Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Of Course He Isn't

Mitty Mitt Mitt. What's to be done with you? The day after you win the Florida GOP Presidential Primary, you remind everybody why you should never be allowed in the Oval Office:

“I’m not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there,” Romney told CNN. “If it needs repair, I’ll fix it. I’m not concerned about the very rich, they’re doing just fine. I’m concerned about the very heart of the America, the 90 percent, 95 percent of Americans who right now are struggling.”

Host Soledad O’Brien pointed out that the very poor are probably struggling too.

“The challenge right now — we will hear from the Democrat party the plight of the poor,” Romney responded, after repeating that he would fix any holes in the safety net. “And there’s no question it’s not good being poor and we have a safety net to help those that are very poor . . . My focus is on middle income Americans ... we have a very ample safety net and we can talk about whether it needs to be strengthened or whether there are holes in it. but we have food stamps, we have Medicaid, we have housing vouchers, we have programs to help the poor.”

I love Soledad's incredulity bordering on outright contempt, if not for his callousness then for his impolitic messaging. While I agree that it is unfair to take the quote out of context -- although it is something the Romney campaign does to President Obama unapologetically in ads itself -- the actual context is pretty dreadful, tin-eared and reveals a candidate without the Big Picture of American society today.

On one hand, it's easy to take as Freudian slip that Romney doesn't care about the "very poor," but is he essentially saying there's always going to be a permanent underclass in this country that will never move out of social welfare programs?

Or is he even aware what it means to be "very poor" and how many families in America are below or near the poverty line -- per Wikipedia, "Most Americans (58.5%) will spend at least one year below the poverty line at some point between ages 25 and 75."

Or is he making a false distinction, since employment uncertainty has grown among those "middle income Americans" thanks to layoffs like those experienced by Bain Capital-managed companies?

And where does he get the 90-95% for those "middle income Americans?" Is that what he believes, or just a pander since his wealthy, almost all now from investments, has branded him Mr. 1%?

And where does he get off even citing class differences when he's ready to excoriate Obama for "class warfare" every time the President suggests that millionaires and billionaires should pay more than a 15% capital gains tax? Class division works when you need to pander, right Mitt?

And that pander, is it actually an attempt to separate out the "middle income Americans" from the "very poor" since he's given up in trying to get votes from the "very poor" and, in fact, may benefit from his Republican Party's work suppressing those votes?

And is there some sort of missing class here? I don't mean "the very rich," I wonder about the just plain "poor." Is that a different category than the "very poor?"

And why is the GOP always trying to cut programs for the "very poor" if Mitt says it's important not only that we have safety net (Ronald Reagan's term, originally, as he cut it), but that he'll vaguely "fix it" where it isn't working?

If so, what is his analysis of the state of the safety net...and what proposals, if any, does Mitt have to fix it? The only proposals he's shown thus far benefit the rich he claims not to worry about.

And, finally, did he just admit that the Democratic Party actually does care about the poor, f'real?

To the three remaining GOP Presidential wannabes: Stay in the race. This runner stumbles. Badly and often enough and egregiously enough that his Party is questioning his ability to take on President Obama in the Fall. Some are even saying this Election Cycle is a wash, time to start strategizing for 2016.

Per the TPM video below...the concession stand is having trouble keeping enough popcorn in stock to enjoy the GOP 2012 Presidential Election show.

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