People on the left are in an uproar. People on the right are cheering. Why? Well because Mitt Romney said this:
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…[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.
Spoken at a fundraiser in Florida months back, a video of this speech just went viral a few days ago courtesy of liberal mag Mother Jones. Seems like perfect timing if you ask me but that’s beside the point. Now if it is not obvious as to why the liberals are hellapissed then you need to pay more attention. If it is not obvious as to why conservatives are fired up with excitement then again, you need to pay more attention.
So the lefty media now thinks that they have the smoking gun. They believe that Mitt Romney has now crucified himself and that the election is lost for the Republican Redken spokesmodel. Liberal pundits on MSNBC, CNN and the radio were displaying their anger over these “insensitive” and “outlandish” remarks while reveling in what they thought was a suicide bullet fired into the GOP elephant’s skull. Personally, I think they’re wrong.
These comments won’t change things as far as the big picture goes in this election. The solid bases of both sides of this divide have their minds made up. There are certainly undecided voters and independents who may be affected by this but with everything else being tossed around left and right, I don’t see this as being more than a minor hinderance on Romney’s campaign and not from the Republican side but from the independent and undecided sectors of the voting public. Even then, it will quickly be forgotten by many. The only way that this issue can grow and become a major problem for Ol’ Mittens were if it were to take over debates, thus overshadowing more important issues. I don’t hold it passed the liberal and biased moderators to not distract the American people with this, as it is their modus operandi. Even so, knowing that it will most likely come up next month while Romney and Obama go head-to-head, I don’t see Americans taking too kindly to a moderator making this minor and unimportant issue the centerpiece that frames the debates.
If it comes to it though, Mitt Romney can flip this in his favor. All he has to do is follow the advice of the majority of conservative pundits and “own” his comments. If pressed on the issue, Mitt Romney needs to own up to what he said and reiterate it. The problem as it stands now however, is that the way he said it was not the best way for him to express it. He needs to really think this through, know that it is probably going to come up and have a more calculated and exacting way of restating what was said months ago.
The truth is, whether or not people want to accept reality or not, there was a lot of truth to what Mitt Romney said. Yes, there is a large portion of American society that feels that they are entitled to everything and thus, dependent on the state in most areas of their life. To deny that point is pretty damned asinine. Now if the number is 47 percent, that’s another issue. However, you can’t just paint a magic picture that states that all of the people that are not paying Federal Income Tax are somehow entitlement-addicted big government junkies. That’s like saying that everyone who ever went to a public school is a liberal drone. Where I sit, I see it as being a lot less than 47 percent but the point has been made and other than the high percentage Mitt claims, he’s not necessarily wrong in his accusations.
Now before some of you reading this get your goddamned panties in a bunch, I am not endorsing Mitt Romney here and even though I believe there is truth in his poorly articulated words, I don’t see him as a guy who will not perpetuate the same entitlement dependent society that our government has been nurturing and parenting into existence for over a century. In fact, Mitt Romney was the architect of RomneyCare, which Obama claims was the blueprint for his tyrannical ObamaCare plan. Yes, we all know this now but it doesn’t hurt to point out the obvious once again, as this issue that once angered millions has now been brushed under the rug for the sake of political tribalism.
Most recently, Romney – who has promised to use his executive power as president to destroy ObamaCare – has been traveling across the country with his new campaign message: “Repeal and Replace”. Replace with what? Well, we don’t fucking know because Captain Clown Shoes isn’t talking about it! Mums the word! Yet, the Republican voter base isn’t asking this question. Why? Because they don’t give a shit! They only care about getting out Obama, who brought them ObamaCare. And if getting him out means championing in an equally bad piece of “replacement” legislation, well that is apparently just fine. But let’s not just rant about this health care issue, as I’ve already covered this in greater detail in my article “The Electoral Effects of ObamaCare“. Moving forward, nanny Romney has other policy faux pas worth looking at.
In regards to the welfare state, Mitt Romney and the GOP are just as guilty of creating a bunch of entitled big government parasites. Hell, under Republican presidents, entitlement spending has greatly increased at a rate faster than when a Democrat has been in charge. Nicholas Eberstadt of the American Enterprise Institute wrote this on the subject:
From a purely statistical standpoint, the growth of entitlement spending over the past half-century has been distinctly greater under Republican administrations than Democratic ones. Between 1960 and 2010, the growth of entitlement spending was exponential, but in any given year, it was on the whole roughly 8% higher if the president happened to be a Republican rather than a Democrat.
Now looking at this point, “how is this possible” some may be wondering? Well, Republicans – Romney included – are just as guilty and provenly more so than Democrats at entitlement spending. To start, they only attack the entitlements that don’t effect them. What I mean by that, is that on one hand they are quick to bash welfare, food stamps and programs that help the poor but on the other hand, they are quick to defend entitlements for seniors – a huge portion of their constituents. Shit, do I even dare bring up corporate welfare and the fact that Romney has backed that madness? Let’s hold off on that and stick to this point for now.
So, getting back to entitlements for seniors, Reason Magazine’s Nick Gillespie wrote:
..Romney’s devotion to seniors – who often pay no income taxes due to their retired status and reliance in Social Security – has been repaid with their willingness to vote for him.
Expanding further on the issue, National Review Senior Editor Ramesh Ponnuru wrote:
It’s true that Americans with low incomes — more and more of whom now receive food stamps and federally subsidized health insurance — have generally voted for Democrats over Republicans. But in 2010, these voters shifted toward Republicans even as food stamps, unemployment benefits and the like continued to increase.
Conservatives have even less reason for worrying about people who don’t pay federal income taxes. A major reason that the number of those people has grown is that a Republican-controlled Congress created, and the Bush administration expanded, a tax credit for parents. If there is any evidence that in recent years middle-class parents have become more Democratic, relative to the general electorate, I haven’t seen it.
The point here should be obvious; you can’t bash one group of people for being dependent on the government when you yourself are protecting a large portion of your supporters who are also dependent on the government. If you took entitlements away from seniors, the shit would hit the fan! And this is why Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan and the vast majority of Republican politicians do their damnedest to protect these senior entitlement programs. In doing so, this makes them hypocritical. If we are going to cut spending effectively, we need to look at the sacred cows on both sides of the coin. This goes deeper than just mentioning it here or there. As people say, actions speak louder than words. Unfortunately, Republicans aren’t serious enough to look at reforming their sacred cows but they are incredibly adamant that their enemies must dispose of theirs.
Mitt Romney will not reign in an era of self-sufficieny and personal responsibility. He will not help to establish a society that isn’t independent from government. All Mitt Romney will due is keep us on the same path. He will continue to feed our culture of dependency and nurse it into the future, while younger generations keep getting raped in an effort to pay the tab of our greedy entitled elders. In servicing the older generation, Romney will create more angry youngsters – many of whom will become the very parasites he is attacking with his comments. Unless of course he really means to look at reforming and cutting the sacred cows of his party. Let’s be honest though, the chance of that happening is about as likely as a unicorn being birthed from a hobbit.
What Romney’s comments have done is changed the conversation, this is considering that the liberals are going to keep talking about it and that Mitt is competent enough to discuss it in a way that won’t make him look like more of a fool. The problem is that Mitt Romney can’t be honest about it, not even with himself. He has to be willing to look at cuts and reforms everywhere and not be afraid to piss off those who’s votes he needs – primarily those older people on the right. Mitt Romney needs to have bigger balls than his party and not be worried about how they will react if he turns up the heat across the board. He won’t do this however and everything that he has said is just bullshit pandering rhetoric. Mitt Romney has a history of telling people what they want to hear and this message about the “47 percent” is the message that Republicans want to hear. He just verbalized it stupidly and probably won’t be able to expand on it in a meaningful way that will help him attract voters outside of the GOP’s loyal minions.
It’d be nice to have some people running for president that actually had cojones. Well, there’s Gov. Gary Johnson but then again, Republicans are trying to modify several states’ ballot access requirements in order to keep the man out of the race. The two party system is once again leaving us all with bad tastes in our asses. Realistically though, how can we expect any of them to be honest to the American public when they can’t be honest with themselves?