In yet another “Ouch, the truth got out!” moment for Mitt Romney, Mother Jones has released video of him speaking frankly to his base, the fellow 1%, with an amount of candor you’ll never see from him anywhere else.
In it are such gems as him sneering that he’ll never win over the people too poor to pay federal income tax (as opposed to those too rich to pay it), because they’re worthless moochers who think the government owes them every consideration (as opposed to the rich who think the government owes them everything). He also whines about how he can’t get the Latino vote because his grandparents were white Americans living in Mexico rather than actual brown Mexicans – you know, because he’d still have gotten the Republican nod to be nomination if he were ethnically Hispanic, and because Hispanic people would have voted for someone who opposes immigration reform including the DREAM Act, pals around with the likes of Joe Arpaio, and is willing to exploit undocumented workers right up until he’s running for office, just as long as he was Hispanic.
He also gets his actual numbers wrong (see the Mother Jones article for details) but that wasn’t what got me thinking today. I’m used to Romney lying about, well, everything. What amuses me about this is that he’s basically now screwed himself over by speaking the truth too plainly. It’s no secret that his economic plan does less than nothing for most Americans, and that he has no interest in appealing to that group… but you’re not supposed to let them see so plainly the dismissal of their importance.
This seems to be a pretty common pattern for Romney and for Republicans generally in this election season. Romney’s also hurt himself with comments like “corporations are people” and “I like being able to fire people” – and who could doubt that that is exactly how he thinks? Oh, I kid, Mitt Romney… those were just inartful ways of expressing himself, he meant that corporations are comprised of people, and that he likes being able to fire and presumably replace individuals who provide poor service.
However, most of the positions Romney and Ryan are running on are quite unpopular with the public at large, but things that are popular with their base. The way they try to elide this problem is to speak in rounded sonorous tones of generalities and avoid specifics. It’s a well-worn classical political technique, but the GOP today seems to be terribly bad at it.
Todd Akin is only the latest of many prominent Republicans giving the away the true radical extent of the GOP position on abortion. Paul Ryan and his many GOP admirers try to say they want to “save” Medicare, but this is some Orwellian use of the word “save” that brings to mind a certain village in Vietnam called My Lai. that spawned the phrase “It became necessary to destroy the village in order to save it.” Rick Santorum‘s position on contraception, that it’s “not at all okay” is shared by many in the GOP, they just don’t like to talk about it too loudly. While it’s a solid and obvious Republican strategy to try to deny the franchise selectively to groups which tend to vote Democratic, they still have to cringe when some of them are careless enough to say so publicly. The list goes on and on.
It’s not the hypocrisy that kills, it’s the getting caught. We can’t have the truth getting out there, we’re running for office for Pete’s sake!