David Frum‘s two part essay on why Mitt Romney is 100% wrong on the 47% is a must read.
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.
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.
And these two assessments of the inner Romney are bang on.
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.
I think he really genuinely believes that the only reason that his particular message isn’t resonating is that people want something for free and he’s not offering it to them.
And let’s remember that Romney’s words are simply a reflection of the bigger Republican message. The pain that Republicans are experiencing over the release of the Romney video has nothing to do with what Romney actually said about the 47 percent, as inaccurate as it all was. No, the real pain the right is feeling is having their disdain for the poor and middle class expressed so openly and candidly.
Republicans prefer their true intent on most issues muddied up and camouflaged in layers of BS and lies. So when one of their people gets caught stating the party’s true intent, it’s like kryptonite to them for it’s essential that the little people never know how deep and hard Koch and friends are screwing them.
The Romney source photograph is a Creative Commons licensed image from photographer Gage Skidmore.