“The president’s campaign has put out a campaign that’s talking about me and attacking me. I think it’s just demeaning to the nature of the process, particularly when we face the kinds of challenges we face.” — Mitt Romney, in an interview on CBS News.
Dennis G. at Balloon Juice breaks this down the best:
The shock of it all. You run for office and your opponent talks about you, your ideas and why he thinks you are wrong for the job. Most folks would think that this just comes with the territory when you run for President, but for Mitt it is an outrage. The idea that anybody might question him offends his sense of entitlement.
In Romney’s view, he should be able to say anything he wants. Tell any lie. Mitt can attack Barack Obama as the ‘Great Other’, as an unAmerican usurper of power, as a man who hates the Country, as a man who doesn’t understand American values, as a man who wants to take the money from hard working white folks and give it to lazy brown people, as a man unfit for office, as a man who is incompetent, as a man who is a gangster thug and a thousand other insults and lies that Romney and the Wingnuts use to attack President Obama ALL the time. In Mitt’s view race-baiting is justified if it might help him win. He is fine with using code-talking to call Barack Obama an angry black man that all decent white folks should fear. It is OK for Team Mitt to lie and to promote policies that will destroy the middle class. It is OK for his side to bring all the crazy they want.
What is not OK—what Mitt thinks is out-of-bounds—is for anybody to notice and/or mention any of it.
If you call Mitt out for the ways that his policies will hurt the middle-class: that’s going over the line. If you notice that Mitt made his fortune through tax dodges and the destruction of American Jobs, well that is out-of-bounds. If you point out that Mitt is using memes about welfare and angry black men to appeal to white fear and anxiety, then you’re guilty of hate speech.
Mitt Romney wants to run for President with all aspects about him, his campaign, his record, his plans, his statements and his goals off-limits from any review or discussion.
I think we’ve all seen that Mitt can dish it out — but, wow, can he NOT take it. Not even a little bit. He’s a thin-skinned, whiny, spoiled aristocrat who can’t take criticism (he won’t release more tax returns for that reason!). He’s a guy who is used to telling people to jump and having them respond, “How high?” No one dares look directly at the King!
Dennis G. hits the nail on the head: Mitt’s sense of entitlement is massive — it may extend all the way to Kolob. Hopefully there are more of us who think Romney is not ”entitled” to anything, let alone the White House, just because he wants it. I hope after the election Romney can go spend some quality time with his money in the Caymans or Bermuda.
Benjy Sarlin at TPM explains how the budget math between Romney and Ryan is getting so twisted, that now Ryan says they won’t even discuss how they’d balance the budget before the election!
Ryan’s choice was intended to bolster Romney’s promise to cut spending. In a bizarre twist, however, the only concrete policy change since Ryan joined the ticket has been a new promise to reverse $716 billion of Medicare savings enacted under the Affordable Care Act, complicating an already fantastical promise by Romney to balance the budget within eight years.
[...] As for his long-term Medicare plan, Romney is even less clear. He disavowed Ryan’s 2010 proposal to privatize the program and dramatically cut seniors’ benefits over time to bring down the deficit. But once again, he’s refused to fill in the details as to how many savings he’d achieve with his own partial-privatization plan, making it impossible to judge its impact. [...] As the independent Tax Policy Center noted in a study last month, Romney’s promise to cut income tax rates by 20 percent across the board by eliminating tax deductions for the rich simply does not add up. Even under the most charitable estimates, the study concluded Romney’s approach would raise taxes for 95 percent of Americans on average while slashing them for the wealthiest Americans.
Romney called the study “garbage” Tuesday, but his new running mate confirmed this week that they would not release any more information before the election as to how they would pay for their plan instead. “That is something that we think we should do in the light of day, through Congress,” Ryan told FOX News. Continue…
Maybe Mitt will pledge to release his tax returns after the election too. Why not? He’s not going to talk about specifics of his budget until then. Romney wants everything he’s done or stood for off limits or he whines that Obama is engaging in “gutter politics.” Why discuss anything else at this point? This is quite the impressive team you have there, GOP.
La Town Cafe Francais • Johnny Cordova ©
The Outer Drive at Randolph Street, Chicago
High atop the Outer Drive East Apartments. Elegant dining with an incomparable view of Chicago’s lakefront and skyline.
Video above begins here:
Jon Ralston: Did you ask your team if Mitt Romney did not pay taxes?
McCain: I am absolutely confident that he did not pay taxes. …I mean that he did pay, excuse me, that he did pay taxes.
Notice McCain didn’t answer Ralston’s question. But McCain’s answer is revealing anyway because he’d just finished explaining that in 2008 he had a team who reviewed the tax returns so McCain himself never saw anyone’s returns. Regardless, he’s “confident” Romney
did not did pay taxes.
During an interview that’s scheduled to air on Thursday, NBC’s Natalie Morales noted that people were still calling for the Romneys to release more than two years of tax returns.
“Have you seen how we’re attacked?” Ann Romney said, leaning forward in her chair. “Have you seen what’s happened?”
“Are you angry that it’s been in the press?” Morales wondered. “I mean, should you not be questioned about your finances?”
“We have been very transparent to what’s legally required of us,” Ann Romney replied. “But the more we release, the more we get attacked, the more we get questioned, the more we get pushed. And so, we have done what’s legally required. And there’s going to be no more tax releases given.”
“To the American people, though, when they hear about perhaps accounts with your name on it overseas and tax shelters, they feel like you may be hiding something,” Morales pointed out.
“There’s nothing we’re hiding,” Romney explained. “You know, we’ve had a blind trust for how many years? We don’t even know what’s in there. It’s been managed by blind trust since before Mitt was governor, you know, 2002 forward. And so, you know, I’ll be curious to see what’s in there too.”
You know? Just trust Ann — she’s not hiding anything about what she doesn’t know about. Quit attacking them for things that make them uncomfortable. Shhh. Steve Benen points out how radical the Romneys are being about hiding their tax returns:
She went on to say, “There’s nothing we’re hiding.” Except the tax returns, the tax rates paid, and the explanation for the Swiss bank account, the shell corporation in Bermuda, and the cash in the Cayman Islands. Other than hiding all of that, they’re not hiding anything.
And why will the Romneys refuse all additional calls for disclosure, even from Republicans? According to Ann Romney, it’s because Democrats might use the materials to make Mitt Romney look bad.
I continue to marvel at this deeply odd argument. As Dahlia Lithwick and Raymond Vasvari recently explained, “[Romney] isn’t actually claiming that his opponents will lie. He’s claiming he’s entitled to hide the truth because it could be used against him…. These are tax returns. Factual documents. No different than, say, a birth certificate. But the GOP’s argument that inconvenient facts can be withheld from public scrutiny simply because they can be used for mean purposes is a radical idea in a democracy.”
Don’t forget that one or two tax returns as background on his potential running mates wouldn’t cut it for Mitt Romney — he requested “several” from each of them, including Paul Ryan. Romney won’t give you the same background on himself because he knows he’ll be attacked. Not only that, he destroyed records from when he was governor of Massachusetts. He destroyed the records from when he ran the 2002 Olympics. And we have only part of the story about how he retroactively retired from Bain Capital to run the Olympics, yet was still one of two managing members, attending board meetings, signing documents and receiving a six-figure salary — as reported to the SEC. But, trust him, he’s hiding nothing.
Unless you’re currently comatose (or a teapartier), these facts indicate that Mitt Romney won’t disclose his past tax returns because he IS hiding something – something that’s so embarrassing, so uncomfortable, so attackable that all this criticism and speculation and mistrust is actually preferable to the alternative.
Timothy Egan attempts to define the boundary, shape or texture of Mitt in his opinion piece Romney the Unknowable:
The Republican National Convention will mark the fourth time in 18 years, dating to a losing Senate race in 1994, that a Team Romney has tried to construct a Brand Romney. This problem of who he is, Romney acknowledged last year, has plagued him ever since he became a public figure.
In focus groups, he’s described as a tin man, a shell, an empty suit, vacuous, a multimillionaire in mom jeans. And that’s from supporters.
At the convention, you can expect to hear high praise for a virtuous, disciplined, loyal person of family and faith. You will surely hear the words “turnaround” and “no apology” — both titles of platitudinous and unread books by Romney — in defense of his business acumen and unshakable view of American exceptionalism.
But I doubt you will hear anything of the real Romney because he is afraid of his own past. His life — even with prep school privilege in Bloomfield Hills, the draft-avoiding refuges of mission work in Paris and business school at Harvard, a founding role at Bain Capital from a mentor who guaranteed he would never fail financially or professionally — is not without drama… continue
Mitt Romney, Republican presidential candidate, is a construct. Here’s what his supporters will be voting for:
And by the way, still no tax returns? So many secrets.
“For Mitt Romney, it’s the laugh. I’m sure that at times Romney laughs with genuine mirth, but you know the laugh I’m talking about. It’s the one he delivers when he gets asked a question he doesn’t want to answer, or is confronted with a demand to explain a flip-flop or a lie. It’s the phoniest laugh in the world, the one New York Times reporter Ashley Parker wrote ‘sounds like someone stating the sounds of laughter, a staccato Ha. Ha. Ha.‘ Everything Mitt Romney is as a candidate is distilled within that laugh — his insincerity, his ambition, his awkwardness, and above all his fear. When Mitt laughs that way, he is not amused. He is terrified. Because he knows that what he’s saying is utter baloney, and he knows that we know it.” — Paul Waldman
As of July/2012: Will your state pursue the healthcare law’s Medicaid expansion?
According to press statements and reports. R/D/I indicate governors’ party affiliation.
D – California
D – Connecticut
D – Hawaii
D – Illinois
D – Massachusetts
D – Minnesota
D – Maryland
D – New York
D – Oregon
I – Rhode Island
D – Vermont
D – Washington
UNDECIDED, APPEAR TO BE LEANING YES:
D – Arkansas
R – Alaska
R – Arizona
D – Colorado
D – Delaware
R – Idaho
D – Kentucky
R – Maine
R – Michigan
D – Montana
D – New Hampshire
R – New Jersey
R – New Mexico
D – North Carolina
R – North Dakota
R – Ohio
R – Oklahoma
R – Pennsylvania
R – South Dakota
R – Tennessee
R – Utah
D – West Virginia
R – Wyoming
UNDECIDED, APPEAR TO BE LEANING NO:
R – Alabama
R – Georgia
R – Indiana
R – Mississippi
D – Missouri
R – Nevada
R – Texas
R – Virginia
R – Florida
R – Iowa
R – Kansas
R – Louisiana
R – Nebraska
R – South Carolina
R – Wisconsin
Some Republican governors have no problem rejecting ACA-funded expansions of Medicaid in their states to help the poor. They believe in “small government” — even if others must suffer for it. These same governors would never dream of increasing taxes, by even a small amount, on their wealthiest residents. Instead, to balance a budget, they’d have no problem cutting public-sector jobs, programs, and services for everyone else.
“In South Carolina, a yearly income of $16,900 is too much for Medicaid for a family of three. In Florida, $11,000 a year is too much. In Mississippi, $8,200 a year is too much. In Louisiana and Texas, earning more than just $5,000 a year makes you ineligible for Medicaid.
“[Republican] governors in those five states have said they’ll reject the Medicaid expansion underpinning Obama’s health law after the Supreme Court’s decision gave states that option. Many of those hurt by the decision are working parents who are poor — but not poor enough — to qualify for Medicaid.”
“[...] Medicaid now covers an estimated 70 million Americans and would cover an estimated 7 million more in 2014 under the Obama health law’s expansion. In contrast, Ryan’s plan could mean 14 million to 27 million Americans would ultimately lose coverage, even beyond the effect of a repeal of the health law, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation of Ryan’s 2011 budget plan.
“[...] The national health law’s Medicaid expansion would start covering all citizens in 2014 who make up to roughly $15,400 for an individual, $30,650 for a family of four.
“The federal government will pay the full cost of the Medicaid expansion through 2016. After that, the states will pick up 5 percent of the cost through 2019, and 10 percent of the cost thereafter.
“Why would a governor say no?”
“[Mead] is worried about the 83,000 uninsured residents in the state and the impact of the high cost of uncompensated care. But he said the state needs to look at its possible savings and expenses as a “ledger sheet” and consider all the consequences of both the expansion and the rest of the health-care act… Mead said Wyoming might not need to decide if presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney wins and follows through on his vow to repeal the health-care act. “(He) said there will be a change in course if he is elected,” Mead said. “If President (Barack) Obama is elected, I assume we will continue heading down this line.””
This is one example of how a political ideology is now more of a religious belief to the modern GOP than is the Christianity they always claim to follow.
…we’ll wake up to this and wish it were August.