Thursday, September 20, 2012

Romney Throws Away The Poor Folks' Vote

One third of the voters who live below the poverty line were planning to vote for Mitt Romney for President. Now they may not. Mitt just slammed their faces in the mud. If they are on food stamps or Medicare/Medicaid they are playing the victim game, he says. And so are their kids.
   "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 that 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,"  said Mr. Romney at a private fundraiser some months ago.
In "preaching to the choir," telling them what they had paid to hear, Romney conflated three different groups, each of which is about 47 percent of a larger population.

About 47 percent of voters say they have decided to vote for Obama for President. They are from all walks of life.

About 47 percent of households have at least one member who receives help from the government - everything from student loans to Medicare. To  Romney, not one but every person in such a household, whether grandparent, wage-earner or child, is a dependent playing the victim game. To Romney, 47 percent of all Americans are dependent on government.

About 47 percent of American households pay no income taxes. This group includes (a long list here) for example, people among the very rich who sequester their wealth and income overseas. It includes poor families with a lot of kids, where the many little deductions are greater than the income. It includes people who are elderly and retired. It includes veterans on disability. It includes people who have no income. 

While these three groups may overlap somewhat, Romney considers them identical. Each one is 47%, isn't it? This makes for better preaching.

It is inevitable that a candidate who needs big-dollar corporate donations so he can advertise his worth would preach corporate dogma and daydreams to a corporate crowd. Inevitable also, given Moore's law, that this sermon to the choir someday would be recorded, and that private lies told to major donors would be heard by the multitudes. Inevitable.

And he defends them. Romney defends these lies. As he throws votes away.

The conservative press is in a tizzy, as noted by comedian John Stewart. The Club for Growth is telling Romney he's on his own.  Senators fled their weekly press conference after a brief statement, not taking any questions from reporters. Vulnerable House Republicans distance themselves from Romney.   Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty is stepping down as Romney campaign co-chair to take a job as CEO of the Financial Services Roundtable, a K Street lobbying group for Wall Street interests.

Watching an avalanche can be fun when you're not under it.

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