An Ungracious Exit
November 16th, 2012
Usually, when a candidate loses an election, he makes a gracious concession speech and then, in a dignified manner, retires from public attention for a while. We may hear from him later on, but we do not hear him grousing about how the other guy illicitly won the election. Even Al Gore, who lost because the other guy actually did steal the election, in the most galling ways, even Gore did not complain about how the election was lost. He commented on other stuff, like how Bush ignored the warnings before 9/11, but that was years later. After November 2000, he gracefully conceded and faded away for a few years. Not so Mitt Romney. Barely a week after he loses the election, he's still grousing to other rich people about how Obama stole the election from him by promising poor people, minorities, and women “free stuff.” He bitterly suggested that Democrats try to give away free dental care in 2016, suggesting that trillion-dollar unpaid-for giveaways are nothing to liberals. You see, we Democrats are immoral here. You should never win elections by providing things to the electorate. You should win them by providing things to your patrons, in particular wealthy people and corporations. That's the only moral way to win an election. So, what was the “free stuff” Obama bribed voters with? According to Romney, it was Obama's healthcare law and support for comprehensive immigration reform. The problem is, neither of these things really have a significant impact on the budget, but they do help remedy serious problems we face today. In truth, we need better. Single-payer would be more cost-effective still, as would controls on health care prices—but both are fanatically opposed by conservatives like Romney. Immigration needs to be fixed, but “self-deportation” is as ludicrous and insulting as Romney's pipe dream that he would solve the trade war he'd start with China by looking at them sternly. So, reasonable and economically feasible plans that address social needs, that's “free stuff” which costs trillions of dollars a pop. Unlike Bush's Medicare plans, which cost vast sums of money and were actually unpaid for, which acted as “free stuff” for seniors, a powerful voting bloc, and was a payoff to Big Pharma to boot. That, apparently, was OK. Same with Romney's tax gifts. Apparently, a 20% tax cut across the board, which Romney vigorously tried to frame as being for the middle class, would have cost nearly $5 trillion over ten years, and was unpaid for. That was not “free stuff”? It would provide a huge slice of what government does for free, so I think that qualifies. And, like Bush's Pharma payoff, Romney's tax plan would have been a ginormous gift to the rich. Corporate taxes slashed by 30%. Marginal tax rates for the wealthy slashed by 20%, and if, like many wealthy people—including Romney!—you could engineer your income to be capital gains, that would be slashed to zero! And no taxes in death, either. Yeah, that's definitely not “free stuff.” What this shows, more than anything else, is that Romney's 47% speech that was released on video was not some aberration. It was not something that just “came out wrong.” It appears that this is, in fact, exactly what Romney believes to be true. Remember how Romney kept saying stuff during the election which was based on far-right-field stuff from extreme web sites? Like the idea that Obama did not use the word “terror” to describe the Benghazi attacks? More and more, it is apparent that this is who Romney is—a guy who reads Newsbusters and Red State, believes them literally, and uses them as sources for his claims. We thought he was a cipher, a blank slate, a flip-flopper who would say or do anything but in fact represented nothing. We were wrong. He's a wingnut. A Freeper. And he's a sore loser.