of. Like that Craig T. Nelson clip where he says "Nobody helped me...I went on welfare!" or whatever. And like the Daily Show clip where they expose the Fox News host who was all upset about a lack of Maternity leave...then turned around a few months later and suddenly took the opposite position.

When these folks that you know chime in to echo these statements and you have direct knowledge of when they themselves needed a hand, I'd love it if you challenge them and report what happens.
posted by cashman at 7:57 PM on September 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


No matter what spin Romney tries to put on this, he's going to have an awfully hard time running away from saying that people who owe no federal income tax don't "take personal responsibility" and don't "care for their lives."

There's no elegant way to re-frame that statement.
posted by MoonOrb at 7:57 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yzma: It is no concern of mine whether or not your family has... what was it again?

Peasant: Umm... food?

Yzma: Ha! You really should have thought of that before you became peasants! Take him away!
posted by SPrintF at 7:58 PM on September 17, 2012 [14 favorites]


I know it's tempting to gloat over Romney's Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Week, but remember that he's pretty much playing to peoples' worst tendencies. As the past ten years have so painfully taught us, that's seldom a bad bet.

Just remind her that she's going to need Medicare soon. If you can't appeal to envy and selfishness appeal to self-survival.
posted by Talez at 7:58 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Warren Ellis commented a while back that his Twitter feed keeps filling up with Transmetropolitan references every time a new Romney story breaks.

Today Ellis has been focused on a friend who was arrested at the Occupy anniversary: #freemollycrabapple
posted by homunculus at 8:00 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Nobody fucks a chicken like Mitt Romney.
posted by bardic at 8:03 PM on September 17, 2012 [7 favorites]


Oh the debates are going to be delicious
posted by asockpuppet at 8:03 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Gawker's Jezebel weighs in: Mitt Romney is so mad that he could just storm onto a private jet and fly to the Cayman Islands and punch some money. He's so mad that he feels like going into his car elevator with an endangered tiger's bladder full of single malt scotch and slowly pour it onto the floor. He's so mad he could just buy Oakland and sell it to China and then bomb China. That's how mad he is that the poor people who don't pay taxes feel entitled to food. How fucking dare they.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:07 PM on September 17, 2012 [61 favorites]


How!
Rich!
IS HE??!
posted by cashman at 8:09 PM on September 17, 2012


The Real Romney Captured On Tape Turns Out To Be A Sneering Plutocrat
posted by zombieflanders at 10:48 PM

The comparison to Obama's 2008 leak is really an eye-opener.
posted by cacofonie at 8:09 PM on September 17, 2012


""We pulled ourselves up by our bootstraps, why the FUCK can't you?""

Huh, maybe because the phrase was originally coined to describe something that's patently impossible...
posted by notsnot at 8:10 PM on September 17, 2012 [24 favorites]


> Gawker's Jezebel weighs in:

"Like the time he contributed to the American economy by keeping his money in tax havens like Switzerland and other places Bond villains ski."
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:15 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


It will be news to most people that almost half of Americans pay no federal income tax.

Disclaimer: This is an opinion. Just because you may disagree does mean it is a "troll".
posted by republican at 8:16 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


emjaybee, if you convince the liberals and the middle that the presidency is won, and keep stoking the hate fires, you'll get enough conservatives out to shore up what needs to be shored up.

But that side was already pretty fired up just on the basis of being the challenging party - And as a generally nervous democrat, I don't think too many of us think anything is "won" yet, no matter how deep a hole Mitt digs - What this might do is get both disillusioned progressives and moderate/conservative Democrats who may not like Romney but were feeling pretty "meh" on Obama to open wallets and ballots - Who knows? We'll find out soon enough.
posted by jalexei at 8:16 PM on September 17, 2012


He's saying that "those people" don't want to work (but could) and are just such lazy amoral sloths that they're voting for Obama just to keep the free whiskey and fried chicken. How does he propose to get those inferior subhumans out there earning and paying taxes? And what will he do to them if they won't perform up to snuff? In Romneyworld they're not even "entitled" to food!
posted by robbyrobs at 8:19 PM on September 17, 2012


It will be news to most people that almost half of Americans pay no federal income tax.

I'm inclined to agree with you - a smart Democratic strategy would then strive to show "most people" who those folks generally are (retired, poor, military, etc) - Would it work? It could certainly blunt the impact significantly.
posted by jalexei at 8:20 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Kind of like when Palin won the governorship of Alaska and quit after less than 2 years.

And four years ago John McCain ultimately decided that Sarah Palin would make a better VP than Mitt Romney.

Yeah, IMO, looking evil isn't what hurts Mitt here, it's looking like a fuckup. Americans will vote for evil; they won't usually vote for fuckups. And his mealy-mouthed apology only exacerbates his troubles, failing as it will to satisfy his opponents while frustrating his supporters.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:21 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Dems need to hang that around the necks of every GOP politico running for office at every. damn. level.

That is what that party stands for these days, that is what they think, how they plead with their donors. Bury them with it.
posted by Slackermagee at 8:21 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


It will be news to most people that almost half of Americans pay no federal income tax.

What's really news is that Romney apparently doesn't understand that these people still pay taxes, just in other ways: sales tax, payroll tax, state and county-level taxes, etc. He apparently believes that 47% are moochers in some Randian dystopia. That's news.
posted by mek at 8:22 PM on September 17, 2012 [24 favorites]


Supposed Gaffes and the 2012 Presidential Polls:

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hasn’t the 2012 campaign taught us not to jump the gun with various “gaffes”? (Yes, I will be using scare quotes throughout.) In fact, didn’t the 2008 campaign teach us this too?

[check his two graphs comparing so-called major gaffes with the lack of subsequent polling movement in 2008 and 2012. Note "the private sector is doing fine" and "you didn't build that" in the 2nd graph]

No discernible or certainly consequential movement because of Obama’s two “gaffes.” The only movement after Romney’s comments about the Libya attack is in his favor, thanks largely to the probably inevitable tightening after Obama’s convention bump.

The best case for saying that “gaffes matter” is that actual voters are persuaded to change their minds because of the gaffes. If they don’t, then it’s tough to argue that “gaffes” are really “game-changers.”

...Many a news cycle was built on a “gaffe” with a remarkably short shelf life.


That's from the polling blog The Monkey Cage (which Nate Silver called an "outstanding blog" last year, in case anyone needs a quick credibility check).
posted by mediareport at 8:22 PM on September 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


Was a VP slot something that 2008 Mitt would've been interested in?
posted by box at 8:23 PM on September 17, 2012


"Was a VP slot something that 2008 Mitt would've been interested in?"

2008 Mitt gave 13 years or so of tax returns to John McCain's campaign during VP vetting, and McCain's camp went with Palin.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:26 PM on September 17, 2012 [17 favorites]


Was a VP slot something that 2008 Mitt would've been interested in?
He showed his apparently toxic tax returns to the McCain campaign in hopes that he'd get it.
posted by Flunkie at 8:26 PM on September 17, 2012


It will be news to most people that almost half of Americans pay no federal income tax.

Maybe, but the contempt with which he talks about that 47% is really surprising too. The vast majority of people I know have, at some point in their lives, been one those "free-loaders". Either they were poor immigrants with children or college students at the time, or are currently living off their pensions. So they were either taking responsibility by working, or going to school, or had already taken responsibility before they retired.

We'll see which side will be more fired up by this.
posted by snickerdoodle at 8:27 PM on September 17, 2012


What's really news is that Romney apparently doesn't understand that these people still pay taxes, just in other ways: sales tax, payroll tax, state and county-level taxes, etc.

The talking point that republican is selling you as 'opinion' is easier for a dumbed-downed public to swallow as fact, than your complex, nuanced, and most importantly correct observation. Facts do not matter, which is why this 'gaffe' will probably blow over quickly.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:27 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


"We'll see capital come back and we'll see—without actually doing anything—we'll actually get a boost in the economy."

I have long held that the biggest problem for the current administration was that the people who can invest and should invest in America just took their toys and went home when Obama was elected. Because it didn't work out the way they wanted it to, America had to be punished.

It's nice to hear confirmation of this fact from the candidate.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 8:28 PM on September 17, 2012 [8 favorites]


Hunter S Thompson used to accuse Richard Nixon of being a werewolf. Romney might not be a werewolf, but if he keeps screwing the pooch like this much some day he'll probably father one
posted by Kiablokirk at 8:29 PM on September 17, 2012 [15 favorites]


Oh the debates are going to be delicious

Obama should answer everything via a Romney puppet with a tape recorder inside, full of Romney's own ridiculous words, a'la GOB and Franklin Delano Bluth.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:34 PM on September 17, 2012 [7 favorites]


Disclaimer: This is an opinion. Just because you may disagree does mean it is a "troll".

I am assuming this is a typo, but things will go much better here if you just comment in good faith and take concerns about the community directly to MetaTalk.
posted by jessamyn at 8:39 PM on September 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


Man, this really is going to be the best The Aristocrats joke ever.
posted by dry white toast at 8:41 PM on September 17, 2012 [8 favorites]



It will be news to most people that almost half of Americans pay no federal income tax.

So ?
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:41 PM on September 17, 2012


Personally, I think he’s a kind, decent man who says stupid things because he is pretending to be something he is not — some sort of cartoonish government-hater. But it scarcely matters. He’s running a depressingly inept presidential campaign. Mr. Romney, your entitlement reform ideas are essential, but when will the incompetence stop? - David Brooks in tomorrow's NYTimes.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:41 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Kind? DECENT?

I... I can't.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 8:43 PM on September 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


Personally, I think he’s a kind, decent man who says stupid things because he is pretending to be something he is not

Kind decent people don't strap their dog to the top of their car and, when the terrified animal loses control of itself, hose it off and keeps on driving.

Even since that factoid came out I knew all I needed to know about Romney as a person.
posted by winna at 8:44 PM on September 17, 2012 [41 favorites]


Hey, I didn't say it. David Brooks did. I think he's an ass.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:45 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Romney's response to the leak. slyt
posted by annsunny at 8:46 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Just like clinging to guns and religion, right?

Here's the guns and religion quote. Obama was saying that some people have a very hard life, due in part to being ignored by the government, and so are bitter about it and "cling to guns and religion" in response. Obama was saying that he wants to help those people. It was politically damaging, but it was both truthful and, in fact, sympathetic. Obama actually wants to improve people's situation regardless of their political background.

Romney was saying, in regards to anyone who doesn't earn enough money to pay a certain progressive tax right now, including elderly people who have paid that tax all their lives, fuck them. They will never "take personal responsibility and care for their lives".
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:46 PM on September 17, 2012 [35 favorites]


This isn't a single gaffe. It's a treasure trove of them, and full of ones that match a popular impression of the man that is echoed by the media. It also seems inept. Which means it's the kind of gaffe that might stick. We'll see, maybe it'll blow over, but Romney's a tetch behind and has been for a while. He needs these little blowups to happen to the other guy to win.

I'd be more sympathetic, since it's the kind of dynamic that doomed Gore, except that I think he'd be a terrible president.
posted by feckless at 8:47 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Hey, I didn't say it. David Brooks did. I think he's an ass.

What was hilarious was that I misread the comment at first and thought NOOOO roomthreeseventeen, what has occurred?! But then I reread it and realized it was Bobo.
posted by winna at 8:48 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


More leaks out and it's priceless - Mitt Romney: " I have inherited nothing. Everything Ann and I own we earned the old fashioned way"
posted by Podkayne of Pasadena at 8:49 PM on September 17, 2012 [10 favorites]


Podkayne, I don't think that one's new. I read it earlier this evening.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:51 PM on September 17, 2012


More leaks out and it's priceless - Mitt Romney: " I have inherited nothing. Everything Ann and I own we earned the old fashioned way"

Yep - through 3rd-party-managed trusts careful to have no individual name attached to them, right? And I suppose selling someone else's stock to finance school isn't technically "inheritance" either(?)
posted by jalexei at 8:52 PM on September 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


Romney's response to the leak. slyt

Wow, it's like he's an android or a replicant or something.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:54 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


"...we earned the old fashioned way"

Fucking over as many people as possible.


(yeah it sounds like there is a few news cycles of this yet to come. Gonna be another long week for Rom-E v.9.17xxx - just when they where going to re-re-re release the New coke and improved Rom-E. Man...that must be where all that $ is going, paying all those programmers for daily patches and reboots
posted by edgeways at 8:54 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


If it looks like I'm going to win, the markets will be happy. If it looks like the president's going to win, the markets should not be terribly happy.

"U.S. stocks are coming off a surge last week that sent the S&P 500 to its highest level in nearly five years."
posted by kirkaracha at 8:56 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


"the old fashioned way"
posted by Flunkie at 8:56 PM on September 17, 2012 [8 favorites]


Wow, it's like he's an android or a replicant or something.

I certainly think it's time for him to retire
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:56 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Wow, it's like he's an android or a replicant or something.

Like tears down the drain
posted by Podkayne of Pasadena at 8:57 PM on September 17, 2012 [12 favorites]


I have long held that the biggest problem for the current administration was that the people who can invest and should invest in America just took their toys and went home when Obama was elected. Because it didn't work out the way they wanted it to, America had to be punished.

Absolutely. Because this small group of people who have accumulated exponentially more wealth than your typical American have done so because they were also exponentially more productive. The recession, occurring once and since these pillars of economic strength were slighted can be completely attributed to their inactivity, and unwillingness to participate in such a dire economic climate.

This is of course completely bullshit, and the current economic climate, if anything, has only contributed to further the gap between the productivity of and the wages earned by the average American worker. The highest marginal tax rate is minimal compared to earlier periods of great economic strength, not to mention the ease of these extremely rich people skirt those rates as evidenced by this presidential candidate's lack of releasing his own returns.

I don't know where you got this Randian idea that somehow these extremely wealthy and powerful people who have been driven only by the motivation to collect more wealth and more power, somehow lose that incentive based on a few more percentage points on the taxes they're skirting anyway, or the election of a President who at least in his words makes an attempt to appeal to the hard working middle class Americans who actually turn the crankshaft of this fucking country.
posted by clearly at 8:57 PM on September 17, 2012 [10 favorites]


The "wanting to buy a Chinese Sweatshop" should be good for a few chuckles somewhere in there.
posted by edgeways at 8:57 PM on September 17, 2012


I've been on unemployment compensation in the past so I qualify as one of those "freeloaders". But even then I was never tempted to vote for someone who promised more assistance. Maybe Romney isn't polished but I would much rather hear straight talk than pandering.
posted by republican at 8:59 PM on September 17, 2012


Romney's Hidden-Video Fundraiser Host In June: Economy Is “Not Too Bad”

Romney "47 Percent" Fundraiser Host: Hedge Fund Manager Who Likes Sex Parties
posted by madamjujujive at 9:01 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


What was straight about his talk?
posted by MoonOrb at 9:01 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney Just Saying He Grew Up Poor In Memphis Now
posted by Sreiny at 9:02 PM on September 17, 2012 [14 favorites]


If you don't want to hear pandering you must really dislike Romney then, dude is widely criticized by all sides of the spectrum from liberal to ultra conservative for being on all sides of the issue depending on the race, and depending on the people asking the questions.
posted by edgeways at 9:02 PM on September 17, 2012 [8 favorites]


If you qualify as one of the freeloaders, Romney's written you off.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:04 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have inherited nothing. Everything Ann and I own we earned the old fashioned way

Well, Romney's dad was alive when he gave them $60,000 in stocks (in 1969 dollars; about $377,000 today).
posted by kirkaracha at 9:04 PM on September 17, 2012 [11 favorites]


For those thinking this won't hurt Romney because people agree with this, I have to disagree. First and foremost, this makes Romney look like a LOSER, a guy who will LOSE the election. And that is deadly in America. The one thing we don't forgive is losing. Rove famously said that a big chunk of voters will just break for whoever is winning and that is true.

Second, the polling shows people DO NOT agree with him. They think that the rich should be taxed more, not less. And they are for almost all of Obama's platform.

For weeks, worryworts and pundits have been telling Mitt to give more specifics. He cannot. Obama has taken smart positions that are good for America and America agrees with him. The people of the US do not believe that 47% of the population are "chizellers." They think, rightly, that America is a land of good people working hard to make a better life. Since his base is nuts, Mitt has to take positions which obviously rely on nonsensical beliefs. Positions which most people don't agree with. And lo and behold Romney is losing, has been losing, and will continue to lose. Do you realize it has been 10 months since Romney had any kind of lead in the Real Clear Politics polling average? People are for Obama because he's taken solid, smart, American positions that most Americans, when asked independent of the question of whether the white guy or the black guy should be president, support in large numbers.

Romney's incompetence is highlighted because he's in a position where he has to be perfect to win. And that's because America agrees with the President.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:06 PM on September 17, 2012 [46 favorites]


Maybe Romney isn't polished but I would much rather hear straight talk than pandering.

Is that the straight talk before or after he said he didn't say what he said?
posted by octobersurprise at 9:06 PM on September 17, 2012 [7 favorites]


Talking to a bunch of rich people about how poor people are lazy entitled freeloaders isn't pandering?
posted by rtha at 9:08 PM on September 17, 2012 [28 favorites]


That's pretty well said, Ironmouth.
posted by HuronBob at 9:09 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


"This man is a lout. A shameless lout, who, among the supposed privacy of close supporters, reveals that he can conceive of no idea larger or more profound than self-interest. As he believes first and foremost in Mitt Romney and his ambitions, he can’t conceive that others would believe in anything larger than themselves or their possible personal gain. He stands here, now, his own emptiness laid bare by his own cynical critique of others who will not follow him in selfishness. It is not that Mr. Romney is merely unfit to serve us as president. Based on this latest revelation, it may go much deeper. If he believes what he told that group in private, he may well be unfit to serve us as a fellow citizen." - David Simon
posted by vidur at 9:09 PM on September 17, 2012 [56 favorites]


I did not understand the news conference Romney had after the video became public. What was that all about? Trying to clean his shoes of the shiat he stepped in or what??
posted by robbyrobs at 9:09 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've been on unemployment compensation in the past so I qualify as one of those "freeloaders". But even then I was never tempted to vote for someone who promised more assistance. Maybe Romney isn't polished but I would much rather hear straight talk than pandering.

Let me re-paste what Romney specifically said:
There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to 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…These are people who pay no income tax.

Romney went on: "[M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."
This, to me, unambiguously says that he's against any form of welfare, period. Are you somehow against unemployment benefits that you say you've received in the past?
posted by the cydonian at 9:10 PM on September 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


And what was with the hair tonight? Did they pull the guy away from his bedtime chocolate milk and pb&js?
posted by octobersurprise at 9:11 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


The David Simon quote is especially appropriate since today's gaffe was essentially caught by ... a Wire.
posted by Podkayne of Pasadena at 9:11 PM on September 17, 2012 [11 favorites]


This man is a lout. A shameless lout, who, among the supposed privacy of close supporters, reveals that he can conceive of no idea larger or more profound than self-interest

That's a wonderful summary. Perfect.
posted by the cydonian at 9:11 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


"And I suppose selling someone else's stock to finance school isn't technically "inheritance" either(?)"

One of the largest wealth-transfers that the upper-middle classes and above make is to pay for their children to attend college (and, more rarely, grad school). They definitely don't think of this as part of an "inheritance," even though it functions quite similarly to inherited wealth in terms of limiting social mobility. And to be fair, it's such a natural next step after high school for these kids, who've been told since birth that they were going to college, that it doesn't feel much different to them than going to high school. They know, intellectually, that it's a generous gift, but their lived reality is that it's the next phase of schooling in which their "job" is getting good grades and learning things. Romney doesn't strike me as so reflective a man that he'd have thought about "paying for school" as a significant form of wealth transfer.

This actually helps a lot to realize when you're trying to talk about, like, education loan policies with executives who grew up comfortable enough for their parents to pay for college. They're not dumb; they just haven't thought about it. When you point it out, a lot of them actually think about it.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:11 PM on September 17, 2012 [37 favorites]


David Brooks, of all people, drops some truth on Romney in tomorrow's column:

The people who receive the disproportionate share of government spending are not big-government lovers. They are Republicans. They are senior citizens. They are white men with high school degrees. As Bill Galston of the Brookings Institution has noted, the people who have benefited from the entitlements explosion are middle-class workers, more so than the dependent poor.
posted by MoonOrb at 9:15 PM on September 17, 2012 [14 favorites]


Brooks apparently suffering an attack of plain dealing.
posted by Miko at 9:18 PM on September 17, 2012 [7 favorites]


If you qualify as one of the freeloaders, Romney's written you off.

I don't see it that way. A politician that insults me but can get me a job is worth more to me than a politician that panders just to get my vote. It seems that the latter is the one who has written me off.
posted by republican at 9:18 PM on September 17, 2012


just laid down $700 to attend the non-wedding commitment ceremony of my sister-and-law and some hardcore republican dude who can't have a wife because the shared income would eliminate his lifelong ssi disability benefits for epilepsy. i'm relieved to find out he's not one of those freeloaders.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 9:20 PM on September 17, 2012 [28 favorites]


Romney still hasn't articulated a plan to get anyone a job. I don't believe he has any idea how to do it.
posted by Miko at 9:21 PM on September 17, 2012 [13 favorites]


Would you like to serve fries with that job?
posted by Podkayne of Pasadena at 9:21 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Maybe Romney's a uniter, not a divider. An American friend of mine of Facebook has been scathing about Obama (from the left) for ages, but she's been posting more and more about Romney lately. Tonight, she shared a picture of Romney-Ryan captioned "And God Bless Half of America!" that was attributed to the Re-Elect President Obama page. The latest bit of content on that page? A lengthy excerpt from the Brooks column mentioned above.
posted by maudlin at 9:22 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


A politician that insults me but can get me a job...

wow, sounds like that whole 'taking personal responsibility' shit just went right by you. no president ever got me a job, and i never expected one to.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 9:22 PM on September 17, 2012 [49 favorites]


Romney still hasn't articulated a plan to get anyone a job. I don't believe he has any idea how to do it.

If he's elected, by definition he can't solve the jobs crisis. Anyone who he helps as President will be a government freeloader.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:22 PM on September 17, 2012 [12 favorites]


A politician that insults me but can get me a job is worth more to me than a politician that panders just to get my vote.

A politician who has at least some idea about getting you a job is worth more to everyone than a politician who insults you and then panders just to get your vote.
posted by ilicet at 9:23 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


He is going to stand up to china who will then give the jobs back I think.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:24 PM on September 17, 2012 [24 favorites]


I'm also tired of this particular vacuous and unspecific "jobs" rhetoric intended to drum up support for the cuts that would supposedly cause the rich to stop sitting on their investments -- as though the best solution here is to create a nation of serfs, working for giant employers. Though activating certain large employment sectors would really help, I'd much rather see policy focused not on reducing perceived costs for already-wealthy giant corporations, but on building a healthy ad secure enough middle class that people could borrow 5 grand from a few relatives and start a useful business of their own. It's pretty pathetic that we're being asked to vote on an 'American Dream' that is essentially none other than wage slavery for the family up in the big house.
posted by Miko at 9:25 PM on September 17, 2012 [46 favorites]


I'm relieved that he doesn't worry about me. That's a big load off my mind.

Pretty soon I hope to not worry about him, either.
posted by mule98J at 9:25 PM on September 17, 2012 [17 favorites]


Maybe Romney isn't polished but I would much rather hear straight talk than pandering.

The Obama crew does a lot of pandering, but this speech is in no way "straight talk". It's a confused guy pulling numbers out of his ass that prop up the Randian fantasy in his audience's heads. Claims that half the country doesn't pay taxes are something that normally come out of an extremist right-wing think tank, not a Presidential candidate.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:25 PM on September 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


> I don't know where you got this Randian idea that somehow these extremely wealthy and powerful people who have been driven only by the motivation to collect more wealth and more power, somehow lose that incentive based on a few more percentage points on the taxes they're skirting anyway, or the election of a President who at least in his words makes an attempt to appeal to the hard working middle class Americans who actually turn the crankshaft of this fucking country.

They are investing in America, but doing it by sponsoring more teabag nutjobs who will make them pay lower taxes on money they are earning abroad and through their established means. They are past the point of every day economic fluctuations could effect them. Now they want to distance themselves from the screaming masses further and ensure that their ideas, counter to all logic, are the best way for the economy to work. Well, it makes *them* more money on their balance sheets anyway, since they are minimizing their externality costs like taxes.
posted by mrzarquon at 9:26 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


He is going to stand up to china who will then give the jobs back I think.

We're gonna love those jobs. Hope you like your new dorm! Breakfast is at 4:45. You'll have plenty of time, because it's not your day to have a shower.
posted by Miko at 9:26 PM on September 17, 2012 [25 favorites]


A politician that insults me but can get me a job is worth more to me than a politician that panders just to get my vote. It seems that the latter is the one who has written me off.
posted by republican at 12:18 AM on September 18 [+] [!]


If the idea is to set people up for some sort of arguing with a literal straw man false equivalency thing, then I ask you to please stop hurting America. Otherwise, If you are in good health and of the ages 18-35, I suspect the Romney Administration will gladly create a great job for you in the field of carrying a rifle in a war of choice and dying in some oven hot desert.
posted by feloniousmonk at 9:27 PM on September 17, 2012 [8 favorites]


Nobody fucks a chicken like Mitt Romney.

Well, in my defense, I was young, and drunk, and I needed a place to sleep for the night.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:27 PM on September 17, 2012 [59 favorites]


Maybe Romney isn't polished

The thing is that he IS polished, though. He is very smooth, very comfortable, very fluid with these folks. They're in the club together. He measures up. He's talking their language. This is not lack of polish - this is what polish looks like.

But of course you can't expect the plebes to appreciate these finer nuances.
posted by Miko at 9:28 PM on September 17, 2012 [7 favorites]


I don't see it that way. A politician that insults me but can get me a job is worth more to me than a politician that panders just to get my vote. It seems that the latter is the one who has written me off.

Please explain how Romney's going to get more jobs. The problem is consumption. Consumers aren't buying. Yet his plan isn't to increase demand--he's for putting more money in the hands of the rich so they can invest--despite the fact that we are already flush with cash to invest--interest rates are at historic lows. Meanwhile cutting government spending cuts jobs government hires for, like road construction, etc.

His plan is plain dumb.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:28 PM on September 17, 2012 [27 favorites]


blue_bottle wrote: "To SERVE the people... to?"

Kang and Kodos?
posted by smcameron at 9:29 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


But republican, he was both insulting you and pandering to you. If people simply voted their raw self-interest, you'd think he'd be out in a heartbeat, because his policies (such as they are; I mean, what are they, right?) are simply not friendly for people who aren't already financially secure. So how can he get the votes of people who would likely be hurt by a Romney presidency? I'd argue he can get some of these votes by pandering to people's most base instincts. Yes, while you received unemployment benefits, I'm certain you were not lazy and undeserving of help. But he'll let you believe that the majority of people who got the same benefits you did were. And, I guess you believe that?
posted by MoonOrb at 9:30 PM on September 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


Meanwhile cutting government spending cuts jobs government hires for, like road construction, etc.

...and misses out on leveraging that government investment for the ancillary boost to income for suppliers, nearby businesses, etc. - the priming of the pump that gets cash moving again.
posted by Miko at 9:30 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


I kind of would like to know how Romney plans on creating jobs as well? Because he sure hasn't articulated it very well.
posted by edgeways at 9:30 PM on September 17, 2012


Romney will create 12 million jobs not 14 million or 10 million but 12 million where are those jobs coming from??
posted by robbyrobs at 9:34 PM on September 17, 2012


Economic forecasters vary on job growth predictions: The Congressional Budget Office predicts employment growth of 9 million jobs by 2016, but Moody’s Analytics, an economic research firm, forecasts growth of 12 million jobs. So it’s hard to tell whether Romney’s promise to create 12 million jobs is a bold pledge or a plan to take credit for what may happen anyway.
posted by Miko at 9:35 PM on September 17, 2012 [18 favorites]


> ... but my own view is that if we win on November 6th, there will be a great deal of optimism about the future of this country. We'll see capital come back and we'll see —without actually doing anything—we'll actually get a boost in the economy

The Romney Bubble will stimate the economy for a while.
posted by de at 9:35 PM on September 17, 2012


[that's a quote from the article, forgot to indicate that]
posted by Miko at 9:36 PM on September 17, 2012


out his ass is my best guess.

But all the "job" he is claiming he will magically create is frankly what the American economy is expected to add anyways, absent any congressional fucking around.

(or, er, what Miko says)
posted by edgeways at 9:36 PM on September 17, 2012


Also, do these cute icons help?
posted by Miko at 9:36 PM on September 17, 2012


Make that 'simulate'.
posted by de at 9:37 PM on September 17, 2012


Cute icons always help.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:40 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Even the stabby shears which show up twice?
posted by Podkayne of Pasadena at 9:41 PM on September 17, 2012


The National Review used (coined?) the word Rompocalypse. With that, I'm going to bed!
posted by HuronBob at 9:41 PM on September 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


Also, do these cute icons help?

Each time I land on Republican campaign site, which is approximately once every four years, makes it starkly obvious that graphic designers skew Democrat.
posted by clearly at 9:41 PM on September 17, 2012 [16 favorites]


I've been thinking about this segment on Fresh Air since I heard it a month ago. It's a great discussion of the shifting definition/connotation of "entitlement" in US politics.
"But bear in mind that "entitlement" doesn't put all its cards on the table. Like a lot of effective political language, it enables you to slip from one idea to another without ever letting on that you've changed the subject."
posted by atomicstone at 9:42 PM on September 17, 2012 [8 favorites]


Romney will create 12 million jobs not 14 million or 10 million but 12 million where are those jobs coming from??

If you look, that's the exact number of jobs that the economy is expected to create organically over the next 4 years...he literally has to do nothing, and 12 million jobs will just appear.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:42 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Look, cute icon creation has got to be at least three jobs.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:42 PM on September 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm certain you were not lazy and undeserving of help. But he'll let you believe that the majority of people who got the same benefits you did were.

All politicians lie and pander. So why would it bother me if he called me lazy? I'm only concerned with results.
posted by republican at 9:43 PM on September 17, 2012


Even the stabby shears which show up twice?

One of those clasped hands appears to have blood on it. Could there be a connection?
posted by Pudhoho at 9:44 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


For everyone saying this fired up the conservative base... It just as effectively (possibly more so) fires up the left.
posted by drezdn at 9:44 PM on September 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


Romney still hasn't articulated a plan to get anyone a job. I don't believe he has any idea how to do it.

Yeah, he did. It was in the leaked video. His plan to create jobs is to get elected. Though, to be fair, he also admitted he wasn't very good at predicting the market, so it's not the most solid of plans.
posted by effwerd at 9:44 PM on September 17, 2012 [7 favorites]


looks like:

flat tax, cut regulation (aka environmental/labor protection), MORE NAFTA plz (no wonder Romney luvs him some Clinton), bosses over workers, something something technology and drown the government int he bathtub.

YAY

jobs!!!
posted by edgeways at 9:45 PM on September 17, 2012


Results like Massachusetts dropping to 47th place in economic rankings under his watch?
posted by drezdn at 9:45 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


A politician that insults me but can get me a job is worth more to me than a politician that panders just to get my vote. It seems that the latter is the one who has written me off.

Funny you should say that, given that Romney has been caught saying the following:
We speak with voters across the country about their perceptions. Those people I told you—the 5 to 6 or 7 percent that we have to bring onto our side—they all voted for Barack Obama four years ago. So, and by the way, when you say to them, "Do you think Barack Obama is a failure?" they overwhelmingly say no. They like him. But when you say, "Are you disappointed that his policies haven't worked?" they say yes. And because they voted for him, they don't want to be told that they were wrong, that he's a bad guy, that he did bad things, that he's corrupt. Those people that we have to get, they want to believe they did the right thing, but he just wasn't up to the task. They love the phrase that he's "over his head."
Romney clearly was "verbally expressing are merely for the purpose of drawing support up to and including votes and do not necessarily reflect [his] personal values.". Wonder if there's a single word that expresses that notion effectively.
posted by the cydonian at 9:48 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm only concerned with results.

Since 2/3rds of private sector job growth in the past 50 years came under Democratic presidencies I assume that you will be voting for Obama then?
posted by Podkayne of Pasadena at 9:48 PM on September 17, 2012 [23 favorites]


All politicians lie and pander. So why would it bother me if he called me lazy? I'm only concerned with results.

Fair enough--so then my follow up question is what in his message suggests that he'll deliver results?
posted by MoonOrb at 9:49 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


In previous elections, I'd get agitated by political signs, but this year, whenever I see a Romney sign I just sort of laugh. He was the best candidate the Republicans had this year? Really?
posted by drezdn at 9:50 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is absolutely not new -- such contempt for America's underclass above and beyond mere contempt for programs that benefit them is becoming party orthodoxy. See the disgusting pan-Republican reaction to Warren Buffet's NYT op-ed as documented by the Daily Show (part one, part two), which boils down to "The poor aren't really poor, some even have air conditioning! We must tax these moocher parasite animals more." (Or as Stewart sums up at the end after a series of increasingly dehumanizing punditry: "Yeah. Fuck those people. The poor.")

See also Rolling Stone's illuminating "How the GOP Became the Party of the Rich" for a lengthy exploration of how people like Romney actually don't give a shit about lowering taxes as long as you're only talking about the poor or the middle class.

And it just dawned on me that this is pretty much Mitt's Sideshow Bob moment:

More like this Sideshow Bob moment, amirite.
posted by Rhaomi at 9:51 PM on September 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


He is going to stand up to china who will then give the jobs back I think.

Maybe he can just ask nicely for the ones he gave them a while back.
posted by brennen at 9:52 PM on September 17, 2012 [13 favorites]


And on the sign thing, driving along the interstate this weekend I saw three Romney signs that were made to look "hand-painted" several miles apart. Each one had the exact same oddly sized "Os"
posted by drezdn at 9:52 PM on September 17, 2012


I cannot use Intrade. If I could, I would, and would make a decent amount of money when Romney doesn't win this fall. It is over. Beyond over. It would take a World War Three-level error to change things at this point.
posted by andreaazure at 9:53 PM on September 17, 2012


gaffe

All right, I am going to pull out a standard definition of gaffe:
An unintentional act or remark causing embarrassment to its originator; a blunder: "an unforgivable social gaffe"
These comments of Romney's were in no way unintentional. To call it a gaffe does not do it justice.

This was not a Romney gaffe. This was Romney belief. That he was formerly unwilling to say these things in public suggested that he was at least aware that most people think this belief is horrible and wrong.

The worst of it - and there is fierce competition for this title - is the bit about how he'd be winning if only he were Mexican. Seriously, Mitt, fuck you with a tire iron.
posted by Joey Michaels at 9:53 PM on September 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


He was the best candidate the Republicans had this year? Really?

but they went through all that trouble--santorum, bachmann, gingrich, cain, perry, trump--they dragged us through all that crazy for purpose of making him look reasonable.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 9:55 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


A not insignificant number of those not paying income taxes have got to be students as well. Thanks to Romney being willing to do whatever seems okay at the time, for instance, my girlfriend is currently on free health care in MA while she is in law school. Of course in the future she'll pay far more into the system than she took out, and be happy to do so.

Maybe we could win over these insane people if we just changed the wording. It's not entitlements, it's National Angel Investment!

I wish we could successfully tie the safety net to the nationalist tendencies in people. If we're the BEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD than we better make sure our people have better health care than those filthy EUROPEANS!
posted by haveanicesummer at 9:55 PM on September 17, 2012 [8 favorites]


Fair enough--so then my follow up question is what in his message suggests that he'll deliver results?

His resume is good enough for me. There are no guarantees that he can duplicate that as President but I know that what Obama is doing isn't working. Obama doesn't seem to like the drudgery of actually governing. He likes to campaign.
posted by republican at 9:59 PM on September 17, 2012


[republican, you seem to want to be having a different conversation than the one that is actually happening in this thread. Please be mindful that the thread is not a referendum on who you are voting for in the election. Thank you.]
posted by jessamyn at 10:01 PM on September 17, 2012 [9 favorites]


Duplicate what? Breaking up America into pieces to sell off to the highest bidder? I don't think we need that kind of "help."
posted by rtha at 10:04 PM on September 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


Y'all responding to a guy who isn't basing his opinion on reason, or facts, or... anything really. Single sentence responses that have no content in them. It's almost as if he is made... of dried grass.
posted by danny the boy at 10:06 PM on September 17, 2012 [17 favorites]


Yo, man, you gotta come in to this Metafilter thread! You punch Mitt Romney and favorites come out. It's like a pinata in heaven!
posted by sendai sleep master at 10:07 PM on September 17, 2012 [50 favorites]


Obama doesn't seem to like the drudgery of actually governing. He likes to campaign.

wow, it's like you're randomly pulling lines out of like scripts of 'west wing' or something...
posted by fallacy of the beard at 10:07 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


What's really news is that Romney apparently doesn't understand that these people still pay taxes, just in other ways: sales tax, payroll tax, state and county-level taxes, etc.

I'd be willing to bet that a clear majority of people who don't pay federal income tax actually see federal income tax taken from each and every one of their pay stubs. They just get a full refund, is all. Or more than full if they get the EITC.

It's such brilliant horseshit -- you can see the taxes withheld, so you know it's not YOU, even if it is.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:11 PM on September 17, 2012 [9 favorites]


I know that what Obama is doing isn't working. Obama doesn't seem to like the drudgery of actually governing. He likes to campaign.

What factual support do you have for these three assertions?
posted by sallybrown at 10:12 PM on September 17, 2012


I don't think you are even trying there republican. The arguments seems fairly...er... sophomoric and simple.

His resume? what part of it? The outsourcing? the firing? You do realize government and business are two incredibly different things correct? That is why the last time we elected a businessman as president the economy completely tanked. You don't make a country more profitable by firing half it's population, you don't return things to solvency by selling all the public assets off. And frankly I don't really know how you can trust Romney. Which era of his resume do you refer to? His "more liberal than Kennedy", or his "moderate" phase, or his pre/post etch a sketch moments?

there is nothing in his resume to suggest he knows how to run a country... nothing. He certainly doesn't have the diplomacy skills to handle foreign relations, when you piss off the USA's closest allies something is amiss.

You might as well just say it, you are not really voting FOR Romney, you are voting AGAINST Obama, for whatever reason...
posted by edgeways at 10:12 PM on September 17, 2012 [9 favorites]


Getting back to the video ... I think everything you need to know about the guy is right there. There is a guy who says (in a private fundraiser where we shouldn't have been able to hear) that he intends to discount 47% of America. He doesn't intend to worry about almost half of Americans (at least as he perceives them).

That's not in any way Presidential material. That's not anyone you want to unite the country because he says flat out that he discounts 47% of it. Being stupid enough to say such a thing in even a private fundraiser where this sort of candid camera shenanigans has taken place the past 3 elections... just goes so beyond naivete and bespeaks a lack of sophistication that you definitely do not want in the Oval office.
posted by Podkayne of Pasadena at 10:14 PM on September 17, 2012


It's such brilliant horseshit -- you can see the taxes withheld, so you know it's not YOU, even if it is.

I feel like I'm missing something here. Since when has fulfilling a tax obligation, only to receive a refund for lack of meeting an income threshold become worthy of derision?
posted by clearly at 10:22 PM on September 17, 2012


If he's elected, by definition he can't solve the jobs crisis. Anyone who he helps as President will be a government freeloader.

Corporations are people too!
posted by carsonb at 10:25 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's such brilliant horseshit -- you can see the taxes withheld, so you know it's not YOU, even if it is.

I feel like I'm missing something here. Since when has fulfilling a tax obligation, only to receive a refund for lack of meeting an income threshold become worthy of derision?
posted by clearly


I think the point is many of those people don't think of themselves as those who pay no taxes, and deride others for doing something they themselves do.
posted by haveanicesummer at 10:27 PM on September 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


Like tears down the drain

"I've... Bought things... That you people wouldn't believe."
posted by Artw at 10:27 PM on September 17, 2012 [38 favorites]


I'm thinking the best reason to not elect Romney is that based on his effectiveness on the campaign trail it would not be unreasonable to think that if he tries to nuke Iran he will accidentally hit New York.
posted by srboisvert at 10:28 PM on September 17, 2012 [31 favorites]


Seeing this video actually made me kind of happy. Mitt's always been this man of mystery, a puzzle and an enigma. What is truly the beneath the facade? With this video you finally see him at ease, and speaking somewhat freely and naturally. It gives a sense of resolution to get some hard data about what he is like, rather than having to make educated guesses based off the surfaces he tries to show in his more public appearances.

Now I just hope that we get to see the tax returns in my lifetime. I've been waiting for them so long that the build up is killing me. There are dozens of people who must have seen the returns (accountants, IRS, Cain campaign), surely it can't be too long before one of them leaks to the public?
posted by Balna Watya at 10:29 PM on September 17, 2012 [7 favorites]


To be fair. I think we now know what Romney truely believes so we can dispense with the previous hedging he has been doing and get down to brass tacks.

He thinks 47% of America's employees are dead weight, they keep drawing a paycheck but they have no skin in the game. Right sizing to reduce expenditures will cut down on the red ink, especially in this tough economic climate. It may be tough but we will have to learn to do more with less. The market realigns on a continuous basis these days and we must adapt to the new normal while keeping sight of our core principles and growing our business mix.

I think it is pretty clear really.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:37 PM on September 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


Man that guy's a dick.
posted by HotPants at 10:38 PM on September 17, 2012 [7 favorites]


It will be news to most people that almost half of Americans pay no federal income tax. Disclaimer: This is an opinion. Just because you may disagree does mean it is a "troll".

It your an opinion that it will be news or your opinion that half of Americans pay no tax, or perhaps both? It seems that the position that half of Americans pay no Federal income tax is an easily verified statement that is either true or false based on public data. The position that it would be "news" seems more a matter of opinion.

Another dimension of this statement is the presumed value judgement against the 47% of allegedly non-tax paying households. Originally the Income tax only applied to a small minority of the population who had shifted their assets from land and trade to earning their income from trusts and other financial instruments. It was only later that the federal income tax base was expanded beyond the ultra-wealthy and onto the middle class. Why do 53% of households pay to bail out bankers and tycoons; while those same tycoons and bankers pay only a pittance in return.
posted by humanfont at 10:46 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Serf the people.
posted by Serf at 10:47 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


"I have inherited nothing. Everything Ann and I own we earned the old fashioned way"

Mitt Romney: A Human Being Who Built That
posted by homunculus at 10:53 PM on September 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


We laugh. We think the things he says are despicable and will alienate everybody. We think Obama will beat Mittens like a cheap piñata come November.

What if enough of the American People are such horrible sociopaths that they will hear this, give a thumbs-up, go "Right on, Mitt!" and vote for him?
posted by dunkadunc at 11:02 PM on September 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


So this Republican party they have in the USA, they don't think people are entitled to food, housing and health care? God damn.

Well, properly speaking I'm a libertarian rather than a Republican, but no, I don't think people are entitled to food, housing and health care. Can you explain why you do? To me, those are things that can be earned, and are valuable because of that.

What's really news is that Romney apparently doesn't understand that these people still pay taxes, just in other ways: sales tax, payroll tax, state and county-level taxes, etc.

One of the main problems with people who do not pay federal income tax is that they then often have no investment in how that money is spent, or in reining it in. For example: if we had to pay WWII-era taxation to sustain the Afghanistan or Iraq wars, we'd have been out of that five years ago.

Another dimension of this statement is the presumed value judgement against the 47% of allegedly non-tax paying households.

It's not a value judgment on the 47% who don't pay taxes - it's a value judgment on those who don't pay taxes, enjoy entitlements, and are willing to vote for people who are bad for the country in order to keep those entitlements rolling.

I know this may not be the most popular thing to say, but our entitlement culture is a problem for many of us - and many of us feel it is just as morally wrong as many democrats seem to think that people not having healthcare is morally wrong.

I don't know if I'll be voting for Romney or not, but I really hate how there's this expectation that you have to cater to the MFing mob in order to get elected in this country. Yes, Mitt Romney was once not as wealthy, but the expectation that he has to talk about it in order to get elected? BS.

I would rather vote for someone who spent more time learning how to govern than struggling in life. I am sick of the fact that people have to hide their experience at learning how to manage a company or govern a people, because of class-based hatred against "the rich." Vile, vile, class-based hatred.
posted by corb at 11:05 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


That press conference is worse for him than the video, I think. You kind of suspect/expect that he woud behave like that with his funders, but the conference makes him look stupid.
posted by carter at 11:07 PM on September 17, 2012


I think republican has made his position pretty clear: it doesn't matter what Romney does or says, as long as he's not Obama.

It's pretty hard to argue with that viewpoint.
posted by dazed_one at 11:07 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


The thing that I love most about Mitt Romney is that he's somehow manage to make American liberals forget how disappointed they are in Obama. A pretty impressive accomplishment, if not exactly the one he was aiming for.
posted by no regrets, coyote at 11:08 PM on September 17, 2012 [10 favorites]


Romney believes in welfare. Just for the rich.

Are there any particle physicists in here? I have a plan to build a ray that will send Mitt Romney back to 1792 France in a frilly shirt and a very large wig.
posted by dunkadunc at 11:09 PM on September 17, 2012 [7 favorites]


What if enough of the American People are such horrible sociopaths that they will hear this, give a thumbs-up, go "Right on, Mitt!" and vote for him?

People have done that before - Thatcher for instance successfully articulated something very base at the root of the British psyche for years. But she owned that message; Romney just looks evasive and incompetent.
posted by carter at 11:09 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Well, properly speaking I'm a libertarian rather than a Republican, but no, I don't think people are entitled to food, housing and health care. Can you explain why you do? To me, those are things that can be earned, and are valuable because of that.


Aside from, you know, human decency, I think it's pragmatic to provide a social safety net including food, housing, and health care, because dealing with the consequences of people going without those things appears to be a huge drain on our society and possibly more expensive to all of us.
posted by chrchr at 11:09 PM on September 17, 2012 [101 favorites]


I am sick of the fact that people have to hide their experience at learning how to manage a company or govern a people, because of class-based hatred against "the rich." Vile, vile, class-based hatred.
posted by corb


What about all the business-people that we like? Or the people who are in that class that dislike Mitt Romney? That argument just doesn't add up.
posted by haveanicesummer at 11:10 PM on September 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


"people who do not pay federal income tax is that they then often have no investment in how that money is spent"

Or, ya know, they're over 65 living on a fixed income and spent four to five decades paying into Federal coffers, keeping America strong, and they deserve to retire in dignity, with decent health care, and without having to open up tins of cat-food to survive.

My god Libertarians really are fucking children, intellectually and morally.

"Vile, vile, class-based hatred."

Your side has been shitting on the poor since Reagan. If Republican cuts to food assistance, job, and health programs aren't "class-based hatred" aren't just that I don't know what is.

Sorry, but your man Mittens (although it's adorable how Glibs will try and hide their tracks) laid it out for America to see on that video -- it's nothing but "vile, vile class-based hatred all the way down," despite your pearl-clutching.
posted by bardic at 11:13 PM on September 17, 2012 [102 favorites]


Well, properly speaking I'm a libertarian rather than a Republican, but no, I don't think people are entitled to food, housing and health care. Can you explain why you do? To me, those are things that can be earned, and are valuable because of that.

So if you can't earn them because there are no jobs, what? You should graciously starve to death? Your kid gets sick and you can't pay for treatment, too bad? Honest, what should happen to the poor and the sick (I've always wondered)?
posted by 2bucksplus at 11:13 PM on September 17, 2012 [21 favorites]


Honestly though corb, if you don't think everyone in the world should be entitled to food. That we should just let them starve to death if they can't do otherwise, I'm not sure how to even engage with you on anything whatsoever. America is a rich nation, and providing food for our people seems like quite literally the least we could do.
posted by haveanicesummer at 11:13 PM on September 17, 2012 [71 favorites]


Well, properly speaking I'm a libertarian rather than a Republican, but no, I don't think people are entitled to food, housing and health care. Can you explain why you do? To me, those are things that can be earned, and are valuable because of that.

They can be earned by those who have the ability and opportunity to do so. There are many people in this country who are physically and/or mentally disadvantaged, who do not have the education or skills for the few jobs that are available to them in this economy, and cannot afford the education and training (or relocation costs) to make themselves employable. Just to name a (very) few barriers that exist.

Without a public safety net to ensure that even our weakest citizens don't starve to death or perish of disease in the street, we are not actually a country at all. Just a bunch of people who happen to inhabit the same land mass. Recognition of the importance of joining together to establish systems and infrastructures that strengthen the community, at all levels, is a big part of what is generally meant by the term "civilization."
posted by Superplin at 11:15 PM on September 17, 2012 [84 favorites]


corb: Vile, vile, class-based hatred.

That's exactly what I thought when I heard the recording of Romney saying that 47% of Americans--most of whom aren't anywhere close to wealthy--believe they are victims and are dependent upon the government. Senior citizens, college students, and full-time job-holders who are still under the poverty line, or close enough to it that they don't end up paying federal income tax, who are white, Latino/a, African-American.... the only thing that they have in common is that they are not of a certain class.

Vile, vile, class-based hatred.
posted by tzikeh at 11:15 PM on September 17, 2012 [49 favorites]


no, I don't think people are entitled to food, housing and health care. Can you explain why you do? To me, those are things that can be earned, and are valuable because of that.

For me, I consider it more valuable to make sure that people are fed and housed and kept well than I do to make sure they earned it. That's just a core aspiration: I think people having not-terrible lives is about the most important thing. I think the vast majority of people who benefit from social nets, or who would benefit from better ones, are decent, kind, reasonable human beings at heart who are just in a bad position and need help. They're not perfect people, anymore than people well off by hard work or by good luck are perfect, but they're people, and people deserve in any sane world to have an okay life.

And, you know, there's a few horrible sons of bitches out there who are also on the skids and with the benefit of a safety net would be just horrible sons of bitches still who aren't so badly off. I'm comfortable with that dark lining on the otherwise silver cloud of taking care of people. Lord knows there's a few horrible sons of bitches who have more money than they know what to do with, so I figure it balances out.
posted by cortex at 11:16 PM on September 17, 2012 [272 favorites]


Plutocrat is not a planet anymore and the Earth doesn't revolve around you.
posted by twoleftfeet at 11:16 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


I think cortex encapsulated my view on welfare in a beautiful and succinct manner.
posted by dunkadunc at 11:17 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


My job is is not to worry about those people.

Self-fulfilling prophecy.
posted by WalkingAround at 11:18 PM on September 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


It doesn't bother me that Romney is Mormony. It bothers me that he is More Money.
posted by twoleftfeet at 11:19 PM on September 17, 2012


I should add that when I say "weakest citizens," there is also implicit recognition of the fact that any of us might, at some point, fall into that category. See this thread and elsewhere for examples of generally self-reliant people who have needed government assistance at some point in their lives. Hell, I'll be paying off my student loans until I die, but in the meantime I'm making a contribution to society and paying taxes and all that jazz. I certainly don't think the government should be helping some of us get an education while cheerfully letting others die because they are seen as "less productive" members of society.
posted by Superplin at 11:19 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


And this is the utter hilarity of Glibertarians (who, as mentioned, are just Republicans with slightly better vocabularies) -- nobody deserves food or medicine or shelter. Nobody deserves education or the internet or Federal highways. Nobody deserves a fire department or a police department of milk that isn't tainted with poison.

But a poor person can't really get by without the shame of needing the immediate things, nor can their kids who, in Paul Ryan's Glibertarian Fun-house, are punished for the serious crime of being born poor. Hence, the need for food and housing and medical assistance.

But hey, drive to work on a road you didn't pay for, start a company thanks to that sharp college education you got (even private schools receive tons of Federal aid), use the internet to sell metric fuck-tons of widgets to similarly educated people who can afford your goods and services and lo and behold: YOU ARE NOW GLIBERTARIAN HE/SHE-MAN!!!

Congrats! The rest of us will be over here voting for Obama and, like well-adjusted adults, realizing that life is part hard work and part luck. Fucking over the less fortunate is a breech of the social contract that we cannot abide and, yes, please move the fuck to Somalia asap.
posted by bardic at 11:21 PM on September 17, 2012 [33 favorites]


Here is my capitalist take on feeding people. Why it is our best interest as a country. We never know who will invent the next lightbulb, computer, or cellphone. We owe it to ourselves to invest in every last citizen, because some kid who is starving right now may be the one. We should educate everyone who wants an education for the same reason.

Even if we are wrong on a few, or a lot, fuck it, we have the money to invest in the future of America don't we? We do care about the future of America more than saving a couple bucks letting people starve right?
posted by Ad hominem at 11:21 PM on September 17, 2012 [24 favorites]


The thing that I love most about Mitt Romney is that he's somehow manage to make American liberals forget how disappointed they are in Obama.

It would be very interesting to see if there is any hard numbers to back up the general feeling that Dems are now enthused.
posted by Ripper Minnieton at 11:23 PM on September 17, 2012


Are. Are!
posted by Ripper Minnieton at 11:24 PM on September 17, 2012


I think it's pragmatic to provide a social safety net including food, housing, and health care, because dealing with the consequences of people going without those things appears to be a huge drain on our society and possibly more expensive to all of us.

I see that argument made a lot, but I am curious as to the details of that. For example: I've seen people say that paying for preventative healthcare is important, because otherwise, people go to hospitals anyway and the state winds up paying for them. But from my perspective, it would be easy to avoid that by simply not having the state require that everyone be admitted to hospitals. I understand there are moral concerns there for some people, but purely from a pragmatic sense, does this go further?

If Republican cuts to food assistance, job, and health programs aren't "class-based hatred" aren't just that I don't know what is.

This isn't about hate - it's just about not wanting to pay for these things. For example - I see homeless people all the time. Sometimes I give them money, sometimes I don't, depending on a variety of factors. But I don't hate the ones I don't choose to give money to - I just don't feel like I want to support them personally. This, writ on a larger scale, seems to be what this is about.

Here is my capitalist take on feeding people. Why it is our best interest as a country. We never know who will invent the next lightbulb, computer, or cellphone. We owe it to ourselves to invest in every last citizen, because some kid who is starving right now may be the one. We should educate everyone who wants an education for the same reason.

I can see that logic - but wouldn't that tend to apply only to merit-based scholarships and suchlike?
posted by corb at 11:24 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Does it bother anyone else here that the people who hate Obama hate him for all the wrong reasons? I would frigging love to have a Kenyan Muslim Socialist for President.
posted by dunkadunc at 11:24 PM on September 17, 2012 [22 favorites]


If it helps to put it in a purely self-protection sense, when you feed people and keep them healthy, provide them with unemployment when they don't have a job, or education when there is the opportunity, they are less likely to turn to crime or violence or any of the other myriad issues that poverty creates. Keeping people out of poverty is literally good for everyone, even self interested wealthy people.
posted by haveanicesummer at 11:25 PM on September 17, 2012 [19 favorites]


But from my perspective, it would be easy to avoid that by simply not having the state require that everyone be admitted to hospitals.

Your ideology has driven you mad.
posted by murphy slaw at 11:26 PM on September 17, 2012 [126 favorites]


corb: "I can see that logic - but wouldn't that tend to apply only to merit-based scholarships and suchlike?"

Don't you get it? Every human being has merit.
posted by dunkadunc at 11:26 PM on September 17, 2012 [102 favorites]


"and the state winds up paying for them"

No, you and I and everyone else pay more in the form of inflated health insurance costs.

"I understand there are moral concerns there for some people"

Ya think Mr. Galt? Ya really think so?
posted by bardic at 11:26 PM on September 17, 2012 [8 favorites]


Also, because it needs to be said: I really, really appreciate those of you who are providing your perspectives in a really awesome and thoughtful way. Even (and perhaps particularly) when it is difficult to understand.
posted by corb at 11:27 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


But from my perspective, it would be easy to avoid that by simply not having the state require that everyone be admitted to hospitals.

It would be easy to avoid budget overruns on running fire departments by simply not having the state hire firefighters to save people in houses that are burning.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:28 PM on September 17, 2012 [18 favorites]


corb: it would be easy to avoid that by simply not having the state require that everyone be admitted to hospitals.

Yes, and those people with diseases who are barred from hospitals/medicine/care then go home, or to work, or to the library or the movies or the DMV or the supermarket and suddenly Plague! Good plan!
posted by tzikeh at 11:28 PM on September 17, 2012 [16 favorites]


corb, I assume if someone you knew was hurt or sick, you'd want to help them. I'm assuming, but it seems likely this is the case. Now imagine you can help them, and essentially only by giving up a fairly small amount of your decent comfortable income. We don't even really have to put in any effort to help them, it takes care of itself.

To many of us here, we don't have to know the person to want to help them. We want to help them because we can, and the crazy part is how easy it is. We can live whatever lives we want to lead and still help them, we don't have to devote ourselves to the cause or anything. We can help them just by participating in the system that is already in place.
posted by haveanicesummer at 11:33 PM on September 17, 2012 [48 favorites]


I think the vast majority of people who benefit from social nets, or who would benefit from better ones, are decent, kind, reasonable human beings at heart who are just in a bad position and need help.

I don't know if I think this of the vast majority. But then, this isn't class-based - I'm not sure I think the vast majority of human beings are decent, kind, reasonable human beings. From my experience, even people that you might think were decent, kind individuals - people who love their girlfriends, cats, or grandmothers, and donate money to charity every month - will torture when the situation arises. Or kill innocent people when the situation comes up. Or shoot dogs "for fun."

That said, though, I do think many people who are fundamentally good and amazing human beings are down on their luck from time to time and can use a helping hand. But personally, I want to be able to choose whether or not I want to provide that helping hand. What's hard for me is the idea that I don't get to choose - that my time and work are taken from me without my consent with the intent of providing for people that I didn't get to choose. And that even if I want to withdraw my consent (say, by leaving), my time and work will still be taken from me for at least a decade, if not longer.

For you, is there a major difference between private and public charity? If so, is there a reason why the one is more laudable than the other?
posted by corb at 11:34 PM on September 17, 2012


I'd love to meet one of these mythical libertartians who could offer us a rundown of his or her life story showing us how you, you special little Randian snowflake you, at no point ever benefited from a) a road b) the internet and/or c) an education that at any level benefited from public dollars (public or private, since the latter often do receive ed. money) or d) a hospital (maybe you have gold-plated private insurance, great, but the overall benefits of infrastructure are as large as they are invisible).

Oh, and please include your parents and grandparents in this stirring, Alger-esque tale as well, because if they hadn't benefited from public largesse you'd be unborn or simply dead from typhoid.

And this is all just for starters.

I'll be standing over here by my unicorn, eagerly awaiting your wisdom.
posted by bardic at 11:34 PM on September 17, 2012 [44 favorites]


Can we move on from the libertarian derail? It's starting to make Romney look like a well-adjusted and empathetic human being.
posted by 2bucksplus at 11:36 PM on September 17, 2012 [47 favorites]


But personally, I want to be able to choose whether or not I want to provide that helping hand.

"I want to decide who lives and who dies." -- Crow T. Robot
posted by chrchr at 11:38 PM on September 17, 2012 [44 favorites]


Consider health care. If we stop giving poor people free treatment for TB and social workers to followup and make sure they take the pills; then what do you think is going to happen?
posted by humanfont at 11:38 PM on September 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


From my experience, even people that you might think were decent, kind individuals - people who love their girlfriends, cats, or grandmothers, and donate money to charity every month - will torture when the situation arises. Or kill innocent people when the situation comes up.

And do you know what leads to those "situations"? That's right, poverty and hunger!
posted by junco at 11:39 PM on September 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


Yeah, you're right. Let's talk about how barring sick people from hospitals might be a moral issue worthy of discussion.
posted by bardic at 11:39 PM on September 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


Disregarding the moral aspect of healthcare and safety nets is kind of like those physics problems where you disregard the effects of friction or assume a spherical cow. Sure, you might be able to generate some interesting theories, but if you actually try to build your house that way, it will end badly.
posted by Scattercat at 11:41 PM on September 17, 2012 [18 favorites]


I'll say this for that video, it's the most honest and forthright and real, I've ever heard the Mittser sound. So, it's got that going for it, at least, but God the stuff he's saying is like right out of some sort of Ayn Randian playbook, and the sort of swill the very wealthy on Wall Street tell themselves about anyone who's not like them, and it's very very off the mark.

47% of people may not pay any federal tax, but that doesn't mean it doesn't get taken out of their paychecks and it doesn't mean that they don't pay federal taxes on other expenditures, or that they don't pay State, City and local tax and sales tax and on and on it goes.

He's spewing out different bullshit for a different audience here, and even though it's the most confident and forthright, I've ever heard the Mittser sound, the tone of his voice is really quite blood chilling.

He sounds like some sort of enforcer or very patronizing, and very cruel bastard. He's presenting himself as the tough proxy manager, the man who's going to teach these freeloading 47%-ers, what's what and who's what, and who in the words of Eastwood "owns this country."*

It doesn't take much to extrapolate that that ownership applies to the people as well. The people as human capital, as creators of capital, as consumers of capital, as a freely and easily accessed pool of labor. In other words: The wealthy old white men of this country, the Kochs, the Adelson's, the Equity Managers, the CEO's etc... own the people of this country.

This is naked and raw power being sold to the highest bidders, and being presented as an act of vengeance and vindication.

A sadism tinged righting of all the "hurts and wrongs and name-calling and shame" the wealthy, and the 1% have had to put up with since the economy went belly up in 2008, due to their very own destructive and irresponsible acts.

See, the ultra-wealthy don't think they should ever be held accountable be made to fee bad for anything ever. They're the chosen, they're the "job creators" and they've had the run of this country for their own enrichment at the price of the middle class for 30 years now and it's not going to change on their watch. Fuck the middle class and the working poor. If they don't like their lot in life and they can't change those conditions, well then, them's the breaks.
*We own this country, you and I.

-Clint Eastwood's "Empty Chair" Speech / Speaking to the delegates at the 2012 Republican National Convention
posted by Skygazer at 11:41 PM on September 17, 2012 [16 favorites]


On the pragmatism of free health care: Malaria costs Africa at least $12 billion every year in lost productivity.

Sick people are pretty bad at being job creators or pulling themselves up by their bootstraps or any of that stuff.
posted by chrchr at 11:44 PM on September 17, 2012 [18 favorites]


We as a nation are only truly free if our hospitals can forbid us entry if we are having a heart attack, or a stroke, or are massively hemorrhaging due to a car accident*.

*or if we're black, or gay, or the wrong religion, or the wrong political party.
posted by dirigibleman at 11:45 PM on September 17, 2012 [11 favorites]


But personally, I want to be able to choose whether or not I want to provide that helping hand.

And to think that it was the conservatives who were so worried about "death panels"...
posted by hermitosis at 11:46 PM on September 17, 2012 [56 favorites]


I don't think people are entitled to food, housing and health care. Can you explain why you do?

Are you familiar with Maslows' hierarchy of needs? The idea is, before anyone can reach self-actualization certain fundamental needs must be met. If you spend your entire life struggling just to meet your basic needs, you can never reach your full potential.

People like Mitt Romney were born into loving caring families, their health and safety and yes their food were provided by their parents well into their early adult years. With this great advantage they were able to become enormously successful.

Unfortunately, in America, millions of people are born into broken families, their health and safety in constant danger. Constant hunger and fear of violence become the entire focus of their life. Of course some are able to overcome and eventually will succeed but the vast majority of them struggle their entire lives.

However, I believe that if the government can provide a basic safety net, those who wish to will more easily reach self-actualization and the high levels of productivity and creativity that drive our economy. A greater number of healthy, creative, educated people will be the engine of growth for the future of the US economy.

Of course some will abuse the system, but on the other hand you have people like Congressman and Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan who have become enormously successful with government assistance.

I think help should be available, it should be of the highest quality and I believe yes, people should have to work for it. I believe it's in the best interest of society for all to be provided safe shelter, food and education.

I know someone told you that people should be treated no differently than animals on the Serengeti. But why shouldn't we help our brothers and sisters to reach their potential? Are we mere apes? Or are we something more? Your comment suggests you believe our shared society should allow our fellow human beings starve and die in the streets. To me, that sounds like a great recipe for escalating violence and human slavery and suffering.

I believe Libertarianism is a lie told to well meaning people. It says if there were less government and fewer regulations society would magically thrive. What I hear when someone says "Libertarian" is, "Golly, if only we could get rid of these pesky laws preventing me from employing all these 12-year-olds in my lead paint factory I could fly around to fabulous tropical paradises in my gold plated jet. Fuck you! I got mine!"

Beyond that, I think there's a lack of understanding of economics. I keep hearing people say "if only businesses could get tax cuts they'd have more money to hire people." Except businesses don't hire people because they have money, they hire people because there's demand for their product and they need to expand.

But I'm rambling now.
posted by j03 at 11:50 PM on September 17, 2012 [109 favorites]


I'd love to meet one of these mythical libertartians who could offer us a rundown of his or her life story showing us how you, you special little Randian snowflake you, at no point ever benefited from ... the overall benefits of infrastructure

Bardic: I think you're going to snark no matter what I say, but I'm going to make a try at answering the essential thrust behind your question.

I accept that at various points in my life, I have benefited from structures funded by public funds, because, as you say, they are impossible to separate from anyone who lives in the system right now. But I don't love that - and I wish that they hadn't existed and that other options had been possible. Which I think is what a lot of us feel - that the public teat is a mass of tentacles right now that reach almost everything - and that is a bad thing. But it's hard to correct, because the government has a monopoly on a lot of items.

I served in the US military - funded by taxpayers, without their consent, in a war that did not have their consent.* And I think that's terrible. I wanted to defend my home and country, but I would have vastly preferred to have been able to be part of a private group, funded only by the consent of voluntary participants. But that wasn't possible - because the government owns a monopoly on force and violence, and on the weapons of force and violence.

I've called the police, in situations where I would have vastly preferred to be able to call a pay-for-play guy to come over and protect me. Or a friend. But the police have a monopoly on the use of force - so the police can beat up and drag out the guy that assaulted me, while my buddy goes to jail if he does.

We work within the options and limitations that we are given, and are saddened by the world we live in - much like other people of every other political stripe. I don't think anyone gets to live in the world they want to live in, and to me, that's partially because everyone is trying to get everyone else to live in theirs.

* And also, that war was made of bullshit.
posted by corb at 11:53 PM on September 17, 2012


I love the mixed messages:

We need to lower income taxes, for everyone! Income tax is bad! Best not to have any income tax at all! But the 47% of people paying no income tax are lazy moochers.

And if you're born in the US, 95% of your success is already in place!
But you can still claim that you built everything 100% yourself.

Although I guess all of this might make sense to some people, in an evil twisted kind of way.
posted by sour cream at 11:54 PM on September 17, 2012 [16 favorites]


Romney: "I have inherited nothing." He remarked

I guess his esteemed father didn't have a Rolodex...


/snort
posted by Skygazer at 11:57 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also, keep in mind that masses of the starving without access to medical care tend to, y'know, contract plague. Plague tends to cross income barriers. Pretty easily, in fact. Just something to add to your many calculations.
posted by sexyrobot at 11:57 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


I suddenly realized in the middle of reading about this that there won't be a Daniel Schorr commentary.

.
posted by Killick at 12:00 AM on September 18, 2012 [9 favorites]


corb the society you propose is without a doubt a dystopia. Starving people in the street who aren't provided health care or protected by the private security forces because they can't afford to pay. Presumably they are also uneducated because education is private and expensive, so what recourse do they have to feed themselves besides violence and crime? Even if you do have a problem with "the government teat," you must think it's better than turning our country into a dystopian hellhole where you can't walk down the street WITHOUT your private security force because some of the starving plague-ridden citizens have attached nails to their boards, and know you have some food.
posted by haveanicesummer at 12:02 AM on September 18, 2012 [55 favorites]


corb, you can have the ability to make all the choices you say you want. But you'll have to leave this country, because America is not only about your personal choice. You can read it in page 1:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
posted by benito.strauss at 12:05 AM on September 18, 2012 [81 favorites]


Does it bother anyone else here that the people who hate Obama hate him for all the wrong reasons? I would frigging love to have a Kenyan Muslim Socialist for president.


A bumper sticker I saw for sale on the web: "Obama is not a foreign-born socialist who gives out free health care. That would be Jesus."
posted by Killick at 12:05 AM on September 18, 2012 [60 favorites]


We all know the Bible loves people getting paid for their services. Thus the constant lauding of Judas. They can't get enough of that guy!
posted by haveanicesummer at 12:07 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Except no, libertarians sincerely believe they'd be happier with poor people dying around them, their houses on fire, the lamentations of their women, etc. It's not an issue of explaining yourself well enough, and they'll get it; people simply don't share the same basic values.

I only wish they would just go make their own country already. I'd certainly be happier if we all only had to deal with the consequences of our own ideologies.
posted by danny the boy at 12:08 AM on September 18, 2012 [9 favorites]


Masses of the hungry, poor, and hopeless also tend to violently overthrow the ruling class (see the French Revolution and, more recently, the Arab Spring, just for starters), so the practical reason for giving out food aid and other aid is to protect our capitalist system (and our libertarian supermen, natch) from whatever redistributionist schemes a revolutionary government would set up.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 12:16 AM on September 18, 2012 [10 favorites]


That said, though, I do think many people who are fundamentally good and amazing human beings are down on their luck from time to time and can use a helping hand. But personally, I want to be able to choose whether or not I want to provide that helping hand. What's hard for me is the idea that I don't get to choose - that my time and work are taken from me without my consent with the intent of providing for people that I didn't get to choose. And that even if I want to withdraw my consent (say, by leaving), my time and work will still be taken from me for at least a decade, if not longer.

For you, is there a major difference between private and public charity? If so, is there a reason why the one is more laudable than the other?


First of all, when we pay taxes, just because some of that money goes to provide a social safety net, doesn't necessarily equal "public charity". We're not giving money to help a downtrodden individual, we're paying to maintain a functioning society.

And I don't even know why I'm chiming in, because it's damn near impossible to change a fundamental worldview in this way, but just to help you understand why I support a robust social safety net, it boils down to this...

To me there is no difference between my taxes going to fix roads, fund military defense, support education, or provide food assistance to a poor family. All of those things and so many more make our society as a whole a better place. And the better society as a whole operates, the better life is for me personally. I feel this way, because I've been to places with no social safety net.

There's no way I can stand on a street corner in a 3rd world slum, and watch children barely old enough to walk forage for food in an open sewer and think. "Yup, this is how society is supposed to work!"

I've been to places where there is no "monopoly on the use of force". Those places are terrifying. And so much less safe than here. You really want to buy a house or start a business where the guys riding around in pickup trucks with ak-47s are for sale to the highest bidder?

The worst part of the standard argument libertarians make is that their utopia already exists. And yet I don't see libertarians jumping at the chance to go live in Haiti, or the slums of Manila, or Nairobi. I hear Somalia is really nice this time of year.

Everyone's a billionaire in Zimbabwe.
posted by billyfleetwood at 12:18 AM on September 18, 2012 [131 favorites]


Scattercat: Disregarding the moral aspect of healthcare and safety nets is kind of like those physics problems where you disregard the effects of friction or assume a spherical cow. Sure, you might be able to generate some interesting theories, but if you actually try to build your house that way, it will end badly.

Exactly. Building on what j03 said above, I find that Libertarianism is an interesting thought experiment, but in order for it to work, it requires suspending much of the reality of messy, lived experience. People get sick--even deserving, excellent, "high-performing" people. They lose their jobs, make unfortunate choices, have bad luck. A "survival of the fittest" mentality in which any one of these circumstances could lead to a life of misery, violence, death, and harm to others is what those of us who support public infrastructures see as not just morally reprehensible, and harmful to the collective good, but ultimately a barrier to other, more fortunate individuals achieving their potential, or even just living out their lives peacefully.

Libertarianism fails to take into account the complex interdependencies that are inherent in any social network, such as a community. Many are taught in the United States that "personal responsibility" means that we should never rely on anyone else for anything, and that our achievements are our own. But this idea of some sort of individual path distilled from the positive or negative effects resulting from the aggregate of many other individuals having their own experiences, making their own choices, and in turn affected by others' actions ignores an entire body of scientific evidence dedicated to understanding that, quite literally, no man is an island, and nothing happens in a vacuum. No matter how independent any of us might strive to be, we cannot help but be affected by others'. It is therefore in our own best interest to contribute to the general welfare, to ensure that our own life decisions are made in a favorable environment.

Corb, you say you feel uncomfortable about ever having had to rely on any kind of public service, even for police assistance. That you would have preferred to pay for private police service, one that wasn't funded by taxpayers. That way, anyone such as yourself who did not see the inherent value in having officers of the public order could be off the hook for their funding, and officers of the law would operate on a freelance or other paid basis.

Imagine for a moment that the world is the way you envision. You find yourself in a situation in which you need protection. Thankfully, you can afford it. Those who can't afford it are forced to live in an environment with a much higher risk of violence, and little recourse except to resort to violence of their own. This means they have to dedicate time and energy to self-defense rather than, say, getting an education, providing for their children, trying to improve their lives to the point where they, too, can afford to pay for protection and escape the loop.

Imagine, too, the police officers themselves. The more violence there is, the greater the demand for their services, so the higher their rates. Some might see this situation as a business opportunity, and strategically foment dangerous behavior to drive up the market. There may come a point where even you, a hard-working citizen who is willing--and has, up to this point, been able--to pay for private protection can no longer afford the going rates. Grocery shopping, getting to and from work, and protecting your property are no longer as easy and safe as they were before. You have to dedicate more time and energy to them, at greater risk. And so the network effects have caught up to you, and you find yourself gradually caught up in the same cycle of violence as those who started out at a disadvantage.

It's an extreme scenario, sure. But the point is, it is not a character flaw or failure of independence to create systems to keep people safe, healthy, educated, and fed. It is a recognition of the scientific fact that, like it or not, our own ability to survive and succeed does depend to a large extent on factors outside ourselves, including trying to maintain a minimal level of well-being of our fellow citizens.
posted by Superplin at 12:22 AM on September 18, 2012 [50 favorites]


Romney also said that the campaign purposefully was using Ann Romney "sparingly…so that people don't get tired of her."

Um...
posted by Skygazer at 12:26 AM on September 18, 2012 [10 favorites]


A bumper sticker I saw for sale on the web: "Obama is not a foreign-born socialist who gives out free health care. That would be Jesus."

Yeah, but that's why they nailed him to a cross.
posted by sour cream at 12:32 AM on September 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


corb the society you propose is without a doubt a dystopia. Starving people in the street who aren't provided health care or protected by the private security forces because they can't afford to pay. Presumably they are also uneducated because education is private and expensive, so what recourse do they have to feed themselves besides violence and crime?

See, this piece I do find confusing. A lot of people here in this thread have talked about how important it is to them that other people be fed, housed, have medical care, etc. But then the idea is floated that without the government demanding the money, everyone would be living in a terrible situation. But wouldn't people still have the ability to contribute exactly as much as they would want to, to whatever charity they would like? So individuals who are saying that they would gladly pay more taxes would still have the ability to make other people's lives better, they just would need to contribute it directly to the charities that they find valuable.

Thus, if there are enough people who would voluntarily contribute to these things, these things will still exist - rather than it being a slim majority forcing a slim minority to provide the things they believe in.

I think, to a more watered down perspective, this is essentially the conservative position (and perhaps Romney's position) on many of these things: that private charity is more meaningful because it is voluntary, while still having the ability to be very effective.

The Mormons, for example, of which Romney is a member, have one of the most amazing charity/mutual aid networks I've ever seen for members of their congregation, even though no one is forced by law to tithe - and even if they don't tithe, they're not expelled from membership. Food, housing, healthcare support, all these things, you name it - but voluntary contributions. In fact, Mitt Romney himself, despite a reputation for a hard heart for the poor and unfortunate, has given over $18 million in charity for said poor and unfortunate.
posted by corb at 12:35 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


While great in theory, I feel that this perspective flies in the face of the very reasons social safety nets are provided by governments in the first place. Not to be glib, but have you read A Christmas Carol?
posted by feloniousmonk at 12:37 AM on September 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


There are also some things that are necessary for society but cannot effectively be privatized. I mean nobody can make money on them.

Lets say your neighbors paid for alien invasion warning service, but you don't believe in aliens so you dont. A week later you see all your neighbors who paid packing up the car and getting the fuck out. What do you do? You never paid for alien invasion warning services but you got the warning anyway, since you saw everyone leave. You get the hell out too, you dont want to die because you didn't pay $29.29

So it was a false alarm, everyone returns and you tell your neighbors "I saw you leave and left as well" your neighbor now feels like an idiot, she paid $29.29 and you fucking mooched her warning. Same thing happens all over town. Next thing you know everyone unsubscribes, and no more alien invasion warnings.

Stuff like the emergency broadcast system is a Common Good. It must be handled by the government because there is no way for a private emergency broadcast system company to compel people who didn't subscribe to die just cause they didn't pay. Nobody would pay because they figure some other guy is paying.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:37 AM on September 18, 2012 [17 favorites]


But what about those who are not members of a tithing religion? Or who don't happen to fall into a category addressed by a "popular" charitable organization, and so fall through the cracks?

I think the difference boils down to this: you see private charity as more equitable because it focuses on satisfying the needs and preferences of the donors, whereas those of us who see public charity as more equitable concentrate on the fact that it is nondiscriminatory in its disbursement, and therefore privileges the needs and preferences of recipients.

If you feel that "fair" means that the haves should be able to decide which have-nots they're willing to help fund, then a Libertarian perspective seems more just. If you feel that "fair" means that everyone--even the "undeserving"--should be eligible for assistance in a given circumstance, then your idea of justice is necessarily quite different.
posted by Superplin at 12:41 AM on September 18, 2012 [28 favorites]


I think it's important to note also that the government can't turn you down because the stock markets are having a down month or they missed their numbers and got a shitty bonus that quarter or because you're gay or an atheist etc.
posted by feloniousmonk at 12:42 AM on September 18, 2012 [8 favorites]


Obama's intrade price is now more than double Romney's.
posted by telstar at 12:52 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's the top story on the HuffingtonPost and it just broke 75,000 comments (4:00 AM EST) and counting.

(Making it the biggest thread I've ever seen there by far. Can it hit a quarter million comments by noon??)
posted by Skygazer at 1:07 AM on September 18, 2012


Man, I'm going to vote so hard, the old lady in the booth next to me is going to feel the thunder.
posted by Malice at 1:08 AM on September 18, 2012 [27 favorites]


But wouldn't people still have the ability to contribute exactly as much as they would want to, to whatever charity they would like? So individuals who are saying that they would gladly pay more taxes would still have the ability to make other people's lives better, they just would need to contribute it directly to the charities that they find valuable.

Also, while it's true that many of us would be willing to pay higher taxes, overall as a society you are more likely to see the classic effect of just where good intentions typically lead. There are always reasons to not donate quite so much right this minute. I mean, I just had a lot of exceptional expenses, so for me personally, it'd definitely be more convenient to skip a few months of payroll deductions. But that's a selfish perspective that doesn't take the greater good into account, and would potentially force others to pick up my slack. And we're back to considering different definitions of fairness.

Having a tax system in place ensures a baseline level of income for services and infrastructures that's not entirely up to the whim and schedule of contributors. It's impossible for programs to enact long-term planning without some sense of when, and how much, they can expect in terms of funding, and that's much easier to provide via regular taxation than through random voluntary contributions.
posted by Superplin at 1:10 AM on September 18, 2012 [11 favorites]


It is also worth bearing in mind that the economic basis of libertarianism is questionable at best. This blog does quite a good job of mapping out the intellectual - as opposed to moral - reasons why I am not a libertarian. For example, free market double standards. Or why libertarianism is an ideology built on neoclassical economics.

I'm trying to look at it quite cold-bloodedly here. Even if you support libertarianism, the case for it is far from open-and-shut. You can't convincingly argue that it is "tough love", a route to a better society. The logic and the evidence contradict that argument.

Which means it doesn't make sense to jump into extreme social measures of the kind that Romney and the Republican party advocate: they are calling for radical changes that the evidence of the last 30 years suggests actually lead to bubbles, then economic collapse.

As for the moral issue, it is far more dignified to receive an entitlement (i.e. something you are entitled to) from the state than to receive charity at the whim of a private citizen, and we should respect the human dignity of our fellow man.

I would also note that there has been an enormous propaganda effort against the Welfare state over the past fifty years, attempting to paint citizens getting together to insure each other against risk as somehow being mooching vermin. I strongly suspect that this is because a welfare state does not serve the interests of a small number of very rich people who want to evade tax. But the fact that a welfare state might wind up supporting a few people who aren't very nice or are a bit lazy does not mean that it is not an excellent idea that gives a sense of security to millions.
posted by lucien_reeve at 1:21 AM on September 18, 2012 [26 favorites]


and even if they don't tithe, they're not expelled from membership.

But I believe after the annual interview to make sure they tithed (gave 10% even if they are filing for bankruptcy), if they fell short then they lose their Temple Recommend. I'm not sure about the implications of that, but I think it's like being excommunicated temporarily until they pay up. At any rate, there are repercussions for not tithing.
posted by Houstonian at 1:29 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Mormons, for example, of which Romney is a member, have one of the most amazing charity/mutual aid networks I've ever seen for members of their congregation, even though no one is forced by law to tithe - and even if they don't tithe, they're not expelled from membership. Food, housing, healthcare support, all these things, you name it - but voluntary contributions. In fact, Mitt Romney himself, despite a reputation for a hard heart for the poor and unfortunate, has given over $18 million in charity for said poor and unfortunate.

A large part of the controversy over the Romney video is the implication that half the country doesn't pay any taxes. Which is a falsehood, a twist of language.

Similarly, Romney donated a significant chunk of that $18 million to a non-profit outfit — a religious organization (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) — not to a charity. But the false implication is made and sticks in public perception.

The LDS may have charitable operations, but it spends a much of its tithed/"donated" money to facilitate the political agenda of its leadership.

Donating — making the bulk of donations — to a non-profit which is aligned with your political mission and which lowers your tax exposure may be win-win, but it is not actually the same as donating to a real charity, in order to further personal ideals of selflessness.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:35 AM on September 18, 2012 [15 favorites]


So at least one Libertarian thinks a society based on 100% privatized social services, especially for things like personal protection, is a good thing? (What's extra-adorable is how Glibs always assume that they're the ones who won't be immediately held up at gun-point and robbed and left in a shallow ditch somewhere). Even though you admit you'd probably be dead by now if it wasn't for those "small" goverment services like clean water and a military and roads and literally thousands of other invisible goods we derive from living in the wealthiest country on earth (and with the lowest tax rates compared to those socialized hell-holes of Canada and Germany and Sweden)?

As mentioned, Somalia would be a good fit. So would building a time-machine and moving back to the 17th century.

Like I said, the morality and intellects of children.

And if the whole Glib thing is a de-rail, sorry but Paul Ryan has been crystal-clear where he stands on this and he might be one heart-beat from the presidency.

So yeah, it absolutely matters.
posted by bardic at 1:53 AM on September 18, 2012 [11 favorites]


Insurance isn't charity. Investment isn't charity. Recognizing and mitigating risk, using the economies of scale, none of that is charity. Describing it as charity is disingenuous at best.

If you don't want to profit another day from this socialist dystopia, if you want to be free to mix your metaphors and imagine teats with tentacles, Somalia is sunny this time of year.

If you want to live in the developed world, with the rest of us citizens, you should maybe realize that libertarianism is a lie you tell yourself to feel special, a Lockean fantasy indulged far after it ceases to bear any resemblance to how people choose to actually live.

Thracymachus makes some good points, but we want the Republic.
posted by klangklangston at 1:56 AM on September 18, 2012 [40 favorites]


I think the difference boils down to this: you see private charity as more equitable because it focuses on satisfying the needs and preferences of the donors, whereas those of us who see public charity as more equitable concentrate on the fact that it is nondiscriminatory in its disbursement, and therefore privileges the needs and preferences of recipients.

I think that's close. I see private charity as more just because it focuses on the consent (which I take to be of a bit higher importance than mere 'preference') of those who are contributing, whereas those who see public charity as more just concentrate on the fact that it is more impartial in its distribution.

Donating — making the bulk of donations — to a non-profit which is aligned with your political mission and which lowers your tax exposure may be win-win, but it is not actually the same as donating to a real charity, in order to further personal ideals of selflessness.

I think down that road goes no good. What defines a "Real charity"? By that standard, any donation to any charity could be mocked and devalued. Everyone donates to organizations that in some standards align with theirs politically, or they would likely not donate to them. Even innocuous-seeming organizations take stances on various political problems. I would argue you would be hard-pressed to find a nonprofit that was not in some way political. Also, in addition to pure church contributions, Romney made contributions for a host of non-religious children's charities. It just seems kind of mean-spirited to criticize him on a history of charitable giving that outspends most of us.

It is also worth bearing in mind that the economic basis of libertarianism is questionable at best. This blog does quite a good job of mapping out the intellectual - as opposed to moral - reasons why I am not a libertarian. For example, free market double standards. Or why libertarianism is an ideology built on neoclassical economics.

I think a lot of those free market double standards you quote are strawmen - for example, many libertarians do support the right of people to form unions. They just don't support the government's enforcement of certain labor law concerning said unions. Or the section on taxation, which ignores the fact that high rates of taxation are a relatively modern invention - around the beginning of the past century.

Somalia is sunny this time of year.
As mentioned, Somalia would be a good fit.


You guys do realize that Somalia is not actually a libertarian country, right? And that appeals for libertarians to "go to Somalia if they don't like it" are not functionally that different than "Why don't you go to Cuba/the USSR, ha ha ha ha" rhetoric?
posted by corb at 2:32 AM on September 18, 2012


What's hard for me is the idea that I don't get to choose - that my time and work are taken from me without my consent with the intent of providing for people that I didn't get to choose.

oh, for pete's sake

you were BORN without your consent - you will DIE without your consent - and in between, many things will happen without your consent, some caused by the government and your fellow human beings, some not

that's life - and being taxed is hardly the most unpleasant thing you have to face - you may even be deprived of your ability to work without your consent and need help from others

at which point, you'll probably take it and tell yourself you earned it and remain in denial about how little that happens in the world around you has to do with you and what you choose
posted by pyramid termite at 2:34 AM on September 18, 2012 [81 favorites]


But wouldn't people still have the ability to contribute exactly as much as they would want to, to whatever charity they would like? So individuals who are saying that they would gladly pay more taxes would still have the ability to make other people's lives better, they just would need to contribute it directly to the charities that they find valuable.

Where are you getting this idea that rich people would contribute more or equal amounts in to the system to make for a better society - via charities - if only the mean ol' government didn't "force" them to? There are plenty of wealthy folks that have such an obscene amount of money that, even after paying all of their taxes, could probably afford to pool some money together for "charity" and help fix a lot of the schools. Why hasn't this happened yet? Are they too drained by taxes? They only have $80 million left to their name now that the tax man came and lord knows if they're going to make it through winter?

You are conflating "charity" with "policy". What makes you think that if people pick and choose which charities to donate to, certain sectors won't go completely neglected?
posted by windbox at 2:39 AM on September 18, 2012 [12 favorites]


corb: "many libertarians do support the right of people to form unions. They just don't support the government's enforcement of certain labor law concerning said unions. Or the section on taxation, which ignores the fact that high rates of taxation are a relatively modern invention - around the beginning of the past century."

Would you PLEASE quit this worthless libertarian derail shit? I don't believe this FPP was about Mitt and his club embracing libertarian ideals (and yours are, therefore, irrelevant in the context of this discussion)
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 2:44 AM on September 18, 2012 [14 favorites]


"You guys do realize that Somalia is not actually a libertarian country, right?"

Well, I'm curious as to what you would define as a libertarian country. The US, for example, has one of the lowest rates of taxation among the wealthiest nations. Libertarians/Republicans love to harp on about those "socialist, over-taxed" northern European countries and guess what? Speaking from anecdote, people who live in Sweden and Denmark and the like do pay more, and generally they're happier to do so because they believe it's important for their neighbors to have a strong safety net. Hell, women get months of paid maternity leave. Why? Because (again, can't speak for every person living there) they put a value on every member of the society growing up healthy and smart. Because healthy and smart people are cheaper in the very long-term. Indeed, they're more likely to work hard and innovate in ways that benefit everyone, both financially and socially.

So until you lay your cards on the table, yes, asking you to spend some time in Somalia or Lagos or a Brazilian favela is a perfectly valid thought experiment (certainly more valid than Libertarianism itself).

You admitted you benefited from the "invisible" perks of living in an advanced, wealthy society. Why not go a step further and see what it's like somewhere where those "burdensome" things like taxes and working sewers and cops who won't club you to death if you don't give them a hundred bucks works out. You lament the fact that by birth you must "opt in" to the social contract, and we're simply pointing out how easy it would be for you to entirely "opt out" if you had merely the courage of your convictions.

Barring that, I invite you to take a ride on Libertarian Airlines.
posted by bardic at 2:45 AM on September 18, 2012 [16 favorites]


[This is becoming all about one poster again, and pretty far off from the post topic. Perhaps fighting over one person's political leanings can be done via email and this can go back to open discussion among various participants about the original subject.]
posted by taz at 2:52 AM on September 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


Corbett, what Romney was caught saying sis "vile class based hatred" worse than anything you will hear from a Democrat. Obama has never said anything nearly as critical ..... Here is some class hatred 4 ya -- of the lazy fucking rich who accumulate capital by exploiting the labor of the poor.

Republicans accusing Democrats of "class warfare" is, pardon the pun, mighty rich. destroying collective bargaining rights, outsourcing jobs, destroying the safety net --- that shit is nuclear class warfare.


Once again, GOP stands for hypocrisy.
posted by spitbull at 2:57 AM on September 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


The original subject is that the man who might be the next US president told a crowd of billionaires that he thinks half of Americans are "dependent" moochers. His VP pick happens to be a dyed-in-the-wool Libertarian. It seems perfectly appropriate to discuss the fact that a crazed, fanatical vision that had long fallen out of style as the childish, illogical, Randian He-man drivel that it is is no longer a fringe part of a major US political party, but quite literally at the center of it.

As of 2012 there is very little sunlight between the GOP and Libertarianism, simple as that. How is that a derail?
posted by bardic at 3:01 AM on September 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


BTW a lot easier to give a lot to your church when you pay 13% in income taxes. And we all know he paid less than that or he'd release his returns.

Since my federal income tax rate is about 30% I hereby accuse Mitt Romney of being a vile, vile freeloader sponging off the rest of his with his entitlement to the carried interest deduction and offshore tax havens.

Dude is talking a dangerous game for someone with so much tax evasion and cheating to hide.
posted by spitbull at 3:03 AM on September 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


Via Bardic's link to "Libertarian Airlines":
People who care more about free market ideology than human life prove themselves remarkably undeserving of either.


Perhaps the best one sentence demolition of thick libertarian illogic I've yet seen.
posted by Skygazer at 3:17 AM on September 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


“Despite a high unemployment rate, anemic economy, and upside-down right track/wrong track, Obama is being kept afloat by a solid base of support among African-Americans, Hispanics, liberals, single and college-educated women, and union households,” said longtime Christian conservative strategist Ralph Reed. “Those groups alone add up to about 46 percent of the electorate.”



Ah. Now it's clear.
posted by spitbull at 3:25 AM on September 18, 2012 [9 favorites]


BTW a lot easier to give a lot to your church when you pay 13% in income taxes. And we all know he paid less than that or he'd release his returns.

Romney has talked about not wanting to release tax records specifically because of church contributions. This may have some validity - assuming 10% of his income in tithes, plus additional charitable contributions for his foundation, both of which are tax-deductible, and you are closer to twenty-five to thirty percent.

However, when it comes to 47% of individuals paying no Federal income tax, there are interesting points to be had about how far Romney's tax plan and Paul Ryan's differ. Paul Ryan has called for a two-tiered flat tax which would eliminate any percentage of individuals not paying tax. (And Romney has appeared sympathatic to flat tax recently) What remains to be seen, though, is whether people would vote for lower tax rates throughout their lifetime, in exchange for no longer having an income bracket where they did not have to pay any tax at all.
posted by corb at 3:25 AM on September 18, 2012


That's his excuse. I think it's more about Geneva than Salt Lake City.
posted by spitbull at 3:31 AM on September 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Also, we don't count tithing as "taxes" in America. Funny that.
posted by spitbull at 3:31 AM on September 18, 2012 [8 favorites]


spitbull: "“Obama is being kept afloat by a solid base of support among African-Americans, Hispanics, liberals, single and college-educated women, and union households,”

Ah. Now it's clear.
"

Yes, for the sake of the country (and the Job Creators who know best) we must work diligently and swiftly to disenfranchise all of those evil types of people who are only out for themselves and their selfish needs for food, shelter, and healthcare.

Mitt: Which Cadillac did Ann take to go shopping? OK, that one.. Which of the negro drivers did she select today?
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 3:35 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Charity is about choosing who you get to help, yes. And often that's "the people who look/act/think like me."

That's the point of having the government do this "charity". It helps *everyone*, regardless of what they look/act/think like.

The people who want government to do this job want the government to act as an objective source of assistance based on need and on public good, not on preference. Saying you're upset that you don't get to help the people you "choose" reeks of veiled prejudice, because by definition that means there are people you do not choose, for some arbitrary reason based on your own opinions and experiences (and privilege). And while perhaps you are an entirely objective altruistic individual who actually wants to help everyone, we cannot rely on our charity-giving population at large to be that way. They are more likely to keep helping the people they "choose", which of course means the people who look/think/act like them. (Like, say, other Mormons, who in the US are predominantly white) Which means some groups would receive far less charity than others, despite their similar need. Which means not everyone would have equal merit, not everyone would be given a fair shot at the same sorts of opportunities others have to succeed in this country. So certain demographic groups would be disproportionately represented in the poorest populations in a self-perpetuating cycle, as the ever-altruistic charity-giving classes keep saying they don't want to help THOSE people if they're not "taking personal responsibility."

Relying on charities and churches to provide safety nets is simply not feasible in a diverse society of 300M people. You won't get equal coverage across that broad spectrum of people. So the US government, the government of the wealthiest nation on the planet, in my opinion has an obligation to provide that net. Because that's the thing, right? We all, conservative, liberal, libertarian, can mostly all agree that there should be a safety net. We just disagree on who ought to be providing it. And my vote, quite literally, is for the option that provides the least prejudice and the most equal coverage of my fellow citizens, because I don't consider myself or any other individual qualified to arbitrate between who "deserves" my help and who doesn't.
posted by olinerd at 3:36 AM on September 18, 2012 [22 favorites]


olinerd: That's the point of having the government do this "charity". It helps *everyone*, regardless of what they look/act/think like. "

That sounds like socialism! Why do you hate the USAs job creators? Didn't you hear Mitt speak about how he was providing a living and a meaningful existence for all those Chinese girls who worked in Bain's first sweatshop?
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 3:43 AM on September 18, 2012


It isn't charity to make sure all kids get a decent education or we have enough firemen or the bridges don't fall down or your grandmother doesn't starve or cancer doesn't ruin you economically. It's long term investment in human capital and infrastructure so businesses have customers and workers and new people want to live and invest here.

You know, good business sense.

Oh, unless the human capital is black/brown of course. In which case it's lazy people entitled to charity. Your own kids' student loans or your dad's social security -- they earned that! That road to your business? You built that! That federal aid to your winter Olympics? The FDIC bailout of your failed business deal? The fact that you can expect your airplane to be inspected before it flies? Safe food and drugs? All fine as long as minorities aren't benefitting. Because they're lazy, unlike you big fat executive on the golf course before dinner at the steak house.

Underneath even the class warfare this is still mostly about Rublicanism as racism. Be honest.

These people don't work harder than poor people. Nthey work far less hard than most poor people.
posted by spitbull at 3:55 AM on September 18, 2012 [20 favorites]


*Republicanism* as racism. Worth getting it right and saying twice. This entire election is mostly about putting that uppity black president in his place along with all his black-loving supporters, and everyone who knows anything about America can see that plain as day. The "entitled poor" stereotype only works when limited to a non-white image, which is why "47%" is going to haunt Romney, because no matter how you slice it that number includes a lot of white people who aren't despised coastal elite liberal pussies like me, with all them fancy degrees and shit. You just called Bubba a freeloader, Richie Rich.

Amerikkka, fuck yeah. It's still here. The racist fuckheads are still here. One more generation before they're outnumbered completely, keep fighting!
posted by spitbull at 4:02 AM on September 18, 2012 [13 favorites]


Was this video intentionally leaked by someone within the Romney campaign? Because there are a dismayingly lot of commenters tonight (check out the NYTimes threads) who see nothing wrong with what he said and are going "Damn straight!" Maybe someone within the campaign unilaterally thought this was a better angle of attack for Romney.
posted by newdaddy at 4:08 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


When I talk about politics online, I try not to use swear words and off-topic insults.

Do you know why? Because whenever I see someone who disagrees with me doing that, it just makes me really angry at them and I ignore everything they're saying.

I don't want people to ignore my ideas in similar fashion.
posted by victory_laser at 4:15 AM on September 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


Good question about the leak, although surely it would have been intended to harm, not to help. The base may be all 'yay!' but they were going to vote for him/against Obama anyway. If Romney carries the base and no one else, he loses bad. Real bad.
posted by Ripper Minnieton at 4:20 AM on September 18, 2012


Sorry if it's been said upthread, but now his selection of Paul Ryan is making more sense to me, as a man in line with Romney's values
posted by angrycat at 4:26 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


However, when it comes to 47% of individuals paying no Federal income tax, there are interesting points to be had about how far Romney's tax plan and Paul Ryan's differ. Paul Ryan has called for a two-tiered flat tax which would eliminate any percentage of individuals not paying tax.

Let's break this down--you talk about the federal income tax, but then talk about "individuals not paying tax," implying that 47% of people pay no federal taxes. This canard has always ignored the payroll tax. When that is factored in, only 16-18% of people pay no federal tax and the majority of them are elderly. Many people pay a higher proportion of their income in payroll taxes than Romney does in income tax.

That's why that figure is pure bullshit and always has been. And that's why Romney's lines are pure bullshit too.
posted by Ironmouth at 4:26 AM on September 18, 2012 [30 favorites]


The base is fiercely defending Rmoney's career-ending gaffe only because they are desperate to try to save a doomed candidacy. Read Brooks, Klein, Halperin, and all the other Serious White Men today, to a one they say this is probably fatal.

I love watching republicans twist in the wind.
posted by spitbull at 4:27 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, remember, a "safety net" isn't a net. It's not something you fall into. It's a foundation, a platform you build from.

As a part of a civilization that affords you comfort and luxury undreamed of, you must contribute to society. By setting a high baseline for human necessity, you, personally, have a platform that allows you to reach further and climb higher. It may seem in your best personal interest to dismantle that platform, as you aren't resting on it at the moment - but this is folly. It's the foundation of your success. It allows you as a free individual to aspire and to achieve. To trade it away for a tax break on people you don't know and who don't need it is... kind of self-destructive. It weakens your place in society, it undermines your personal success.
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:28 AM on September 18, 2012 [21 favorites]


victory_laser - I kind of agree with Billy Conolly on swearing SLYT (NSFW. Obviously.)
posted by humph at 4:31 AM on September 18, 2012


One feeds people, clothes them, keeps them dry and healthy so that they can make the world better and more beautiful for others -- and also for you, when through disease, age or misfortune, you can no longer provide for yourself but must instead be provided for.

It's still all about "quid pro quo" but it's not at the personal level, it's at the level of society. From each according to their capabilities, to each according to their needs.

Human beings -- and many other creatures -- are social animals, refined through millions of years of evolution to help each other that the tribe might thrive.

And, also, because when life sucks and you trip, it's nice to have a smile and a friendly hand up rather than a sneering demand for a dollar and fuck you stay in the mud if you haven't got one.

Those who are unable to see the benefit of a kind and generous society and how it elevates every one of its members, from rich to poor, are to my mind, somehow sick.
posted by seanmpuckett at 4:35 AM on September 18, 2012 [27 favorites]


I haven't read all the above comments yet, but nobody seems to have noted this birther dogwhistle:

"There is a perception, 'Oh, we were born with a silver spoon, he never had to earn anything and so forth.' Frankly, I was born with a silver spoon, which is the greatest gift you can have: which is to get born in America."
posted by rory at 4:39 AM on September 18, 2012 [12 favorites]


Mother Jones is releases another video:

SECRET VIDEO: On Israel, Romney Trashes Two-State Solution
[A] donor asked Romney how the "Palestinian problem" can be solved. Romney immediately launched into a detailed reply, asserting that the Palestinians have "no interest whatsoever in establishing peace, and that the pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish."

Romney spoke of "the Palestinians" as a united bloc of one mindset, and he said: "I look at the Palestinians not wanting to see peace anyway, for political purposes, committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel, and these thorny issues, and I say there's just no way."

"And I look at the Palestinians not wanting to see peace anyway, for political purposes, committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel, and I say there's just no way."

Romney was indicating he did not believe in the peace process and, as president, would aim to postpone significant action: "[S]o what you do is, you say, you move things along the best way you can. You hope for some degree of stability, but you recognize that this is going to remain an unsolved problem…and we kick the ball down the field and hope that ultimately, somehow, something will happen and resolve it."

Romney did note there was another perspective on this knotty matter. He informed his donors that a former secretary of state—he would not say who—had told him there was "a prospect for a settlement between the Palestinians and the Israelis." Romney recalled that he had replied, "Really?" Then he added that he had not asked this ex-secretary of state for further explanation.
[...]
On his campaign website, Romney, whose foreign policy advisers include several neocons known for their hawkish support for Israel, does not explicitly endorse the peace process or a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But the Republican Party platform does state unequivocal backing for this outcome: "We envision two democratic states—Israel with Jerusalem as its capital and Palestine—living in peace and security." The platform adds, "The US seeks a comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East, negotiated between the parties themselves with the assistance of the US."

In public, Romney has not declared the peace process pointless or dismissed the two-state solution. In July, when the Israeli newspaper Haaretz asked Romney if he supports a two-state solution and the creation of a Palestinian state, he replied, "I believe in a two-state solution which suggests there will be two states, including a Jewish state."
posted by zombieflanders at 4:39 AM on September 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


I recommend this debunking of the "half of Americans pay no income taxes" myth.
posted by Eyebeams at 4:41 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


It isn't charity to make sure all kids get a decent education or we have enough firemen or the bridges don't fall down or your grandmother doesn't starve or cancer doesn't ruin you economically. It's long term investment in human capital and infrastructure so businesses have customers and workers and new people want to live and invest here.

THIS.

By setting a high baseline for human necessity, you, personally, have a platform that allows you to reach further and climb higher.

ALSO THIS.

It's also stuff that business aka "The invisible hand of the market" wants nothing to do with. Bob's plumbing supply doesn't need to worry about expectant mothers getting proper nutrition and health care so they'll eventually have a healthy worker that isn't brain damaged 20 years down the line. We pay taxes and have the government do that work because preventing birth defects makes good economic sense. So does providing access to basic nutritional requirements, healthcare and education.

Failure to provide these basics as a society is a colossal waste of human potential.
posted by j03 at 4:42 AM on September 18, 2012 [19 favorites]


Those who are unable to see the benefit of a kind and generous society and how it elevates every one of its members, from rich to poor, are to my mind, somehow sick.

But some of those people are the wrong color?! Surely that changes your opinion.

I hear that self sufficiency nonsense all the time, though in my economic substrata it's always people who would, quite literally, die without government assistance.
posted by winna at 4:44 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


One feeds people, clothes them, keeps them dry and healthy so that they can make the world better and more beautiful for others -- and also for you, when through disease, age or misfortune, you can no longer provide for yourself but must instead be provided for.

History also shows again and again that past a certain point of neglect & abuse, the pitchforks & torches come out, & the reactionary effect of a starving populace can turn ugly pretty quickly for those few who have hoarded all the wealth, as they find themselves vastly outnumbered.
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:45 AM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Mother Jones is releases another video:

It's like they've got Romney's campaign held hostage and they're sending it home one ziplock bag at a time.
posted by murphy slaw at 4:49 AM on September 18, 2012 [39 favorites]


I cannot wait to see what's in the final ziplock bag.
posted by Houstonian at 4:52 AM on September 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


And here's a sekrit video from the other side (not really) Obama raps to MC Hammer in mash-up of "You didn't build up" With many FLOTUS dance moves.

posted by angrycat at 4:52 AM on September 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


I recommend this debunking of the "half of Americans pay no income taxes" myth.

Reading this link, Eyebeams, there isn't actually any debunking in there - just a lot of moralizing. It goes in depth into how a large percentage of that 47% are people who are covered are very poor, but that's not actually, I think, disputed by anyone.
According to the Tax Policy Center, HALF (50.2 percent) of those who don't pay income taxes would not pay even if you stripped every 'tax break' out of the system and left only exemptions and standard deductions
Exemptions and standard deductions are tax breaks. They've been entrenched so long that they may seem untouchable, but they're still absolutely tax breaks.
posted by corb at 4:52 AM on September 18, 2012


From the new one: If I were Iran, if I were Iran—a crazed fanatic, I'd say let's get a little fissile material to Hezbollah, have them carry it to Chicago or some other place, and then if anything goes wrong, or America starts acting up, we'll just say, "Guess what? Unless you stand down, why, we're going to let off a dirty bomb." I mean this is where we have—where America could be held up and blackmailed by Iran, by the mullahs, by crazy people. So we really don't have any option but to keep Iran from having a nuclear weapon.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:53 AM on September 18, 2012


See, this piece I do find confusing. A lot of people here in this thread have talked about how important it is to them that other people be fed, housed, have medical care, etc. But then the idea is floated that without the government demanding the money, everyone would be living in a terrible situation. But wouldn't people still have the ability to contribute exactly as much as they would want to, to whatever charity they would like? So individuals who are saying that they would gladly pay more taxes would still have the ability to make other people's lives better, they just would need to contribute it directly to the charities that they find valuable.
Did you not read the Mitt Romney quote? He doesn't give a damn about the poor. So when you deregulate an economy and all of the wealth rushes to the top, where all of the rules are now made, what do you think happens to charitable donations?

Is that freedom for you? Forcing anyone who falls on hard times to beg the rich for enough resources to live?
Thus, if there are enough people who would voluntarily contribute to these things, these things will still exist - rather than it being a slim majority forcing a slim minority to provide the things they believe in.
This is why your argument doesn't appeal to anyone. "Believing" in helping your fellow man is a human trait that the vast majority of people have, in the same way that they have a desire to protect children, or forage for food. It's part of every major religion, and a part of almost every government platform that I'm aware of. You speak of health care and hunger statistics as if you're a detached alien staring at a model of an alien economy, instead of the real economy, where real, actual, living, breathing, struggling, yearning, hoping, hurting people exist. They matter. Each person matters.

You get all "hurf-durf, bleeding heart liberal" but the opposite of valuing human existence is the devaluation of human existence, which is usually totalitarianism. Is that what you want?
I think, to a more watered down perspective, this is essentially the conservative position (and perhaps Romney's position) on many of these things: that private charity is more meaningful because it is voluntary, while still having the ability to be very effective.
Fitting your imaginary idea of "pure" charity is a hell of a lot less important to me than actually helping people. Every government in the world that has low poverty rates, low crime, and happy citizens has a progressive tax system that builds infrastructure, provides cheap or free education and healthcare, and genuinely expresses the idea that people are more important than money. And humans are certainly more important than ridiculously narrow, and frankly, juvenile ideological constructs, especially ones that refuse to compromise in the face of mountains of scientific data that say the constructs Do. Not. Work. in reality.

Right now I'm trying to imagine how to raise a child in a purely libertarian environment. "No, I let Timmy beat the crap out of Steve and take his lunch money, because who am I to enforce my will upon another human being? If he really wants to succeed in this life, Steve will find a way to hire a thug to beat him up, or come back with a weapon and try harder." Hopefully Steve doesn't find a gun.

It seems like it would lead to a lot of useless violence, and without security, you can't get to ideas like gender equality, or the Americans with Disabilities Act, or to any society that I would care to be a part of. I am frankly blown away every time I hear a fundamentalist libertarian try to argue their points, because they are so outside of any accepted norms of human behavior, all I can think is, "This person needs therapy."
posted by deanklear at 4:58 AM on September 18, 2012 [45 favorites]


Continuing his tradition of foreign policy and military ignorance, a "dirty bomb" requires no sophistication whatsoever to assemble, just access to medical waste and a willingness to be poisoned to death in the name of whatever cause you have in mind. Oh and maybe a truck full of fertilizer.

My suspicion is we'll see a dirty bomb from a white supremacist group long before we see one from a nation that has any reason to fear nuclear retaliation.
posted by spitbull at 4:59 AM on September 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


I re-recommend this debunking of the "half of Americans don't pay income taxes", and I further recommend that you not be fooled by corb's claim that it is nothing of the sort. Read it and judge for yourself.

Also, check out this map of where most of the non-taxpayers live. You'll never guess.
posted by Eyebeams at 4:59 AM on September 18, 2012


Corb, it's not like the South looked more kind (or, if you insist, economically efficient at dispersing profit) with the sharecropping system. It looked like plantation houses while others went malnourished.
posted by jaduncan at 5:06 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm particularly entertained by the idea that Libertarianism is some kind of untried philosophy.

It's been 'tried' throughout most of recorded history. It always coalesces into something else -- warlordism, feudalism, banditry, monarchism, oligarchy, democracy. The history of humanity is the history of libertarianism evolving into other societal forms.
posted by unSane at 5:07 AM on September 18, 2012 [40 favorites]


Would you really argue that the black sharecroppers weren't working hard enough to be rich?
posted by jaduncan at 5:07 AM on September 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


So, what percentage of Americans pay no income tax? Don't include people whose tax benefits outweigh their contribution, unless you count it for the wealthy.

I pay income tax, state income tax, & FICA. My FICA is a bigger %age of my income, by farrrr, than Mitt's. It doesn't just benefit me, it benefits people who are disabled, and others.

As a Blue Star Mother of a son serving in Afghanistan, I assure you that it's predominantly the children of the middle and lower classes who enlist. That's what they call the economic draft. It's also a path to education, leadership training, and opportunity for a lot of people, and a path to citizenship. At my son's graduation from Basic Training, there was a naturalization ceremony; very moving. And it can be a path to injury, death, suicide, PTSD, etc. What do we call that tax?

Romney just blew off and disrespected a huge proportion of Americans. He made obvious what we knew already. What a complete and utter asshole.
posted by theora55 at 5:08 AM on September 18, 2012 [24 favorites]


The Tax Policy Center has the clearest, simplest, relatively non-ideological 3-pie-chart debunking of the "47% of Americans pay no taxes" bullshit. Bottom line:

Who Paid Neither Income Nor Payroll Taxes?

- More than half are elderly

- Over one-third are nonelderly with income under $20,000

- Only about 1 in 20 is nonelderly with income over $20,000

posted by mediareport at 5:09 AM on September 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


"[S]o what you do is, you say, you move things along the best way you can. You hope for some degree of stability, but you recognize that this is going to remain an unsolved problem…and we kick the ball down the field and hope that ultimately, somehow, something will happen and resolve it." -

Hooooly crap. What else does he want to kick down the field and hope someone else resolves?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:15 AM on September 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


It's been 'tried' throughout most of recorded history. It always coalesces into something else -- warlordism, feudalism, banditry, monarchism, oligarchy, democracy. The history of humanity is the history of libertarianism evolving into other societal forms.

This is exactly what I was typing out before preview. History shows us exactly what happens when Libertarianism is the order of the day: Life was brutal. Brutal. Old people cast off to die because they no longer could feed themselves. Widows starving or becoming prostitutes. Children working in factories or turning to prostitution. Business men polluting the environment and/or selling toxic wares. The list goes on. It's my idea of hell on earth and I find it hard to believe anyone wants to return to those days.

But then I do know when people imagine themselves back in history they always imagine themselves as part of the upper class and never the serving class, working class, or starving class.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:16 AM on September 18, 2012 [28 favorites]


So, you know how to get more people to pay income tax? Pay them more. If industrialists like Romney are upset that workers are not making enough money to owe federal income tax, then give them all raises so that they do.
posted by octothorpe at 5:18 AM on September 18, 2012 [16 favorites]


I keep seeing the money quote as including the statement that the [mythical] 47% are dependent on government, think they are entitled, etc., but to me the worst part is where he says that he'll never convince those [poor] people to "take personal responsibility and care for their lives".
What an unbelievably stupid, arrogant and vile thing to say.
posted by Eyebeams at 5:18 AM on September 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


Would anyone really be surprised at this point if Mitt proposed monetizing the poor by transforming them into some kind of commercially available nutritious snack?
posted by unSane at 5:23 AM on September 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


Life was brutal. Brutal. Old people cast off to die because they no longer could feed themselves. Widows starving or becoming prostitutes. Children working in factories or turning to prostitution. Business men polluting the environment and/or selling toxic wares. The list goes on. It's my idea of hell on earth and I find it hard to believe anyone wants to return to those days.

You know, there is a lot of the world where this is the present. With no hyperbole. I keep feeling like I should write more detail, but it makes me heartsick. The US is one of the wealthiest nations in the world. Surely, AT LEAST for all of its own citizens, ensuring the provision of food, shelter, and healthcare should be something that is beyond debate?
posted by bardophile at 5:24 AM on September 18, 2012 [18 favorites]


Exemptions and standard deductions are tax breaks.

Oh precisely. So I take it you are in favor of doing awaw with the Carried Interest deduction, the non-taxability of certain structured foreign holdings (like, for example, shell corporations in the Caymans), deductions for Olympic horses as a "business," property tax and mortgage deductions in states like, say, California, dependent tax credits (as in, an incentive to get married and have a family, just as easily viewable as a tax on single people though), the deductibility of a certain level of social security income, and of course the imposition of a high value added or national sales tax on all transactions (including medical care and food) to make sure those dirty poors pay their fair share, right?

I mean, let's go over this again. Mitt Romney has actually said that his ability to avoid paying more than he was absolutely legally oblgated to pay in federal income taxes is a qualification for the presidency, and that voters would deem him unintelligent for doing less. So by that logic, everyone who combines a child deduction, a mortgage deduction, a childcare deduction, and maybe an IRA to avoid current income taxes is just being smart, and if it leads them to a zero income tax rate (or even a negative one, let's say they take the EITC, as not a few military families do, along with all those brown poor civilians this is all really about), maybe that makes them smarter and more presidential than Mitt Romney? Cuz after all, he assures us, he has never paid less than a 13 rate (although he won't specify that he means a 13% federal income tax rate, or offer any proof of that dubious claim, especially dubious since the one year he has released shows that rate, so that's the one he's proud of).

I'm serious. I pay north of a 30% federal income tax rate, and I don't take advantage of any number of things that could lower that for all kinds of ethical reasons and personal reasons. I don't begrudge it. It's my stake. My buy in to this society. I work 70 hour weeks routinely. I own stocks. I have small but not insignificant personal business income too, as an author and speaker. I am educating the next generation of bright kids who need to solve the problems we are leaving them, and making half of what I could have made if I had followed an equally promising career path into a particular private business in which I was successfully rising (my backup career) in my 20s, although I hasten to say that I make more now than I ever thought I would, and more than enough to have achieved my life goal of not having to think much about money at all except to make sure the bills are paid.

I got here through a combination of lucky birth, great public schools, radically liberal upbringing, student loans for college, hard work (I paid my own college tuition and r&b after my freshman year by working full time as a student in the aforementioned business, and I had to drop out and work as a mover and contracter and cook to save more for my education; I finished paying off my student loans at 30, and it was hard to do.) I went to graduate school on a competitive national fellowship but maintained a full-time taxable income-generating job (as a pro musician) all through grad school too, so unlike many of my grad school peers I was paying significant income taxes in my 20s too.

Did I bust my ass? Yeah, I did. But I know mechanics and laborers and soldiers who busted their asses so much harder, for so much less economic reward, and starting with much less social advantage, and every day I see amazing young students who would not be my students in an elite university were it not for the public investments made in their public schools, their communities, etc. -- or more pointedly, in those of their parents by generations who came before us. One side of my family came over on the damn Mayflower, the other side fleeing persecution and poverty in Eastern Europe in the late 19th century. Both sides acquired social and economic capital only because of collective investment that actualized the value of hard work and self-discipline, and that allowed for failure and disease and weakness as parts of the human condition and as things an otherwise healthy society can withstand (and even encourage, no success without failure, folks) through collective mutual assistance.

Our ancestors knew this. No human society operates without reciprocity at its core, without generational reinvestment, without good governance rooted in the compromise between present and future interests, between those that have and those that need, between winners and those who hope someday to win, which doesn't make them losers for accepting assistance from those who have *more than they will ever need to be safe and happy and keep their families safe and happy into an indefinite future, not in a gated walled compound on a hill, but down in the valley, where all the regular people are.

The thing that saddens me the most is the way the Draconian, selfish, destructive, hateful ideology of rightwing liberatarian selfishness has been stitched into a slipcase of pseudo-Christianity. Jesus said as you do unto the least of my children, you do unto me. What part of that can you leave out of the claim to be representing Christ on earth?

That, and the racism, which I think is deeper even than the class warfare from the right. The social contract and all its implied reciprocity was fine as long as Browns were a minority and knew their place, the Wimminfolk were submissive and knew their place, the Queers were terrorized and knew their place, and the Illegals didn't expect more than starvation wages and no stake in the society they were helping to build and maintain.

I'm not even going to get started on the place of war in all this.

That all of this was unleashed with such fury after having been so exhausted and discredited so many times already in 2008 really can lead to only one conclusion, and that is that they hate President Obama because he black, and they hate the President's constituents (we're not just his voters, and your his constituent as an American citizen whether you voted for him or not) because they support a black man. All of this, every last bit of it, is really cover for the white supremacist ideology that has held power in this country from the beginning and is now finally facing its demographic comeuppance, within the next 20 years. They are standing atop history screaming STOP! This is not about improving other peoples' lives, now or in the future. It is about holding on to white power.
posted by spitbull at 5:30 AM on September 18, 2012 [107 favorites]


Would anyone really be surprised at this point if Mitt proposed monetizing the poor by transforming them into some kind of commercially available nutritious snack?

In other news, the GOP has just announced their new vision for America. Titled, "To Serve Man" the new party platform declares its firm support for kitchen staff nationwide and promises, "A Moocher In Every Pot."
posted by zarq at 5:31 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Only about 1 in 20 is nonelderly with income over $20,000

And his name is Mitt.
posted by schoolgirl report at 5:34 AM on September 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


I should also point out that being self-sufficient in America has a traditional avenue that is no longer available: frontiersman. People who were misfits and could not fit into society for whatever reason or who were willing to work hard to carve out a place for themselves could also move to the fringe, squat on unclaimed land, build themselves a log cabin, hunt for gold, trap beavers, hunt and fish. Those avenues are now closed. There is no unclaimed land. There are no unpolluted streams. The fish and game have disappeared.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:35 AM on September 18, 2012 [12 favorites]


You know, there is a lot of the world where this is the present. With no hyperbole. I keep feeling like I should write more detail, but it makes me heartsick

If you want a modern example of what a libertarian US would look like, it's probably the Gulf you should be considering. A large proportion of people below the poverty line, a significant monied class, basic infrastructure failings for ordinary people, religious conservatism and extremism providing the heart of a heartless world, quickly leading to the return of social and legal authoritarianism. It's not Somalia we should be recommending as a destination to libertarians, it's Saudi Arabia.
posted by howfar at 5:40 AM on September 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


People who were misfits and could not fit into society for whatever reason or who were willing to work hard to carve out a place for themselves could also move to the fringe, squat on unclaimed land...

That's a pretty chilling disregard for Native American history.
posted by fraula at 5:40 AM on September 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


Brilliant point, Secret Life. The whole imagery of "self-sufficiency" is rooted in that mythology, which was never even really true. Frontier society depended totally on reciprocity (and white supremacy, but that's another song). Very few individuals ever became lone frontiersman living entirely off the land. It's all in the movies.

Now, to be "self sufficient" requires that you make money selling something to other people. They aren't products of nature, but of society. Henry Fucking Ford knew this. Mitt Romney, apparently, does not. You aren't hunting Elk, you're hunting customers. And the only ones worth hunting went to good schools and have decent living wage jobs.
posted by spitbull at 5:41 AM on September 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


In two short days, Romney has demonstrated that his plans for both jobs growth and the Israel-Palestine question are entirely vacuous and non-serious.

And I don't mean to say policies I disagree with; I really mean empty plans. He apparently says, on the Palestine question, "You hope for some degree of stability, but you recognize that this is going to remain an unsolved problem…and we kick the ball down the field and hope that ultimately, somehow, something will happen and resolve it."

Aka, nothing, nada, zilch.

Someone who wants to be the Commander-in-Chief of the world's most powerful army has no plan in mind for the peace process.

I'm shocked. Absolutely stunning.
posted by the cydonian at 5:43 AM on September 18, 2012 [8 favorites]


Isn't entitlement to food, housing, and health care something we Americans provide for people in jail?
posted by mkultra at 5:44 AM on September 18, 2012 [9 favorites]


(That was from TPM, btw)
posted by the cydonian at 5:45 AM on September 18, 2012


That's a pretty chilling disregard for Native American history.
posted by fraula


Oh yes, oh yes. That's why I mentioned the reliance of "frontier society" on the mythology of White supremacy ("manifest destiny" comes to mind).

Build a society on genocide and it's sick at the core.
posted by spitbull at 5:48 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


That all of this was unleashed with such fury after having been so exhausted and discredited so many times already in 2008 really can lead to only one conclusion, and that is that they hate President Obama because he black, and they hate the President's constituents (we're not just his voters, and your his constituent as an American citizen whether you voted for him or not) because they support a black man.

This is not the only conclusion that can be made, not nearly, not at all, and I think it's just as incredibly dismissive of half the country as many commentators are arguing Mitt Romney's remarks were. Many people have genuine moral concerns with Obama's presidency that have nothing to do with his race whatsoever. People have fury because they feel like they're losing too much because of Obama, and they're in danger of losing the war altogether.

Isn't entitlement to food, housing, and health care something we Americans provide for people in jail?

This is not as uncontested as you may think it is.

As a Blue Star Mother of a son serving in Afghanistan, I assure you that it's predominantly the children of the middle and lower classes who enlist.

This is somewhat true, ma'am, but generally only because those children of the upper middle and upper classes who sign up for the military have already completed four-year school and choose to enter as officers.

I hope your son gets home safe.
posted by corb at 5:55 AM on September 18, 2012


Vile, vile, class-based hatred.
Says the person who advocates letting people who can't afford food to starve.
posted by Flunkie at 5:56 AM on September 18, 2012 [29 favorites]


So this Republican party they have in the USA, they don't think people are entitled to food, housing and health care? God damn.
posted by Sternmeyer at 4:11 PM on September 17 [40 favorites]


Geese people put down the KoolAid and step away from the pitcher. Fact is that a full 47% of USAians do not pay any income tax. Fact is that Romney pays taxes on monies he has already been taxed on. Fact is that Romney needs to clarify his approach. Take his foot out of his mouth and state simple facts without injecting opinion or his "concern". Fact is that since 2008 the SS and SSDI rolls have increased by a higher percentage than ever before. Mostly attributed to Boomers leaving the job market early because of chronic unemployment. Fact is that since 2008 Welfare spending has increased by $193 Billion and through 26 separate government programs Obama has effectively eliminated Clinton's welfare reforms by relaxing standards and encouraging states to keep people on the dole with guaranteed Federal dollars for doing so.
posted by Gungho at 5:58 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


they feel like they're losing too much because of Obama,

Explain the "because of Obama" part.
posted by spitbull at 5:59 AM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is somewhat true, ma'am, but generally only because those children of the upper middle and upper classes who sign up for the military have already completed four-year school and choose to enter as officers.

umm... proportion of officers in harm's way relative to enlisted?
posted by bardophile at 5:59 AM on September 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


As far as I'm concerned, corb, you've already laid out the contradiction in terms that explains why libertarianism will never produce a worthwhile society. To quote you:

wouldn't people still have the ability to contribute exactly as much as they would want to, to whatever charity they would like?
...
I'm not sure I think the vast majority of human beings are decent, kind, reasonable human beings.


So what makes you think that people would, out of the goodness of their heart, all support each other? That sounds like a fairytale.
posted by jacalata at 6:02 AM on September 18, 2012 [24 favorites]


(Please)

Yeah, there are legitimate reasons you could be opposed to Obama. Heck I have dozens of friends on the left who are furious at him about drone strikes and Guantanamo and no torture prosecutions, things that disappoint me greatly too, to say the least (that and why the fuck are we still in Afghanistan?).

But the GOP only wins if they conjoin that small number of people whose opposition to Obama is principled (from the left or right) to that significant portion which hates him because he is black. Say it isn't true all you want, but it is. Otherwise, why this birth certificate shit? Why this lying welfare innuendo? Why all this talk of the Preseident as unAmerican or foreign or "Muslim" when all of that is demonstrably laughably bullshit? Where is Romney's denunciation of Kansas recently nearly considering dropping the President from the November ballot over yet more trumped up birther bullshit? Why doesn't he clarify that the majority of non-taxpayers are elderly white folks he needs -- because of their residual racism from having grown up in the 40s and 50s -- to win? Why no mention that red states are net benficiaries of federal largesse? Why is the image of dependency always couched in dog-whistle racial terms?

Everyone knows it's about racism. It's one of those things that is so obviously true that it is easily discounted, like the air we breathe. It's been a structural fact in this country since the beginning, and it has only begun to be challenged in the last century, really, within the living memory of many of Romney's strongest supporters and in the places where he runs the strongest in the polls. His vote is almost exclusively white, and decidedly elderly. Why is that?
posted by spitbull at 6:05 AM on September 18, 2012 [16 favorites]


"Warren Ellis is writing the presidential campaign. Alan Moore wrote Anonymous and a good part of Occupy. We are living in a comic book universe."
posted by zombieflanders at 6:06 AM on September 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


Geese people put down the KoolAid

The belief that there is a secret cabal of Kool-Aid quaffing communist Goose-Men who meet to plot the downfall of capitalism actually makes more sense than everything else in that comment.
posted by Shepherd at 6:07 AM on September 18, 2012 [49 favorites]


Moonorb: I spent all day at work today buried in that paper (link downloads pdf file). It's written by Bruce Meyer of the University of Chicago and James Sullivan of the University of Notre Dame (it was released last week, I think). The paper documents improvement in poverty gaps and deep poverty in the U.S., but mostly looks at how consumption measures better identify who is impoverished than do income measures and concludes that government programs have been effective in combating poverty and decreasing the number of impoverished Americans. It finds that tax policies (particularly those favorable to families, like the earned income tax credit), SNAP (food stamps) and Social Security have most benefited the poor.

I found it kind of ironic to come home to the internet and this random Romneyism after spending the day with this.
posted by crush-onastick at 6:08 AM on September 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


Many people have genuine moral concerns with Obama's presidency that have nothing to do with his race whatsoever. People have fury because they feel like they're losing too much because of Obama, and they're in danger of losing the war altogether.

As an outside observer, I've gotta say then that those who feel as such need to do a whole lot better at actually articulating these moral concerns, and what exactly, and how much, they are losing because of Obama, and what war it is they think they are fighting. Because those of us in the other developed Western countries, with our socialised health care and what not, are at a bit of a loss to understand what the problem is, if it isn't just about mendacious greed.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 6:08 AM on September 18, 2012 [24 favorites]


If you want a modern example of what a libertarian US would look like, it's probably the Gulf you should be considering. A large proportion of people below the poverty line, a significant monied class, basic infrastructure failings for ordinary people, religious conservatism and extremism providing the heart of a heartless world, quickly leading to the return of social and legal authoritarianism.

But wait! They built the tallest building in the world!!!!
posted by eriko at 6:09 AM on September 18, 2012


corb: "One of the main problems with people who do not pay federal income tax is that they then often have no investment in how that money is spent, or in reining it in. For example: if we had to pay WWII-era taxation to sustain the Afghanistan or Iraq wars, we'd have been out of that five years ago... It's not a value judgment on the 47% who don't pay taxes - it's a value judgment on those who don't pay taxes, enjoy entitlements, and are willing to vote for people who are bad for the country in order to keep those entitlements rolling."

Sorry, corb, but this is an old canard that needs to be put to bed.

Like every single non-salaried person in the United States, I don't pay income taxes. I pay payroll taxes which are deducted from my paychecks and which go to the federal government instead of income taxes. Please note this important and salient fact: aside from a few people rich enough to afford to find loopholes, almost every single working person in this nation pays some form of taxes on the money they earn. Even people who make less than the income required to be taxed usually have payroll taxes deducted anyway.

Moreover, even people who don't have a job pay taxes. There are taxes on the things we buy, on the property we own. The homeless guy down the street pays taxes on every pack of cigarettes and 40 of malt he buys, and frankly he pays a hell of a lot higher percentage on those things than you do on most of the things you buy.

So, for one thing, your shorthand (and Mitt Romney's, and the right's in general) about "47% of people who don't pay taxes" is flat wrong. Every single person in this nation pays taxes. If it's shorthand about taxes on income, it's still wrong, because it's a fuzzy-math exaggeration that ignores many working people. And lastly, please note that the number of people paying taxes on their income approaches 100%, give or take some millionaires who find dodges and the tiny proportion of illegal workers. If you want more people to be paying taxes on income, the only way to do that is to increase the number of jobs.

But don't give us bullshit that assumes that there is somehow some huge mass of Dem-voting people in the US that have income they don't have to pay taxes on, that soak the government for "entitlements," and that don't pay any taxes at all. We're all paying taxes. And those who don't have jobs or income to pay income taxes from are very unlikely to vote anyway. Which is lucky, because the right doesn't seem to care at all about getting anybody back to work at all.
posted by koeselitz at 6:12 AM on September 18, 2012 [46 favorites]


But wait! They built the tallest building in the world!!!!

And filled it up with geese steppers!

More Kool-Aid, Vicar?
posted by Wolof at 6:13 AM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


This might be my schadenfreudiest day ever!
posted by diogenes at 6:15 AM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


I find it amusing too that liberatarian-leaning righties tell us on the one hand that selfishness is human nature and society needs to accomodate it, and then in the same breath tell us that without a public infrastructure for things like unemployment insurance and education loans, the natural charitable instincts of the rich would be unleasehed to take care of us all.

In fact, the middle class is far more charitable, by percentage of total income, than the upper classes, even given that for the upper classes "charity" of many kinds is so fundamentally motivated by tax advantages.
posted by spitbull at 6:26 AM on September 18, 2012 [11 favorites]


Politician tells people what they want to hear. News at eleven.
posted by quillbreaker at 6:28 AM on September 18, 2012


"Geese people put down the KoolAid."

I am a proud Goose Person. Join me, fellow Anserine-Americans!
posted by Eyebeams at 6:28 AM on September 18, 2012 [12 favorites]


Explain the "because of Obama" part.

Many Americans, particularly in certain areas, (especially rural ones) have been frustrated at what they see as taking money out of their community and putting it into other communities. This isn't just a rich white thing - this is one of the things the Black Panthers complained about. In fact, it is particularly the case with people who consider themselves a minority for whatever reason. This includes racial minorities, religious/ethnic minorities, and also population minorities. Effectively, any group which considers themselves discriminated against because of their small voting population - like, as many of the NYC crowd here may recall, when Staten Island attempted to secede. Though they voted overwhelmingly in favor of it, they were prevented from doing so by larger voting blocs of the other boroughs.

Obama was elected on what seemed a majorly populist upswing after frustrations many, from left and right, had with Bush. Since then, he's begun making a lot of populist promises that seem, for many people, to promise more of the same: an urban population majority-voting rural life out of existence. He seems, to many, to symbolize the assault on that rural life - from his comments about guns, to the single-payer healthcare idea, to his rhetoric against the rich that surfaces again and again.

And that scares people, just as any minority is necessarily scared when the people making the decisions about its future are not from the community and radically outvote them. The federal government, in many of these circumstances, tries to take care to make sure that this doesn't happen - minority districts are carved out and due is paid. But this doesn't happen with people who are a minority by population rather than ethnicity or creed. There is nowhere they can turn with their fear.

And that has nothing to do with race. That has to do with ideology.

I think people shorten these things to dismissive statements too sometimes, and it makes it hard to listen to real concerns. There's a lot of "lolz they're scared of the socialism," but few people take the time to pause and ask why someone might be concerned about what appears to be a minority of individuals taken advantage of for the benefit of a looming majority that seems to be threatening violence. Particularly people who actually lived through times where that was a reality in many places in the world.
posted by corb at 6:29 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


*gooses you*
posted by Wolof at 6:29 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I also want to point out that this is a textbook example of how to use opposition research in a campaign. The way this video was patiently dribbled out by anoynymous sources over a period of weeks before being given the adrenaline shot of David Corn's confirmation yesterday -- the swirling conspiracy theories about it, the way the posted of the video was banned from liberal websites for potential false-flagging, all of it.

I wonder if (and hope that) the Obama campaign had a hand in orchestrating its release, which continues in slow drips today. There goes another week for the hapless fools in Boston.
posted by spitbull at 6:31 AM on September 18, 2012


Threatening violence? Really? What gives you that impression? I fear violence from the right, not the left.
posted by spitbull at 6:32 AM on September 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


Many Americans, particularly in certain areas, (especially rural ones) have been frustrated at what they see as taking money out of their community and putting it into other communities.

*cough*Farm subsidies*cough*
posted by zombieflanders at 6:32 AM on September 18, 2012 [31 favorites]


an urban population majority-voting rural life out of existence.

And wtf does this mean? Now you are the one engaging directly in dog-whistle racism.
posted by spitbull at 6:33 AM on September 18, 2012 [10 favorites]


in the same breath tell us that without a public infrastructure for things like unemployment insurance and education loans, the natural charitable instincts of the rich would be unleasehed to take care of us all.

The fact that American libertarianism has its ethical foundation in the childish prosperity theology inherent in the American Dream is hardly surprising, but continues to be depressing. The goodness of the wealthy and the malignity of the poor is a necessary article of faith, never mind that it makes no sense.
posted by howfar at 6:34 AM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Right, an end to corn and sugar and ethnanol subsidies would begin to balance the net transfer of urban wealth to rural states.
posted by spitbull at 6:34 AM on September 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


Single payer healthcare is an 'assault on the rural population' how?
posted by unSane at 6:34 AM on September 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Since then, he's begun making a lot of populist promises that seem, for many people, to promise more of the same: an urban population majority-voting rural life out of existence. He seems, to many, to symbolize the assault on that rural life - from his comments about guns, to the single-payer healthcare idea, to his rhetoric against the rich that surfaces again and again.

I find your whole comment almost totally incoherent, but this paragraph takes the cake. Given that Obama has NOT been making ANY promises about single-payer health care at all, how the hell does single-payer threaten rural life? Keep in mind I am typing this in Canada, where single payer health care got its start in the heavily rural province of Saskatchewan.
posted by maudlin at 6:35 AM on September 18, 2012 [22 favorites]


I presume Corb is in favor of removing all those subsidies and letting farmers go to the wall.
posted by unSane at 6:36 AM on September 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


Many Americans, particularly in certain areas, (especially rural ones) have been frustrated at what they see as taking money out of their community and putting it into other communities.

You lost me right around here. Example?

an urban population majority-voting rural life out of existence

Uhhhhhhhh what.
posted by windbox at 6:36 AM on September 18, 2012


Mitt Romney: Born on third base thinking he hit a triple. Caught trying to steal home.
posted by srboisvert at 6:37 AM on September 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


victory_laser: " Because whenever I see someone who disagrees with me doing that, it just makes me really angry at them and I ignore everything they're saying. "

You know what finally turned me from the path of Self-Righteous Republicanism? Someone saying, to my face, "For such a nice guy, you sure are an asshole."
posted by notsnot at 6:38 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


More of the video has been released today: Romney says that Palestinians are "committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel" and that the prospects for a two-state solution to Middle East peace were dim.

"You hope for some degree of stability, but you recognize that this is going to remain an unsolved problem, and we kick the ball down the field and hope that ultimately, somehow, something will happen and resolve it," Romney said.

posted by jontyjago at 6:38 AM on September 18, 2012


I've seen people say that paying for preventative healthcare is important, because otherwise, people go to hospitals anyway and the state winds up paying for them. But from my perspective, it would be easy to avoid that by simply not having the state require that everyone be admitted to hospitals. I understand there are moral concerns there for some people, but purely from a pragmatic sense, does this go further?

Sick people are a drain on the economy; they cannot contribute as much as they could if they were not sick. If they had gone to the doctor for early treatment of hypertension, they could still be working - earning money and spending it - but instead, because they had to choose between medical bills and rent/car payments/gas money, they are now disabled from heart disease. Allowing sick people to go untreated (and ignoring entirely the public health aspect wrt communicable diseases) is penny-wise pound-foolish, because everyone will end up paying somehow.

A lot of what happened during the Arab Spring is a great example of what you get when a large portion of your citizens are educated but jobless (or even just jobless), and are divorced from the economic and political culture of the nation.
posted by rtha at 6:38 AM on September 18, 2012 [8 favorites]


There's a lot of "lolz they're scared of the socialism," but few people take the time to pause and ask why someone might be concerned about what appears to be a minority of individuals taken advantage of for the benefit of a looming majority that seems to be threatening violence.

The vast majority of suggestions of violence I see come from the right wing. People threatening to kill doctors who perform abortions, people running for sheriff threatening to kill women who have abortions, people threatening to break out their guns if Obama is re-elected, people actually shooting other people at places of worship because they're not white, people claiming rape is only legitimate in certain circumstances, state governments threatening to rape women who are even considering an abortion, big-name sheriffs threatening immigrants because they're not from here...
posted by zombieflanders at 6:39 AM on September 18, 2012 [39 favorites]


Charity is an interesting thing. In the Anglo-Australian background I'm from, you would only accept 'charity' when you have no other choice. On the other hand social security is, within bounds, simply looking out for one another. You know, smoothing out the bumps we're all going to hit on life's journey. This includes both the formal (i.e. government based assistance) and the informal (i.e. paying for a friend's drinks when they need a night out, when you have the cash and it's not really going to be a big deal for you. Because they'd do the same, and have, if the situations were reversed.)

Charity has become such a loaded term.

And on preview, There's a lot of "lolz they're scared of the socialism," but few people take the time to pause and ask why someone might be concerned about what appears to be a minority of individuals taken advantage of for the benefit of a looming majority that seems to be threatening violence. Particularly people who actually lived through times where that was a reality in many places in the world.


What?
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 6:39 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mitt Romney: Born on third base thinking he hit a triple. Caught trying to steal home.

Caught trying to steal second.
posted by drezdn at 6:40 AM on September 18, 2012 [18 favorites]


I used to be an Objectivist, too, but then I realized that those libertarian ideals don't actually work in any large policy setting. There are limits to what government can provide for people, but stable health care, food, and housing (among other things) are pretty basic requirements for a functioning society.
posted by thirteenkiller at 6:41 AM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


(I was a moody teenager.)
posted by thirteenkiller at 6:41 AM on September 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


Threatening violence? Really? What gives you that impression? I fear violence from the right, not the left.

Well, in this thread alone there have been multiple commentators arguing that if progressive taxation isn't enacted, crime will increase, and people will attempt to take money or food from the more fortunate by force - "pitchforks and torches" have been mentioned.

Many Americans, particularly in certain areas, (especially rural ones) have been frustrated at what they see as taking money out of their community and putting it into other communities.
You lost me right around here. Example?


Well, partially this is the tax issue. Taking taxes from one area and moving the revenues from them to another. The only two I personally can think of offhand are the Eastern/Western Washington split and the Upstate/Downstate New York issue. I'm not even saying this is right, or accurate - I'm saying this is the perception among many. You see it both ways, too - the cities which produce a lot of money complain about subsidizing the rural areas, and the rural areas which, while they have poverty, have a lot less of the backbreaking kind, less homeless, less need for extensive social services, complain about subsidizing city poverty services.

I presume Corb is in favor of removing all those subsidies and letting farmers go to the wall.

Actually, I'm a city girl who finds farm subsidies also undesirable. I think they also play a lot of havoc with our food. But that's a story for another thread.
posted by corb at 6:42 AM on September 18, 2012


"[...] and we kick the ball down the field and hope that ultimately, somehow, something will happen and resolve it," Romney said.

Oh god, that's an ACTUAL quote. I thought it was a sarcastic-Onionish quote when I saw it upthread.
posted by AugieAugustus at 6:42 AM on September 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


(I was a moody teenager.)
posted by thirteenkiller at 9:41 AM on September 18


Eponysterical...or creepy?
posted by zombieflanders at 6:43 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: I was a moody teenager.
posted by Lemurrhea at 6:44 AM on September 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


RE: This being an attempt to win in 2016... Unless if there's something I'm overlooking, if Obama is re-elected it would be very very difficult for the right to overturn the ACA health care law before 2016.

It'll probably be even harder to overturn it post-2014 when it has been fully implemented. If the Republicans are serious about wanting to get rid of "Obamacare," this will be their best chance post-Supreme Court ruling.
posted by drezdn at 6:45 AM on September 18, 2012


"Well, in this thread alone there have been multiple commentators arguing that if progressive taxation isn't enacted, crime will increase, and people will attempt to take money or food from the more fortunate by force - "pitchforks and torches" have been mentioned. "

I think what's being argued is that when part of society is in want of food or is lacking other basic necessities of survival, and then sees another part of society that has way more than it's ever going to be able to spend, violence is likely to happen.
posted by bardophile at 6:46 AM on September 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


Well, in this thread alone there have been multiple commentators arguing that if progressive taxation isn't enacted, crime will increase, and people will attempt to take money or food from the more fortunate by force - "pitchforks and torches" have been mentioned.

Corb, time and again you try to pull this shit, and it doesn't work ever. Why not just quit? Predicting violence as a result of inequality is not the same as threatening it from an ideological position. You have given no reason to believe that the predictions in this thread are accurate ones, and they are useless as examples of threats.
posted by howfar at 6:47 AM on September 18, 2012 [17 favorites]


There is nowhere they can turn with their fear.

There are places they can turn away from that will help alleviate fear: Fox News and right wing talk radio, which are in the business of stoking fears and disseminating false information.
posted by madamjujujive at 6:47 AM on September 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Seriously, how has nobody mentioned this yet?

We're not talking about rocket surgery here people. Just a tiny bit of history.
posted by Blue_Villain at 6:47 AM on September 18, 2012


Romney's Israel/Palestine Plan

1. "Kick the Ball Down the Field."
2. ???
3. Resolve it
posted by drezdn at 6:47 AM on September 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


Well, in this thread alone there have been multiple commentators arguing that if progressive taxation isn't enacted, crime will increase, and people will attempt to take money or food from the more fortunate by force - "pitchforks and torches" have been mentioned.

But no major population is actually threatening others with that, as you claimed. Not to mention, this is a grossly misleading interpretation of the comments here.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:48 AM on September 18, 2012


drezdn, it's let someone else resolve it. Duh!
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:48 AM on September 18, 2012


Mittens is hardly in a position to accuse any of us in not paying taxes. How do we know what he paid, if anything, for past few years?
posted by Postroad at 6:48 AM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


I said this in another thread a while back, but my closest friend and musical mentor in my 20s, with whose family I remain extremely tight 25 years later, lives in the deep backwoods of a southern state. The last half hour to his house is a dirt road for which you need a 4x4 a lot of the time, which is how he likes it. He is a genius mechanic, a Christian, a volunteer fireman (in his late 60s), and a brilliant musician, and would happily self-describe as a "redneck" and sometimes even a "hillbilly."

We shoot deer off his back porch when I visit, drink beer and smoke and play country music late into the night. He believes Jesus is coming back someday (and that a lot of self-professed Christians are in trouble for hypocrisy when he does), sings gospel music, and he could live off the land if he had to, and does to some extent (his wife cooks the best damn venison sausage ever). He owns a lot of guns and we differ sharply on gun control issues, but he sees a lot of politics pretty much from the same perspective as this liberal, urban, northeastern hippie professor does.

He voted for Obama, admittedly to the surprise of many of his friends, in 2008 because of what Iraq had done to his son, who served several tours there in the infantry and came back messed up from it like so many others in his community (whereas, I will point out, none of the Romney boys has served, nor has their dad). He's likely to be voting for Obama again because he sees Romney as a plutocrat who would happily take us back into more wars and he (correctly in my view) sees that as more important than any economic argument for the future of this country. He might stay home, but he won't vote for Mitt Romney. He's a better judge of character than that.

Don't stereotype rural people along with city people. It's already obvious that "urban" means "black" to Republicans. But rural doesn't necessarily mean what you think it means. My friend is white, and grew up in the racist south. He's one of the least bigoted people I know today, up to and including professing and practicing tolerance for LGBT people, which makes him a real isolate in that world, but a position he has the character and fortitude to hold publicly, like real leaders should do with their principled stands (Hello, Mitt?)

He's a "real American" of the Sarah Palin sort, who drives a pickup truck with a gun rack, but he would have the time of day for that woman and he would never vote for a snake oil salesman like Romney.
posted by spitbull at 6:48 AM on September 18, 2012 [35 favorites]


(*wouldn't* have the time of day for Palin, whoops)
posted by spitbull at 6:50 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'll buy the idea that charity works best when it is only private and voluntary the day someone can show me a country where that's actually fucking come to pass.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:51 AM on September 18, 2012 [8 favorites]


Obama was elected on what seemed a majorly populist upswing after frustrations many, from left and right, had with Bush. Since then, he's begun making a lot of populist promises that seem, for many people, to promise more of the same: an urban population majority-voting rural life out of existence. He seems, to many, to symbolize the assault on that rural life - from his comments about guns, to the single-payer healthcare idea, to his rhetoric against the rich that surfaces again and again.
Red states were more likely to get a bigger cut of federal spending. Of the 22 states that went to McCain in 2008, 86 percent received more federal spending than they paid in taxes in 2010. In contrast, 55 percent of the states that went to Obama received more federal spending than they paid in taxes. Republican states, on average, received $1.46 in federal spending for every tax dollar paid; Democratic states, on average, received $1.16.
Most Red States Take More Money From Washington Than They Put In

Why not tell them the truth instead of lying to them for their vote? Is the truth unimportant when it clashes with your ideology?

Do you know who benefits the most with single payer healthcare? Everyone. It's cheaper to treat the mentally ill in hospitals than it is to keep throwing them in jail. It's cheaper to pay for kidney dialysis on a regular basis than it is to just pay for emergency room visits. It's cheaper to hire tons of Primary Care physicians than it is to overstaff emergency clinics. It's cheaper to have people go to the doctor early an often than it is for them to wait until it's late in the game to get something treated.

Actually, things like single payer don't help those who believe that anyone who is critically ill and doesn't have money or insurance should die in hospital parking lots. Which, thankfully, is close to zero people.

I personally know people who have died because they waited too long to get healthcare. Not because they were stupid, or because they were trying to game the system, but sometimes you find yourself at the end of decisions you had made carefully, but then you lose your job. Then you or one of your parents or your kid gets sick. Your car breaks down, or is stolen and your insurance company finds a way to not pay you.

Why are libertarians so enamored with the idea that anyone who suffers a calamity like that should just die nobly because Freedom? It doesn't make any sense to me.

If there is a single purpose for government, it's to ensure that people can make it through tough times and come out the other end as a still productive member of society, instead of as someone who has to beg in the street for sustenance that is too emotionally damaged to participate without a miracle or years of therapy. Government exists to protect citizens from outside enemies, and from much more common abuses like predatory business practices, or straight scams, or from thugs who try to run neighborhoods. Government is the entity that executes democratic influence on society, and wouldn't you know it, most people believe that government power should protect the weak instead of the powerful.

Do you really not understand that?
posted by deanklear at 6:52 AM on September 18, 2012 [53 favorites]


I'll buy the idea that charity works best when it is only private and voluntary the day someone can show me a country where that's actually fucking come to pass.


Nineteenth century England before the Poor Laws is not far off.
posted by unSane at 6:54 AM on September 18, 2012


frontiersman. People who were misfits and could not fit into society for whatever reason or who were willing to work hard to carve out a place for themselves could also move to the fringe, squat on unclaimed land, build themselves a log cabin, hunt for gold, trap beavers, hunt and fish.


And those people weren't self sufficient either because they needed the US army and government to kill off the Indians and/or steal the Indian's land so they could "claim" it.
posted by nooneyouknow at 6:54 AM on September 18, 2012 [12 favorites]


Many Americans, particularly in certain areas, (especially rural ones) have been frustrated at what they see as taking money out of their community and putting it into other communities.

Those Americans would be wrong. Since FDR rural areas and states have been net winners on the question of tax money. Just look at the five or six graphs pointing out where the 47% who pay no federal income tax live--the South.

I grew up in Illinois and constantly, downstaters would claim all their money was going up to Chicago. And every few years the facts would come out and the cities were paying a lot more in taxes than they were getting and the rural areas were claiming far more in government expenditure than they were paying out. This is because the cities are where money is made.

Why do they believe this? Because they are constantly bombarded with artfully gussied up racist talk by politicians who want their vote.
posted by Ironmouth at 6:55 AM on September 18, 2012 [31 favorites]


Rural Eastern Washington and Upstate New York would look like Haiti if not for Seattle and New York City subsidizing their health care, housing, roads, and schools and buying their agricultural products. Get your facts straight.
posted by spitbull at 6:55 AM on September 18, 2012 [27 favorites]


I imagine I'm just echoing one of the gobs of comments above, but: I predict this will have minimal impact on the election. Nobody actually thinks Romney would be a good president on his own merits except maybe his family. This election is entirely about whether enough Americans just plain can't stand Obama, and those folks will vote for pretty much anyone the Republicans cough up regardless of what utter tools they obviously are.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 6:55 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'll buy the idea that charity works best when it is only private and voluntary the day someone can show me a country where that's actually fucking come to pass.


Nineteenth century England before the Poor Laws is not far off.


Perhaps one ought to read The Making of the English Working Class before one asserts how great charity was back then.
posted by Ironmouth at 6:57 AM on September 18, 2012 [8 favorites]


I predict this will have minimal impact on the election.

I disagree. For those for whom voting starts today, this is the last piece of information about Mitt Romney they get.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:57 AM on September 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


Seriously Corb, read some history. Start with the French revolution. Starvation leading to anarchy. Perhaps even look at the Russian revolution, where the Bolsheviks made so much gravy with the slogan "Peace, Bread, Land." These aren't 'threats', they are simply observations of what happens when wealth in whatever form it takes ends up being inequitably distributed. You can ignore that if you like, but hungry, desperate people don't act "rationally," they're hungry. Again, these aren't threats, they're observations.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 6:57 AM on September 18, 2012 [9 favorites]


So, you know how to get more people to pay income tax? Pay them more.

but then they couldn't be kept in poverty, so when we do away with those nasty entitlement programs, we couldn't make them beg us for our charity in return for running their lives like plantation slaves

it's about control - and we can't control people if we pay them more
posted by pyramid termite at 6:58 AM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Paul Ryan has called for a two-tiered flat tax which would eliminate any percentage of individuals not paying tax. (And Romney has appeared sympathatic to flat tax recently)

("two-tier flat tax" *twitch*)

When these guys talk about flat tax what they really mean is abolishing taxes on capital gains and dividends. Income tax becomes wage tax. So... the percentage of people paying no income tax would still exist, but it would consist of guys like Mitt Romney. And then their heirs.

(Strange how the "we built it" party has such a perennial boner for getting rid of the estate tax.)
posted by fleacircus at 6:59 AM on September 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


On the other hand this really IS good news for John McCain.

Who the hell would have ever thought he dodged a bullet by picking Sarah Palin for VP?
posted by unSane at 6:59 AM on September 18, 2012 [8 favorites]


These kinds of conversations always make me think of two West Wing quotations.
#1: from He Shall, from Time to Time-when they're working on the SOTU.
Bartlet: What's on your mind?
Toby: The era of big government is over.
Bartlet: You want to cut the line?
Toby: I want to change the sentiment. [pause] We're running away from ourselves and I know we can score points that way, I was a principal architect of that campaign strategy right along with you, Josh. But we're here now, tomorrow night we do an immense thing; we have to say what we feel, that government, no matter what its failures in the past and in times to come for that matter, government can be a place where people come together and where no one gets left behind. No one...gets left behind. An instrument of good. I have no trouble understanding why the line tested well, Josh, but I don't think that means we should say it. I think that means we should change it."

and #2: from 20 Hours in America (Part II)
MATT: You got kids?
TOBY: No.
MATT: Wait till you take your oldest to look at colleges. It's an incredible feeling. You wish they'd go to college across the street from your house, but you know...
TOBY: Yeah.
TOBY: A Jack Daniels rocks.
BARTENDER: Yeah.
TOBY: My boss went to Notre Dame.
MATT: Beautiful campus. I've never seen anything like it. She-she's not going to get to sleep tonight. You see what happened in the market today?
TOBY: Yeah, I-I saw. You invested?
MATT: Ehh... Mutual fund that's supposed to send her to college. I never imagined at $55,000 a year, I'd have trouble making ends meet. And my wife brings in another 25. My son's in public school. It's no good. I mean, there's 37 kids in the class, uh, no art and music, no advanced placement classes. Other kids, their mother has to make them practice the piano. You can't pull my son away from the piano. He needs teachers. I spend half the day thinking about what happens if I slip and fall down on my own front porch, you know? It should be hard. I like that it's hard. Putting your daughter through college, that's-that's a man's job. A man's accomplishment. But it should be a little easier. Just a little easier. 'Cause in that difference is... everything. I'm sorry. I'm, uh, I-I'm Matt Kelley.
TOBY: I'm Toby Ziegler. I work at the White House. Have a minute to talk? We'd, uh... like to buy you a beer.
posted by atomicstone at 7:00 AM on September 18, 2012 [8 favorites]


And those people weren't self sufficient either because they needed the US army and government to kill off the Indians and/or steal the Indian's land so they could "claim" it.

Oo yeah, let's talk about the Homestead Act, arguably one of the most important bits of legislation to America's unique capitalist success (exceptionalism, even), also a government handout.
posted by thirteenkiller at 7:01 AM on September 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


1. Rural areas have disproportionate representation in Congress (for example Wyoming and Alaska have as many Senators as New York and California).

2. If you find "class warfare" so offensive why are you supporting the guy who thinks that half of America is mooching off the government *and will never change* no matter what he says and does. He says his job isn't to worry about them.

3. Mitt Romney may be the worst serious Presidential candidate in my lifetime. The guy has terrible political instincts and no one likes him, not even his own party.
posted by leopard at 7:01 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Rural Eastern Washington and Upstate New York would look like Haiti if not for Seattle and New York City subsidizing their health care, housing, roads, and schools and buying their agricultural products. Get your facts straight.

This isn't about me saying they are right and the citydwellers are wrong. This is me answering your direct question of how anyone could feel threatened by Obama's policies while still not being a racist. I have answered your question; it'd be nice if you could stop being belligerent about it.

Perhaps even look at the Russian revolution, where the Bolsheviks made so much gravy with the slogan "Peace, Bread, Land." These aren't 'threats', they are simply observations of what happens when wealth in whatever form it takes ends up being inequitably distributed.

I think people are interpreting this as though I were saying that the poor in this country were directly, with their own voices, threatening others, and saying, "Give me social services or I will do violence upon you." If that is the impression, I apologize for appearing to have said that. I do not believe that is the case.

What I do believe is that someone could reasonably feel threatened by this scenario. That someone could reasonably feel threatened by a large group of people who are voting to take away their lifestyle or hard-earned savings, particularly with the added bonus that analysis says if they don't get those things, violence may erupt.

Does that make sense as a difference?
posted by corb at 7:03 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


corb, it's interesting that you specifically call out Eastern Washington/Western Washington as an example of rural areas being drained to support urban areas.

The exact opposite is the case.

You really need to get your facts straight.
posted by palomar at 7:03 AM on September 18, 2012 [27 favorites]


This is naked and raw power being sold to the highest bidders, and being presented as an act of vengeance and vindication.

I think of myself as a pretty cynical person where it comes to the great and the mighty and still, that video stunned me. For unbridled contempt and entitlement on display, I can't think of its equal. And its contempt for half of this country made me think of this passage from Whittaker Chambers' review of Atlas Shrugged, in National Review, of all places. Read the whole thing, as they say; it's all on topic. But this part is most relevant to the moment:
"In Atlas Shrugged, all this debased inhuman riffraff is lumped as 'looters.' This is a fairly inspired epithet. It enables the author to skewer on one invective word everything and everybody that she fears and hates. This spares her the plaguey business of performing one service that her fiction might have performed, namely: that of examining in human depth how so feeble a lot came to exist at all, let alone be powerful enough to be worth hating and fearing. Instead, she bundles them into one undifferentiated damnation.

'Looters' loot because they believe in Robin Hood, and have got a lot of other people believing in him, too. Robin Hood is the author’s image of absolute evil — robbing the strong (and hence good) to give to the weak (and hence no good). All 'looters' are base, envious, twisted, malignant minds, motivated wholly by greed for power, combined with the lust of the weak to tear down the strong, out of a deep-seated hatred of life and secret longing for destruction and death."
I've called the police, in situations where I would have vastly preferred to be able to call a pay-for-play guy to come over and protect me. Or a friend.

I've never been in an emergency situation where a hired-gun or a friend with a gun was preferable to the police. What you're longing for here isn't a free, secular, civil society, it's tribalism, at best; at worst a mafia.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:04 AM on September 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


Thankfully for the people of rural Washington State, the Seattle metro area isn't libertarian.
posted by deanklear at 7:05 AM on September 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


In fact, Mitt Romney himself, despite a reputation for a hard heart for the poor and unfortunate, has given over $18 million in charity for said poor and unfortunate.

From the article corb links:

Of the bunch, the following are Mitt Romney’s top 10 favorite philanthropic targets in terms of total dollars awarded by the Tyler Foundation since 2000:
1. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints: $4,781,000
2. Brigham Young University: $525,000
3. The United Way: $177,000
4. Right to Play: $111,500
5. The George W. Bush Library: $100,000
6. Operation Kids: $85,000
7. Center For Treatment of Pediatric MS: $75,000
8. Harvard Business School: $70,000
9. City Year: $65,000
10. Deseret International: $50,000
Weber State University: $50,000


I love how the "poor and unfortunate" include the Mormon church, BYU, Harvard Business School, and the George W Bush Library. That's like 90% of the donations on this list. What compassion!
posted by leopard at 7:06 AM on September 18, 2012 [20 favorites]


Fair enough, but

What I do believe is that someone could reasonably feel threatened by this scenario. That someone could reasonably feel threatened by a large group of people who are voting to take away their lifestyle or hard-earned savings, particularly with the added bonus that analysis says if they don't get those things, violence may erupt.

Who is taking away your lifestyle?
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 7:07 AM on September 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


corb, it's interesting that you specifically call out Eastern Washington/Western Washington as an example of rural areas being drained to support urban areas.

The exact opposite is the case.
corb did say "I'm not even saying this is right, or accurate".

If we all agree that 1) money goes from urban areas to rural areas and 2) the people in those rural areas think the opposite is the case, then I guess we're done here.
posted by dfan at 7:08 AM on September 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


And I say that who doesn't have any hard earned savings, as I invested it all in a small business.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 7:09 AM on September 18, 2012


This isn't about me saying they are right and the citydwellers are wrong. This is me answering your direct question of how anyone could feel threatened by Obama's policies while still not being a racist.

No, you were the one who said "[m]any people have genuine moral concerns with Obama's presidency that have nothing to do with his race whatsoever," but are now trying to backpedal.

What I do believe is that someone could reasonably feel threatened by this scenario. That someone could reasonably feel threatened by a large group of people who are voting to take away their lifestyle or hard-earned savings, particularly with the added bonus that analysis says if they don't get those things, violence may erupt.

Does that make sense as a difference?


No, because there is no way they could "reasonably" feel threatened. Perhaps its just imperfect wording, but they don't have really have a reason for this, as others have pointed out. They could certainly feel threatened, and many apparently do, but it's more because of sentiment or misinformation than actual reasoning.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:10 AM on September 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


So is he saying that those big businesses who don't pay taxes are also a bunch of moochers in the 47%?

Tell me more.
posted by stormpooper at 7:10 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


If we all agree that 1) money goes from urban areas to rural areas and 2) the people in those rural areas think the opposite is the case, then I guess we're done here.

But pretending that racism isn't a factor in that misperception is just disingenuous. All this talk of "could feel threatened" in some hypothetical case ignores the people who really feel threatened and their real reasons for feeling like that.
posted by howfar at 7:10 AM on September 18, 2012


That someone could reasonably feel threatened by a large group of people who are voting to take away their lifestyle or hard-earned savings, particularly with the added bonus that analysis says if they don't get those things, violence may erupt.

I absolutely agree. I could not agree more! I personally feel incredibly threatened that the Republican Party is threatening to take away my right to marry whomever I choose. I feel deeply personally violated that the Republican Party is threatening to remove my right to reproductive choice. I feel sickened and nauseated that fringe actors of that party have chosen to murder and terrorize doctors and clinicians across the nation who work tirelessly to support my right to reproductive freedom.
posted by elizardbits at 7:11 AM on September 18, 2012 [78 favorites]


tl;dr you best check yourself lest you wreck yourself
posted by elizardbits at 7:13 AM on September 18, 2012 [16 favorites]


Listening to a conservative talk show guy this morning; normally I don't, but the Romney gaffes have turned this activity into a fascinating chance to observe conservative meltdown as it happens.

Anyhow, this morning the guy was talking quite solemnly about why this election was important. Because while he disliked Clinton and Carter, he thought of them as politicians with ideas he happened to disagree with.

This president, however, was a much bigger threat; he was going to "change our very nation into something different."

It doesn't take much thinking to come up with the one thing that most differentiates Obama from previous Democrat presidents. But the way he just left it open like that, never being specific about that one thing and what it was...amazing.
posted by emjaybee at 7:13 AM on September 18, 2012 [13 favorites]


Isn't entitlement to food, housing, and health care something we Americans provide for people in jail?

For now.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:15 AM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Perhaps Mitt's just a big fan of The Thick of It and is paying homage with his very own Romneyshambles.
posted by howfar at 7:15 AM on September 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


In a last ditch attempt to wrest back the narrative and appeal to the disenfranchised, poor, young and minority voters he has offended, while remaining on-message, the Romney campaign has adopted a new theme song.
posted by unSane at 7:18 AM on September 18, 2012


"pitchforks and torches" have been mentioned.

I was suggesting that the super-rich in this country study history for clues as to where their proposed policies have led in the past. The French revolution, the Russian revolution, any of several Mexican revolutions, the list goes on. I don't want to see America destabilized by the sort of extreme polarization that we're heading for with the trickle-up economy that Romney and his ilk would provide for us. It would be a giant loss to us to undergo that sort of upheaval -- I do not recommend or threaten it in any way. I suggest to them that they consider steps to avoid it, such as not allowing the populace to starve.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:19 AM on September 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


elizardbits, I agree with you completely. That is an absolutely shitty thing and you are one hundred percent right to feel threatened and upset by it. I certainly do. I just also feel threatened and upset by the Democrats as well. Just because I like some things that Republicans stand for doesn't mean I like everything they do. In fact, sometimes I feel in a shittier position, because I have very, very few even half-decent choices. And every time you vote for the lesser evil, you're still voting for evil.

Who is taking away your lifestyle?

I'm not rural, personally. Things stated above are things I've heard from friends and loved ones. My lifestyle is threatened by Democrats and taxes, but it's more in the inheritance/gift and gun-control areas. I am personally upset by my tax dollars going to things I don't support or believe in, but those aspects don't rise to the level of taking away my lifestyle.
posted by corb at 7:19 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Eh, he'd be better off with Gangnam style.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 7:20 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I love the mixed messages:

We need to lower income taxes, for everyone! Income tax is bad! Best not to have any income tax at all! But the 47% of people paying no income tax are lazy moochers.


Perhaps they are just ahead of the curve.

Anyway, this argument is the tax equivalent of the way working mothers should be staying at home with their kids because that is destroying the family, but women who stay home all day are just too lazy to get a job.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:20 AM on September 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


I am getting really nervous about the gathering consensus that it's over for Mitt. We have 48 days until the election and a gigantic media complex whose main goal is for the story to not get dull. It will be very tempting for bored reporters & bloggers to create a comeback narrative out of whatever dross they can gather (in the name of being objective) and then let it self-perpetuate. I honestly thought that the desire for a compelling narrative was a huge factor behind the front-runner musical chair game that happened in the Republican primaries.
posted by yarrow at 7:20 AM on September 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


My lifestyle is threatened by Democrats and taxes, but it's more in the inheritance/gift and gun-control areas.

I'm sorry, where are the Democrats actually taking away your guns and inheritance?
posted by zombieflanders at 7:21 AM on September 18, 2012 [17 favorites]


If Democrats are taking away peoples' guns they are pretty bad at it what with the frequent public shootings from individuals with arsenals and whatnot.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:23 AM on September 18, 2012 [15 favorites]


I'm also personally upset about my tax dollars going to things I don't personally support. Like invading foreign countries for funnies. But eventually I got over it, realising that I live in a democratic society where I don't always get my own way.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 7:23 AM on September 18, 2012 [16 favorites]


As for people piling on Corb, conservatism, from its roots in Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France has basically said screw you rationality, humans are complex and the irrational prejudices of human beings are something that ought to be watered and fed.

Hence its state today--in today's tape, Romney spends all of his time rambling on about what Obama thinks, as if he has mind-reading powers, claiming Obama thinks he can charm the Putins of this world. Obama never said anything like that. Its a ball of Romney's prejudices, just like this 47% thing.

So the same with Corb's belief (or her explanation of other's belief) that rural areas are getting screwed by cities through taxes, when it has been the opposite for the last 80 years. The facts don't ever matter to them. They are not a reality based community--they vote their prejudices. Since the 1880s, the well-off seized the then-dominant GOP and saw it as the vehicle for hitching pro-business, pro-monopoly, low-tariff, low-tax policies to these types of prejudices. The Republicans changed themselves from the party explicitly helping the black man to one thriving on prejudice against them.

And now their Gottdammerung has come--it is hard to be the anti-rationalist party and win. Look at their positions--in a time of extremely low interest rates and plentiful money for investment, but with low consumption, employment and record-low taxation, they claim that even lower taxation will spur the economy because of investment. It is literally non-sensical.

This is the party of irrationalism.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:24 AM on September 18, 2012 [39 favorites]


OWNER
You must mean two other trees. You
had me worried. One of the oldest
trees in Pottersville.

GEORGE
(blankly)
Pottersville? Why, you mean Bedford Falls.

OWNER
I mean Pottersville.
(sharply)
Don't you think I know where I live?
What's the matter with you?
posted by newdaddy at 7:25 AM on September 18, 2012 [9 favorites]


Saying that opposition to Republican policies that would decimate the social safety net that is every darn bit as important in rural America as it is in cities is tantamount to "threatening violence" and destroying the rural way of life (in which, by the way, I have spent my entire adult life immersed as a social scientist who studies rural communities around the US) is "beligerent," in my view, corb.

You really keep digging deeper into a hole of hypocrisy, rather like your candidate.
posted by spitbull at 7:26 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


The New Deal, by the way, was the single best thing that ever happened for rural America in the aggregate, back when that included a lot more people than it does today who were a lot closer to poverty than those communities are today. There would be no rural America as we now know it had the federal government not ridden to its rescue in the 1930s. Period.
posted by spitbull at 7:28 AM on September 18, 2012 [17 favorites]


Oh, come on folks. Romney's said it was inelegantly stated. He can't get any more apologetic or humble than that.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 7:31 AM on September 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


My lifestyle is threatened by Democrats and taxes.
There is a door, you know. Unless of course you'd be happy with a one-party system, even when that one party isn't yours.
posted by Blue_Villain at 7:32 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry, where are the Democrats actually taking away your guns

I live in NYC. I own guns that live in Washington State. I can't bring them home, because a Democratic-controlled NYC has decided to outlaw them. So technically, yes, they don't object to me owning guns as long as they never enter the city, but they have effectively taken away my use of them.

If I want to apply for a permit, the process is literally years long, and I would have to get entirely new guns and follow NYC's incredibly restrictive process.

This is perhaps outside the scope of the tax discussion, though.
posted by corb at 7:33 AM on September 18, 2012


Well yeah they finally got electricity, 20 odd years after the city dwellers if at all.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 7:33 AM on September 18, 2012


What do you need them for?
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 7:35 AM on September 18, 2012


Varmits?
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 7:36 AM on September 18, 2012 [11 favorites]


This is perhaps outside the scope of the tax discussion, though.

And doesn't have much to do with Obama who has had a pretty states' rights approach to gun control for the most part and has seen gun and ammo sales go through the roof during his presidency. The down side to states' rights is that they can make independent decisions about this sort of thing the way NY did which can be a bear in New England where some states (including mine) are much more "anything goes" and some other states are much more restrictive and you might drive through three or four of them on your way anywhere.
posted by jessamyn at 7:36 AM on September 18, 2012 [15 favorites]


Is anyone else wondering just how many more tapes are going to released, and how much worse this could get?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:36 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Not a Romney fanboy, but it sounded to me like he just said that poor people vote for candidates who pander to their self-interest ... just like rich people. What's shocking about that?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 7:37 AM on September 18, 2012


It's demonstrably not true?
posted by howfar at 7:38 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


If want to apply for a permit, the process is literally years long, and I would have to get entirely new guns and follow NYC's incredibly restrictive process.

You're totally free to leave New York City.

Evidently, there are things there that you enjoy and find beneficial, though. You've made the rational decision that you'd rather take the benefits of NYC than trade them off to live in Washington State. Your fellow citizens find that establishing restrictions on gun use in the city helps create that beneficial climate which seems to be holding you there.

I wanted to defend my home and country, but I would have vastly preferred to have been able to be part of a private group, funded only by the consent of voluntary participants

I don't want this kind of defense. I don't want you representing me. I have absolutely no access to participation in that system, and that isn't fair to me.

I've called the police, in situations where I would have vastly preferred to be able to call a pay-for-play guy to come over and protect me.

Under what other conditions might a private party call for private "protection?" When they don't like the friends at my barbecue? Don't like the color of the people who moved next door? Don't like the guy their daughter is dating?

I want to resist this discussion because I do think the entire Libertarian philosophy, as has been capably shown in this thread, is unrealistic, morally bankrupt, ahistorical, based in fantasies, and profoundly naive. It is, in fact, kind of a derail except in that it's sort of a pale defense of Romney's way of thinking. But really, it is so hard for me to believe this rhetoric - the words make sense, but the reasoning is so, so poor.
posted by Miko at 7:38 AM on September 18, 2012 [61 favorites]


Would anyone really be surprised at this point if Mitt proposed monetizing the poor by transforming them into some kind of commercially available nutritious snack?

Well, if corporations can be people, why shouldn't Soylent Green?
posted by Strange Interlude at 7:39 AM on September 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


a Democratic-controlled NYC has decided to outlaw them

NYC gun control laws were put into effect in 1911. The Democratic and Republican parties of 1911 are completely different from the parties of today - the most I would say is that Tammany Hall is keeping you from your guns.

Michael Bloomberg has run as a Republican and as an Independent on the Republican ballot line. If Bloomberg wanted to 'give you your guns back,' he could. The previous mayor of NYC is Rudy Guiliani. He is also a Republican. A Republican is keeping you from your guns. There is no serious Democratic push for federal gun control, and there is no serious Democratic push for state gun control. NYC gun control laws have nothing to do with Democrats vs. Republicans.
posted by muddgirl at 7:41 AM on September 18, 2012 [59 favorites]


Is anyone else wondering just how many more tapes are going to released, and how much worse this could get?

The second release (concerning Israel/Palestine and Iran) that I linked to above seems to suggest that there will be at least one more:
But at this fundraiser, Romney received several queries related to national security—and was afforded the opportunity to tell his financial backers what he does not (and will not) tell the public.
Of course, I wouldn't be surprised if there were several more, since the fundraiser was an hour long and we've only seen ~10 minutes of it.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:42 AM on September 18, 2012


I've called the police, in situations where I would have vastly preferred to be able to call a pay-for-play guy to come over and protect me.
Clearly, you're not on the same side of the 47/53 split as Mittens then, are you?

Because as far as I can tell this is something that all middle class americans making between 200 and 250k a year can and should be providing for themselves.

But not their families, I think. I'm pretty sure he would see that as a handout.
posted by Blue_Villain at 7:42 AM on September 18, 2012


Is anyone else wondering just how many more tapes are going to released, and how much worse this could get?

Obama has been projected to have an Electoral College majority since June, at least. Romney can't even make it close to 270, which is needed to win.

So from where I'm sitting, things have been looking pretty good in the Presidential race. The only bad part is the weight gain from all this popcorn that Romney is providing.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:45 AM on September 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


Paul Ryan's "6-8%" Body Fat? He didn't build that.
posted by drezdn at 7:46 AM on September 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


I wanted to defend my home and country, but I would have vastly preferred to have been able to be part of a private group, funded only by the consent of voluntary participants

That's called "wanting to be a pirate."
posted by octobersurprise at 7:46 AM on September 18, 2012 [64 favorites]


Well, if corporations can be people, why shouldn't Soylent Green?

Okay, Jesus, spoiler alert.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:46 AM on September 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Ugh, I immediately regret responding seriously to this derail.
posted by muddgirl at 7:48 AM on September 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


Paul Ryan's "6-8%" Body Fat? He didn't build that.

That one was obvious- people with a body fat percentage that low look like they'd kill you with one blow of their sinewy arm for a twizzler.
posted by winna at 7:49 AM on September 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


Is anyone else wondering just how many more tapes are going to released, and how much worse this could get?

Corn is milking this, getting all cryptic on Twitter.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:51 AM on September 18, 2012


Doesn't it strike you that the need for such weapons makes a mockery of the fact that you need those weapons. If everything was going good you wouldn't need em. That's not your problem. Your problem is that you need an automatic weapon to feel safe. That's fucked up.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 7:51 AM on September 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


And doesn't have much to do with Obama who has had a pretty states' rights approach to gun control for the most part and has seen gun and ammo sales go through the roof during his presidency.

There is no serious Democratic push for federal gun control, and there is no serious Democratic push for state gun control.


I'm not sure I would credit Obama in a positive sense for the gun/ammo sales going through the roof, given that they're mostly people desperation buying because they think he's going to ban things, but I see your point. However, the Democratic Party has just put in a national push to reinstate the Assault Weapons Ban in their party platform.

Paul Ryan's "6-8%" Body Fat? He didn't build that.

I may be going out on a limb here, but I don't think Paul Ryan is the only person in the country who exaggerates about his weight.
posted by corb at 7:52 AM on September 18, 2012


I've called the police, in situations where I would have vastly preferred to be able to call a pay-for-play guy to come over and protect me.

You might want to look into such international getaways as Helmand Province, where the local warlords will be happy to provide the services you require. You may have to sacrifice certain other luxuries to which you have no doubt become accustomed, but hey, that's what freedom is all about, right?
posted by elizardbits at 7:53 AM on September 18, 2012 [9 favorites]


I immediately regret responding seriously to this derail.

Me too. It's become a thread about one person, and it's not Mitt Romney.
posted by Miko at 7:53 AM on September 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


In 2008, the only income bracket that Obama lost was $50-74,999, 48%-49%. He won half the vote from people with $100,000 and over. McCain won 37% of those earning $15,000-29,999, and 25% under %15,000. Cite.
posted by no regrets, coyote at 7:54 AM on September 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


However, the Democratic Party has just put in a national push to reinstate the Assault Weapons Ban in their party platform.

You're right, I should have specified non-Assault Rifle gun control, but even then, I don't consider "putting it in their platform" to be "a serious push for."
posted by muddgirl at 7:54 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


To be frank I've always thought the name 'Mitt Romney' was just a little bit too American.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 7:55 AM on September 18, 2012


Late to the party but...my take is that this will strengthen Romney's base support. Why? Because this could be an exact quote from my Republican friends (when there aren't any blacks or women around). This is what those true believers really believe.

I currently am doing alright, but when I share with these/privileged/lucky/ambitious/job creator folks that - yes - I actually used EIC and WIC and AFDC when I was a young man - you can tangibly feel the disdain. My inclination is to tell them to fuck right off. My kid first was born healthy and strong, we struggled a little, but survived in the early years, and since, I've paid plenty into the pool. Everyone in the game is better off: me, the kid, the family, my community, and society at large. That's what some of these entitlement programs pay for - a better world.

Progressives need to keep pulling to the left just to maintain status quo, much less improve things. Check your registration, send a little cash to Elizabeth Warren, vote (especially in down-ballot races).
posted by j_curiouser at 7:55 AM on September 18, 2012 [9 favorites]


Randy Newman Writes The Last Romney Reboot Campaign Ad
posted by maudlin at 7:57 AM on September 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


I think, to a more watered down perspective, this is essentially the conservative position (and perhaps Romney's position) on many of these things: that private charity is more meaningful because it is voluntary, while still having the ability to be very effective.

Corb: I don't think anybody is disagreeing that private charity is more meaningful because it's voluntary, but the economic reality is private charity isn't enough. Non-profits are currently going through funding shortages and cannot provide anywhere close to an effective amount of service to those in need. In addition, private charity dries up fast in times of recession, which is oftentimes when their services are needed the most. In addition, it's more difficult to rebuild the capital (both machinery and human) than it is to maintain it.

But from my perspective, it would be easy to avoid that by simply not having the state require that everyone be admitted to hospitals. I understand there are moral concerns there for some people, but purely from a pragmatic sense, does this go further?

Well, it depends on how far you want to go with this "no health care" thing. Now, are you talking about just not being admitted to hospitals, or are you going further to say that every visit and treatment is out of pocket from blood transfusions to vaccinations? Because, removing any morality, we'd still have economic and public health concerns. In terms of economics, it would be a bit more like China. Meaning, less mobility, both geographical and social. Since people will be less likely to want to apply to new jobs (since their health care may change or be gone) and families will save more money because the burden will shift on them which means less consumption and investment. From a public health perspective, some people may start opting out of essential treatments and it's possible that diseases and sickness would linger in populations more because people will opt for alternative remedies or just delay treatment.
posted by FJT at 7:57 AM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


[Okay folks, quit making it personal and this gun control derail needs to wrap up I guess. Sorry for participating in it. You can all MeMail each other or just wind this down. Thanks.]
posted by jessamyn at 8:01 AM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure I would credit Obama in a positive sense for the gun/ammo sales going through the roof, given that they're mostly people desperation buying because they think he's going to ban things, but I see your point.

Neither would I, given that Obama can't just "ban things" on a whim. I'd credit the guys who claim that Obama will 'destroy' gun rights and 'erase' the second amendment in his second term even though Obama has loosened gun restrictions during his first term.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 8:01 AM on September 18, 2012


sorry, didn't see jessamyn's comment on preview
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 8:02 AM on September 18, 2012


There should be a "Chuck Norris" style lampooning of Paul Ryan and all his claims.
posted by edgeways at 8:03 AM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Additional anecdata: I have hardcore repub friends who own and run a seriously drought-affected ranch. Over the last two years, they've applied and received a substantial amount of agricultural govt aid. But, no, they aren't moochers leaning on the govt to keep an unprofitable business alive. The cognitive dissonance is astounding.

(For the record, I support and am glad they get the aid. Family farms are the shiz.)
posted by j_curiouser at 8:03 AM on September 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


You know what worries me? My country people dying in pointless wars for another 8 years for some second rate version of the 'special relationship.' It's not lie you guys are going to come swooping down to save Brisbane; Fuck, I can't really see much point to saving Brisbane, and I have a bunch of family there.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 8:05 AM on September 18, 2012


high rates of taxation are a relatively modern invention - around the beginning of the past century.

Ah, you mean at the dawn of the Great Impoverishment, when all those Western nations foolishly taxed themselves back to the Dark Ages? When the West swarmed with plagues and suffered through the existential paralysis of stunted intellectual and technological development? When the legacy of Unconsented Extractions was seen in the form of desolate roadways and piles of the bodies of orphaned five-year-olds, worked to death in factories?

I have read accounts of this stain on human history, and I pray that we have the good sense to change course before the Government leaves no witness to its unholy reign of blood and disease.
posted by Rykey at 8:06 AM on September 18, 2012 [11 favorites]


Check your registration, send a little cash to Elizabeth Warren

For anyone who's interested, Princeton Election Consortium professor Sam Wang (read the election blog!) has a list of good "bang for your buck" races via an ActBlue page if you want to make several donations at once.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:06 AM on September 18, 2012 [10 favorites]


I have read accounts of this stain on human history, and I pray that we have the good sense to change course before the Government leaves no witness to its unholy reign of blood and disease.

Income tax was implemented during World War I. 50% of American budget expenditures go towards the military these days.

It would be really, really great to get rid of income tax.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:07 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


my take is that this will strengthen Romney's base support.

Even if this is true—I'm not wholly convinced that it is—is it likely that this base is numerous enough to win the race? I think it isn't and I think the GOP knows that it isn't. If it were, Romney would've been saying these kinds of things in public from the very start.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:09 AM on September 18, 2012


If I want to apply for a permit, the process is literally years long, and I would have to get entirely new guns and follow NYC's incredibly restrictive process.

You poor thing. I want to see a dentist.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:10 AM on September 18, 2012 [67 favorites]


Income tax was implemented during World War I.

The first income tax was instituted in 1862 to fund the Civil War.
posted by muddgirl at 8:10 AM on September 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


I would think owing a % of your crops/production to the King would be an income tax
posted by edgeways at 8:13 AM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Income tax was implemented during World War I. 50% of American budget expenditures go towards the military these days.

It would be really, really great to get rid of income tax.


It would be better to get rid of the military expenditure, surely?
posted by unSane at 8:14 AM on September 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


I have inherited nothing. Everything I earned I earned the old fashioned way: conjuring myself forth from the cosmos to emerge from a privileged, wealthy vagina in a prosperous country during an anomalous boom period.

P.S. poors are pussies!
posted by Senor Cardgage at 8:14 AM on September 18, 2012 [17 favorites]


My point isn't specifically about income tax. It's that the greatest leap in human history--in terms of health, technology, education, wealth, and security--didn't exactly happen without the help of the governments in question.
posted by Rykey at 8:15 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


It would be really, really great to get rid of income tax.

It would be better to get rid of the military expenditure, surely?


We don't have to choose!
posted by corb at 8:15 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Governments have taxed for war since time immemorial. In the old days, they'd just take your food and horses, and possibly your daughter as well.
posted by unSane at 8:15 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Governments have taxed for war since time immemorial.

Not W. He just "borrowed" it from us.
posted by Mental Wimp at 8:17 AM on September 18, 2012


First Brooks, now Bill Kristol. Looks like even the barely-reasonable conservatives might finally be getting sick of Romney.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:18 AM on September 18, 2012


corb: But from my perspective, it would be easy to avoid that by simply not having the state require that everyone be admitted to hospitals. I understand there are moral concerns there for some people, but purely from a pragmatic sense, does this go further?

I'm not sure how much the whole Hippocratic oath thing plays into medical practitioners' lives, really I'm not, but I feel like most people who have chosen a path that's guided by the following words would have problems with this sort of thing. I don't know how nicely that fits into the purely from a pragmatic sense caveat you tacked on there but it seems worth mentioning is all...

...I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person's family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.

I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure...
*

I'm good with those aims, I wish there was more out there just like it actually.
posted by RolandOfEld at 8:18 AM on September 18, 2012


It would be really, really great to get rid of income tax.

No it wouldn't!

Income tax, when structured and used properly, is a great way to tie taxation directly to ability to pay and to remedy systemic imbalances caused by generational wealth hording and the born-on-third-base-syndrome in our society generally. And in our past, military service (for better or worse) was one of the surest paths to social mobility for the truly impoverished, so even from its beginnings income tax has functioned as an economic opportunity-broadening tool in our system.

What would be really great is to use less of the income tax for military purposes, and stop using the military as our primary wealth redistribution mechanism.

Income tax may be a tool we need to learn to use more effectively, but it's a tool we definitely need in our toolbox, IMO. Every other tax scheme is in some sense regressive.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:20 AM on September 18, 2012 [17 favorites]


Written about George W, but the breathtaking lack of empathy Romney exhibited in those comments put me in mind of it. John Prine:

Some humans ain't human
Some people ain't kind
You open up their hearts
And here's what you'll find
A few frozen pizzas
Some ice cubes with hair
A broken Popsicle
You don't want to go there


Also, the Randy Newman song maudlin links to above is worth checking out.
posted by Killick at 8:20 AM on September 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


I understand there are moral concerns there for some people, but purely from a pragmatic sense, does this go further?

Isn't the death of someone due to denying treatment for a curable disease a pragmatic problem? Or do I misunderstand how you use the word?
posted by Mental Wimp at 8:30 AM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


LIBERTARIAN: I have a poor understanding of the social contract and I misread the Constitution and I want to keep more of my stuff.

MANY PEOPLE: Yes, but that's not how civil society works because facts, data, arguments, quotes from political philosophers, also Jesus.

LIBERTARIAN: My stuff!

MANY PEOPLE: Clips from Dickens, kabuki version of Tragedy of the Commons, personal appeal from ghostly barbershop quartet of Jefferson, Lincoln, FDR, Eisenhower.

LIBERTARIAN: MINE!

(Please feel free to copy and paste this early in the next libertarianism derail in order to save valuable blue space for other topics.)
posted by gompa at 8:32 AM on September 18, 2012 [177 favorites]


Weird Al predicted all of this
posted by beavil knievel at 8:34 AM on September 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


Here's one of "those people" from Democracy Now this morning:
My name is Stephanie Ware. I work. I make minimum wage. I keep pushing and pushing to improve myself. I have a new job I start this Monday. I get up early in the morning faithfully. I may not have to be to work until ten, but I am out that there at 8 and 7:30, waiting to catch my bus, because I don't be late for anyone.

What am I do to when all I have is the bus?

Please, please don't take our transportation away. That's all we have. Thank you.
Mitt Romney wants to deny government help to neighborhoods that he is too afraid to drive through. If that's your idea of a President, I don't even know what to say.
posted by deanklear at 8:36 AM on September 18, 2012 [8 favorites]


Corb, you might want to dial it back, and go for a walk or something relaxing.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 8:38 AM on September 18, 2012


Corb, you might want to dial it back, and go for a walk or something relaxing.

Meh, I don't think Corb has gotten heated. I mean, I disagree fundamentally and vehemently with close to everything she's said in this thread, but she's not doing anything other than asserting her position calmly and is in fact ignoring some of the more personal comments directed at her.
posted by sallybrown at 8:44 AM on September 18, 2012 [30 favorites]


Corb: But from my perspective, it would be easy to avoid [emergency care being used as an alternative to preventative care] by simply not having the state require that everyone be admitted to hospitals.

Yes -- you're correct. If all moral and ethical and pragmatic discussions are put aside, it is cheaper to not allow dying people into the hospital for emergency care. This type of situation has come up with the somewhat infamous for-pay fire department in TN.


I understand there are moral concerns there for some people, but purely from a pragmatic sense, does this go further?

We'd still have to charge someone for the corpse disposal. In all seriousness, what you're describing is a "penny-wise, pound foolish" approach to keeping a civilization running. Having a reasonably healthy population is just as essential to the smooth operation of a modern economy as consistent law enforcement and property rights. Maintaining those things (all of them, not just health) takes money and resources.

Building a system in which only those who already have resources can enjoy the basic societal services is a bad idea from a pragmatic standpoint. Even if you don't believe that there is any moral responsibility to care for people because they're people, look at society as an incubator for economic innovators. Healthy, educated, well-fed people come up with better ideas and execute more successfully. The more of them we have, the better we do in the long term. Those who have not already achieved wealth are also the least likely to challenge the status quo and attempt innovative, creative/destructive shifts: they aren't trying to defend an already-built business.
posted by verb at 8:44 AM on September 18, 2012 [8 favorites]


Frankly I've always been a bit puzzled why Libertarians (at least the more vocal Libertarians) seem to favor Republicans. Especially in the modern age. On social grounds it makes no sense, - Restrict freedom of choice, - More religion in government - Denial of civil rights to people who are gay, - Attempt at limitations on voting rights - Strong subset of racism - Long protracted engagements in wars

And fiscally it all seems to hinge on some belief that at some point they will be rich enough that the government will want a bigger slice of their income, because there is no freaking way Republicans as a party are anything like fiscally conservative (GWB was certain not, GHWB raised taxes, Reagan saw a huge explosion of federal spending, who the fuck knows about Ford, Nixon was more liberal than 85% of the current Democratic party... and if you have to go further back then that frankly you are not talking about the Republican party of today in any shape or form other than the same name. I would argue there is no such thing as a fiscal conservative in government, it is just a matter of where you want to spend money.

So why do Libertarians prefer Republicans? And why do so many republicans pretend to be Libertarians.
posted by edgeways at 8:46 AM on September 18, 2012 [10 favorites]


[I'm not sure which part of "don't make this personal" is confusing for people but this thread will go better if everyone helps. And again, please consider taking side conversation to email with the people who you are specifically talking to so that this thread remains available to everyone. MetaTalk is an option.]
posted by jessamyn at 8:46 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Those who have not already achieved wealth are also the least likely to challenge the status quo--

Yeah, just reverse that. Bad editing job. Sorry!
posted by verb at 8:47 AM on September 18, 2012


Yeah, I actually think it sucks a little bit for corb. This is just another one of those situations where when only one person takes up a side of the argument, all of the sudden the thread is "all about them." I don't find her comments to be derail-y or disrespectful and don't think she needs to take a walk. I also disagree with almost everything she says, and I think I entertain this hopeless fantasy that if people engage with her in good faith, maybe she'll reconsider some of her views.
posted by MoonOrb at 8:48 AM on September 18, 2012 [16 favorites]


Okay, so if there are more videos out there...what is Mitt going to say on them? He's already said "47% of the country are worthless p00rs" and "Israeli/Palestinian conflict: kick the ball down the road," so what is next on the conservative hit list? "Pay for your own birth control, whores"?
posted by sallybrown at 8:52 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


So why do Libertarians prefer Republicans? And why do so many republicans pretend to be Libertarians.

Wish I had a good answer for this question. This recent episode of Point of Inquiry addresses this.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 8:54 AM on September 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


I think that last has been covered pretty well, sallybrown.
posted by Mister_A at 8:54 AM on September 18, 2012


So why do Libertarians prefer Republicans?

Because libertarians don't really want to live in a libertarian society, they just want to masturbate to the notion that if a libertarian society were to actually exist, their superior physical and intellectual faculties would allow them to rise to the top of the heap and look down their noses at the stupid, infantile 'inferiors'. Basically, 16-year-olds.
posted by gagglezoomer at 8:54 AM on September 18, 2012 [22 favorites]


I was thinking about this. My mother voted for Obama. Romney is going Yo Mama on me!

Yo Mama is so democrat she won't take personal responsibility for nobody!

Yo Mama is so democrat she expect the guvment to pay her! Shee-it!
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 8:54 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Corb, you might want to dial it back, and go for a walk or something relaxing.

Meh, I don't think Corb has gotten heated. I mean, I disagree fundamentally and vehemently with close to everything she's said in this thread, but she's not doing anything other than asserting her position calmly and is in fact ignoring some of the more personal comments directed at her.


I agree--she's been calm cool, collected and wrong. That doesn't mean she needs to dial anything back.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:55 AM on September 18, 2012 [10 favorites]


Okay, so if there are more videos out there...what is Mitt going to say on them?

Full-on birther.
Something about guns / rise up in rebellion.

Damn, where's Johnny Carson when we need him?
posted by Lemurrhea at 8:55 AM on September 18, 2012


But from my perspective, it would be easy to avoid that by simply not having the state require that everyone be admitted to hospitals. I understand there are moral concerns there for some people, but purely from a pragmatic sense, does this go further?

Except sick people make other people sick. It is the basic mechanics of how disease and infections spread. If you want to be healthy, you must ensure the sick are treated. Otherwise they become super efficient incubators and carriers of disease and will make you and everyone else sick.

Many Americans, particularly in certain areas, (especially rural ones) have been frustrated at what they see as taking money out of their community and putting it into other communities.

Except that their underlying assertion about money being taken from their rural community to go to some other community isn't true. Just look at the tax flows.
posted by humanfont at 8:58 AM on September 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


So why do Libertarians prefer Republicans?

I think, honestly, some of the reactions that have been appearing in this thread are kind of a good example of why many Libertarians prefer Republicans - because Republicans are the only ones giving them any kind of seat at the table, and talking about the points they are in agreement on more than the ones they disagree.

When you show up, say, "I'm a libertarian," and are immediately met with invective, it's kind of hard to feel welcome in a party. Even if you agree on a lot of positions - like the anti-war, and the reproductive choice, and the "marry whoever you want." It tends to get heated in a way I still don't fully understand.

This is one of the reasons I think we need an actual third party in this country. (Or a fourth party! Or a fifth party!)

I agree--she's been calm cool, collected and wrong. That doesn't mean she needs to dial anything back.

Thanks, guys. I disagree with you politically, but I do have this crazy idea that if we talk about stuff and listen we can understand each other and better world and blah blah blah. :)
posted by corb at 8:59 AM on September 18, 2012 [10 favorites]


Dear David Corn, I know you are busy promoting your book, but you should just post all the videos now.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:59 AM on September 18, 2012


I think, honestly, some of the reactions that have been appearing in this thread are kind of a good example of why many Libertarians prefer Republicans - because Republicans are the only ones giving them any kind of seat at the table, and talking about the points they are in agreement on more than the ones they disagree.

Hook, line and sinker.
posted by unSane at 9:00 AM on September 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


Dear David Corn, I know you are busy promoting your book, but you should just post all the videos now.

What? No. Let there be a steady leak all the way through October. Don't give the media a chance to let stuff go down the memory hole because a Kardashian popped out a baby. Every day that Romney has to defend himself is one day less he has to attack Obama.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:02 AM on September 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


It tends to get heated in a way I still don't fully understand.

Well, you are saying that people like my grandmother (who worked hard at blue-collar factory and warehouse jobs until she was injured in her late 50s) who rely on government support should just starve to death and die in the street, so that might be where the invective comes from.
posted by the young rope-rider at 9:02 AM on September 18, 2012 [68 favorites]


From way upthread:

> We owe it to ourselves to invest in every last citizen, because some kid who is starving right now may be the one. We should educate everyone who wants an education for the same reason.

I can see that logic - but wouldn't that tend to apply only to merit-based scholarships and suchlike?


A kid won't ever be able to compete for a merit-based scholarship if he can't get the application mailed to him becuase he's homeless, or if he starves to death before he starts high school because his family doesn't have food.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:03 AM on September 18, 2012 [10 favorites]


howfar, see #RomneyShambles
posted by memebake at 9:03 AM on September 18, 2012


Romney's said it was inelegantly stated.

i can't believe he thinks there was an elegant way to say it
posted by pyramid termite at 9:04 AM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Eh, perhaps Libertarianism is difficult to take seriously in political arenas because it doesn't work? Show me one place where all the good free people willingly give up their weekends building roads, give so much to charity that no person dies for lack of basic medical care, work out their boundary issues with words instead of war. Where all the drugs are legal without those messy social consequences. Show me the country that prospers under no government.

I'm all for every social liberty, but complex human groups just don't work like that.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 9:05 AM on September 18, 2012 [9 favorites]


I think, honestly, some of the reactions that have been appearing in this thread are kind of a good example of why many Libertarians prefer Republicans - because Republicans are the only ones giving them any kind of seat at the table, and talking about the points they are in agreement on more than the ones they disagree.

When I hear people talk about dismantling the country that generations of my family has shed blood, sweat, and tears to build up, I get mad. And make no mistake about it, that's what libertarians advocate: the dismantling of America.
posted by entropicamericana at 9:05 AM on September 18, 2012 [21 favorites]


Thanks, guys. I disagree with you politically, but I do have this crazy idea that if we talk about stuff and listen we can understand each other and better world and blah blah blah. :)

I'm sure it's just a coincidence that this idea basically guarantees that any conversation you participate in will wind up becoming all about you explaining and restating your beliefs over and over again.
posted by hermitosis at 9:05 AM on September 18, 2012 [13 favorites]


So why do Libertarians prefer Republicans? And why do so many republicans pretend to be Libertarians.

The Republican party deliberately provides pandering narratives that sound good to libertarians. Mostly on the fiscal conservatism front: many libertarians take personal responsibility with a good deal of emotional investment, and are proud of whatever extent they have their personal finances' debt structures under control. With the tendency to discount the importance or even reality of larger social structures, they project their understanding of their own individual structures to understand larger more complex ones. Therefore, the mind-boggling numbers (and let's face it, trillions of dollars are pretty boggling even and especially if you're not innumerate) involved in government debt are categorically bad, debt happens when you outspend your income, and therefore there's strong appeal in narratives that we desperately need to get government spending under control. (This tends to break down in notions of how to go about it, usually in "defense" in conjunction with the authoritarian streak that runs through a lot of libertarians, and the extent to which they respect or geek out about the capacity for projection of force, but consistency isn't the point here.)

Because it's ideologically based (it got mentioned up yonder somewhere there's definite parallels to prosperity theology, and yeah), having friendly pandering narratives secures some loyalty straightaway. It doesn't actually matter all that much that the demonstrable actions of the party don't match that narrative--the GOP does not and has never cared about actual fiscal responsibility in the real world sense of rationally balancing revenue and expenditures, treating debt structures as sometimes dangerous but useful tools instead of a priori bad, using cost-benefit evidence-based analysis of what rational budgets would entail etc, but they say they do so there you go. So the libertarian votes Republican because they at least partially say things they like to hear. The brighter ones realize there's more than little cognitive dissonance involved in that sort of thing, so you get the uncomfortable things about lesser-evils before changing the subject.
posted by Drastic at 9:06 AM on September 18, 2012 [10 favorites]


That's called "wanting to be a pirate."

Unlike Republicans, pirates knew the value of providing health coverage.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:07 AM on September 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


you are saying that people like my grandmother

Right, or that people like 3 of my grandparents and my father shouldn't have had access to the benefits of their military service, including the GI bill programs that got my grandfather his master plumber's license and allowed him to own a home and his own businesses, and my other grandparents their home, and my father his engineering training and access to home ownership and now VA care, all of which combined brought my family from out of the rural and NYC-urban working (starving, in the 30s) class to a middle class existence, with its stability, access to education, safety and health, from which I still benefit today. Now I'm in graduate school, making good money, paying my taxes. Happily. I received opportunities from my country, and my family made sacrifices to be able to take advantage of them, and I'm very grateful that my talents have been able to find expression thanks to all this.

It is, after all, kind of personal when you get right down to it.
posted by Miko at 9:07 AM on September 18, 2012 [22 favorites]


When you show up, say, "I'm a libertarian," and are immediately met with invective, it's kind of hard to feel welcome in a party.

In my opinion it's because while Libertarians and Democrats (or, maybe liberals is a more accurate term (or maybe I'm just kidding myself that those two are different)) share some of the same end goals, they hold opposing world views. The central philosophy that drives my life calls for a world where each of us works to better life for others at the same time we work to better life for ourselves, and the only way to do that in an organized, relatively cost-effective, and non-discriminatory fashion is through a democratically-elected government. The idea that each of us is and basically should be in this alone, free to help others privately but not required to bear his or her responsibility as a citizen to care for others is so strange to me that I find it disturbing and harmful, and it's hard for me not to get angry about Libertarian arguments that run along these lines.

(I sincerely don't mean this to be one of those false set-up arguments where I'm basically describing myself as a "good" person and labeling all Libertarians as selfish, so I hope it doesn't read that way.)
posted by sallybrown at 9:07 AM on September 18, 2012 [10 favorites]


I knew that this would turn into corb vs. the world.

Look:

I really hate how there's this expectation that you have to cater to the MFing mob in order to get elected in this country.

Singapore. It's a country. You can move there. It's run by a wealthy connected elite for the good of "the people."

The USA is a democracy. Don't like that the politicians need to look out for the well being of everyone, at least in name? Tough luck. That mob you refer to is your fellow people and citizens who you are, believe it or not, responsible for. I realize that you have personal reasons why you basically don't like voters, but please don't project your trauma on to the political system of the rest of the country.
posted by deanc at 9:09 AM on September 18, 2012 [23 favorites]


Also there's something about the Libertarian insistence on fighting all forms of "coercion" (i.e. taxes, inconvenient laws) that reminds me of a child screaming "I didn't ask to be born!" upon being notified that she/he too has obligations to the family.

You may not have asked, but here you are and this is what it takes to make things function, so take out the trash.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 9:10 AM on September 18, 2012 [24 favorites]


Okay, so if there are more videos out there...what is Mitt going to say on them?

The Romney-cocoon will split asunder, revealing the adult form of the candidate. Wealthy donors will minister tenderly to their new Romney-queen, feeding it stacks of $100 bills that it will chew into a thick paste for building its nest. As confused elderly, lured with the promise that things can go back to being the way they always were, are led into the room for sacrifice, the video goes dark. It ends with 16 minutes of chanting and horrible, horrible lip-smacking sounds.
posted by logicpunk at 9:10 AM on September 18, 2012 [41 favorites]


When I hear people talk about dismantling the country that generations of my family has shed blood, sweat, and tears to build up, I get mad. And make no mistake about it, that's what libertarians advocate: the dismantling of America.

I hear you, but do you understand on a fundamental level that this is what many of the Opposition probably believes about your party? No matter what party or political position this is. This is exactly what Republicans think about Democrats, and vice versa. This is what everyone thinks about everyone.

In my opinion it's because while Libertarians and Democrats (or, maybe liberals is a more accurate term (or maybe I'm just kidding myself that those two are different)) share some of the same end goals, they hold opposing world views. The central philosophy that drives my life calls for a world where each of us works to better life for others at the same time we work to better life for ourselves, and the only way to do that in an organized, relatively cost-effective, and non-discriminatory fashion is through a democratically-elected government.

I think that actually members of probably all parties would argue that everyone works to better life for others at the same time as they work to better life for themselves - but I think you're right in that people have different ideas about how "the only way to do that" is, or even about what "better life" is, or who the "others" that they're bettering are.
posted by corb at 9:11 AM on September 18, 2012


When you show up, say, "I'm a libertarian," and are immediately met with invective, it's kind of hard to feel welcome in a party.

We have vastly different and opposing political philosophies. There is really very little such think as genuine "libertarians" (in the sense of being anarchists). There are basically a lot of Republicans who would like to smoke pot legally and wish that the legal system was more heavily tilted in favor of property. So when I hear "libertarian", I generally hear, "dude willing to support wars because he likes tax cuts but doesn't want me to think he's a fundamentalist evangelical."
posted by deanc at 9:12 AM on September 18, 2012 [8 favorites]


I dunno, I certainly don't think Democrats see Republicans as wanting to dismantle America in the same way as Libertarians do. And the same is probably true of most Republicans for Democrats.
posted by ominous_paws at 9:13 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think libertarianism contains within it some good elements, if you focus mainly on the social aspects there is some common ground. Where it falls down, and I suspect this is the case for most people here as well, is when we start talking fiscal libertarians, to me that just seems flat out based on selfishness and a willingness to let other people (and whole systems) suffer (and die) as long as individuals get to remain individual.
The Republican party completely ignores the first part, but seems to use the political rhetoric of individualism, in regards to taxation, to try and convince people that ... what...? The Republicans are in favor of less taxes, do you think your life will be truly better without the infrastructure, education, employment, protection, environmental management... taxation provides? because that is just... I dunno... a really friggen huge disconnect.

A seat at the table sounds good, I see how people would be excited about that, but your seat is also being used to legitimize discrimination and a whole host of really regressive social initiatives. Is some vague promise of less regulation and less taxation worth culled voting records, back ally abortions and the continuation of civil rights repression? Is it really worth that? Because Barney Frank said something about those Log cabin republicans that might be applicable.
posted by edgeways at 9:14 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


As confused elderly, lured with the promise that things can go back to being the way they always were, are led into the room for sacrifice, the video goes dark. It ends with 16 minutes of chanting and horrible, horrible lip-smacking sounds.

What have you done to him? What have you done to his eyes?
posted by shakespeherian at 9:15 AM on September 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


I hear you, but do you understand on a fundamental level that this is what many of the Opposition probably believes about your party? No matter what party or political position this is. This is exactly what Republicans think about Democrats, and vice versa. This is what everyone thinks about everyone.


This relativistic nonsense that is completely orthogonal to your question, which was why some people get angry when faced with libertarian beliefs. People answered it. If you genuinely think that anyone might be right (you don't) then I don't see why you even identify yourself as having a libertarian viewpoint.

The reality is that some people think you're wrong, and saying "well I think YOU'RE wrong" won't change that.
posted by the young rope-rider at 9:15 AM on September 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


I hear you, but do you understand on a fundamental level that this is what many of the Opposition probably believes about your party?

In what way would you say that "the Opposition" sees Democrats as "dismantling America?"
posted by Miko at 9:17 AM on September 18, 2012


I hear you, but do you understand on a fundamental level that this is what many of the Opposition probably believes about your party? No matter what party or political position this is. This is exactly what Republicans think about Democrats, and vice versa. This is what everyone thinks about everyone.

Libertarians and neocons advocate dismantling New Deal Programs that are now about 70 years old, give or take. In my eyes, that is like advocating for the restoration of slavery in the 1930s. That is a lot different than Eisenhower Republicanism. The modern GOP is a dangerous, reactionary party.
posted by entropicamericana at 9:19 AM on September 18, 2012 [12 favorites]


[Folks, please take the "talk to corb about Libertarianism" derail and questioning to MeMail. She's been totally decent here, but the blog structure makes this seem like a pile-on and it's far afield from the topic here.]
posted by jessamyn at 9:21 AM on September 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


Indeed, the Democrats have really become the conservative party in the sense that they're the ones fighting to maintain the longstanding public sector that enabled so many great national achievements -- the Hoover Dam, Social Security, rural electrification, the Interstate Highway System, the Internet, men on the moon, etc. Whereas the GOP are the ones now pushing for sweeping change in service of an increasingly radical ideology.
posted by Rhaomi at 9:23 AM on September 18, 2012 [14 favorites]


Thanks, Jessamyn. I am totally up for Memail if anyone is actually curious/wants to discuss offline. If you are in NYC I may even extend it to beer if I ever actually get out for a meetup ever.
posted by corb at 9:23 AM on September 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


There nothing if not quick:

Obama Ad about the 47% "gaffee"

posted by edgeways at 9:24 AM on September 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


In what way would you say that "the Opposition" sees Democrats as "dismantling America?"

I subscribe to a lot of conservative and Republican mailing lists, news feeds, etc. I would say that they see Democrats as "dismantling America" in every conceivable fashion. It is an article of faith that Democrats are in the process of tearing apart the fundamental core of the country that has made or society strong, effective, and good.

I disagree with them, obviously, but corb's point is a fair one. MetaFilter has a lot of varied and interesting perspectives on a lot of things, but there's no disputing that there aren't a lot of conservative and/or libertarian voices when political issues come up. I don't think it's fair to say that she's "making the conversation about her" or whatever when she's just engaging in the same kind of discussion that everyone else does on MeFi. She's just the outlier in the group with a particular viewpoint, and she's discussing these issues with a degree of clarity and respect that I would hope we can all muster.

I think the ideas she advocates would result in the destruction of civilization as we know it, but then, that's what makes the discussion so interesting!
posted by verb at 9:24 AM on September 18, 2012 [12 favorites]


I didn't love the Obama ad, admittedly because I think I'm further to the left and don't have to worry about being misquoted and such.

Good that they're playing a whole bunch of the actual clip. Get it out there. But the reaction comments were kind of bland. "Out of touch", "I wouldn't vote for him", etc. I wanted something more like "of course people are entitled to food, I volunteer at my church's soup kitchen for that reason."

Although the dude with the kid talking about class division as a bar for the presidency was good.
posted by Lemurrhea at 9:29 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


romney's responsibility map
posted by changeling at 9:30 AM on September 18, 2012 [12 favorites]


Who doesn’t pay taxes, in eight charts
posted by zombieflanders at 9:32 AM on September 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


Where I work I see a lot of people who are applying for government programs (especially ones they don't financially qualify for) who have enough resources to make sure they get extra social services, all the while often decrying Obama specifically and Democrats generally. These people pay almost no taxes, but live in upscale gated communities, have nice late model cars, often have savings & investments that make my Humanities mind boggle, yet they are "indigent" on paper so that the government will pay for their doctors, home health aides, etc. These people are surely squarely in that demonized 46%, but don't recognize that fact. For some reason, it's only government assistance when it goes to brown people.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 9:32 AM on September 18, 2012 [9 favorites]



Where Libertarian philosophy fails is that it cannot allow for a power vacuum. The notion that if you got rid of government people would make good choices has never been borne out historically. There are a few reasons for this.

First - governments will form. Sometimes they are cultural (no white shoes after labor day!) sometimes they are religious (No meat on Fridays!) sometimes they are economic (if you don't kick up to Tony Soprano, you're gonna get your knees broken).

You can never be free of government.

Second. Individually optimal decisions can have sum total sub-optimal outcomes. Littering, for example. Or exiting a burning building. Often, it is better to have a higher level of organization than the individual.

Third, the conceit that rational self interest actually exists. Nobody is perfectly rational all the time, and most people aren't terribly rational all that often. And then they can mis-assess what their best interests actually are.

I have never met the libertarian who even acknowledged these effects. But they are real - any cursory study of human history will provide ample examples of the failures of libertarian policy.

But you know what they say about learning from history....
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:32 AM on September 18, 2012 [11 favorites]


Wow, that Romney's Responsibility Map image is fierce.
posted by overglow at 9:37 AM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


I have to say, I am not a big fan of how the Obama campaign is using the 47% quote. It’s really obvious he’s talking about the fact that he’s not going to go after their votes. It’s sort of a “you didn’t build that” rehash, which is silly.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:39 AM on September 18, 2012


Just like clinging to guns and religion, right?

Obama's "guns and religion" comment was also made at a fundraiser, but the difference is that Obama was trying to explain white Republican working class voters to the limousine liberals who would sneer at them, whereas Romney really has nothing but contempt for any voting bloc who doesn't vote for him.
posted by jonp72 at 9:39 AM on September 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


It’s really obvious he’s talking about the fact that he’s not going to go after their votes.

Romney said that he'll never be able to convince them to take responsibility for their lives.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:40 AM on September 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


It tends to get heated in a way I still don't fully understand.

IME, because libertarianism, especially libertarianism of the purist variety, manages to combine pie-in-the-sky utopian schemes with a complete indifference to the effect those schemes might have on people in the real world.

Regards the topic, even Matt Welch writing at Reason thinks Romney blew it, even from a libertarian point of view:
"[Romney's description of the 47%] is economic determinism at its worst, going against the very message the Republican Party was trying to sell to the world during its quadrennial national convention last month. Over and over again, we heard speakers there talk about how their immigrant grandparents came to this country, worked hard, built "that," never asked for a handout, and as a result their descendants have enjoyed the American Dream of ever-upward mobility. What the 53/47 dividing line says, to the direct contrary, is that income status is a permanent political condition, defrocking all Americans of agency and independent thought.

Most people at some point will be part of the 47 percent (indeed, nearly most already are). When my friends and I were comparatively poor, as people often are in their 20s and early 30s, we (for the most part) didn't "believe" that we were "victims," didn't "believe the government has a responsibility" to care for us, and didn't vote for Democratic political candidates "no matter what." We mostly took personal responsibility and care for our lives, and acted according to our idiosyncratic individual values and whims.

I should theoretically be the target audience for this stuff. I never took out a federally guaranteed student loan, never enjoyed the mortgage-interest deduction; I worry all the time about government spending and entitlements, and I am not unfamiliar with the looter/moocher formulation. But this kind of reductionism does not reflect individualism (as David Brooks charges), it rejects individualism, by insisting that income tax is destiny. It judges U.S. residents not as humans but as productive (or unproductive) units. (Though as long as people are thinking that way, is there any category of resident less taker-y than illegal immigrants with fake Social Security cards who file income taxes?) And it prematurely valorizes one class of government-gobbling Americans while prematurely writing off another."
posted by octobersurprise at 9:40 AM on September 18, 2012 [11 favorites]


Romney said that he'll never be able to convince them to take responsibility for their lives.

Sure, but that’s not the same as saying they don’t matter.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:43 AM on September 18, 2012


When you show up, say, "I'm a libertarian," and are immediately met with invective, it's kind of hard to feel welcome in a party. Even if you agree on a lot of positions - like the anti-war, and the reproductive choice, and the "marry whoever you want." It tends to get heated in a way I still don't fully understand.

Let me just quote you and try to explain.
Well, properly speaking I'm a libertarian rather than a Republican, but no, I don't think people are entitled to food, housing and health care. Can you explain why you do? To me, those are things that can be earned, and are valuable because of that.
What you have just said is that you think that at least two of my friends should have been allowed to literally starve to death years ago (before I met them in both cases) due to a mix of mental health issues and bad luck. What you have just said is that some of my friends should have been made homeless in the last year. What you have just said is that my little sister should have never received the heart surgery she had three months ago.

You are literally saying that some of my friends should be dead, my little sister should be dead, and a couple of my other friends should be sleeping on the streets, in one case either with young children also on the streets or being forcibly removed from her children.

You literally want my real life friends and family dead. And you wonder why things get heated?
posted by Francis at 9:43 AM on September 18, 2012 [83 favorites]


It’s really obvious he’s talking about the fact that he’s not going to go after their votes.

In case it's not clear, Romney literally said
I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."
posted by muddgirl at 9:43 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I love the fountain pen nib shirt that the gentleman is wearing in the above linked above linked video. That is all.
posted by RolandOfEld at 9:43 AM on September 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


It is an article of faith that Democrats are in the process of tearing apart the fundamental core of the country that has made or society strong, effective, and good.

I understand that's the rhetoric, but I would like to hear the specifics. What, specifically, are Democrats supposed to be tearing apart?

Because when I think of "dismantling," I think of Republicans seeking to dismantle the social structures and systems built over the 20th century that have been responsible for the US becoming a leading nation. There is something there to dismantle, if you want to.

What is it Democrats could be described as "dismantling?" What programs or structures are they imagined to be taking apart?

I suspect "traditional marriage" is one thing on the list, but most Democrats who favor marriage equality aren't trying to dismantle it at all - just ending discrimination.
posted by Miko at 9:43 AM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


corb I haven't said this publicly, and it's pretty uncomfortable. I have ovarian cancer. We've known about it since May, which is when I started searching for a doctor where I was who would take an uninsured self pay patient. None would, except one who could schedule an appointment for the end of June. I have had no biopsy and haven't been able to see a gynecologist in that time.

My yearly exam (that I paid for! In January!) didn't cause my provider at that time to be concerned a gyn issue, despite my having brought a list of concerns that, in hindsight, fit. I thought it might be Hashimoto's Thyroiditis because that runs in my family and is pretty easy to treat. I planned to move to be closer to family and to live with my boyfriend. I did legwork in advance of the move and had a job lined up. The job disappeared when I moved. I had set up a doctor appointment for post move. Then I didn't have a job (as you may recall). So I needed to be seen in the county health clinic, and I felt fairly urgently, since this is cancer. So the new doctor tells me that my pap is from January and that more than 6 months is too old for a referral to a gynecologist,m according to the rules. I have to get new pap smear and new bloodwork. For $100. Which I don't have because I don't have a job. So then my phone gets turned off, because I don't have a job. Finally, in August, I get a job, and make an appointment for the repeat tests. 4 days before the repeat tests, I find myself in excruciating pain. Cannot stand up, crying, terrified. I've been warned that this might be my ovary being twisted by the weight of the tumor. Cutting off the blood supply and causing the tissue to die. A dead ovary is not something you leave in an abdomen.

But I've had worse pain. I describe this as an 8 out of 10. I want to lie down. Why? Because I can't pay. And it's a Sunday afternoon. I cannot go get an ultrasound on my own to check out if it's twisted, if I go anywhere, it's the ER. And I think of the ER as a place for people in dire straits- gun shots and heart attacks. I don't think of the ER as the place to go for cancer. I don't think of myself as a person going to the ER for medical care. Also, I have recently gotten a job. A job that offered health insurance which would cover a yearly max of two days of hospitalization! They got an Affordable Care Act exemption on the minimum amount of coverage required. Because they asked nicely.. A job I don't want to lose by missing the next day. The pain might pass. Pain usually passes, right? Just give me some advil and this will pass after a nap.

And my boyfriend is frustrated. He says to me, "I'm tired of this, and sometimes I think I'm more tired of this than you are." He grew up with money. He is used to these kinds of things just getting taken care of. You go to the doctor, the bill comes later, insurance pays it and the rest you just write a check for. He felt like if I just wanted health care badly enough, I could just go out and get it. And if this were a friend of mine, I'd tell her to go.

So. We go to the ER. I get the ultrasounds that show there is no twisting. They offer no explanation for why I might be in so much pain. Because this is not defined as a surgical emergency, they send me home with prescriptions for pain and anti nausea medications. The pain continues to come in waves for days, and the doctor who collects my pap sample looks at my date of last period and tells me the pain is from ovulating (about 30 seconds after we review that I am still taking my birth control pills that prevent ovulation). I've ovulated before. I know from mittelschmertz. This is not ovulation.

A few days later I call work back to check in, because the pain is finally starting to be manageable without the narcotics they prescribed (because they could tell I was really in pain). I'm told by the assistant manager that I'm not being put back on the schedule. Not because of the health thing. But because I'm just not a good fit with the team.

A few days after that, the manager of the place calls my boyfriend's cell, doesn't leave her name or a number or her connection to me and just says "bilabial told me she's in the emergency room, you're her emergency contact person, can you have her call me." So I'm confused, but we talk and it turns out I'm unfired because she didn't know he'd fired me. I go in the next day to work. A week after that I'm fired for real because she doesn't like my attitude while she slams around the place complaining that she can't train us to do our jobs better because we suck so bad at our jobs. The workplace was toxic, but I needed the money, so I was desperate to stay.


And you're going to tell me that you don't think you want to contribute $200 or $20 or even $2 a year so that folks in my situation can get health care? That my inability to get a job in this crappy economy is my fault? That my not having family to pay my medical bills ought to doom me to slow death by cancer or necrotic tissue? That the pain of this tumor (which even before the ER was constantly at a 4 or a 5, making walking or even standing up uncomfortable most of the time, and making me cry when I am alone) is something I should just endure while I continue to search for a way to pay to have it taken out and investigated? That if I need chemo or radiation I should just die instead?

Thanks. I'll keep that in mind while I'm trying to find a doctor to cut this cancer out of my guts. If I'm lucky, I'll find one who will bother to see if they can leave the ovary. But I can't be picky. Taking the whole ovary is faster, and a few people have reminded me that you only need one....

I am one of the faces of this election. Getting and keeping a job is nearly impossible as a person with depression. Add cancer and pain and a crappy economy and folks who are all about the bootstraps and just work harder and just think yourself out of your mental illness and just find a way to pay for surgery that isn't leaning on the public dole and what is this, I don't even.
posted by bilabial at 9:44 AM on September 18, 2012 [244 favorites]


It’s really obvious he’s talking about the fact that he’s not going to go after their votes.

That's part of the message, true. But he also confounds Obama's 47% of the voting base with the 47% paying no federal income taxes -- really muddy, that. Too bad the Obama video cut off the sentence right after that recording: "I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."

That contempt is ugly and thoroughly deserves to be called out.
posted by maudlin at 9:44 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sure, but that’s not the same as saying they don’t matter.
"[M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."
If that's not saying "they don't matter", then it's a very serious misstatement indeed. I think it's very reasonable to parse this to mean, "I can't help people who won't help themselves."
posted by muddgirl at 9:45 AM on September 18, 2012


> Romney said that he'll never be able to convince them to take responsibility for their lives.

Sure, but that’s not the same as saying they don’t matter.


Technically, no. But it's actually kind of worse.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:46 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I get what you guys are saying. I just think the cut out map is not very well done.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:47 AM on September 18, 2012


Clint, Libya, '47%': It doesn't get any rougher than this.
posted by ericb at 9:51 AM on September 18, 2012


I can see that logic - but wouldn't that tend to apply only to merit-based scholarships and suchlike?

And do you even know who gets the bulk of "merit" scholarships?

Middle class or well to do white kids. Who had the background of lots of books in the home and connections to science museums and field trips and an encouragement of their curiosity. And enough food on the table that their tiny elementary school brains could focus on learning instead of worrying about hunger.
posted by bilabial at 9:52 AM on September 18, 2012 [13 favorites]


corb I haven't said this publicly, and it's pretty uncomfortable. I have ovarian cancer.

I am trying to adhere to Jessamyn's request that we stop the libertarian derail, but I didn't want you to think I hadn't read this. I am so sorry that you have cancer. I hope that you make it out okay, and I'm sorry you had a terrible-boss work experience on top of that.
posted by corb at 9:56 AM on September 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


I understand that's the rhetoric, but I would like to hear the specifics. What, specifically, are Democrats supposed to be tearing apart?

Because when I think of "dismantling," I think of Republicans seeking to dismantle the social structures and systems built over the 20th century that have been responsible for the US becoming a leading nation. There is something there to dismantle, if you want to.

What is it Democrats could be described as "dismantling?" What programs or structures are they imagined to be taking apart?


The rhetoric usually falls into three categories. I'll outline them as I hear them -- there's usually a LOT of densely packed assumption in each of these tracks, but they come up so frequently that I think it's safe to say that they're consistent themes.
  1. Democrats are trying to dismantle our nation's military, ceding our position of strength and influence in the wider world.
  2. Democrats are trying to dismantle the economic and social assumptions about success, perseverance, and equality that have made our country great. By extracting wealth from those who work hard and succeed, then giving it to those who do not, they create perverse incentives and threaten the "engine" of American society.
  3. Democrats are trying to dismantle the moral and societal structures that made America cohesive and strong for centuries. ("America is great because she is good," etc.)
None of those are explicit policy objections. Rather, they're a framework for understanding Democratic and progressive policy -- a way of perceiving the things you describe as "Building up a society" as tearing down that same society. That kind of fundamental semantic disconnect is really troubling to me, and I think that we're in a very dangerous place as a country. High-stakes political campaigns, where most incentives favor fight-til-you-win give-no-ground rhetoric, are the only time we seem to have society-wide discussions about these issues. That all but ensures the underlying disconnects get treated as a feature rather than a bug.
posted by verb at 9:58 AM on September 18, 2012 [8 favorites]


David Brooks: Thurston Howell Romney.
posted by ericb at 10:01 AM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


David Brooks: Thurston Howell Romney.

Holy shit! David Brooks says something intelligent.
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:06 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


The contempt here for libertarianism is the same as the contempt those arguing for a flat earth. Reason, evidence and science are not going to change the libertarian's positions. It is hard not to be frustrated when things like reason, evidence, history and science are proscribed from the discussion and instead we are left with a litany of unproven assertions, race baiting, anecdotes, narrowly crafted hypothetical scenarios and whose uopian fantasy world is better.
posted by humanfont at 10:06 AM on September 18, 2012 [11 favorites]


"Romney is the most opaque presidential nominee since Nixon, and people have been reduced to guessing what his true feelings are. This video provides an answer: He feels that you're a loser. It's not an answer that wins elections."*
posted by ericb at 10:07 AM on September 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


"My job is not to worry about those people"

In a way-- he's right. That's not his job. It's much more important than whatever his job is. It is his duty. As an American citizen and as a human being.
posted by goHermGO at 10:07 AM on September 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


Must be his magic tingly leg (Brooks saying something intelligent)
posted by edgeways at 10:08 AM on September 18, 2012


In my experience, the majority of "I got sick" stories end with a "terrible work-boss experience" of some kind or another. That's why I support subsidized health care plans that are completely divorced from who you work for or whether you work for someone at all. It's also great for businesses who are no longer forced to walk the fine line of make hiring/firing decisions based on the health of their employees without breaking any laws.
posted by muddgirl at 10:08 AM on September 18, 2012 [33 favorites]


Pundits: Mitt Romney Fundraiser Comments His 'Darkest Hour,' 'Utter Disaster' (VIDEO).
posted by ericb at 10:09 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Come on, if we didn't have a government, private charities would happily cough up millions of dollars for your treatment! Isn't that blindingly obvious?
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:11 AM on September 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


verb, that sounds about right. Now, I know the regular membership believes those points lock, stock and barrel. But what do the elites, the broadcasters, policymakers, movers and shakers think? Are they self aware of their hyperbole or is there some sort of ourorboros thing goes on that they believe their own hype?
posted by FJT at 10:12 AM on September 18, 2012


Has any pundit broken down what percentage of Romney's own base is included in that 47% of people who don't pay federal income tax? Considering that it includes students, retirees, military, and some middle-class families with children, it's got to be a number that Romney's campaign staff has at the front of their minds this week.
posted by muddgirl at 10:13 AM on September 18, 2012


Bilabial, irrespective of anything else in the thread I just wanted to say I'm sorry to hear of your situation, thank you for writing about it and I hope things get better.
posted by edgeways at 10:16 AM on September 18, 2012 [10 favorites]


I am quite tired of people saying destructive, damaging things - true or untrue, though with the recent Republicans they have often been based on lies - then acting as if there is no way that their words could have affected other people's temperaments.
Suggesting people should die if they can't afford the price of living is an offensive idea, not just 'another point of view', and is strongly akin to one of my other personal bugbears, which is people demanding tolerance for their intolerance. If someone's views are intolerant, then it is not an act of intolerance in return to not accept them.

That's not even touching the advancement of ideas and then quickly backpedaling, a very 'Some people say...' tactic particularly beloved of Fox News.
posted by gadge emeritus at 10:17 AM on September 18, 2012 [18 favorites]


I should say some students, retirees, and military members.
posted by muddgirl at 10:18 AM on September 18, 2012


There's a partial answer to that question (muddgirl) in the comment by no regrets, coyote.
posted by Eyebeams at 10:18 AM on September 18, 2012


Sure Brooks is right but it is always sad when pundits have to point out that some people on welfare might be white so he better watch what he says in public.

Say what you want about Mittens but that guy is looking good. I think the press conference was just to show off his tan. I wonder if his check shirts are just brooks brothers or some rich guy brand I don't even know about. He kinda reminds me of this read dickhead salesman I used to work with who was always pleading poverty because he couldnt sell one of his houses after construction on his mansion had finished.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:18 AM on September 18, 2012


corb: "corb I haven't said this publicly, and it's pretty uncomfortable. I have ovarian cancer.

I am trying to adhere to Jessamyn's request that we stop the libertarian derail, but I didn't want you to think I hadn't read this. I am so sorry that you have cancer. I hope that you make it out okay, and I'm sorry you had a terrible-boss work experience on top of that.
"

A laudable sentiment. However, proper taxation and healthcare means you have to rely on hope a lot less.
posted by Happy Dave at 10:18 AM on September 18, 2012 [35 favorites]


Mother Jones to release full video today.
posted by ericb at 10:18 AM on September 18, 2012


David Brooks: Thurston Howell Romney.

When the Republican has lost David freaking Brooks...
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:25 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mother Jones to release full video today.

In response to Romney's requests. He sure knows how to keep his bad press going for another news cycle.
posted by grouse at 10:25 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's as simple as this. The widespread delusion that one's success is owed to one's own merit, diligence, intelligence, or effort *justifies* and rationalizes privilege and hierarchy.
There were two maggots, on the blade of a shovel. Someone picked up the shovel, slung it over his shoulder and started down the road. As he walked along, the shovel was jarred with each step. The maggots hung on for dear life, but ultimately, they fell off. One fell into a crack in the pavement, and the other fell into a cat - a very large, very dead cat - lying beside the road. The one who fell into the dead cat, immediately began to eat. He ate and ate and ate. Finally after three days, when he couldn’t eat anymore, he humped himself up over the edge of the road and began to look for his brother. He came to the crack in the highway, and peered into it.
“Are you down there brother?” he called.
“Yes, I’ve been down here for three days without a bite to eat or a drop to drink and I am nearly starved to death. But you, you are so sleek and fat! To what do you attribute your success?”
“Brains and personality, brother, brains and personality.”
posted by mikepop at 10:26 AM on September 18, 2012 [36 favorites]


Isn't entitlement to food, housing, and health care something we Americans provide for people in jail?
posted by mkultra


I had a distant relative who was a habitual repeat offender for this very reason... womp womp.
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 10:31 AM on September 18, 2012


All I know is that David Corn has earned himself all the delicious sammiches he can eat for his entire life
posted by angrycat at 10:40 AM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah I'm not sure what else there could possibly be left to say if the person on the other side of the discussion literally* believes people who can't afford food or to go to the hospital, should simply die.

At that point I don't really believe there's any common ground. There certainly isn't "common decency". Depressingly, this comment isn't (just) about corb.

* Yes, literally.
posted by danny the boy at 10:42 AM on September 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


If you ever tune into NPR and it sounds like James Woods is portraying a GOP strategist character for Diane Rehm, that's David Brooks.

He's about as establishment-Republican as one can get. This is the end of the Romney Campaign, and its failure is already being laid at the feet of the Objectivists, Libertarians and Tea-Partiers. I don't think there's anything they can do - Ailes and Lindbaugh and Norquist rule the party too completely. The only solution is to break away, and try to nestle into the Democratic party as "Moderates."
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:42 AM on September 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


It’s interesting that the person who taped the video initially went after Rachel Maddow, and the Maddow show decided they’d never be able to confirm it as real.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:43 AM on September 18, 2012


All I know is that David Corn has earned himself all the delicious sammiches he can eat for his entire life

As has Jimmy Carter the IV.

It’s interesting that the person who taped the video initially went after Rachel Maddow, and the Maddow show decided they’d never be able to confirm it as real.

What?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:44 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I like how Donald Trump's ad for Romney continues the "rage against an empty chair" leidmotif of Eastwood's speech. SYNERGY!
posted by klangklangston at 10:46 AM on September 18, 2012


The Washington Post reports on Romney's hastily called press conference in response to the video:
A handful of reporters were brought in a few minutes too early, while aides were still assembling four flags (two U.S. and two Californian) and the blue curtain backdrop, and Gorka told the reporters to leave. The journalists waited in a nearby interior room, where the cellphone signal was so spotty that network television producers struggled to coordinate with their production desks in New York and Washington. The news conference was so hastily arranged that there was not time for the networks to arrange to carry it live. They would have to play it old-school, by feeding a tape.

A few moments later, at about 7 p.m., Romney, in a dark suit and a blue striped tie, stepped out to the podium. He made a short statement, looking down occasionally. Kevin Madden, his senior most aide traveling with him here, stood behind the dark curtain, looking anxious as he peeked out to watch.

posted by overglow at 10:47 AM on September 18, 2012


What

They intially uploaded a lo-rez clip under a fake Rachel Maddow account to YT. Maddow & co couldn't confirm that it was really Romney so didn't run with it. Was on last night's show.
posted by unSane at 10:47 AM on September 18, 2012


Wait. Jimmy Carter's grandson helped leak the video?

That makes me feel like Carter has been playing some kind of twelfth-dimensional chess since the 1980 election.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:47 AM on September 18, 2012 [48 favorites]


Brandon, per the Maddow show last night, when the video was originally uploaded to YouTube, it was under the name “RachelMaddow”, presumably to get her attention, I guess. It GOT her attention, and she said she spent a long time trying to authenticate it, and decided they’d never be able to.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:47 AM on September 18, 2012


According to the article ericb linked, Mother Jones is posting the full video (40-50 minutes) in two parts at 2:30 PM and then Neil Cavuto of Fox News is interviewing Romney at 4 PM. For those of you who want to time your corn-popping correctly.

I am almost more excited to hear the kinds of questions the fundraising attendees ask Romney than I am to hear Romney's answers...
posted by sallybrown at 10:48 AM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Despite the faint praises above, even when David Brooks is right, he's wrong.

I let it slide when you lumped him in with the Dickens villains. I bit my tongue when you brought in Scrooge McDuck. But I cannot stand by and let anybody taint the name of Thurston Howell, III in name of Romney-bashing. Howell knew something about loss (the Great Depression turned them from billionaires to millionaires!) Sure, he was a New England Yankee elite, but he was also a real life job creator (how often did he and Lovey employ Gilligan for something or another) -- and speaking of Lovey, Mrs. Howell, as wikipedia reminds us, had a deep sense of noblesse oblige. In the worst of conditions, the Howells were the best type of wealthy people.

I have no doubt that the Romneys would trade you to the stereotypical natives or feed you to the smoke monster before you could say 'three hour tour.'
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:51 AM on September 18, 2012 [16 favorites]


In America, you don't vote for the person you want, you vote against the person you don't want. What a country!
posted by blue_beetle at 10:51 AM on September 18, 2012


Haven't had time to keep up with the wingnut response to all this, but I'm gonna call it now... "Liberal media seizes on Romney gaffe to deflect attention from terrorism against US embassies. Don't worry about the details of either story, just trust us that Romney hates the same welfare cheats that you do, and Obama apologizes to terrorists."
posted by Rykey at 10:52 AM on September 18, 2012


I am almost more excited to hear the kinds of questions the fundraising attendees ask Romney than I am to hear Romney's answers...

"What if we use these freeloaders you speak of as food? Surely they can be sanitized to a standard worthy of feeding to the help, or dressage horses, family pets and the like. I have heard it said they taste like chicken."
posted by eyeballkid at 10:52 AM on September 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Blogger Andrew Sullivan gets a tad angry, when a reader compares Romney's gaffe to Obama's 2008 "cling to guns and religion" statemate:
"[M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."

He did not say: "I'll never convince them they should vote for me." He accused 47 percent of Americans of choosing not to "take personal responsibility and care for their lives." He's describing half the country as parasites, bleeding the productive half dry. Half the country. He includes me, an Obama supporter, who pays three times the tax on my income that Romney does, who immigrated at 21, whose parents never went to college, and whose blog now employs five people.

You know what, Mitt? Fuck you.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:53 AM on September 18, 2012 [14 favorites]


Quote from Jimmy Carter IV (the grandson):

But Carter also confirmed there is a personal side to the backstory of the campaign video: he was especially motivated, he said, because of Romney's frequent attacks on the presidency of his grandfather, including the GOP candidate's comparisons to the "weak" foreign policy of Carter and Barack Obama.

"It gets under my skin -- mostly the weakness on the foreign policy stuff," Carter said. "I just think it's ridiculous. I don’t like criticism of my family."


The whole story, of out-of-work Carter grandson doing oppo research on Twitter and tracking down the mysterious video-er, then getting it exposure...that's a great story.
posted by emjaybee at 10:54 AM on September 18, 2012 [17 favorites]


"What if we use these freeloaders you speak of as food? Surely they can be sanitized to a standard worthy of feeding to the help, or dressage horses, family pets and the like. I have heard it said they taste like chicken."

YOU MAY REMOVE YOUR SHOES! YOU MAY REMOVE YOUR WIGS!
posted by sallybrown at 10:55 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ann Richards' quote about being born on third base and thinking he hit a triple has rarely been so on point.

Ann Richards: "Poor George Mitt. He can't help it. He was born with a silver foot in his mouth."
posted by ericb at 10:55 AM on September 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


A rant on a completely different part of that video:

One of my biggest 'political correctness' pet peeves is when a relatively privileged (usually white dude) says "So-and-so would be so much easier if I was a minority!" It is almost never true, and it is shameful pandering to the powerfuls' irrational feelings of inadequacy.
posted by muddgirl at 10:57 AM on September 18, 2012 [13 favorites]


the public teat is a mass of tentacles right now that reach almost everything

What country is this? It certainly isn't the United States. Romney makes similar statements that are not true.

If the likes of Romney/Ryan gain power, the States will become a sort of Westeros.
posted by juiceCake at 11:02 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow, Scott Brown fell behind Warren in the polls. How did this happen? He was at 55% to win on Intrade the last time I checked and now he's at 42%.
posted by Golden Eternity at 11:03 AM on September 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Wait. Jimmy Carter's grandson helped leak the video?

Please refer to him by his actual name: Tha Carter IV
posted by Greg Nog at 11:06 AM on September 18, 2012 [42 favorites]


Looks like Scott "Truckasaurus" Brown has to refuel that truck and get driving! If he drives by EVERY voter in MA with his truck, we might vote for him!

Does Warren even drive a truck? Can we trust her to vote on any potential truck based votes that come up in the senate?
posted by haveanicesummer at 11:07 AM on September 18, 2012


Wow, Scott Brown fell behind Warren in the polls. How did this happen? He was at 55% to win on Intrade the last time I checked and now he's at 42%.

Trickle-down Romneynomics
posted by sallybrown at 11:08 AM on September 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


I miss Ann Richards! What a witty, sharp and intelligent person she was!
posted by ericb at 11:08 AM on September 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


I keep seeing Romney's vile comments dismissed as "exciting his base." But it's after the conventions -- the time a presidential campaign traditionally seeks to reach out to more moderate voters. If Romney is still preoccupied with throwing his base red meat, their either he has access to what Karl Rove called "the numbers" -- that is, he sees overwhelming base turnout as the key to victory -- or, more likely, his campaign is simply doomed.
posted by Gelatin at 11:10 AM on September 18, 2012


Who are Mitt Romney’s ‘47 percent’?
posted by ericb at 11:11 AM on September 18, 2012


I think, to a more watered down perspective, this is essentially the conservative position (and perhaps Romney's position) on many of these things: that private charity is more meaningful because it is voluntary, while still having the ability to be very effective.

From the countries I've lived in, it seems startly plain to me that private charity is completely ineffective (seriously - I can't even walk in a US city without stepping around beggars and homeless and sick and insane - when I first came here it felt like stepping into stories of the dark-ages), whereas in countries that use a public safety net, the people are healthy, there aren't all the beggars and homeless everywhere, it demonstrably works where private charity doesn't..

Private might give better warm fuzzies, but it doesn't work. Warm fuzzies are not as good as actually making a massive difference.

posted by anonymisc at 11:11 AM on September 18, 2012 [29 favorites]


Wow, Scott Brown fell behind Warren in the polls. How did this happen?

1) Warren has a great ground game - lots of shoes on pavement.

2) The conventions were big, really big. It got a lot of fence-sitters and equivocators to get up and pick a side by demonstrating that both sides were not the same.

3) The rats are leaving a sinking ship... Brown is seen as a libertarian sweetheart, and those are rapidly becoming as anathema to the mainstream. Political doom awaits those even remotely connected to Romney or what will most assuredly be labeled Romneyism before too long.

The Dems might just retain the Senate by running candidates that are demonstrably non-nuts - be sure to thank the Tea Party, Focus on the Family and Romney.
posted by Slap*Happy at 11:12 AM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


"The overall impression of Romney at this event is of someone who overheard some conservative cocktail chatter and maybe read a conservative blog or two, and is thoughtlessly repeating back what he heard and read."-Rich Lowry at National Review Online
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:16 AM on September 18, 2012


Did anyone else think of Lonesome Rhodes' career-ending moment?

Saw the movie again a couple of weeks back and at the time I doubted whether such an unveiling could ever be possible nowadays (assuming that it was possible at the time "A Face In The Crowd" was filmed - after all, it was only a movie, right?).

I'm feeling a little more cheerful now that, well, I guess it is!
posted by Currer Belfry at 11:16 AM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


At this rate pretty soon we'll hear Akin demand that Romney step aside for the good of the party.

(shamelessly stolen)
posted by edgeways at 11:18 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


(I use the USA as an example of the failure of private charity because the USA has a great culture of charity, and puts its money where its mouth is with powerful financial incentives for people to give to charity, not just powerful social incentives. And yet private charity here is still such a dismal failure compared to public programs I've lived under. The USA also seems to be the developed country that is most reliant on private charity)
posted by anonymisc at 11:19 AM on September 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


I think the Senate stays D and the house stays R (perhaps with a reduced majority). 2014 we are kinda fucked in the Senate however.
posted by edgeways at 11:19 AM on September 18, 2012


It all makes sense now. Mitt is applying pick up artist techniques to the election and is negging potential voters.
posted by drezdn at 11:22 AM on September 18, 2012 [17 favorites]


Wow. I hope this hurts him. FU, Mitt.
posted by agregoli at 11:27 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh man, I hope Mitt tells me he thinks I look so much prettier without so much makeup on because too much makeup makes me look like a slut. Then I can throw my drink at him, making sure to aim for the iphone in his shirt pocket.
posted by elizardbits at 11:27 AM on September 18, 2012 [11 favorites]


Speaking of Akin, looks like his push to convince women he isn't an ignorant woman hating jackass includes campaign appearances by none other than Phyllis Schlafly... that certainly is a message of going forward.
posted by edgeways at 11:29 AM on September 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Then I can throw my drink at him, making sure to aim for the iphone in his shirt pocket.

Either that or his motherboard.
posted by clearly at 11:30 AM on September 18, 2012 [9 favorites]


Up top someone wondered why Romney wanted to be president anyway. Here in a short scene is how I imagine Mitt Romney deciding to run for president:

EARLY APRIL, 2011. MITT AND HIS TAX GUY BOB ARE SITTING IN BOB'S OFFICE.

BOB: Mitt, your write-downs from '08 zeroed out your Federal taxes for the last couple of years, but there's no way we can get your payment for 2010 under about 13%.

MITT: Phooey on that! That's 13% fewer jobs I can create. Find a way.

BOB: Sorry, Mitt, but even after hiding a hundred million dollars in your IRA, you just have too much income to shelter completely. The rates are low on carried interest and capital gains, but they're not zero.

MITT: Could we make them zero?

BOB: ...what?

MITT: Could we just make the tax rate on my income zero?

BOB: Well, no, Mitt, only the Congress can do that, and the President would have to sign it into law. I don't think that's going to happen.

MITT: BY ALL THE GODS OF KOLOB, IT WILL!

posted by nicwolff at 11:30 AM on September 18, 2012 [17 favorites]


I think the Senate stays D and the house stays R (perhaps with a reduced majority). 2014 we are kinda fucked in the Senate however.

The House still has a tiny potential to swing D and if people work at it, it can happen. Especially now.

What I think hardcores are missing is that Romney wasn't a candidate Dem-leaning people were excited to beat before; he was a dull technocrat, and nobody really gets hepped up about beating a dull technocrat. However, Romney has just said (or as good as, anyway) FUCK YOU, YOU'RE PARASITE SCUM to the entire Democratic base and half of the country. Romney just made it personal, and that never is good, especially when you're behind. Voter suppression techniques only work when the base isn't desperate to vote, and now they will jump through any hoop to vote against Richie Mitt, and that means the downticket races benefit as well.
posted by mightygodking at 11:30 AM on September 18, 2012 [10 favorites]


Sooo, just wondering, whatever happened to that bitcoin "auction" for romneys tax returns?...followed the links inside, but really can't make heads or tails of bitcoin...did the quota get met? are we going to see them? Is it total b.s.?
posted by sexyrobot at 11:31 AM on September 18, 2012


Voter suppression techniques only work when the base isn't desperate to vote, and now they will jump through any hoop to vote against Richie Mitt, and that means the downticket races benefit as well.

Unless they think it's already sewn up and they don't need to.
posted by corb at 11:32 AM on September 18, 2012


I think the Gore fiasco took care of that. People seem to be in a mood where Mitt is clearly a colossal screwup, someone we don't want to elect, the President has the lead, but there is way too much at stake to sit at home. I keep seeing posts from people saying they weren't going to get involved, and were just going to vote, but the more Mitt talks, the more people decide the have to actually get involved and campaign and help out.
posted by cashman at 11:37 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


We've had 70 years to judge the efficacy of Social Security for the elderly and the profoundly/permenantly disabled vs private charities that came before. At some point one should set aside sophistry for empirical evidence. Don't be upset if we look at you as a lunatic when you persist.
posted by humanfont at 11:38 AM on September 18, 2012 [13 favorites]


Man blames more than 100,000,000 US citizens for the fact that he is losing an election. Says they won't take personal responsibility for their lives.
posted by airing nerdy laundry at 11:40 AM on September 18, 2012 [15 favorites]


Mother Jones just released the full 49-minute video of the private fundraiser
posted by prinado at 11:41 AM on September 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Mother Jones just posted the whole video!
posted by grapesaresour at 11:41 AM on September 18, 2012


When will Mother Jones release the whole video?!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:42 AM on September 18, 2012 [17 favorites]


Oh I can't wait for the debates.
posted by Theta States at 11:44 AM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


I keep seeing posts from people saying they weren't going to get involved, and were just going to vote, but the more Mitt talks, the more people decide the have to actually get involved and campaign and help out.

And too, stuff like this is a reminder to get off your ass and register to vote. If even I, someone who believes incredibly strongly in my duty and obligation as a citizen to vote, was getting lazy about re-registering since moving counties, I know there are thousands of others who have similarly put off registering because it just wasn't urgent enough yet. This news about Romney made me fill out the damn form and mail it in rather than waiting until the last minute, because Romney just made it even more personal than it already was.
posted by yasaman at 11:48 AM on September 18, 2012


How is Mitt as a debater?
posted by drezdn at 11:48 AM on September 18, 2012


The House still has a tiny potential to swing D...

Sure, but it is also possible the Senate swings R.

I hope the House swings and we can get rid of a lot of Tea Party deadwood, that would be fantastic, I think it is an outside chance at best, not completely impossible, just unlikely.

Unless they think it's already sewn up and they don't need to.

ayup, new numbers out of Virginia though should collapsing enthusiasm amongst Republican voters for Romney. he is now not only polling about 8 points behind Obama, but is underwater in the Very Enthusiastic category (45% to Obama's 61% ). Dunno how it plays out in other states but Virginia is looking more and more like a lost cause for Romney, which makes his path to victory really flipping hard. With the strong/favors/leans Obama wins already.. and if he wins WI Obama can give up both FL and OH and still win the election.


And oh... my kingdom to see a new, well conducted poll of GA, because it was just a 3 point difference pre conventions.
posted by edgeways at 11:48 AM on September 18, 2012


How is Mitt as a debater?

Masterful.
posted by Lemurrhea at 11:50 AM on September 18, 2012 [16 favorites]


The House still has a tiny potential to swing D and if people work at it, it can happen.

Whaaa? I thought the House staying Republican was pretty much a done deal? Odd that Democrats aren't pushing to take back the House.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:50 AM on September 18, 2012


drezdn:
"How is Mitt as a debater?"
He's a master debater.
posted by charred husk at 11:50 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Odd that Democrats aren't pushing to take back the House.

The R landslide in 2010 let them gerrymander the country rather effectively.
posted by drezdn at 11:51 AM on September 18, 2012


Mitt Romney masterbates. <-- ziiiiing -- Ha!
posted by mazola at 11:54 AM on September 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


But that's not to say some aren't pushing: Speaker Pelosi Project
posted by mikepop at 11:54 AM on September 18, 2012


It's hard to imagine Romney's staff could prepare for a significant event as poorly as they did for his acceptance speech at the convention, but I'm expecting to see a repeat performance at the debates, especially if people start jumping ship. These are clearly not people who are going to realize they are going astray, introspect, and change direction as a result of it. They're going to double down on what won them the nomination and I think there is definitely the potential for it be a spectacular disaster.
posted by feloniousmonk at 11:54 AM on September 18, 2012


This video is kind of telling, for those who are paying attention. It looks like it was shot from the servant's table, by one of the servant employees. The shot is framed by Golden Chalices. You hear the silver clank on the plates as they eat their meal while the servants buzz about, food and wine bottles in hand. Mitt just has no humility in his demeanor, an apparent side effect of his opening babbling about trying to come from a position of strength. You just need Cube or Dre's voice going "Here's what they think about you" interspersed in the clip every so often.
posted by cashman at 11:56 AM on September 18, 2012 [9 favorites]


So, half an hour later, there's NOTHING else in this 49 minute video that someone can point out?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:56 AM on September 18, 2012


In the full video he accuses Obama of carrying a "tiny stick". I think the most interesting point is that for a fair amount of the video people are just chowing down on their 50k prime rib, and some even seem to be carrying on their own conversations. While Mitt is talking about missle testing, he just seems stranded up there like some opening act. Pretty clear he is the water carrier in that room.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:56 AM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


drezdn:
"The R landslide in 2010 let them gerrymander the country rather effectively."
Have I bitched enough about the gerrymandering in northern Ohio? I don't think do. Marcy Kaptur's district could be used in a textbook illustration.
posted by charred husk at 11:57 AM on September 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Mitt is known as an excellent debater on any subject he is able to prepare well on, but to have difficulty speaking off the cuff.
posted by kyrademon at 11:57 AM on September 18, 2012


There are low expectations for Romney at the debate. All he has to do is show up and make a decent point or two and people will say "Hey, he's not so bad."

Obama has to show up and absolutely shine, in order for people not to say he's lost his edge.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:58 AM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Man, I hate the debate-expectation game. "Well, Bob, since my candidate did not actually panic and devour his own shoe, as popularly predicted, this counts as a clear win."
posted by kyrademon at 12:01 PM on September 18, 2012 [35 favorites]


Obama has to show up and absolutely shine, in order for people not to say he's lost his edge.

Someone made that point in a previous thread, and I agreed. But I did see a reuters report a week or two ago that actually put it on Mitt to knock it out of the part, citing his having gone through debate after debate after debate this year - something like 15 debates, while the President has not stepped on a debate stage in 4 years.

So really, Mitt should look pretty good in these debates, from this year's practice.
posted by cashman at 12:02 PM on September 18, 2012


I think Romney has too much ground to cover for detailed prep. I agree that he is a fine speaker when he is on script, but I think he has too many weaknesses to have a script to cover every opportunity. He is bound to make a significant mess somewhere and if I had to bet, it'd probably be in relation to Iran or the region.

I expect to see a more concerted effort than usual to reduce, eliminate, or somehow pre-determine the debates.
posted by feloniousmonk at 12:02 PM on September 18, 2012


He is bound to make a significant mess somewhere and if I had to bet, it'd probably be in relation to Iran or the region.

Given the way he's run his campaign, if, as president, he did ever have to invade Iran, he'd send the Marines to Nebraska.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:05 PM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Mitt Romney is better toned because he came off 20-plus primary debates. President Obama has not been on a debate stage in four years," Schroeder said. [NPR]
posted by cashman at 12:07 PM on September 18, 2012


Mitt Romney did not win ANY of those debates. That's a stupid quote.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:10 PM on September 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Romney's big problem in the debates is that his campaign isn't honest. His strategy so far has been to criticize Obama for fostering a culture of dependency and for constantly apologizing for American values. Meanwhile he has an unspecified plan to "create" jobs. This approach barely works when you're preaching to the converted (or talking to an empty chair), it's simply not going to stand up when the other guy is in the room and is ready for you.

The most effective political attacks are grounded in the truth. That's why the out-of-touch private-equity guy who doesn't care about ordinary people is struggling now.
posted by leopard at 12:10 PM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


So, half an hour later, there's NOTHING else in this 49 minute video that someone can point out?
I figure if there were anything super-quotable in it, it would have shown up in my Twitter feed by now.
posted by dfan at 12:11 PM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure how Romney is going to prepare to counter the multitude of possible attacks available.
-Taxes (personal)
-Unwilling to talk much about his religion
-Tax plan, lack of specifics
-Inability to name loopholes to trim
-Poor foreign policy forays
-Trying to capitalize on Diplomat's death
-Dismissive to 47% of population
-Etch a Sketch
-Money in off-shore accounts
-Bain, Outsourcing, firing
-ROMNEYCARE
-Anti Choice
-Gay rights
.
.
.

Romney has to look and sound Presidential, he also has to WIN the debates which means attacking and being nimble on your feet, he can attack somewhat but nimble? The gyroscopic ankle retrofits are not available on the model.
posted by edgeways at 12:11 PM on September 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


His other big problem in the debates, as the Ezra Klein link says, is that debate seem not to matter in terms of moving the electorate.
posted by gerryblog at 12:12 PM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


dfan, that's what I figure, too. Oh, well.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:12 PM on September 18, 2012


Someone made that point in a previous thread, and I agreed. But I did see a reuters report a week or two ago that actually put it on Mitt to knock it out of the part, citing his having gone through debate after debate after debate this year - something like 15 debates, while the President has not stepped on a debate stage in 4 years.

Yeah, the President has only had to field reporter questions and make speeches pretty much every day. I bet he's gone all soft!

I've never seen "good in debates" Mitt, but then maybe I couldn't in the carnage of crazy that was the Republican debates. I do remember him offering to bet some large sum...1,000 or 10,000?...if some other candidate would prove something or other, and people rolling their eyes, because don't we all have a few grand in our pockets?

But hey, maybe he'll score points right and left in the debates and leave Obama reeling. I have difficulty picturing that, but I could be wrong.
posted by emjaybee at 12:13 PM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, and those debates where a bunch of folks clamoring on how tough they are, and how they deserved the votes of a small rabid primary voting base. No nuance all big dick talk, and even there he did mediocre. I kinda doubt the same strategy will work on a GE debate and if there is one thing Mittens has shown is he just doesn't grok how to run a GE campaign.
posted by edgeways at 12:16 PM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mitt Romney masterbates.

Oddly, of all the things people have said about Romney, I find that the hardest to believe.

I heard the Mother Jones guy talking this up on yesterday's Rachel Maddow (I find the whole thing so depressing I can only take it filtered through left wing rah-rah), and he was saying something about Romney's speech video and an orgy of some description? Can anyone expand on that? I was having flashbacks to the last reel of Society.
posted by Grangousier at 12:17 PM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


A bit of a derail, but something I like to put out there:

I am a small business owner. I have paid taxes. I have been on food stamps and unemployment benefits. I have scraped-by on such a small amount of money at full time 2-dollars-above-minimum wage-jobs that I have gotten significant tax returns under the Earned Income Tax Credit that (I believe) George W Bush felt I deserved. I have felt I was "gaming the system" by stretching out my welfare benefits long enough to build a business that's now paying all sorts of taxes and insurance, and buying things and creating jobs. I still fear tax time every year, but not as much as I fear getting sick or injured under my not-great medical insurance, and I'd gladly pay more taxes if it meant something better.

There are many different types of poverty, many different types of welfare recipient, and many different types of "success" stories. My blue state presidential vote isn't gonna count for much this year, but it's still getting cast against Romney.
posted by elr at 12:18 PM on September 18, 2012 [31 favorites]


This is the second time in a week that I have been able to watch a political campaign absolutely implode in real time. It is simply astounding. If I were a Republican, or if this was a Democratic candidate, I would by aghast. How do actual Republicans feel about this? Do they understand the actual damage being done here (I know some of their pundits seem to), or are people still buying the "media lies/stabbed in the back/conversation with ourselves" narrative that we've seen so far?


Given the way he's run his campaign, if, as president, he did ever have to invade Iran, he'd send the Marines to Nebraska.

Well...Omaha and Isfahan sound so much alike.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:19 PM on September 18, 2012


an orgy of some description

Marc Leder, the host of the party at which Mitt gave the 47% speech, is a fan of bunga bunga parties.
posted by sallybrown at 12:21 PM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


In the video:
talking about how the hostage crisis and the failed rescue mission Desert One were pervasive issues through the 1980 election. “if something of that nature presents itself I will work to find a way to take advantage of the opportunity.”
(I bet he nearly creamed his pants with joy when the Libyan embassy was attacked)
posted by edgeways at 12:21 PM on September 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


Around 2:50 into the second video, one of the attendees is challenging Mitt, and makes an example of saying 'it costs 4 cents to make a penny - why doesn't American stop making pennies? Canada just did. Round it to the nearest nickel. I want to see you take the gloves off and start talking to people who care about knowing the facts, and knowledge is power - as opposed to people that are swayed by what sounds good at the moment'

He then says something I can't quite make out - "if you turned it into a" ....something skill? "...it'd be a landslide in my opinion".

Mitt's response? "Well I wrote a book, and there is stuff on my website. I don't really think that stuff will have much of an impact."

Mitt then expounds on how his advisers have worked on campaigns around the world and how essentially they are just crafting ads that work.

Nice, Mitt. Like screw having any kind of a personal identity, Mitt, or having principles you believe in, or an approach that you bring to the table. He just wants to win the election. You could take him out and substitute Santorum, or Gingrich, or a pair of cartoon rocks.

And for you guys who are clamoring about the video and what's in it, watch it and transcribe it, or please don't just gum up the thread with nonsense chattering about what you think is or isn't in it. It just got released.

It's a great look at Mitt just wanting to have the title "President". You can see he isn't thinking anything about the middle class, or really anything but becoming president. He simply lacks the humility to realize he would be in charge of leading the country, and have to visit poverty stricken areas, clean up after disasters, or live with knowing policies he put in place resulted in the deaths of military members or old folks. I wouldn't expect him to show every single emotion in this one video, but almost all of his videos contain that same demeanor - a sense that he'd just like to hurry up and get the title, please. That all this process is annoying and these messy people are annoying, and that he wants to be president so he can go to fundraisers and hobnob as the president, and be able to cavort with other rich folks where he can now look down his nose at even them.
posted by cashman at 12:23 PM on September 18, 2012 [15 favorites]


And they worked on campaigns in Albania? Did I hear that right?
posted by jrochest at 12:24 PM on September 18, 2012


“if something of that nature presents itself I will work to find a way to take advantage of the opportunity”

Wow, that's disgusting.
posted by sallybrown at 12:25 PM on September 18, 2012


The first debate is going to be great. Instead of an opening statement, Romney is going to have a Jimmy Stewart hologram ridicule a credenza.
posted by benito.strauss at 12:25 PM on September 18, 2012 [9 favorites]


The Mitt-Romney-pretty-good-debater camp basically says that Mitt knew his job in the primary debates, which was to show up and stick to the script -- establish right-wing bonafides, take down whoever was the not-Romney that week, and then sit back and let the circular firing squad do the rest, leaving him still the frontrunner when the dust cleared. The "$10,000 bet" thing was a major screw-up, yes, which is one of the reasons it's said he's not so good with the improvising.

The conventional wisdom is that if he can "stick to the script" in the presidential debates, he'll do his job and look fine, but if he gets thrown off by something, he might flounder.
posted by kyrademon at 12:28 PM on September 18, 2012


It remains to be seen how this will be picked up by the MSM media.
It was one of the main stories on the local (non-cable) news in Chicago last night. Teasers all through the premier of Evolution and then a lead story. I guess there wasn't enough shootings to fill the newscast per usual yesterday.
posted by Bunglegirl at 12:28 PM on September 18, 2012


Well there is a lot of what you would expect in the video. He says, in effect, the president is leading a divisive campaign against the rich. Back in the olden days poor people never wanted anything from the rich, they just wanted to be rich themselves. Some minorities are ok because they know their place, like Marco Rubio, who incidentally agrees that the poor are mooches.

There are some funny bits where he gets outright given what for by rich ladies.

I'm sure I am missing a lot over the din of silverware clattering against fine china. I would love to have 50k to sit 10 feet from Obama and be able to finger wag at him.

Just watch it. It is a fascinating look at something most of us will never attend even if there are no more gotcha moments.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:29 PM on September 18, 2012 [4 favorites]



Marc Leder, the host of the party at which Mitt gave the 47% speech, is a fan of bunga bunga parties.


To be fair, I like a little bunga bunga now and then so I don't want to slam the guy for his extracurriculars. On the other hand, I'm not hosting campaign events in my home for the presidential nominee of a party that paints itself as being morally superior to bunga bunga, so...
posted by palomar at 12:32 PM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Mitt Romney is better toned because he came off 20-plus primary debates.

Recall Jon Stewart's remark following Romney's performance at the CNBC "Your Money, Your Vote" debate: "How bad is it at this point? In our coverage of Romney's clinching debate, we need not even show you highlights of Romney, but merely the spontaneous combustion of his opponents."

Man, I'll bet Herman Cain is watching Romney right now and just cold shouting "Nein! Nein! Nein!"
posted by octobersurprise at 12:32 PM on September 18, 2012


Fact Check: Mitt Romney's '47 Percent' Claims Wildly Inaccurate.
posted by ericb at 12:32 PM on September 18, 2012


Mitt Romney's '47 Percent' Includes Real-Life Millionaires.
posted by ericb at 12:33 PM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


To be fair, I like a little bunga bunga now and then so I don't want to slam the guy for his extracurriculars.

I concur. Ain't nothing wrong with a little nude pool-cavorting!
posted by sallybrown at 12:34 PM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


I feel for Tim Pawlenty. Dude dropped out way too soon.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:34 PM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Politico: '47 percent' recording may be illegal
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 12:35 PM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


When a Plutocratic Dinner Doomed a Presidential Campaign
(Spoiler alert: 1884)
posted by Horace Rumpole at 12:35 PM on September 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


Give you good odds Timeh runs against Franken in two years for the Senate seat.
posted by edgeways at 12:36 PM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I feel for Tim Pawlenty. Dude dropped out way too soon.

I understand all of those words individually but in this context they are somehow meaningless
posted by mightygodking at 12:38 PM on September 18, 2012 [3 favorites]



And they worked on campaigns in Albania? Did I hear that right?


No, he said Elbonia.
posted by entropicamericana at 12:41 PM on September 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


Obama/Biden have released a campaign commercial regarding Romney's 47%.
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 12:44 PM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


That's the same ad as this morning, for anyone reading the thread.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:45 PM on September 18, 2012


Politico: '47 percent' recording may be illegal

I do hope that Mit or the GOP presses charges.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:47 PM on September 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


I feel for Tim Pawlenty. Dude dropped out way too soon.

*Droopy Dog voice*

What about Jon Huntsman? Everyone always forgets Jon Huntsman.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:49 PM on September 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


I feel for Tim Pawlenty.

I feel for Jon Huntsman. Attractive, charming, funny, smart; he was the Republican Obama. I still think he could've had the country eating from his hand, if he'd made it through the primaries.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:49 PM on September 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Who would they press charges against? Anne Nonymous?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:49 PM on September 18, 2012


If the Obama team is going to be so rapid response, next time Mitt says something unbelievable I'm going to have to 'casually' walk slowly from the train past their HQ so I can give my 'man on the street' response... though I guess it's likely it might happen on my way home tonight too.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:50 PM on September 18, 2012


[off topic: I ran out of favorites in this thread. I didn't think it was possible, always seemed like people were joking when they wished for more faves to dish out. ]

on topic, the thing that has always pissed me off when Romney and others paint this picture of people who use government assistance as moochers and freeloaders is that they are so fucking out of touch with the world they're criticizing that it's not even funny.

I can assure you that those of us who ate the government cheese and relied on a host of other social programs to prevent our lives from descending into absolute hell were not sitting around laughing about how we sure were putting one over on Uncle Sam and the U.S. taxpayer. We *hated* that shit. We hated the food, we hated the shame of paying with food stamps, we hated every aspect of it.

Romney and libertarians should listen to the music that comes from the percentage of the population they deride. Go listen to the old blues and country songs: you'll hear more than a few laments about the fact that the singer is trying hard to find a job and can't find anything. Rap musicians have been making fun of people on welfare since the art form took its first steps.

It just doesn't make any goddamn sense to vilify people in need of assistance like this. Sure, a few people are going to game the system but why does the thought of poor folks and Others scamming the government produce blue hot rage in the hearts of Romney and so many others while tales of corporate fraud elicit, at most "Yes, they shouldn't do that and they should be held accountable" spoken with flat affect?
posted by lord_wolf at 12:51 PM on September 18, 2012 [33 favorites]


Further proof of the Romney/Zalinsky connection.
posted by deanklear at 12:55 PM on September 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


Odd that Democrats aren't pushing to take back the House.

- The R landslide in 2010 let them gerrymander the country rather effectively.


Anyone who wants to learn more and hasn't seen it yet, the main link in this post from early Monday morning is a detailed analysis of why it will be hard for Dems to defend the Senate in 2014, let alone re-take the House:

Republicans’ dominance in races throughout the country in the 2010 elections eviscerated the Democrats’ farm teams in state after state...It is difficult to overstate how much damage Democrats suffered in 2010 and how much it cost the party in terms of governorships and control of state legislatures, as well as the next generation of Democratic leaders across the country.
posted by mediareport at 12:56 PM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Mitt Romney is better toned because he came off 20-plus primary debates. President Obama has not been on a debate stage in four years," Schroeder said. [NPR]

This is of course why we had those landslides by Presidents Mondale, Dole and Kerry.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:57 PM on September 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


Via Andrew Sullivan's site:


“Running for president in the YouTube era, you realize you have to be very judicious in what you say. You have to be careful with your humor. You have to recognize that anytime you’re running for the presidency of the United States, you’re on.”



Mitt Romney, 2007. Apparently, he flip flopped on that opinion as well.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:57 PM on September 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


Can anyone tell what the attendee is saying in the second video at 3:24? What strategy he is saying would result in a landslide in his opinion? I can't quite tell.
posted by cashman at 12:57 PM on September 18, 2012


(oops...link)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:57 PM on September 18, 2012


"Mitt Romney is better toned because he came off 20-plus primary debates. President Obama has not been on a debate stage in four years," Schroeder said. [NPR]

I could probably gain lots of confidence playing 20 pick-up basketball games against fifth graders, which would quickly evaporate once I tried playing a game against former NBA players.
posted by perhapses at 1:01 PM on September 18, 2012 [14 favorites]


This is of course why we had those landslides by Presidents Mondale, Dole and Kerry.

Mitt has been debating a good amount of this year. Nobody said it would win him the debate or the election. 20+ debates is not like 3, or 4. Mitt sounded confident in the video about his debate skills, and the President has not stepped on a debate stage in years. I'd love for Obama to wipe the floor with Mittens, since Mitt seems to not care about being president to help the country. However, Obama is rusty, and Mitt has had lots of practice. Those are just the facts. It doesn't mean Mitt will win the first debate, but it does mean that he should fare pretty well. It doesn't mean Obama will lose the first debate, but it does suggest that he will fail to capitalize on some opportunities, and in general, look rusty debate-wise.
posted by cashman at 1:04 PM on September 18, 2012


One more thing about the video. Some people are rich because they really are smart. One guy in particular recomends that Romney attack from the left by painting Obama as beholden to entrenched elites. He proposes doing this by aligning OWS and the tea party, in their hatred for corruption and selling to the same elites who are being protected by telling them that if there were sudenly a free-for-all, they could make tons more money as the government is no longer protecting their enemies.He says pretty much you can get everyone together to tear down the government, each for their own personal reasons.

His recommendation for Romey's first act as president, fire the SEC and FTC.

Can anyone tell what the attendee is saying in the second video at 3:24?

I got the jist as kill them with cold hard fact, stop pandering to the moment. I don't think he said anything about skill, I heard something like "go in for the kill". I think Romney dissmissed him with the book, and how awesome his peeps are because Romney thinks you can't get elected treating voters as adults.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:04 PM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Barney Frank Blasts Mitt Romney's 'Galling' Attack On 'Disabled Veterans, Elderly'.
posted by ericb at 1:09 PM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I could probably gain lots of confidence playing 20 pick-up basketball games against fifth graders, which would quickly evaporate once I tried playing a game against former NBA players.

I hope Romney knows that Obama can't dribble to his right.

oh no i've said too much
posted by mcstayinskool at 1:10 PM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I got the jist as kill them with cold hard fact, stop pandering to the moment.

Yeah I got the gist of it when he spoke - he made it pretty clear with his examples, and I knew Mitt would run from any approach that required facts and presenting a critiquable case, but I'm interested in just what phrase he used. What terminology that was.

I just listened again - it's the phrase "eat what you kill". So kind of again speaking to the idea of a leaner government, back to the cutting out the 4 cent penny, et cetera.
posted by cashman at 1:12 PM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


perhapses: I could probably gain lots of confidence playing 20 pick-up basketball games against fifth graders, which would quickly evaporate once I tried playing a game against former NBA players.

Not to mention all he had to do with that circus troupe of fifth graders was outflank them on the Right with policies Attila the Hun would approve of (self-deportation anyone?).

Playing nuance and trying to appear compassionate and center-ish right moderate with a stone cold disciplined debater like Obama is going to result in spastic commentary from the Mittser that's going to me internet gold methinks.

I, honestly don't know how the Mitt-Bott doesn't spazz the fuck out and overload / blow out his cyborg brain unit.
posted by Skygazer at 1:13 PM on September 18, 2012


“if something of that [hostage crisis] nature presents itself I will work to find a way to take advantage of the opportunity.”

Um... wow. I was suspicious this was taken out of context, but I just listened to the bit in the video where he said it. Wow.

The Libya comments and the Scrooge McFundraiser schtick, fused into a transcendental singularity of campaignfail.

Too perfect. Can't process. Should have sent a poet.
posted by saturday_morning at 1:13 PM on September 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


He didn't even WIN against the 5th graders.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:14 PM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


I just listened again - it's the phrase "eat what you kill". So kind of again speaking to the idea of a leaner government, back to the cutting out the 4 cent penny, et cetera.

Ahhh.. makes perfect sense. You can't spend unless you cut.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:15 PM on September 18, 2012


My white male millionaire friend is voting for WHO!?!.
posted by ericb at 1:16 PM on September 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


Post-moocher bounce?
posted by zombieflanders at 1:22 PM on September 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


Who would they press charges against?

Hopefully the intertubes. ALL OF THEM.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:23 PM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I had copied that link to paste it here, zombieflanders. RAND tracking poll is kinda cool.
posted by MoonOrb at 1:24 PM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think Mittens wants to be president because he has daddy issues, he wants to achieve something his dad would be proud of him for. He just seems like such an over-compensating asshole to me, not to terribly unlike Bush Jr.

Yep. And he really isn't all that interested in governing.

Romney was such a failure as a governor. He's running away from his signature achievement: Universal Health Care for residents of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It's called 'Commonwealth' for a reason!

Many were/are upset that Romney went around the country dissing Massachusetts during his last year of Governor. He only ran for 1 term, so as to put it on his résumé and then could say that he successfully ran for public office. Transparent opportunism.

His performance was lackluster. In his previous run for President Flip Romney tried to downplay his poor performance as governor ... and made many disparaging comments about Massachusetts in the process.

As well, "[i]n 2006, his last year as governor, Romney spent all or part of 212 days [58%] out of state, laying the foundation for his anticipated presidential campaign."* "[He] [v]isited 35 states; built a national network [for his run for President].*

HE HAD NO INTEREST in running the State. He was using his governorship as a springboard for his Presidential ambitions. The guy has no 'core.' No 'center.'

Oh, and another tidbit: "The cost of the Governor's security detail for out-of-state trips increased from $63,874 in fiscal year 2005 to a cost of $103,365 in the first 11 months of fiscal year 2006."
posted by ericb at 1:25 PM on September 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


Cashman: I'm not hearing "eat what you kill." However, here's what I get:

(finishes up a discussion about pros/cons of minting pennies, then...) I want to see you take the gloves off and talk to people that [sic] actually read the paper, read a book, and care about knowing the facts and... knowledge is power! As opposed to people that [sic] are swayed by, you know, what sounds good at the moment. You know, I, if you turned into an ebrew chakel it'd be a landslide, in my humble opinion. Heh, heh, heh.

Which is to say, nothing. Maybe a noun. Something "smart" because "knowledge is power!" and Mitt, in his opinion, should really take of the gloves and do the hard work of addressing people who read, not those other people.

I see there was wine, so maybe that explains the slurred speech.

I also wonder if the video was taken from the service table, which would mean that all the rich folks who never see "the help" anyway didn't notice that the help was taping them. Would be awesome if true.
posted by Houstonian at 1:25 PM on September 18, 2012


As governor, Romney faced similar economic situation as Obama -- with similar results..
posted by ericb at 1:25 PM on September 18, 2012


if you turned into an ebrew chakel it'd be a landslide, in my humble opinion. Heh, heh, heh.

"Hebrew shekel"?
posted by MoonOrb at 1:30 PM on September 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Cashman and Houstonian - how about "evil shrill"? That's what I thought I heard, and it works in the context of Houstonian's transcription - and would explain the kind of jokey attitude toward the end? Very hard to hear clearly though ....
posted by cdalight at 1:31 PM on September 18, 2012


I also thought that a few times - I saw a server "deliberately" - stay out of the way of the camera while doing what they needed to at the table the camera was on.
posted by cdalight at 1:32 PM on September 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm pretty sure the attendee says "Eat whatcha kill".
posted by cashman at 1:33 PM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I also thought that a few times - I saw a server "deliberately" - stay out of the way of the camera while doing what they needed to at the table the camera was on.

Oh for sure - you could also see someone come and adjust the golden chalices to make sure there was a clear view.
posted by cashman at 1:34 PM on September 18, 2012


if something of that nature presents itself I will work to find a way to take advantage of the opportunity

So he anticipated the crisis and still fucked up his response.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:35 PM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Just went back and listened again - I agree Cashman, he does say "eat whatcha kill"
posted by cdalight at 1:37 PM on September 18, 2012


One Million Strong Against Mitt Romney in 2012.
posted by ericb at 1:37 PM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


From Romney's interview on Fox News today: "I think people would like to be paying taxes."

Yes, that's the message your party has been hammering on for years!
posted by perhapses at 1:38 PM on September 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


I think that is "eat what you kill" although it's an odd phrase in that context to me.
posted by MoonOrb at 1:41 PM on September 18, 2012


The issue's not what Mitt Romney said or whether he hunts people for sport
posted by hap_hazard at 1:41 PM on September 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


"Eat what you kill" makes sense to me because I have heard it in a business context ( it is also used in pool, you get high or low ball based on what you sink first, but that is neither here nor there). It always means we have a fixed budget and if we want to "eat" new expenses, we have to kill another expenditure first

I also thought that a few times - I saw a server "deliberately" - stay out of the way of the camera while doing what they needed to at the table the camera was on.

I think they all knew it was there. I am pretty sure they will just question the entire catering staff and catch someone.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:42 PM on September 18, 2012


Ooh, how I hate the phrase "Eat what you kill"! Every time I have had a boss or manager use that phrase in a workplace environment, it translated into "I am going to exploit the hell out of and then not pay you a cent, and all of your co-workers are going to do everything in their power to screw you."
posted by vibrotronica at 1:45 PM on September 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Charlie Pierce is writing like some kinda goldanged avenging angel or something
You wanted me to be authentic and you got it, both barrels, gold-plated with a lovely mahogany stock, perfect for killing varmints. Put me on a podium in front of an auditorium full of mouthbreathers I wouldn't hire to park my car and I turn into an ice sculpture. But put me in a room with sentient piles of currency, and I can relax and explain the way the world works in the only language they understand, the only language that counts. I speak Money, bitches, and if you didn't learn it when you were young, there ain't no Rosetta Stone you can use to play catch-up now. We spoke Money at home. We spoke Money at prep school. Parlez-vous franc? Sprechen sie Deutschmark? You don't speak Money, you don't speak to me, because, well:
I'm Mitt Romney, bitches, and I'm all you got left.

posted by hap_hazard at 1:46 PM on September 18, 2012 [12 favorites]


They need to claim the video was shot by Ms. Bunbury and I'll love them forever.
posted by winna at 1:47 PM on September 18, 2012


s a detailed analysis of why it will be hard for Dems to defend the Senate in 2014, let alone re-take the House:

538 is currently predicting a good chance that the Democrats will retain the Senate, although Silver admits that it is very volatile.
posted by muddgirl at 1:49 PM on September 18, 2012


This seems relevant to some of the discussion here:
The background to so much of the politics of the past four years is the mood of apocalyptic terror that has gripped so much of the American upper class.

Hucksters of all kinds have battened on this terror. They tell them that free enterprise is under attack; that Obama is a socialist, a Marxist, a fascist, an anti-colonialist. Only by donating to my think tank, buying my book, watching my network, going to my movie, can you - can we - stop him before he seizes everything to give to his base of "bums," as Charles Murray memorably called them.

And what makes it all both so heart-rending and so outrageous is that all this is occurring at a time when economically disadvantaged Americans have never been so demoralized and passive, never exerted less political clout. No Coxey's army is marching on Washington, no sit-down strikes are paralyzing factories, no squatters are moving onto farmer's fields. Occupy Wall Street immediately fizzled, there is no protest party of the political left.

The only radical mass movement in this country is the Tea Party, a movement to defend the interests of elderly incumbent beneficiaries of the existing welfare state. Against that movement is a government of liberal technocrats dependent on campaign donations from a different faction of the American super-rich than that which backs Mitt Romney himself.

From the greatest crisis of capitalism since the 1930s, the rights and perquisites of wealth have emerged undiminished - and the central issue in this election is whether those rights and perquisites shall be enhanced still more, or whether they should be allowed to slip back to the level that prevailed during the dot.com boom.

Yet even so, the rich and the old are scared witless! Watch the trailer of Dinesh D'Souza's new movie to glimpse into their mental universe: chanting swarthy mobs, churches and banks under attack, angry black people grabbing at other people's houses.

It's all a scam, but it's a spectacularly effective scam. Mitt Romney tried to make use of the scam, and now instead has fallen victim to it himself.
I guess it makes sense to at least be paranoid and self righteous if you're actually rich. Because you're isolated, deluded, and only listening to an echo-chamber.

But if you're not actually rich and are making these arguments as though you're coming down from on high to lecture us peasants on how it really is, then you're either blind, dishonest, and/or much less informed than you should be.
posted by deanc at 2:02 PM on September 18, 2012 [16 favorites]


This bit from the NYTimes piece just makes me wonder about the utter cluelessness of Romses and his campaign managers

Cluelessness doesn't really capture the Romney campaign: Romney tells 533 lies in 30 weeks.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:06 PM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


10 more comments to 1,000. I just want to say good luck Metafilter, we're all counting on you.
posted by mcstayinskool at 2:06 PM on September 18, 2012 [12 favorites]


Surely you can't be serious?
posted by zombieflanders at 2:10 PM on September 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


muddgirl: "s a detailed analysis of why it will be hard for Dems to defend the Senate in 2014, let alone re-take the House:

538 is currently predicting a good chance that the Democrats will retain the Senate, although Silver admits that it is very volatile
"

That's for 2012. The point is that 2014 looks tough for Democrats in the Senate, mostly because 20 of the 33 seats up for election are Democrats, and 6 of those 20 are in red states.
posted by Perplexity at 2:10 PM on September 18, 2012


I'm totally serious. And stop calling me Shirley.
posted by mcstayinskool at 2:11 PM on September 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


Leaked `47 percent’ video is awful politics for Romney (emphasis in original)
Some conservatives are claiming the controversy gives Romney an opportunity to sharpen the ideological contrast with Obama. As one put it: “it worked! the media are talking about how 47% pay no income taxes.”

The flip side of this, as Kevin Drum and Ed Kilgore point out, is that conservative repetition of Romney’s argument will force a public debate over whether America is really divided between “makers and moochers,” which can’t possibly help Romney.

So who’s right? Fortunately, we have polling that can help shed light on this.

In July, Pew asked Americans what they think about the amount lower income people pay in taxes. Only 20 percent think they pay too little, versus 34 percent who say they pay a fair amount and 37 percent who say they pay too much — a total of 71 percent.

Pew also tells me that only 23 percent of independents, and 18 percent of moderates, say low income people pay too little in taxes, while big majorities of both say they pay a fair amount or too much.

Are these numbers are skewed by the large number of respondents who pay low federal income taxes or none at all? Guess what: Only 22 percent of self-described middle class people think lower income folks pay too little, versus 69 percent who say they pay their fair share or too much.

Meanwhile, the reverse is true about rich people. A majority, 58 percent, say the wealthy pay too little in taxes, while only 26 percent say they pay their fair share. Fifty six percent of independents, and 69 percent of moderates, say the rich pay too little.

What about the broader debate over the role of government and the safety net? As Jim Tankersly points out, polling suggests that swing voters actually disagree with the fundamental ideological case underlying Romney’s videotaped remarks.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:12 PM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I hope, when they find the waitstaff that did the taping -- and they will, they'll hunt that person down -- I hope that person says something like this:

"6895 hours and 30 minutes. At minimum wage, that's how much time I would have to work to pay for the $50,000/plate meal they ate while tossing around ideas and listening to a pontificating jerk.

15,080. That's how much I gross each year at minimum wage, working 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year. They were enjoying prime rib and a nice Bordeaux. I was picking up plates and filling glasses. And listening to them call me shiftless because no, at $15,080/year you don't pay much in federal income tax. You do pay a lot in sales taxes and fees though, when you live in a state with no state income tax, like Florida.

9,750. That's how much I don't pay income tax on, same as all single people under 65. Same as Mitt. The first $9750 is tax-free. However...

20 million. That's less than Romney makes in a year. It's also the number of Americans without a job. Clearly we need to pay more in taxes so that we can prove we're not only wanting handouts, and to give poor Romney and his ilk a break."
posted by Houstonian at 2:12 PM on September 18, 2012 [54 favorites]


That's for 2012. The point is that 2014 looks tough for Democrats in the Senate

Whoops, yeah. Apparantly even 1 Sudafed is enough to affect my reading comprehension skills.
posted by muddgirl at 2:14 PM on September 18, 2012


The Distress of the Privileged:
Once you grasp the concept of privileged distress, you’ll see it everywhere: the rich feel “punished” by taxes; whites believe they are the real victims of racism; employers’ religious freedom is threatened when they can’t deny contraception to their employees; English-speakers resent bilingualism — it goes on and on.

And what is the Tea Party movement other than a counter-revolution? It comes cloaked in religion and fiscal responsibility, but scratch the surface and you’ll find privileged distress: Change has taken something from us and we want it back.
posted by maudlin at 2:14 PM on September 18, 2012 [27 favorites]


The Twitter handle that produced the Romney video is threatening to release his tax returns if he doesn't.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:15 PM on September 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


The dancing on Mitt's campaign's grave, as deliciously schadenfreude-ey as it may feel, may be awfully premature. We have a "October" surprise coming from the Romney campaign (though they're not waiting for October, nor is it actually coming from the Romney campaign [officially, anyway]).

Citizens United Obama film to air on TV
This movie — set to start airing on Tuesday and run through Nov. 6 on six cable and six broadcast networks — features forty Democratic and independent voters who backed Obama in 2008 and have since become disillusioned. Much of the film consists of the voters talking, with an overlay of world events over the last four years.

The movie’s wide release — backed by a large advertising campaign behind it — was part of the goal of the Citizens United court case that was decided in 2010 by the U.S. Supreme Court and helped to dramatically alter the landscape for political donations by allowing the unfettered flow of corporate cash into campaigns.

“This (the court case) is why I did ‘Citizens United,’” David Bossie, the group’s president said. “This would have been a criminal act under McCain-Feingold before my court case.”
Yeah, this is not over by a long shot.

And fuck Citizens United.
posted by tzikeh at 2:16 PM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'd be worried about that film, but if it's playing opposite Honey Boo Boo they are screwed.
posted by mcstayinskool at 2:19 PM on September 18, 2012 [10 favorites]


mcstayinskool - while your comment gave me an honest out-loud laugh, the film is going to run *constantly* between today (premiere date) and election day.
posted by tzikeh at 2:22 PM on September 18, 2012


I feel for Tim Pawlenty.

As a Minnesotan, I ask you, please don't.
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:22 PM on September 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


This movie is already available and didn't seem to be particularly powerful when it was unveiled at the convention. Is there something new about it?

Also, they did a nice job at hyping up the 6 network thing, but here's the details on the second page. "The movie will run in its 60-minute entirety in an agreement with six cable networks like HDNet Movies and FamilyNet, along with local stations in Louisiana, Colorado, Indiana, Hawaii and Louisiana."
posted by feloniousmonk at 2:23 PM on September 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


There's a Citizens United press release at http://www.citizensunited.org/press-releases.aspx?article=6267

The movie will show on "HDNet Movies, AXS TV, RFD-TV, FamilyNet, and Rural TV." I have never even heard of most of those. Are there really a lot of voters in swing states who are going to want to watch a 60-minute political ad?
posted by grouse at 2:25 PM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Is there something new about it?

Running it daily is quite a bit different than running it once at a political convention. More chances for more eyeballs, etc.
posted by tzikeh at 2:26 PM on September 18, 2012


tzikeh - I only joke because I'm crying on the inside. I fully endorse your call to Fuck Citizens United. Possibly the worst Supreme Court ruling of our lives, given the implications of what it will do to drive propaganda during elections. I really, really, hope that something like that movie doesn't tip the scales towards this a-hole.
posted by mcstayinskool at 2:26 PM on September 18, 2012


Yeah, in NYC, I'm pretty sure we don't get any of those channels.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:28 PM on September 18, 2012


The movie will run in its 60-minute entirety in an agreement with six cable networks like HDNet Movies and FamilyNet, along with local stations in Louisiana, Colorado, Indiana, Hawaii and Louisiana.

So good it's playing in Louisiana twice!

But seriously, that's two relatively low-viewer cable networks and unnamed local stations in two swing states, one safe GOP state (twice! OK, OK...), and one safe Democrat state.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:30 PM on September 18, 2012


I'm... skeptical about the claims made in that Politico article and the press release about the anti-Obama movie. For example
reaching 130 million cumulative households, over the next few months
Really? 130 million homes in the US (which is the country that matters)? Unless their definition of 'homes' is different than mine, I'm pretty skeptical of this number. That is every "housing unit" in the entire country.
posted by muddgirl at 2:30 PM on September 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


If my cable guide's order is any indication AXS TV used to be called HDnet. Interestingly, this is Mark Cuban's network. HDnet is the sort of network which provided me the opportunity to DVR the entire series of JAG a few years back, to give you some idea of its prestige.
posted by feloniousmonk at 2:32 PM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


"The movie will run in its 60-minute entirety in an agreement with six cable networks like HDNet Movies and FamilyNet, along with local stations in Louisiana, Colorado, Indiana, Hawaii and Louisiana."

Both Louisianas? We're fucked.

But, seriously, that's a really odd selection of states to run in. I don't see Hawaii or either Louisiana being in play, while Indiana was probably not going to tip to Obama again anyway. Only Colorado seems to be a true swing state.
posted by maudlin at 2:32 PM on September 18, 2012 [8 favorites]


Eat what you kill...

That sounds like what Bain's strategy was towards the companies it took over, fired most or all of the employees, dismantled factories and shuttered them or moved them to China and (this is key) leveraged as collateral for special interest rate government loans to use on acquiring other companies and dismantling them, special government grants, leveraged the pension accounts to fudge Bain money into and on and on it went, Bain parasitically inhabiting a company from the inside, turning it into it's host, eviscerating it, killing and eating it. Ka-ching ka-chang!

That's business when you don't make anything of real value.

I think Romster would do that to the whole country, but on a massive massive scale...there's so much intrinsic value in this nation and so much that can be sold off. Value that's been built into the nation over time, and with the taxes of hundreds of millions of people, from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, for the common good. For the civic fiber and the ideals. For the general welfare...parks and forests and other protected lands. Highways, and by-ways and dams, and power plants and electrical grids and distribution systems.

All that stuff would be sold off for pennies on the dollar, as would the human capital of the country: the most skilled, educated, advanced and valuable workforce the planet's ever seen made available to billionaires, capable of landing a robot-supercomputer truck on mars in one piece, dismantled and reduced to desperation to pay off it's debts available for the worlds diehard Capitalists for a fucking song...

Man, this country better stand up to leeches like Romney and take stock of itself and be proud of itself, because all Romney, and the billionaires he seeks to serve as POTUS, see is a big fat goose ready for the slaughter....ready for turning billionaires into trillionaires, and ready to put it's indelible stamp of ownership upon it once and for all, and obedient, cowering fearful people, bowing to and brainwashed into doing the whims of the ultra-rich...

That's what Mitt sees...he sees weakness.

Clinton used to say: "There's nothing wrong with America, that can't be fixed by what's right with America..." And he was right...it's a process and one worth it, in spite of the problems, to keep moving forward...the arc of the universe bends towards justice, as MLK said...

But for Romney that phrase would be something like: Half of America is permanently broken, and the only thing to do is kill it and eat it.
posted by Skygazer at 2:33 PM on September 18, 2012 [25 favorites]


It sounds less like a list of places they want to show it and more like a list of places they were able to show it.
posted by feloniousmonk at 2:34 PM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


130 million homes in the US (which is the country that matters)? Unless their definition of 'homes' is different than mine, I'm pretty skeptical of this number. That is every "housing unit" in the entire country.

Maybe it works just like Romney inflating his book sales numbers by requiring institutions he deals with to buy thousands of copies. If big banks can put TVs in all the households they've foreclosed on and tune them to Citizens United whenever it's on, those numbers are going to go way up, baby.
posted by grouse at 2:35 PM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, "reaching 130 million cumulative households", even if that number is accurate, is quite a bit different than households actually watching the thing. Let's say they get 1 out of 100 of those ficticious households to watch the movie. That's 13 million. How many of those are viewers aren't already pitchfork-and-torch carrying Obama haters?

I'm not so worried now.
posted by mcstayinskool at 2:35 PM on September 18, 2012


Yeah, the way the Politico article is worded, it sounds like it'll be airing every day on ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, and HBO. Very inflammatory!
posted by muddgirl at 2:37 PM on September 18, 2012


Much of the film consists of the voters talking, with an overlay of world events over the last four years.

Of all the people I know, the only person who would watch a 60 minute long piece of explicit political propaganda is me, and I'd just watch it to tear it to tiny comical threads.

I doubt anyone watches much of it.
posted by winna at 2:37 PM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Local stations in "Colorado, Indiana, Hawaii and Louisiana." three of those states don't matter shit in this election, they are not contested. Obama is not winning LA or IN, and Romney isn't winning HI. Colorado... well lets say CO matters, but it isn't a game changer, even if the Movie wins Romney CO he has to ALSO win so many more states as well.

As to "HDNet Movies, AXS TV, RFD-TV, FamilyNet, and Rural TV." WTF. What cable package carries these? I've honestly have not heard of any of them, and does one think anyone is going to watch an hour long dry as white toast poly ad on disillusionment? That frankly sounds like the garbage they play on Local Access TV already.

Man.. the air war is nearly over. Saturation is near peak much more and you risk just flat out annoying people, 49 days is time for the ground war to start, and does Romney himself have a viable plan for that other than relying on churches and the waning ranks of enthused volunteers. Boots on the ground time
posted by edgeways at 2:38 PM on September 18, 2012


I was surprised to learn that our digital cable package carries FamilyNet, and ATT Uverse and DirectTV packages have HDNet. They're channels at the very end of the programming guide that you always skip through because they tend to show reruns of movies that TBS wore out 5 years ago.
posted by muddgirl at 2:42 PM on September 18, 2012


A 60-minute film about politics is 59:55 too long for any American swing voter to pay attention to.
posted by Rykey at 2:43 PM on September 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


Gop Sen. Scott Brown Denounces Romney, As Do Others.
posted by ericb at 2:44 PM on September 18, 2012


Romney Tries Appealing To Women, Unveils "Dear Daughter" Ad..
posted by ericb at 2:46 PM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


HDNet Movies and I guess AXS, if that's a renamed HDNet, are available on Dish Network as well.

FamilyNet and Rural TV might be available via Dish as well, if I ever looked at the rest of the channels instead of just using a list of favorite channels in order to skip the interminable lists of sports, shopping and religious channels.
posted by rewil at 2:47 PM on September 18, 2012


Gop Sen. Scott Brown Denounces Romney, As Do Others.
GOP Senator Scott Brown is terrified of losing his Senate race in Massachusetts.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 2:48 PM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Poll: Optimism Grows About Obama's Path.
posted by ericb at 2:49 PM on September 18, 2012


"If somebody is dumb enough to ask me to go to political convention and say something, they're gonna have to take what they get,"
Ok, 24 RomneyPoints to the first person to identify this quote.
posted by edgeways at 2:52 PM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Tim Pawlenty, ah T-Paw, right. As much as we make fun of Mittens at least Mittens committed his money and time to wanting to be something, President of the United States. While T-Paw just wanted to be something without any serious commitment at all. Barely good enough for Minnesota and not good at all for the larger electorate. Seriously, you want someone who wants to DO something not just BE something.
posted by jadepearl at 2:53 PM on September 18, 2012


Clint Eastwood, edgeways. I expect my points.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:53 PM on September 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


According to Wikipedia, RFD-TV seems to be an obscure rural-themed channel with stellar original programming such as "Horse Sense", "HorseCity.com TV", "Horse Babies", "Horseman's Edge", "Horse Master", and "The Roping Show". Rural TV is apparently an even more obscure sister channel of RFD-TV's that has vacillated between being a UK version of RFD-TV, a programming block on another horse-related channel, a 24-hour online-only channel, and now finally a channel that's only on Dish Network. As long as Citizen's United capitalizes on Romney's pro-horse stance I think they are poised to pick up dozens of single issue equestrian-oriented voters.
posted by burnmp3s at 2:53 PM on September 18, 2012 [16 favorites]


Isn't Romney anti-horse though? He mocked his wife for owning one during the Olympics. Big Horse can't be trusted here.
posted by feloniousmonk at 2:55 PM on September 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


Clint Eastwood, edgeways. I expect my points.

And what a ringing endorsement THAT was... See Paul "the muppet" Ryan for the awarded points, I'm sure he'll have at least something to give you just as valuable.
posted by edgeways at 2:57 PM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


The 47 Percent: Here's Who Pays No Federal Income Tax.
posted by ericb at 2:58 PM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wait, nobody said anything about Bad Horse.
posted by Artw at 2:59 PM on September 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


"If somebody is dumb enough to ask me to go to political convention and say something, they're gonna have to take what they get,"

I happen to have just read that Eastwood said this, but had I not known that a fair guess would have been Romney himself given the dumb shit he's said in the last week.
posted by MoonOrb at 3:01 PM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Bad Horse is awesome. Its about a Palomino who finds out he has cancer and decides to make as much money for his family as he can by getting into the dangerous glue trade.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:02 PM on September 18, 2012 [28 favorites]


Houstonian: ""6895 hours and 30 minutes. At minimum wage, that's how much time I would have to work to pay for the $50,000/plate meal they ate while tossing around ideas and listening to a pontificating jerk."

Low wages are a tax, too. They go directly towards subsidizing your boss.
posted by dunkadunc at 3:08 PM on September 18, 2012 [15 favorites]


In case you want to be launched into an uncontrollable rage at around 8 eastern, Bill O'Reilly's website tells me that his "talking points memo" tonight is titled "Mitt Romney speaking the truth on the entitlement nation." Charles Krauthammer will help with the analysis!
posted by King Bee at 3:09 PM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


130 million cumulative households

Possible silly math explanation: size of network subscriber footprint * number of airings in that network, for each of the planned viewer constituencies. You run a film fifty times on a station a million people receive, there's fifty million cumulative household-subscriber-reception events, or some such shit.

I'd be curious about the actual math.
posted by cortex at 3:21 PM on September 18, 2012


If the Republicans want the rich to pay low taxes, then surely the poor would pay no taxes.
posted by PenDevil at 3:22 PM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh my god, that "Dear Daughter" ad... I don't even know what to say. I know political ads are usually corny and transparent all, but wow.
posted by sonmi at 3:24 PM on September 18, 2012


Keith Olbermann posts a Special Comment on the Romney 47% Video.
posted by ob1quixote at 3:24 PM on September 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


I thought it was the ill-conceived Paul Rodgers/Neil Young-led super-supergroup.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 3:27 PM on September 18, 2012


For some reason I am getting a lot of laughs out of the idea that the "Dear Daughter" ad is actually an homage to Tupac's "Dear Mama." I hope this isn't ruined by accidentally seeing it.
posted by feloniousmonk at 3:28 PM on September 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


This is just incredible. His campaign apparently has gone from an "Are you better off than you were four years ago/It's okay to realize that Obama has not met your expectations" theme that was a referendum on the last four years and stood a reasonable chance of peeling away a lot of in-the-middle voters who went for Obama last time but could be persuaded to break from him in 2012 to a "Yay capitalism! Screw the poor!" theme that has much less popularity with moderates.
posted by MoonOrb at 3:29 PM on September 18, 2012


I'd be curious about the actual math.

You mean arithmetic.
posted by clearly at 3:31 PM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh my god, that "Dear Daughter" ad... I don't even know what to say. I know political ads are usually corny and transparent all, but wow.

The smarmy soft voice he uses at the end SELLS IT TO THE MAX.

I'm totally making that a ring tone. It is a mission!
posted by winna at 3:33 PM on September 18, 2012


Oh my god, that "Dear Daughter" ad... I don't even know what to say.

Doesn't you? Was you distracted by the wittle baby, is dat it den? Izit? Izitden? Look at the pretty widdle bayyybbbeee! Look at de babykins!

I'm Mitt Romney, and I approve this message.
posted by howfar at 3:39 PM on September 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


130 million cumulative households
Nielsen measurement has roughly 114mm tv households in the US from what I've read. So those 130mm numbers are clearly bunkum.

I'd posit that the Citizens United people have included gross figures in their release. Common methods are by adding the individual network reach figures together (and thus not allowing for presence of multiple networks in any one household) and grossing up total reach opportunity of all households across all time periods they're running their piece (so if a household has reach potential on all fourteen days of coverage it's counted 14 times. MAGIC expanding viewership!).

These are sadly common errors in media measurement (though sometimes i've seen it done accidentally on purpose for greater effect). It pisses me off no end that it can be difficult to get clarity on exactly how they've mangled the data.

Caveat: I'm more familiar with non-US media measurement so could be talking out of my arse, I am assuming the errors/tendencies to inflate are going to be a global trait.
posted by pymsical at 3:43 PM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Moonorb, that my friend is the great sucking sound of a rudderless campaign unable to deal with it's ADD as it circles the drain
posted by edgeways at 3:45 PM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


There are hundreds of TV Channels out there. I can't imagine anyone but true believers are going to watch a documentary for or against either candidate this late in the game. This sounds like a monumental waste of money. Indeed, this sounds like a folly of almost Quixote-esque proportions.

Come to think of it, Romney would stand a better chance if he last name were Quixote.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:47 PM on September 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


Well, I don't think he's too crazy about windmills.
posted by box at 3:51 PM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Yay capitalism! Screw the poor!"

When reached for comment, Romney expressed confusion.

"Out of what?"
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 3:54 PM on September 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


Depends, whatta they got?
posted by edgeways at 4:12 PM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile, Obama was, believe it or not, scheduled to be on Letterman tonight, so he gets to make his first comments about his opponent's video opposite a friendly comedian. (When I saw the commercial for this shortly after seeing the Romney clip last night, I couldn't believe the luck) It's an easy no-guarded lay-up, but he nails it:


“I don’t know what he was referring to,” the president told David Letterman in an interview on CBS’ Late Show. “But I can tell you this. When I won in 2008, 47% of the American people voted for John McCain. They didn’t vote for me. What I said on election night was even though you didn’t vote for me, I hear your voices and I’m going as work as hard as I can to be your president.”

“One of the things I’ve learned as President is you represent the entire country. And when I meet Republicans as I’m traveling around the country, they are hardworking family people who care deeply about this country. And my expectation is if you want to be president you’ve got to work for everybody, not just for some.”

posted by MCMikeNamara at 4:13 PM on September 18, 2012 [57 favorites]


New lease on life for this photo.
posted by Flunkie at 4:16 PM on September 18, 2012 [9 favorites]


I know Sullivan is pretty unpopular in these parts, but this is the best line I've heard on the whole thing:

"So there are two possibilities: this is the real Romney, a callous cynic with contempt for half the country, the weaker part; or that Romney is a man so empty of human qualities he even has to fake cynicism."
posted by lattiboy at 4:20 PM on September 18, 2012 [10 favorites]


Of course, Romney can counter to say he meant it wasn't job to worry about getting them to vote for him. But if he brings focus back to the full quote that extends into him thinking he'll "never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."

And Obama covers that on Letterman too:

“There are not a lot of people out there who think they’re victims. There are not a lot of people who think they’re entitled to something. What I think people want to make sure of, though, is you’re not writing off a big chunk of the country. This is a big country… And people disagree a lot, but one thing I’ve never tried to do, and I think none of us can do in public office, is suggest that because someone doesn’t agree with me that they’re victims or they’re unpatriotic.”
posted by MCMikeNamara at 4:21 PM on September 18, 2012 [10 favorites]


Man.... are we sure Romney isn't a secret mole cultivated 4 years ago? This week is a complete bust for Romney and he gets to set up the president to be all ultra patriotic ''I am a president for everyone'' without sounding incredably cheesy or contrived.
What will happen next week? Release of tax forms?
posted by edgeways at 4:24 PM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


The "$10,000 bet" thing was a major screw-up, yes, which is one of the reasons it's said he's not so good with the improvising.
FRIENDLY ADVICE FOR MITT: The peons are obsessed with money and impressed by those who have it, so it would've gone over better with them if it weren't for such an absurdly low amount. Go higher next time!
posted by Flunkie at 4:32 PM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


130 million cumulative households

Doesn't it mean that it will be shown multiple times? So 13 million households 10 times? Or one lucky household trapped in sko Sapphire and Steel endless timewarp of 130 million repetitions?
posted by Sebmojo at 4:35 PM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Romney Apologizes To Nation's 150 Million 'Starving, Filthy Beggars'
posted by TwoWordReview at 4:38 PM on September 18, 2012 [12 favorites]


"Believe in half of America"
posted by cashman at 4:44 PM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Maybe the Citizens United doc will be shown on prison networks, really sew up the few felons who can still vote.
posted by klangklangston at 4:44 PM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Obama was, believe it or not, scheduled to be on Letterman tonight

It's funny, watching Letterman last night, I wondered if Romney would appear on the show. Because as everyone knows, the road to the WH goes through Dave.
posted by octobersurprise at 4:46 PM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ive been trying to like Randy Newman for over a decade and his satire always seems dull and leaden to me.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 4:51 PM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney is playing the "I have a video too!" card.

It's 14 years old but it proves Obama is a socialist redistributor-in-chief or something.
posted by TwoWordReview at 5:04 PM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I gave up years ago. I remember hearing his song on TOY STORY and thinking "Wow, what an annoying voice".
posted by unSane at 5:06 PM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


I hope for his sake Romney isn't opening the door to scrutiinizing what he thought about, say, abortion in 1998.
posted by unSane at 5:07 PM on September 18, 2012


Quick! Can Romney's Campaign find a junior GOP congresscritter (preferably one about to lose their seat) who they can drug and dump naked in a gay bar toilet in Topeka?
posted by PenDevil at 5:08 PM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Bill O'Reilly says, "What is the controversy?"

He then put up a graphic titled "ENTITLEMENT STATS", which had:
46.7 million on food stamps

8.8 million on disability

106.6 million receiving government aid
Romney should simply show the stats to the Obama campaign, he said, to show the people that Obama is building a "nanny state."

Then, he said, Romney is simply telling the truth about entitlement culture.

Now, I watch Bill a lot. I don't know why. Maybe a know your enemy thing? Maybe because I'm trying to get back into political things, and I think that watching something like his show gives me a perspective on what a large group of people think? I really don't know. What I do know, is that his opening "talking points memo" segment is usually his pithy, glib, holier-than-thou time. He was speaking very loudly this time. Pleading. Knowing his candidate was done, even while claiming his candidate was doing the right thing.
posted by King Bee at 5:09 PM on September 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


If this proves as disasterous to Romney's campaign as a lot of people seem to think it will be, what will the new verb be? Kerry got swiftboated... did Romney get motherjonesed? Caterergated? Fifty-thousand-dollar-dinnered? Corned?
posted by oulipian at 5:15 PM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Obama was, believe it or not, scheduled to be on Letterman tonight

Yup. They just (already) ran a clip on BBC World News.
posted by Flashman at 5:16 PM on September 18, 2012


If this proves as disasterous to Romney's campaign as a lot of people seem to think it will be, what will the new verb be? Kerry got swiftboated... did Romney get motherjonesed? Caterergated? Fifty-thousand-dollar-dinnered? Corned?
He did it to himself. Romney got Romneyed.
posted by Flunkie at 5:17 PM on September 18, 2012 [16 favorites]


Fatal auto-romneycism.
posted by feloniousmonk at 5:19 PM on September 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


Mitt Romney will probably get 95 electoral votes from ‘moocher’ states. Obama will probably get 5.
posted by homunculus at 5:24 PM on September 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


James O'Keefe is saying Mother Jones was unethical in obtaining the footage as their source may have broken the law.

He is an expert on this matter, as he is on probation for attempting to mess with an elected official's phones, and is famous for filming people without their knowledge or consent.

I'm sure he's working on a tweet bemoaning the unethical nature of Glenn Beck and Breitbart for giving him a platform.
posted by mccarty.tim at 5:31 PM on September 18, 2012 [10 favorites]


1. My ad would be a side-on shot of Romney addressing a crowd. As he says "My fellow Americans", 50% of the faces in the crowd are removed. "my job is not to worry about those people" appears in text at the bottom of the screen.

2. Really, I just wanted to comment so I could say "I WAS HERE!"
posted by peacay at 5:34 PM on September 18, 2012 [10 favorites]


Do we get to call this Mittendämmerung yet? While I am generally reticent to allow for even the faintest hope, I'm invariably over-eager to make puns.
posted by tzikeh at 5:36 PM on September 18, 2012 [13 favorites]


106.6 million receiving government aid

What does this mean exactly? We all receive government aid don't we? public schools, clean air, clean water, relatively safe transportation... I wonder how many conservatives work for the defense industry or underneath other government agencies and directly/indirectly make a living off of taxpayers.
posted by Golden Eternity at 5:45 PM on September 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


Metafilter: invariably over-eager to make puns.
posted by emjaybee at 5:58 PM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Do we get to call this Mittendämmerung yet? While I am generally reticent to allow for even the faintest hope, I'm invariably over-eager to make puns.

Romnarök?
posted by zombieflanders at 5:59 PM on September 18, 2012 [17 favorites]


@daveweigel Romney campaign trying to get media obsessed with 1998 Obama clip. It's like Lacey Chabert in "Mean Girls" trying to make "fetch" happen.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:04 PM on September 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


Romney Campaign Sends In Champion Of The Poor Paul Ryan For Damage Control
posted by Cookiebastard at 6:07 PM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Um, guys...

"The issue's not what Mitt Romney said or whether he hunts people for sport"

I might have caused that one.
posted by Cyrano at 6:10 PM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


James O'Keefe is saying Mother Jones was unethical in obtaining the footage as their source may have broken the law.

What is this Republican obsession with blatantly accusing your opponents of things that you do? I am waiting for the day that Romney accuses Obama of being a "rich, white Mormon."
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:13 PM on September 18, 2012 [43 favorites]


Bill O'Reilly says, "What is the controversy?"

He then put up a graphic titled "ENTITLEMENT STATS", which had:

46.7 million on food stamps


I read that stat and I wonder-- not why we are a nation of moochers, not how has Obama turned us into a Nanny state-- no I wonder why in the hell are so many people paid so little that they qualify for food stamps. Fuck that shit. We are the richest nation on earth but some people are hogging more than their share. Loosen your goddamn pocketbooks you cocksuckers, and pay your employees a living wage so they don't have to apply for food stamps.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:18 PM on September 18, 2012 [69 favorites]


Joey, thanks. I really needed that laugh.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:19 PM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


As long as Citizen's United capitalizes on Romney's pro-horse stance I think they are poised to pick up dozens of single issue equestrian-oriented voters.

Yeah! Romney just needs to take it to the limit a little more!
posted by mannequito at 6:42 PM on September 18, 2012


James O'Keefe is saying Mother Jones was unethical in obtaining the footage as their source may have broken the law.

No one called O'Keefe unethical for surreptitiously filming anyone. We called O'Keefe unethical for presenting the video under false pretenses and heavily, selectively editing the videos to imply felonies that never occurred.

That's why no liberal sources would show this video without vetting it, first. Because of ethical considerations. Which Brietbart and Fox News did not consider.
posted by muddgirl at 6:46 PM on September 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


Be careful or he'll show up to one of the debates on a gray horse named Traveller. (Totally coincidental name!)
posted by feloniousmonk at 6:47 PM on September 18, 2012


That O'Keefe thing just kind of breaks my brain a little
posted by edgeways at 6:48 PM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


He doesn't actually believe it - he just thinks the two situations are exactly analogous because he doesn't understand either law (where both may be illegal) and ethics.
posted by muddgirl at 6:52 PM on September 18, 2012


(I mean he doesn't actually believe that MJ was acting unethically - he thinks he's turning left-wing criticisms back on us)
posted by muddgirl at 6:53 PM on September 18, 2012


What sweet revenge taping that. After all the damn snooping the government wants to do on its citizens. Well, one of the citizens got their own back. Brilliant work, whoever you may be. Thank you. Thanks for the history changing smarts and courage to tape that, then get the info into the right hands at the right time. Excellent transparency and truth sharing.

From that same video is a segment where Mitt Romney describes buying slave labor in China, 20 thousand people working in a factory. You can just hear this despicable twit's revved up excitement, talking about all those poor overworked young girls in dormitories, fenced in with 1 bathroom for 10 rooms. And then how LUCKY they are to be working. The fence is not to keep the girls in but to keep potential other workers out.

I can't help thinking this racist/classist bastard wants to whiplash the 47% he despises for thinking they can get food, health care. He'd probably want to see that 47% in dormitories, groveling for food, working for a pittance like the workers in China. I suspect his rabid ire is for the 6.9% non-elderly who earn less than $20 thou a year.

Map of the 47%, who they are and how they vote.

Enjoyed this vid about the 47%.
posted by nickyskye at 6:56 PM on September 18, 2012 [14 favorites]


"The issue's not what Mitt Romney said or whether he hunts people for sport"
I might have caused that one.


Well played. I love me a "Most Dangerous Game" reference and they're all too rare.
posted by Miko at 7:03 PM on September 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


James O'Keefe is saying Mother Jones was unethical in obtaining the footage as their source may have broken the law.

How much Keefe is in this movie?
posted by octobersurprise at 7:18 PM on September 18, 2012 [12 favorites]


Mitt Romney has Lucky Ducky envy.
posted by palindromic at 7:19 PM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Among the many things that are interesting in the Romney Exposed vids are the ones discussing his thoughts about the Mideast.

Is it true that US taxpayers paid more to Israeli defense budget than Israelis?
posted by nickyskye at 7:19 PM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


I er... don't really understand this, there is something floating around saying Romney borrowed $20 Million pre convention using already raised GE funds as collateral (which he could not tuch at the time) so he could essentially fight the GE while still not being officially "The Nominee" so... they may actually be in debt right now due to paying back that loan.

I'm not sure how accurate that is, but, if it IS accurate to say they are in debt, that is kind of a tricky cu-de-sac for them to be in while trying to argue for fiscal responsibility.
posted by edgeways at 7:46 PM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


You can't use general election funds until you're nominated, the debt is just a loophole to get around that. No big deal.
posted by leopard at 7:54 PM on September 18, 2012


NYT: It may prove a fleeting anxiety: national polls show the race remains close, even though Mr. Romney trails in some key swing states.

Still, a flustered adviser, describing the mood, said that the campaign was turning into a vulgar, unprintable phrase.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:54 PM on September 18, 2012


On Maddow tonight they showed a clip of from the republican debates where Mitt proclaimed that the past 2 years if it weren't for capital gains tax, he would have paid nothing in taxes. Nothing.

At this point, it's clear Mitt is a fraud. So now just comes the gnashing of teeth and facepalm moments where reporters go through lines at Romney events, asking the people questions and then talking about Mitt, and watching as they twist themselves into knots trying not to look like suckers.

If you want to just be evil, hoard resources, and basically just say you got yours and fuck everybody else, okay fine. But I feel bad for those people who are about to get caught out there because they might not have chosen to attend the event or support Romney had they been informed.
posted by cashman at 7:56 PM on September 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Mitt Romney probably has $20 Million between his (many, Corinthian leather) sofa cushions. Is there some sort of law against him just paying for his own campaign?
posted by Flashman at 7:57 PM on September 18, 2012


I understand the loopholedness to get around the spending restrictions, but the article seems to suggest they have negative funds and have to campaign to pay off the debt they are using to run the campaign. Which must seriously constrict their spending ability
posted by edgeways at 7:57 PM on September 18, 2012


I don't think they like to pay for campaign debt if they can possibly avoid it
posted by edgeways at 7:58 PM on September 18, 2012


Flashman

Well, not a law, but a rule most players try to follow.

"Never put your own money in a show."

The second rule is similar:

"NEVER PUT YOUR OWN MONEY IN A SHOW!"
posted by The Confessor at 8:00 PM on September 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


I used to have DirecTV and they had the RFD Channel. Well worth watching for this commercial that they aired all the time. I don't sleep, people.
posted by artychoke at 8:02 PM on September 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


These comments didn't cost Romney the election, because he was never going to win in the first place. If anything, his shitty convention sealed the deal. Then there were the comments about the embasy attacks, which also sealed the deal. And now these, which are just taking the deal and casting it in bronze or something.

If it were possible to triple lose, then that's what would be happening here.

What's amazing is that these comments were actually recorded months ago, after Romney sewed up the republican nomination (i.e. when he was obviously the winner, not after the convention)

So if it's the case that these comments really will cost him the election, they've been a ticking time bomb sitting around for months.

Also, it's amazing. How fucking stupid do you have to think you can get away with saying shit like this. Romney really thought he could just say whatever the fuck he wanted at a fundraiser and not have it leak out? Pretty ridiculous.

I never thought he would win, but I've been amazed how incompetent he's been.
posted by delmoi at 8:21 PM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Does sort of beg the question what else may be lurking out there.
posted by edgeways at 8:22 PM on September 18, 2012


Does sort of beg the question what else may be lurking out there.

Is it even worth mentioning the tax returns? If they were ever to be released, it could only be anti-climactic at this point, right? I mean... nope, I can't think of anything that could be in his tax returns that would truly be shocking.
posted by tzikeh at 8:26 PM on September 18, 2012


begs the question
posted by nadawi at 8:30 PM on September 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


Call me a laissez-faire linguist then I suppose.
posted by edgeways at 8:31 PM on September 18, 2012


'raises the question' when in doubt
posted by unSane at 8:38 PM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


How fucking stupid do you have to think you can get away with saying shit like this. Romney really thought he could just say whatever the fuck he wanted at a fundraiser and not have it leak out? Pretty ridiculous.

It just illustrates his "us against them" mentality, with "us" being the rich white people he considers on his team and "them" being the great unwashed victims and government moochers. When you feel all safe and cozy with your high roller contributors, no need to guard your speech, just let how you REALLY feel fly.
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 8:40 PM on September 18, 2012


Colbert's on fire. "And of course, the liberal media went after Romney like a poor person going after a basic need."
posted by saturday_morning at 8:41 PM on September 18, 2012 [39 favorites]


Still, a flustered adviser, describing the mood, said that the campaign was turning into a vulgar, unprintable phrase.

Flustered wonk dubs Romney funk "clusterfuck"
posted by burnmp3s at 8:42 PM on September 18, 2012 [8 favorites]


Lucrefuck.
posted by unSane at 8:45 PM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I can't help but think if the tax returns don't show up sometime this week that he must have used some sort of special rich guy tax form where he claimed killing a newlywed couple and three kittens for a deduction.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:48 PM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Does Mitt Romney Want Your Vote? The GOP candidate’s “47 percent” comments in flowchart form.
posted by homunculus at 8:49 PM on September 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


Filthy lucrefuck.
posted by Joey Michaels at 8:49 PM on September 18, 2012


I will say "THIS DOOMS ROMNEY" is more fun than "This will probably cost him two or three points that he can't afford," but I'm not sure this is as big a deal it reads in this thread.
posted by klangklangston at 8:49 PM on September 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


But the substance, the very quintessence, of the campaign for presidency is symbolism, which is only fitting given the largely symbolic impact of the office.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:57 PM on September 18, 2012


An amusing vid. They don't like him either. What the Conservatives think of Mitt Romney.
posted by nickyskye at 9:12 PM on September 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Is it even worth mentioning the tax returns? If they were ever to be released, it could only be anti-climactic at this point, right? I mean... nope, I can't think of anything that could be in his tax returns that would truly be shocking.

The Romneys had at least one Swiss bank account at the time of the whistleblower incident a few years back. Americans who were found to have been evading taxes either faced criminal prosecution for tax evasion or paid a fine under an amnesty program.

Failing to apply for the amnesty and then getting charged by the IRS would have been both financially and politically disastrous.

from the comments on the Slate link:
After dinner we were having a few drinks and discussing the election. The topic of "would Romney release any more tax returns?" came up. My friend laughed and said "ill bet you a years pay that no matter how much heat he takes he won't release a single year more" and then laughed.

All of us there knowing he spent several years at the IRS pushed him "why? what do you know?" we asked with a joking smile.

He paused then took a drink and looked at us and said "because, if he did he would have to show everyone that he took amnesty for a crime at the very least, and I can't imagine he would have a snowballs chance in hell of being elected if that came out" then he took a drink and refused to elaborate.
posted by triggerfinger at 9:16 PM on September 18, 2012 [32 favorites]


I can't help but think if the tax returns don't show up sometime this week that he must have used some sort of special rich guy tax form where he claimed killing a newlywed couple and three kittens for a deduction.

Ah, the 27bstroke6.
posted by drezdn at 9:18 PM on September 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


I had RFD, but it was on a weird cable tier where you had to specifically request it beyond any of the normal advertised packages. I got it to see "I Love Toy Trains." It wasn't worth it.
posted by drezdn at 9:20 PM on September 18, 2012


This wasn't Romney's Sideshow Bob moment. It was his Gabbo moment.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:24 PM on September 18, 2012


I disagree the WhiteSkull this was his Ron Burgundy moment.
posted by humanfont at 9:37 PM on September 18, 2012


"Libertarian" is truly more of an anti-social psychological disorder than it is an actual political philosophy, and it drives them absolutely bonkers when you point out the obvious. (Seeing as how they consider themselves to be the smartest kids in the class, without exception.)

But I eagerly await further "principled" and "serious" arguments as to why, alas, their hands shall be forced to pull the lever for Romney despite their misgivings.

Scratch one and a Republican bleeds.
posted by bardic at 9:42 PM on September 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


7,000 Millionaires Paid No Income Taxes in 2011
posted by Artw at 9:54 PM on September 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


While this was the first segment on CBS Nightly News tonight and all over other news sources, I have to agree with klangklangston: the "47%" bit is terrible, but there are still 49 days to go. Sure, the Romney camp is trying to use words from Obama in 1998 (14 years old, what a gotcha!) to contrast himself as a Man for the People who want to be Enterprising, vs That Socialist Obama, but there are enough people for who Romney's words ring true. They're the same sort of unfortunate forgetful people, like snickerdoodle's mother, who can (or try to) ignore where they came from and how government assistance got them where they are today, and look down on lazy people who don't get jobs and pay taxes like the rest of us. Or there are people who focus solely on the economy, ignoring that once the economy rebounds (and eventually it will), Romney has no plan for the future (and the present) beyond cutting deals for businesses at the cost of everything else.

I was going to point to his lack of actual plans, but I read through his solutions to energy issues. First, he has to mention how Obama has failed, because that jerk never gets anything right. Then, he talks about how it'll be great to cut back regulations. You know, for the jobs. Because our future is only about jobs. How about that environment, where we live, how we breath, where we get our drinking water?

On his website, under Issues, the Environment page is blank*. Seriously, there is nothing. Not a 404 error, just the word Policy, and nothing. OK, MittRomney.com: six pages of results, but none are actually about the environment. "Environment for Jobs" and job creation, great. But the actual environment? Let's go back to the Energy page: it's all about building energy projects, not really ensuring they're built right. Screw renewables, "the United States is blessed with a cornucopia of carbon-based energy resources"! Drill, baby, drill! Green house gases? Amend Clean Air Act to exclude carbon dioxide from its purview!

* Ah, feck. His "Dogs" issue page has the same layout. Ditto cats, clowns, and hunt people for sport.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:54 PM on September 18, 2012 [8 favorites]


Artw: 7,000 Millionaires Paid No Income Taxes in 2011
"You can attribute some of those 7,000 non-tax payers to investment choices they made, like tax exempt bonds," [Roberton Williams of the Tax Policy Center] told me, "but a lot of this might be unfortunate happenstance. A tornado tore through your home, you got a very expensive form of cancer, you lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in an investment. Those aren't choices people made, they're just legal deductions under the law."
Another reason that universal health care Just Makes Sense: if healthcare can cost a millionaire enough that they don't have to pay taxes, think about what that would do to someone who is only making a moderate income, not to mention living on minimum wage.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:01 PM on September 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


"Those aren't choices people made, they're just legal deductions under the law."

Translation: IOKIYAR
posted by unSane at 10:05 PM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Filthy Light Thief, if there's nothing on those policy pages on MittRomney.com it means Mitt's giving his complete and tacit approval to the item.

I found these: Eating babies, Eating what you kill, homicide. genocide, matricide, fracticide, sleeping with other men's wives, pedophilia and last by not least...enslavingmoochers....and this one is a bit of a shock to me: MetafilterRocks...
posted by Skygazer at 10:12 PM on September 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


"but there are enough people for who Romney's words ring true."

Look, we've always got the hippies, they've always got the shitheads, every election just comes down to how the moron vote splits.
posted by klangklangston at 10:16 PM on September 18, 2012 [10 favorites]


On his website, under Issues, the Environment page is blank*

Well he did say "We have a website that lays out white papers on a whole series of issues that I care about. "
posted by carsonb at 10:17 PM on September 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


He is being green by reusing his white papers. By making them entirely blank, they are 100% recyclable.
posted by feloniousmonk at 10:18 PM on September 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


if there's nothing on those policy pages on MittRomney.com it means Mitt's giving his complete and tacit approval to the item.

The man can't even fail elegantly.
posted by carsonb at 10:22 PM on September 18, 2012


NBC has the full transcript for those who don't want to watch the videos.

At one point, responding to a donor complaining about the "corruption" in various offices in Washington, DC, Mitt lets slip this gem:

I wish we weren't unionized so we could go a lot deeper [in rooting out "corruption"] than you're actually allowed to go.

Lovely. It's like Scott Walker all over again.
posted by dhens at 10:30 PM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


NYT: It may prove a fleeting anxiety: national polls show the race remains close, even though Mr. Romney trails in some key swing states.
Bullshit. Romney's campaign has been over, arguably, since the conventions. Does anyone on the planet think he is going to out debate Obama? Come on.

I've seen a lot of people in the "MSM" already calling Romney's campaign a lost cause, but in general they usually don't do that, even when its' obvious from the polls who's actually going to win. They'll only hint at it or use innuendo. "Romney has a tough road ahead" or "He's looking shaky in some key swing states". All you have to do is check Five thirty eight every few days if you actually want to know what's going on.

If you go back to '08, McCain never had a chance (he did get a convention bounce, for a very short period, until people discovered Sarah Palin)

It's been clear that Romney had basically lost - baring unexpected events - even before the conventions. Now we've had unexpected events, and they've all been bad for Romney.
I will say "THIS DOOMS ROMNEY" is more fun than "This will probably cost him two or three points that he can't afford," but I'm not sure this is as big a deal it reads in this thread.
Well, the problem here is that you can't doom a dead man. There have been three catastrophic problems that all doomed him at once:
1) Lack of convention bounce vs. Obama
2) Embassy comments (actually the worse this, IMO)
3) Now these comments.

The problem with saying that this dooms Romney is that he was, IMO, already doomed. The guy can't be double doomed. When Romney loses, people will go back and try to say it was this or that one thing. But I think if Romney was ahead in the polls, and this came out, it might hurt him but probably wouldn't cost him the election alone. If Obama was way behind in the polls, people would just say this was a desperation play from the Obama campaign, the way Hillary tried to capitalize on the "bitter clinging" comments from Obama.

But because this fits so perfectly with the "Romney is a serious fuckup, in part due to his being out of touch with average Americans" - it fits in with the "Campaign narrative"

I think the embassy comments were a bigger deal because they revealed he was incompetent on foreign policy, and in the same way bush was. On the other hand, these comments were just completely in line with what I expected from him.

And even without all the fuckups, he was still going to lose. It's that pressure that's causing him to panic, which in turns causes more fuckups, which in turn causes worse polling, more panic, etc. It's pretty entertaining to see.
posted by delmoi at 10:30 PM on September 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


I keep finding more and more interesting web pages on MittRomney.com...this right here is a little strange....
posted by Skygazer at 10:33 PM on September 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


pretty clearly a route that takes the /issues/* as a param, so it acts as /issues?topic=*.

It is a drupal site, and there is a lot of javascript on the page, probably other tricks it will do.

I wish we weren't unionized so we could go a lot deeper [in rooting out "corruption"] than you're actually allowed to go.

hahah Sure, they are worried about corruption. That was when they were talking about firing the SEC.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:34 PM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]



Does Mitt Romney Want Your Vote? The GOP candidate’s “47 percent” comments in flowchart form.
Totally wrong. According to that, he doesn't want your vote if you don't pay income tax. They forgot the "Because you pay capital gains instead?" and "Because you keep your money in the cayman islands?" branches
Sure, the Romney camp is trying to use words from Obama in 1998 (14 years old, what a gotcha!) to contrast himself as a Man for the People who want to be Enterprising, vs That Socialist Obama
The entire quote is actually pretty reasonable. I suppose the republicans will harp on "I actually believe in redistribution" (right after comments indicating he only means a small amount). But honestly, I have never even understood why the republicans continue to make these "he's a socialist" comments. A) It's so played out and B) overall, when you poll the specific policies, people do actually believe in some "socialist" policies anyway. Why there is this assumption that the vast majority of Americans are diehard opposed to "redistribution"?

I mean, didn't Romney just say 47% of the population is for it?
posted by delmoi at 10:40 PM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mittsy, you can put your Concession_Speech on this page.
posted by Skygazer at 10:41 PM on September 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


All you have to do is check Five thirty eight every few days if you actually want to know what's going on.

They've been giving Romney better and better odds the last few days.
posted by Artw at 10:53 PM on September 18, 2012


My prediction for next year.
posted by vverse23 at 11:10 PM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Intrade and 538 are starting to converge now. 538 had Obama at like 81% and Intrade at %60 a few days ago.
posted by Golden Eternity at 11:23 PM on September 18, 2012


I've been trying to follow this thread but it's now 1148 comments and I have other things to do.

Last year the Sarah Palin thread got 5555 comments, which was interesting not just for the volume but also the uncanny coincidence of four digits of five.

I don't think this election year will be as interesting, partly because elections run against incumbents are not as interesting as those where the choice is between two novel candidates, and also partly because I think it's pretty obvious already, and has been for a while, that Romney is going to lose. Each successive gaffe just hammers this home, sucking all potential for surprise out of this election year.
posted by twoleftfeet at 11:27 PM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I keep finding more and more interesting web pages on MittRomney.com

Romney is always happy to serve up a response that matches whatever he thinks his audience wants to hear. Should we expect anything less from his web site?
posted by Lazlo at 11:34 PM on September 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


They've been giving Romney better and better odds the last few days

Yeah, because their model, in its infinite wisdom, has decided that Obama's flattening numbers is what is to be expected, and therefore, expects his numbers to perform even better to improve his probability of victory. There's also this concept of using econometric variables in the model along with poll numbers which, at least according to Sam Wang at Princeton Election Consortium, sort of double-counts things quite a bit.

(I personally find this argument persuasive; it is my view that it's better to add like quantities together, rather than do a complicated simulation of stuff based on every single metric you can measure. There's a strong whiff of overthink there)

Which is not to say fivethirtyeight is all bunk - I mean, if you're an Obama supporter, you should be at least a bit concerned about the flattening of the post-convention "bounce". In fact, fivethirtyeight is absolutely great for its "now-cast"; that's a neat calculation of where the race is at the moment.

I think the embassy comments were a bigger deal because they revealed he was incompetent on foreign policy, and in the same way bush was. On the other hand, these comments were just completely in line with what I expected from him.

So here's what I'm thinking: if his Libya comments show his absolute lack of awareness of how to respond to developing crises, the revelations about his views (rather, the lack of them thereof) on Israel - Palestine shows a lack of ideas on foreign policy.
posted by the cydonian at 11:48 PM on September 18, 2012


Is it just me, or are the politics threads of this election a lot less vitriolic than they were in 2008? Mittens, uniting us all in opposition.
posted by Phire at 12:01 AM on September 19, 2012


The Comeback Speech Romney Should Be Giving
posted by homunculus at 12:18 AM on September 19, 2012 [8 favorites]


Charlie Pierce is a national treasure.
posted by bardic at 12:52 AM on September 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Which is not to say fivethirtyeight is all bunk

It isn't bunk, but it also isn't necessary to do all that analysis to predict elections. Nate got 49 states out of 50 correct last election. But the thing is, as Nate himself will say, anybody paying attention in the least knew who was going to win 46 states. That left 4 actual toss-ups. You could randomly guess the winner of the last 4 states and expect to be correct on 48 out or 50. A quarter of people would expect to equal Nate's 49 out of 50. And one in eight would have gotten all 50, bettering Nate's performance with the highly scientific "wild ass guess" method.

I love 538 for poll analysis and the like but it is certainly overthinking a plate of beans in a lot of ways.
posted by Justinian at 1:08 AM on September 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


There’s a new 18 minutes of Romney talking at the start of the leaked video that Mother Jones didnt post until a few hours ago. Day 3. Boom.

Full Transcript of the Mitt Romney Secret Video with some telling moments you may not have heard about yet.
posted by nickyskye at 1:11 AM on September 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand the GOP has completely lost the hispanic vote for 100 years, if not longer.

Nice work fucking that chicken, Willard.
posted by bardic at 1:31 AM on September 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh! How to lose the Hispanic vote in one comment! From the transcript nickyskye just linked to: "[If] you have no skill or experience…you're welcome to cross the border and stay here for the rest of your life."

And then there's this interesting tidbit:
Envisioning a pre-election hostage crisis, à la Iran and Jimmy Carter: "If something of that nature presents itself, I will work to find a way to take advantage of the opportunity."

That second one is interesting. Reagan did take advantage of the Iran hostage affair, but stating -- nay, possibly relishing -- crisis political plans in advance... that would possibly end the Republican party if it did come to pass after a comment like that.
posted by Houstonian at 1:34 AM on September 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


A strongly-worded New York Times editorial re the leaked tapes, Mitt Romney, Class Warrior : Mr. Romney spoke with a bone-chilling cynicism and a revolting smugness.
posted by nickyskye at 1:38 AM on September 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


So, I've been working on a rap format that involves sampling statements by politicians and injecting just spaces and line breaks. I just did this one for a tiny bit of the Romney video. (original source).

Regis is gone.
I've done the night, the evening shows. I've been on Letterman a couple of times.
I've been on Leno more than a couple times, and now Letterman hates me
because I've been on Leno more than him.
They're very jealous
of one another
as you know.
And there's, I was asked to go on Saturday Night Live.
I did not do that,
in part because
you want to show that you're fun and you're a good person,
but
you also want to be presidential.
And Saturday Night Live has the potential of looking slapstick and not presidential.

But The View is fine.

Although

The View is high risk

because of the five women on it, only one is conservative.

Four are sharp-tongued and not conservative, Whoopi Goldberg in particular.

Although last time I was on the show, she said to me, "You know what? I think I could vote for you." And I said, "I must have done something really wrong." [Audience laughs.]

I had to sit down and—oop, Darlene, you get the last word.
posted by twoleftfeet at 1:45 AM on September 19, 2012


From one who knows a thing or two about politics, Alastair Campbell, has written pretty accurate and devastating account of the mess Romney has created for himself.
posted by vac2003 at 1:46 AM on September 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


And they worked on campaigns in Albania? Did I hear that right?

Well, of course...we're going to war with Albania. It's true. I just saw it on the internet.
posted by sexyrobot at 1:46 AM on September 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Envisioning a pre-election hostage crisis, à la Iran and Jimmy Carter: "If something of that nature presents itself, I will work to find a way to take advantage of the opportunity.""

Just when you thought someone was as loathesome as it is possible to be, he comes out with this.

Is the underlying implication that they might create such an opportunity?

/adjusts tinfoil hat

/remembers Romney's pathetic attempts at taking "advantage of the opportunity" following the death of Christopher Stevens in Benghazi. Puts hat back in cupboard.
posted by humph at 1:57 AM on September 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


The media has really been pushing this meme of how Willard is honestly gosh-shucks a darn nice fellow who simply had to run hard right to get the GOP nod.

Guess we can put that one to bed now. Turns out he's actually a mile-wide, shit-smeared asshole at heart. And a racist buffoon to boot.
posted by bardic at 2:09 AM on September 19, 2012 [8 favorites]


"Envisioning a pre-election hostage crisis, à la Iran and Jimmy Carter: "If something of that nature presents itself, I will work to find a way to take advantage of the opportunity.""

Romney deep down hasn't evolved since high school. "Gosh darn it, I've worked hard for this school and it's my turn to be Class President. I was on the Prom Committee in Salt Lake City and everything went peachy keen, and it would be neato if I were Class President. My Dad would be proud. My opponent, on the other hand, was caught lighting a fart. I think it's pretty clear which course of action our student electorate should take, in my estimation."
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:13 AM on September 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


This is seriously disturbing, chilling. The job creators who are going to save us, just look at the type of jobs that resonate with their interests:

"Back in my private equity days, we went to China to buy a factory there, employed about 20,000 people, and they were almost all young women between the ages of about 18 and 22 or 23.... the pittance they earned.... You've seen them."

Audience member: "Oh, yeah."

"And around this factory was a fence, a huge fence with barbed wire, and guard towers.... this is to keep other people from coming in. Because people want so badly to come work in this factory that we have to keep them out, or they'll just come in here and start working and try and get compensated."
posted by Houstonian at 2:17 AM on September 19, 2012 [11 favorites]


Now the first flush of 'OMG he's Toast" has passed, how bad is this?

Well, the polls taken around the time of the Libya incident are just showing up now, so the public response to this gaffe won't be known until the weekend at the very earliest, probably more like next week. So Romney's got October and some change left.

In that time, neither can his tax issue blow up, nor can his debate or his running mate's debate go badly, because if any of those things happen, the Romney campaign is back on the defensive, and there's less time to do his job.

His job is to compete, on a tough map, with a talented incumbent who is personally popular and has successes he's allowed to campaign on. If nothing else goes wrong, he has 4-5 weeks to do it in: this would be difficult for a talented politician.
posted by Ripper Minnieton at 2:45 AM on September 19, 2012


The more I read of the whole transcript, the more I think, "There's something in here for almost everyone." Not everyone, but almost everyone, can find themselves at strong odds with something that he said.

The Obama campaign can just start slicing this whole video up into commercial-size pieces, playing specific pieces in different areas depending on demographics. They don't need to do anything else. Easiest gig in town.
- Southern states: Play the "you're a whining bunch of shiftless takers" video.
- States with a high number of retirees: Same as the one for Southern states.
- States with a high number of Latinos: Play the "the immigrants we have are the stoopid ones" video.
- States with a high number of Asians: Play the "I ran a factory that fenced in the workers" video.
- States with a high number of Muslims from the Middle East: The Palestine video. Plus the dirty bomb comment and the Iran hostage affair plan.
- States with a lot of military: It's a goldmine. Play any of the videos in which he clearly has no clue about foreign policy. Plus the dirty bomb comment and the Iran hostage affair plan. Include the part where he's chumming up to Kissinger. Apparently even the people attending this dinner stopped eating when he dropped that name.
- States with a high number of unemployed college students: Play that one where he says that if you get an education and work hard, that's enough to get along.
- States with women: Play the "women don't watch debates, you have to get on the talk shows -- hey, I was on The View twice and I'm 'using' Ann sparingly and Hilary has to eat her beets" video.
- States with people who don't think $20 million a year is small potatoes: Play the "I'm as poor as a church mouse" video.
posted by Houstonian at 2:52 AM on September 19, 2012 [15 favorites]


I like the idea someone up above had to show a side profile of Mitts giving a speech and 47% of the audience slowly disappearing. That's a brilliant idea for an ad. It could be called: Romney's America.

Who's comment was that??
posted by Skygazer at 3:03 AM on September 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Skygazer, that was peacay.
posted by barnacles at 3:09 AM on September 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't think this has been linked yet? Also from Mother Jones: Who Was at Romney's "47 Percent" Fundraiser?. They have a list of possible people, based on Florida donors who have given $50,000 between May 1 - 17. The companies seem to be what you'd expect, except for this: the husband/wife team of Publishing Executive and Publisher/CEO of Paisano Publications.

Since it's a video and they are in the publishing world, I looked it up. Wholly-owned subsidiary of Easyriders Inc, publisher of the ever-classy Easyrider Magazine. "The grandaddy of biker publishing." Did not expect that.
posted by Houstonian at 3:13 AM on September 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Came across this (I'm not sure of it's accuracy though):

This fundraiser was given by the owner of Sun Capital.

Sun Capital is a private equity firm.

They own 25 companies.

1 out of 5 or 20% have declared bankruptcy.

Friendly's Restaurant was INTENIONALLY forced into bankruptcy so Sun Capital could avoid paying the employee's pensions.

There was a federal investigation and Sun Capital was forced to pay a hefty fine.

posted by Skygazer at 3:17 AM on September 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


Barnacles: that was peacay.

Thanks Barnacles!

posted by Skygazer at 3:25 AM on September 19, 2012


States with a high number of Muslims from the Middle East

Oh, they don't even have to be from the Middle East.
posted by bardophile at 3:49 AM on September 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


20% is high but some PE firms specialize in companies which have stumbled in some way and are hurting, and try to salvage them, which is what Sun might be doing. Some buy companies with steady business but no growth, fire a shitload of people to increase profits, leverage the company and give themselves huge bonuses. Some huge PE firms like KKR have bankrupcy and liquidation rates lower than average because they are so good at negotiating and specialize in that kind of stuff. It isn't really like the Gordon Gecko style corporate raiding of the 80s anymore.

It is like any business. Some of them are terrible people who want to strip companies. Some see an opportunity to aquire a sound but undervalued company and sell it for absurd profits. How do you think Warren Buffet makes money now?
posted by Ad hominem at 3:58 AM on September 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I love the Thurston Howell Romney (also linked above) editorial by David Brooks. Brooks, the GOP guy, basically says their candidate is clueless. The contrast with Obama on Letterman last night is stark.
posted by caddis at 4:08 AM on September 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


I keep finding more and more interesting web pages on MittRomney.com...this right here is a little strange....

To be fair, that is what it looks like when you shake up an etch a sketch.
posted by vewystwange at 4:16 AM on September 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


Looking at this from the other side of the Atlantic, the stunning thing is that, after this video, Romney is still a candidate. The "entitled to food, housing and healthcare" line alone would have killed any European politician. He would be dead and buried, with his own party urinating on the grave. Even in the UK, David Cameron (not exactly a friend of the working classes) would have swung the axe to any minor local Tory politician caught uttering anything similar.
posted by Skeptic at 4:23 AM on September 19, 2012 [21 favorites]


Looking at this from the other side of the Atlantic, the stunning thing is that, after this video, Romney is still a candidate. The "entitled to food, housing and healthcare" line alone would have killed any European politician. He would be dead and buried, with his own party urinating on the grave. Even in the UK, David Cameron (not exactly a friend of the working classes) would have swung the axe to any minor local Tory politician caught uttering anything similar.

Is there any major party in the UK (or most countries in Europe) that doesn't believe in climate change, evolution, LGBT rights, and social services? I thought the Tories were basically only slightly to the right of the median Democrat.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:31 AM on September 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Skeptic, you do realize that the line out of the Romney campaign is that President Obama's supporters are more European in outlook, don't you?

I have no idea how that squares the Kenyan socialist rhetoric but I can't waste my time trying to figure this shit out. Maybe all foreigners are socialist?
posted by rdr at 4:36 AM on September 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


zombieflanders: "Is there any major party in the UK (or most countries in Europe) that doesn't believe in climate change, evolution, LGBT rights, and social services? I thought the Tories were basically only slightly to the right of the median Democrat."

Pretty much, if you look at their written platforms. In reality there are some pretty hardline bigots, racists and free market fundamentalists in the Conservative party and they have, unfortunately, taken some heart from the rise of the Tea Party and are quite viciously setting about welfare and healthcare over here. The difference is that they pretend they're not and pay lip service to the welfare state and the NHS. Even when Mittens is 'on message' that would be anathema to him and the Republicans.

But yes, in general being a UK centrist is being hard left-wing in the US, and being a European centrist or centre-leftist is basically so left of the Overton Window of American politics it would be funny if it wasn't so sad.
posted by Happy Dave at 4:40 AM on September 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


I thought the Tories were basically only slightly to the right of the median Democrat.

Wrong. There's this general perception that European politics are shifted to the left with respect to the US. Truth is more complicated. In Germany, for instance, even center-left politicians may have a more restrictive view on abortion rights than US moderate conservatives. Most European mainstream politicians are more fiscally conservative than both US mainstream parties. But the actual entitlement to food, shelter and healthcare is one of the issues where the European (or at least Western European) political mainstream is unanimous. In some countries those three rights are even written down in the constitution.
posted by Skeptic at 4:41 AM on September 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


Well, at least Romney makes me feel better about that guy in the sweater who's running Canada at the moment.
posted by dazed_one at 4:41 AM on September 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Kenya's one of the nicest parts of Europe- especially in the fall.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:42 AM on September 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


From my friend Alan: "When you look at what happens to Obamas opponents the idea that he is the Antichrist becomes more and more plausible."
posted by unSane at 4:44 AM on September 19, 2012 [12 favorites]


The odd thing for me is that there's no socially liberal, fiscally conservative party in the US yet.

I mean there's Ron Paul, but - yknow, Ron Paul.

That's what the UK Tories have tried to do, although the kicking and screaming from the right can be heard from space and you never really know how genuine it is.

In Canada, Harper has been forced into a sort of centrist pragmatism by the politics of it all.
posted by unSane at 4:47 AM on September 19, 2012


Have you heard of the Democrats?
posted by leopard at 5:00 AM on September 19, 2012 [9 favorites]


If you think either the GOP or the Dems are fiscally conservative there's a bridge in Brooklyn etc
posted by unSane at 5:05 AM on September 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Rule of thumb - politicians craft message to audience. Doesn't mean they believe what they say, and sure as hell doesn't mean they're going to act on what they say.

(This applies across the board, so no jumping down my throat. I dislike both candidates about equally, though for different reasons.)
posted by IndigoJones at 5:08 AM on September 19, 2012


Looking at this from the other side of the Atlantic, the stunning thing is that, after this video, Romney is still a candidate.

Even if they wanted to, I don't think that there's anything that the Republican Party can do about it right now. Romney won the primaries and got the most delegates so he's their candidate.
posted by octothorpe at 5:09 AM on September 19, 2012


The problem for Romney is that this looked a lot like a 'mask slipped' moment.
posted by unSane at 5:10 AM on September 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


Looking at this from the other side of the Atlantic, the stunning thing is that, after this video, Romney is still a candidate.

With Alan Keyes, Donald Trump and Herman Cain warming up in the bullpen, I'm not sure they have any choice but to keep him at the plate.
posted by unSane at 5:12 AM on September 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is there any major party in the UK (or most countries in Europe) that doesn't believe in climate change, evolution, LGBT rights, and social services?

Plenty of Tories dispute climate change, and they're not alone in Europe: the current Spanish PM, for instance, once poured ridicule on the notion (although he currently keeps mum abou the subject). And former Socialist French minister, Claude Allègre, is one of the loudest voices in the denialist lobby. With respect to LGBT rights, look again: same-sex marriage is still impossible in most European countries (and not about to happen anytime soon in, say, Poland, Italy or Ireland). Evolution is particular: its rejection in the US is very directly tied to the influence of evangelical churches, which are vanishingly small in Europe. The real difference, indeed, are social services.
posted by Skeptic at 5:17 AM on September 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


The odd thing for me is that there's no socially liberal, fiscally conservative party in the US yet.

I mean there's Ron Paul, but - yknow, Ron Paul.


FWIW, it's hard for me to describe Ron Paul as "socially liberal." It's more that he thinks socially restrictive laws should be left up to the states, not the feds.... Except abortion, which he voted to ban at the federal level. He gets a lot of support from some social liberals because they only hear the, say, "End the federal drug war" part, or the "repeal DOMA" part, but don't hear the second part, which was "lets states pass whatever laws they want."

(Also, there is a small socially liberal, fiscally conservative wing of the Republican party. We just don't hear from them on social issues much.)
posted by muddgirl at 5:38 AM on September 19, 2012 [9 favorites]


The View is high risk because of the five women on it, only one is conservative. Four are sharp-tongued and not conservative, Whoopi Goldberg in particular.

Romney's scared of Whoopi!

But really, "sharp-tongued?" What is this, 1900? How dare these shrews unleash their sharp tongues on their providers? Go back to your washing, women!
posted by Miko at 5:39 AM on September 19, 2012 [29 favorites]


there is a small socially liberal, fiscally conservative wing of the Republican party

There's room for a pragmatic, very contemporary, solutions-oriented coalition.
posted by Miko at 5:40 AM on September 19, 2012


(Also, there is a small socially liberal, fiscally conservative wing of the Republican party. We just don't hear from them on social issues much.

David Frum.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:44 AM on September 19, 2012


The odd thing for me is that there's no socially liberal, fiscally conservative party in the US yet.

It's called the Democratic Party.
posted by deanc at 5:50 AM on September 19, 2012 [14 favorites]


How dare these shrews unleash their sharp tongues on their providers? Go back to your washing, women!

Wait, wait!

Who's going to do the ironing?!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:53 AM on September 19, 2012


FWIW, it's hard for me to describe Ron Paul as "socially liberal."

Yeah that landed with a thud for me, too, mudgirl. So many times I've heard Ron Paul touted as some revolutionary new brand of progressive. It's never a woman talking.
posted by applemeat at 6:01 AM on September 19, 2012 [15 favorites]


If you think either the GOP or the Dems are fiscally conservative there's a bridge in Brooklyn etc

Is that the bridge you bought when someone told you that Ron Paul was socially liberal?

Rule of thumb - politicians craft message to audience. Doesn't mean they believe what they say, and sure as hell doesn't mean they're going to act on what they say.

(This applies across the board, so no jumping down my throat. I dislike both candidates about equally, though for different reasons.)


I totally agree. This video of Romney is totally cancelled out by the video of him speaking to Occupy Wall Street calling for higher taxes on the evil Wall Street fat cats who caused all our problems. Everything in the universe is in total cosmic balance.
posted by leopard at