Mitt’s TPS Reports Always Have the New Cover Sheet

When I went to confession yesterday my priest told me to say 3 Hail Marys and watch the Republican debates as my penance, so I saw most of last night’s shitshow. I think that priest know what he was doing, because I’ve resolved to keep the boozing and sodomy down to a minimum so I just have to say an Act of Contrition next time. That said, I have a couple of observations.

Brian Williams was careful to phrase his 47 questions about the ark of the horse race covenant, “electability”, in a way that kept him from getting smacked down by Newt. Instead of asking direct questions about each candidate’s weak spot, he repeated one candidate’s attack ads to the another. He also stayed away from Newt’s 3 marriages and counting. This led to an awesome half hour of Romney and Gingrich pounding on each other, with no real clear winner, though it’s probably good news for Romney that he finally landed a couple of solid shots, including channeling Steve Benen by pointing out that Newt resigned in “disgrace”.

The man-on-man action was pretty entertaining, but what struck me is the exchange I embedded above, where Romney unveils the centerpiece of his immigration strategy, “self-deportation”. In other words, he expects undocumented immigrants to leave voluntarily because his administration will make their lives miserable. The questioner, Adam Smith of the Tampa Bay Times, asked the obvious follow-up question, “Isn’t that what we have now?” and Mitt replied with some earnest word salad about “e-verification”, which assumes that some magic card will reverse a 50 year national habit of hiring undocumented workers.

What struck me about that exchange is that it shows how much Mitt and his advisors think that careful corporate-style “message discipline” will paper over the awful parts of Mitt’s policies and resume. Here’s another example from Mitt’s tax return release:

Romney advisers stressed that the holdings in the Caymans — along with those in a Swiss bank account that was closed in 2010 after an investment adviser decided it could be politically embarrassing to Romney — were reported on tax returns and were not vehicles to avoid taxes.

I realize that the job of Romney’s advisors is to put lipstick on many pigs, but the apparent seriousness and earnestness that accompanies communication from Romney’s world makes me think they believe their bullshit will fly. I have to believe that’s because “enhanced messaging” works in business settings, where employees just have to nod and grit their teeth when corporate comes up with some new, stupid euphemism. But Mitt isn’t the CEO of the Republican primaries, and “self-deportation” and “we didn’t avoid taxes with our Cayman and Swiss bank accounts” just don’t cut it in the real world.






94 replies
  1. 1
    Cacti says:

    He self-deported his money from Switzerland right about the time UBS started naming names.

  2. 2
    kdaug says:

    “When I went to confession yesterday my priest told me to say 3 Hail Marys and watch the Republican debates as my penance,”

    My God, son. What did you do?

  3. 3

    As I just posted downthread, I am amazed that the GOP nomination is coming down to which candidate can be the bigger dick in debates, because I remember when conservatives were all concerned that liberals were “too angry.” That was in 2004, and I seem to recall massive quantities of newsprint and airtime devoted to discussions about the angry liberal and how people don’t vote for angry candidates and we activists were told by everyone to NOT BE SO FUCKING ANGRY all the time.

    And now we’ve got this rage as a barometer of who is “most electable”? Give me a fucking break.

  4. 4
    Soprano2 says:

    I have to believe that’s because “enhanced messaging” works in business settings, where employees just have to nod and grit their teeth when corporate comes up with some new, stupid euphemism.

    Yep, exactly this. They renamed my department this year in such a way that it will confuse the public even more about what we do, and no one asked me for my opinion of it. If Mitt thinks Republican voters are just like the corporate flunkies who nod and smile at everything he does and says, he’s in for a big honking surprise.

  5. 5
    Cacti says:

    @Soprano2:

    If Mitt thinks Republican voters are just like the corporate flunkies who nod and smile at everything he does and says, he’s in for a big honking surprise.

    Mitt has a combination of boss’s kid disease + upper management syndrome.

    He’s used to being surrounded by suck-ups who brayed gales of laughter at every corny joke, and heaped superlatives on every halfbaked idea he floated.

  6. 6
    Comrade Javamanphil says:

    The reason CEOs make such terrible politicians is they actually believe that their employees would vote for them if given the chance.

  7. 7
    Tom65 says:

    Romney advisers stressed that the holdings in the Caymans—along with those in a Swiss bank account that was closed in 2010 after an investment adviser decided it could be politically embarrassing to Romney—were reported on tax returns and were not vehicles to avoid taxes.

    OK, but he still didn’t pay taxes on it.

  8. 8
    Wag says:

    Let’s ask the good farmers of Alabama how well self-deportation works come harvest.

  9. 9
    beltane says:

    I could be wrong but I think we’re seeing the end of Americans’ blind worship of corporate culture. This emperor truly has no clothes and all the corporate jargon in the world can longer disguise the fact.

  10. 10
    jibeaux says:

    Well, if he didn’t go to the trouble of setting up foreign accounts known the world over as tax havens for tax advantages, then surely there’s another simple explanation for them. Otherwise, surely you’d just keep it in a domestic account. Sure is a headscratcher why they aren’t offering that simple explanation…

  11. 11
    Suffern ACE says:

    I don’t watch these things. So how did they dance around the social security question. I thought Romney had signed on to Ryan’s plan and Newt hadn’t. Wouldn’t that be something of an issue? Or was it all “who can scare the Muslims and send men to mars?”

  12. 12
    Wag says:

    One definition of wealth is being able to live off the interest on your account.

    Mitt takes this to another level. He is able to live of the interest on the interest of his accounts.

  13. 13
    Cacti says:

    And speaking of boss’s kids…

    I saw that Mitty had set up a 100 million dollar trust fund for his 5 adult sons.

    Hooray meritocracy!

  14. 14
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    I have to believe that’s because “enhanced messaging” works in business settings

    Is that where they tie you down and pour messaging down your throat so you think you’re drowning? Isn’t that torture?

  15. 15
    beltane says:

    @Comrade Javamanphil: This is what happens when they believe their own propaganda. These CEOs have cloaked themselves in such an aura of woo and mysticism that they have become utterly disconnected from reality. They are nasty, greedy people, yes, but they’ve also had their brains turned to mush from too much exposure to motivational speakers (what a racket that it) and other forms of propaganda.

  16. 16
    beltane says:

    @Cacti: That’s a lot of money. It might be a few more generations before any of the Romneys has to actually work.

  17. 17
    dmsilev says:

    Swiss and Cayman bank accounts, oh my. Generations of cheesy beach-season novels have conditioned people to think “something sleazy is afoot” when they hear that phrase.

    And no, Mitt, you are *not* Jason Bourne, so don’t try convincing us that They’re All Out To Get You.

  18. 18

    @beltane: ‘…too much exposure to motivational speakers.”

    Depends on the motivational speaker. I’m carving out an exception for the one who said “Whatever you do for the least of these, your brothers and sisters, that is what you do for me.

  19. 19
    dmsilev says:

    @jibeaux:

    Well, if he didn’t go to the trouble of setting up foreign accounts known the world over as tax havens for tax advantages, then surely there’s another simple explanation for them. Otherwise, surely you’d just keep it in a domestic account. Sure is a headscratcher why they aren’t offering that simple explanation…

    It is very simple. His money became self-aware, and proceeded to self-deport.

  20. 20

    @dmsilev: And no, Mitt, you are not Jason Bourne, so don’t try convincing us that They’re All Out To Get You.

    He’s safe as houses. We offshored our remaining tumbrel-manufacturing capacity to Asia thirty years ago, and Ames/TrueTemper shut down their West Virginia pitchfork factory back in 2005.

  21. 21

    self deportation:

    In the late 19th Century in Russia, the powers that be decided to thin out the total population of Jews in the country. The method of choice was the pogrom. The idea was that about a third of the Jews would be killed and a third would move of their own volition and that would leave only a third of the original population in Russia.

    The government of that place and time probably said that the Jews self-deported because their administration was making it unpleasant for them.

  22. 22
    RSA says:

    Mitt replied with some earnest word salad about “e-verification”, which assumes that some magic card will reverse a 50 year national habit of hiring undocumented workers.

    It also relies on some nice misdirection–that the demand “Papers, please!” will only be addressed to brown people. Because otherwise we’re talking about the equivalent of a national ID card, which most conservatives seem to view as fascism.

  23. 23
    MattF says:

    Another thing about corporate bullshit is that it papers over specific bad things like abusive behavior or discrimination. Knowing now about Mitt’s habitual dishonesty, I’d be leery about ‘workplace issues’ in any office he managed.

  24. 24
    burritoboy says:

    Beltane,

    A lot of the mush is descended from late nineteenth century Nietzsche-esque burblings about the charismatic leader and so on. It’s really quite strange – you see people who are being paid astonishing amounts of money, and their understandings of what they do all day long is unwittingly borrowed from German sociologists and French syndicalist thinkers.

  25. 25
    Chris says:

    @beltane:

    I could be wrong but I think we’re seeing the end of Americans’ blind worship of corporate culture. This emperor truly has no clothes and all the corporate jargon in the world can longer disguise the fact.

    There are no words to sufficiently express how much I hope you’re right.

  26. 26
    WereBear says:

    So, how many jobs did Mitt Romney create last year?

  27. 27
    Hawes says:

    I have to say, I watched the debate live for the first time and I found Mittens to be absolutely unwatchable. Like stick sewing needles in your ear awful. Newt, actually, not so much. The tenor of his voice is just less grating, less false. It’s only when you listen to the actual words that Newt is saying that you go, “Holy Pasta, that’s messed up.”

    Maybe that’s the point about the more you watch and see and hear Romney, the less you like him. I believe it was William Howard Taft who said, “Who doesn’t love a fat man?” Newt might still hold on in Florida and win it, which would be awesome.

    Oh, and how did they handle questions on Social Security and Medicare? There were none. The only time Medicare came up was when Romney confused Freddie Mac with Medicare.

    Policy? What is THAT?

  28. 28
    Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937 says:

    I saw Office Space on Netflix Sat night so I really appreciate the title of the post.

  29. 29
    Violet says:

    @beltane:

    I think we’re seeing the end of Americans’ blind worship of corporate culture. This emperor truly has no clothes and all the corporate jargon in the world can longer disguise the fact.

    I completely agree. Why worship corporations? They dick you around every chance they get. They’re the abusive spouse in the relationship. It’s an unhealthy relationship.

  30. 30
    Cacti says:

    @beltane:

    That’s a lot of money. It might be a few more generations before any of the Romneys has to actually work.

    Mitty also wants to repeal the estate tax.

    Somebody’s got to look out for the ones who pulled themselves up by the bootstraps and were born rich.

  31. 31
    JPL says:

    Last night I woke after a nightmare. Newt and Mitt were debating and Erick Erickson was the moderator.

    If Newt doesn’t bring up the Swiss bank account today, I’d assume he has a problem with overseas accounts also, too.
    Except for Rachel, I doubt the Swiss accounts are mentioned by MSM.

  32. 32
    El Cid says:

    @Hawes: I agree. It’s really impressive when you’ve got someone who makes Newt Gingrich the more human, believable character.

    Of course, that’s when Newt has some leash on his “I AM WINSTON CHURCHILL AND GEORGE WASHINGTON AND GENGHIS KHAN I AM THE ENTIRE DEFENSE OF CIVILIZATION” ego madness.

    But you know, Newt’s never run for any elected office outside of one (then-staunchly) Republican suburb in Cobb County, Georgia, the one which tried to stick the little yellow caution stickers on books teachin’ about that there ‘Evil-lution”.

  33. 33
    Chris says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    I thought Romney had signed on to Ryan’s plan and Newt hadn’t. Wouldn’t that be something of an issue?

    I didn’t watch either, but I sincerely doubt if it was. I can’t remember the last time there was actually a policy debate among Republicans – their audience is bored by it and they don’t really want to have to talk about it in the first place. Conservative arguments take place in grand, sweeping, meaningless slogans.

  34. 34
    Waldo says:

    I like that Newt is trying to pass himself off as a Washington outsider. Dude, just because the establishment hates you doesn’t mean your not part of it.

  35. 35
    Mark B says:

    Sure, Mitt puts lipstick on pigs, but Newt sets the pigs on fire and makes videos of them squealing in agony as their skin burns off. That’s a much more popular act with the Republican voters.

  36. 36
    geg6 says:

    @Cacti:

    This.

    That’s why Mitt is such a fan of self-deportation. Worked for him. A few times, like when his grandad self-deported himself to Mexico so he could have sexy time with as many women as would have him. And then self-deported back.

    Mitt is the tabula rasa of self-deportation.

  37. 37
    beltane says:

    @Davis X. Machina: That particular motivation speaker was a notorious DFH who will nver have the ear of our corporate knights.

    @burritoboy: Yes, and this is the same source of most of the New Age woo that plagues our culture and which many of us have internalized to one degree or another.

  38. 38
    Face says:

    I think when he said he expected Teh Brownz to “self-deport”, he meant “self-immolate”. Or maybe self-deprecate. Or Bill Self.

  39. 39
    Cacti says:

    I also noticed how Mitt (and Newt) opposed the Dream Act, but favored a pathway to legal immigration status via military service.

    I hereby dub this proposal…

    “An Army of Juan”

  40. 40
    Violet says:

    @Cacti:

    I saw that Mitty had set up a 100 million dollar trust fund for his 5 adult sons.

    Is that why they’re always smiling and laughing at his jokes? He is the boss, after all.

  41. 41
    El Cid says:

    @Southern Beale: Because when liberals get too angry they’re obviously about to become traitorous Bolsheviks who will tear this nation apart, while when righties get too angry they at worst behave inappropriately when company’s present.

  42. 42

    Also worth noting is that Romney paid absolutely nothing in Social Security and Medicare taxes. He had no earned income.

    More here, and apologies for the blogrolling.

  43. 43
    aimai says:

    @Suffern ACE:
    My eyes are going bad. I read that as “send men to BARS” and I thought maybe that was the anti-homosexual portion of the debate.

    aimai

  44. 44
    Waynski says:

    I alluded to this yesterday as did another commenter. In 2009 there was an amnesty of sorts for Americans stashing money away overseas. The IRS said, report it in 2009, pay the taxes, pay a fine, and we won’t go after you criminally. They say the Cayman and Swiss accounts were “reported”. The question remains, when were the accounts opened and when were they reported to the IRS? If he hadn’t reported them up until 2009, and took advantage of the kind of virtual amnesty Obama gave rich people that year, there will be a large anomoly in the amount of taxes he paid, if not some outright disclosure. The MSM should be pushing for the 2009 returns.

  45. 45
    Brian R. says:

    @kdaug:

    My God, son. What did you do?

    Lie about being Catholic?

  46. 46
    chopper says:

    @Tom65:

    the big point is less that he had a ‘secret swiss bank account’ as much as the fact that he hid his money overseas instead of Investing it in America(tm). the guy talks up and down about american jobs and american business but he puts his own money in other countries instead because he can make more money that way.

  47. 47
    Cacti says:

    @Violet:

    Is that why they’re always smiling and laughing at his jokes? He is the boss, after all.

    Honestly, it’s kind of creepy to see 5 grown men still sucking up to their Daddy.

  48. 48
    Rita R. says:

    @Hawes:

    I have to disagree about Newt. His act wears thin pretty fast. He’s got his own version of word salad with a couple of “facts” and then all his buzz words and verbal tics thrown in as he sees how long he can speak before having to take a breath. “I believe” “fundamentally” “the American people” “Let me be very clear” “In fact”. Now, throw a few of them together. “I believe, in fact, that the American people fundamentally blah, blah, blah.” Just listen, it’s that over and over and over again. Along with an assemblage of adjectives, which always, always come in groups of three for each noun.

    Then, of course, there are his coded words which are signals to the yokels to snarl and cheer. You know them — elites, food stamps, European, socialist, etc. plus the old GOPAC standbys: (copied here from Wikipedia) “decay, failure, collapse, deeper, crisis, urgent, destructive, destroy, sick, pathetic, lie, liberal, they/them, unionized bureaucracy, betray, consequences, limit, shallow, traitors, sensationalists.” Listen to Thursday’s debate or alternately any time Newt talks about Obama. See how many you hear.

    As boring and phony as Romney sounds, listening to Newt drone this drivel is what makes me want to pound nails into my head.

  49. 49
    Cacti says:

    @Waynski:

    I alluded to this yesterday as did another commenter. In 2009 there was an amnesty of sorts for Americans stashing money away overseas. The IRS said, report it in 2009, pay the taxes, pay a fine, and we won’t go after you criminally. They say the Cayman and Swiss accounts were “reported”. The question remains, when were the accounts opened and when were they reported to the IRS? If he hadn’t reported them up until 2009, and took advantage of the kind of virtual amnesty Obama gave rich people that year, there will be a large anomoly in the amount of taxes he paid, if not some outright disclosure. The MSM should be pushing for the 2009 returns.

    Ding ding ding ding ding!

    We have a winner!

    Please collect your internets, along with a year’s supply of Rice-a-roni, the San Francisco treat.

  50. 50
    JCT says:

    @geg6: gotta clean some coffee off of my monitor now. THANKS.

  51. 51
    dmsilev says:

    Romney’s lawyer:

    Malt said that he had conducted a periodic review of investments and determined that it wasn’t serving a purpose. This might coincide with Romney’s political views, he said.
    __
    Malt says the Swiss Bank Account with UBS was opened in 2003 for diversification and that taxes in correlation with the account have been paid.

    I think people who are raising red flags about this are on to something. Let’s see the older returns. Mitt said he gave John McCain’s vetting team 23 years worth of returns. Let’s be nice and settle for half of those.

  52. 52
    Waldo says:

    @Cacti: Yeah, it’s embarrassing what some people will do for a couple of tens of millions of dollars.

  53. 53
    Quarks says:

    @dmsilev: So, what you’re saying is that McCain’s vetting team took a look at 23 years worth of Romney’s tax returns, and said, oh, shit. Let’s go with Sarah Palin?

  54. 54

    @Quarks:

    So, what you’re saying is that McCain’s vetting team took a look at 23 years worth of Romney’s tax returns, and said, oh, shit. Let’s go with Sarah Palin?

    Ahhh. I did not know that Team McCain seriously considered him for VP. Or I didn’t remember. Or something.

    Anyway, zehr interressant.

  55. 55
    dmsilev says:

    @Quarks: Yeah, basically.

    Mitt Romney. Beaten by John McCain, and then rejected by John McCain in favor of Sarah Palin. Is considered the most plausible and serious candidate in this year’s GOP field.

    Boggles the mind, doesn’t it?

  56. 56
    chopper says:

    @dmsilev:

    Malt says the Swiss Bank Account with UBS was opened in 2003 for diversification and that taxes in correlation with the account have been paid

    yes, paid after UBS named names and romney and his .01% brethren got caught red handed dodging taxes. it’s slippery. someone should ask romney exactly when all those proper taxes were paid.

  57. 57
    Captain Howdy says:

    the ark of the horse race covenant

    Was that the one where Indiana Jones has an inappropriate relationship with Short Round?

  58. 58
    GregB says:

    I invest in America by putting my money in a local credit union.

    Why is Mitt Romney investing in Switzerland?

  59. 59
    dmsilev says:

    So, the NY Times has a couple of reporters looking through the returns and Holy Fuck:

    Running for president cut down on Mr. Romney’s speaking income, but the amount was still in six figures in 2011.
    __
    His return shows that in 2010, he had $528,871 in such fees listed as “author/speaking fees” on his tax return. Out of that, he paid $9,000 for advertising and $39,756 in commissions and fees.
    […]
    “And then I get speaker’s fees from time to time, but not very much,” he said at the time.

    And we thought it was bad when it was “only” $360K in speaker fees. Turns out that’s low by a couple hundred thousand or so. Or, in Romney terms, a rounding error.

  60. 60
    Bulworth says:

    Mittens actually said “self-deportation”?

  61. 61
    ericblair says:

    @dmsilev:

    And we thought it was bad when it was “only” $360K in speaker fees. Turns out that’s low by a couple hundred thousand or so. Or, in Romney terms, a rounding error.

    Just think about it: last year he was making almost a million dollars a week. Yeah, the speaker fees are couch cushion money.

  62. 62
    ericblair says:

    @ericblair:

    Just think about it: last year he was making almost a million dollars a week

    Sorry, a half million a week. A little less than a million bucks every pay period. Oh yeah, FYWP.

  63. 63
    Yutsano says:

    Question that will never be asked:

    “Willard, what exactly did you do to earn such a large income? What exact work did you perform over the last two years to earn such a large salary?”

    My hope is the Romneybot3000 goes boom.

  64. 64
    Hawes says:

    I wonder if the delaying game of releasing his taxes was also because of the enormous sums he gave to the LDS. I mean being Scrooge McDuck won’t hurt him in the GOP primary, but being a Mormony Mormon certainly will. (Though I anticipate some sort of Bradley Effect – Brigham Effect? – in the polling.)

  65. 65
    chopper says:

    @Yutsano:

    i would love it if someone asked him “Gov. Romney, back in 2009 a number of rich Americans were forced, under threat of prosecution for tax evasion, to repatriate money from illegally-held swiss bank accounts, paying the back taxes as well as fines. Were you one of those Americans?”

    his stonewalling on only releasing one year of tax returns is certainly a tell. with any luck someone’s got something on him.

  66. 66
    waratah says:

    @Bulworth: Yes, several times. The word self deportation plus the answer for the Dream Act that both gave I think will mean a loss of support from minority’s.

  67. 67
    Satanicpanic says:

    @Bulworth:

    Mittens actually said “self-deportation”?

    I’m so sick of corporate speak. It just grinds me down having to talk like an asshole at work every day and the last thing I would want is a president who talks like this. It’s fucking degrading. Mitt could have just said “they’ll leave.”

  68. 68
    The Other Chuck says:

    “self-deportation” and “we didn’t avoid taxes with our Cayman and Swiss bank accounts” just don’t cut it in the real world.

    We are talking about Republican primaries here.

  69. 69
    chopper says:

    @GregB:

    his 2009 returns would either show that he repatriated his swiss holdings by force, paying back taxes and a fine (if he was one of the names the swiss government handed over), or that he did it on his own sometime late in 2009 because he felt that swiss accounts were no longer secret due to the scandal and/or he would have to bring it back by force eventually once UBS gave the rest of the list over the next year.

    in the case of the former his 2009 return would show that he deliberately evaded paying taxes. in the case of the latter his 2009 return would show an insanely low tax payment, something lower than 10% i reckon.

  70. 70
    WaterGirl says:

    What a condescending asshole he is. I have been following the debates without actually watching him. My dislike for Romney is now visceral, as well as intellectual.

    About midway through the clip, he shifts into the tone you get from salespeople or phone tech support people when they have decided that you are either stupid or a “difficult customer” that they have to manage with their maddeningly offensive uber-polite tone.

    Ick. No, not just ick. I feel angry, not in an intellectual way, but in that visceral way where you can feel it in your body after having a difficult interaction.

    Keep talking, Mitt. I want everyone to hear you, just like i did.

  71. 71
    WaterGirl says:

    If the edit function worked, I would be changing “asshole” to “prick”, which I reserve for special occasions.

  72. 72
    Bulworth says:

    “Willard, what exactly did you do to earn such a large income? What exact work did you perform over the last two years to earn such a large salary?”

    “I take the specs from the customers and deliver them to the engineers…I deal with the g-ddamn customers so the engineers don’t have to. I have people skills, I am very good at dealing with people, what the hell is the matter with you people?!”

  73. 73
    ed_finnerty says:

    “self-deportation” reminds me of that 80’s classic from IBM when it was terminating people, “management initiated attrition”

  74. 74
    Yutsano says:

    @Bulworth: So in other words, basically nothing. :)

  75. 75
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    Mitt paid an effective 13.4 percent in 2010? Married filing jointly is 15% starting at $17K.

    And why is ‘unearned’ income taxed at a lower rate than the actual working stiff has to pay? The Trust Fund Babies should be paying more for their indolence.

  76. 76

    Oops.

    Earlier I said that Romney paid nothing in Social Security and Medicare taxes. The New York Times did find some earned income, and Romney paid about $42,000 in FICA taxes over 2010 and 2011 (when he received a total of $42 million income).

  77. 77
    WereBear says:

    We need Captain Kirk to confuse the Romneybot!

    I mean, despite Newt’s aspirations, he ain’t the seducing fool that James Tiberious was.

  78. 78
    chopper says:

    @Benjamin Franklin:

    yeah, he makes as much in 12 hours as a median american family makes in a year and he pays a lower tax rate to boot. how does he make all that? by employing shitty loopholes in the tax code and stashing his money in overseas accounts, money he made by buying up and bankrupting american businesses and liquidating american jobs.

    and this is the guy the GOP wants to run for president in a year defined by OWS and such visceral across-the-board disdain of the 1%. he might as well drive up to the debates in a solid gold car.

  79. 79
    TG Chicago says:

    Sullivan quotes Dreher asking:

    Is the essence of conservatism protecting the privileges of the few at the expense of the many? If so, we lose.

    The answer to his question is: duh. Of course it is. Where have you been? Have you paid any attention to human history?

    And why does he think that’s a losing proposition when clearly it’s not? Conservatives win plenty of elections through their aggressive messaging and tribalism. You just have to keep convincing the masses that they are the privileged ones that conservatives are protecting… even if they’re not.

    Hopefully Dreher and others like him are finally waking up to this. I somewhat doubt it, though. It’s very comforting to keep those blinders on.

  80. 80
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Cacti:

    That’s good! “An Army of Juan”.

  81. 81
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    @Doc Sportello:

    Yep. Children who are unwanted often have extra burdens. But if you think a little more, you might see that this is not really entirely relevant

    That’s another inequality. Payroll taxes are capped, at, I believe, $200k.

  82. 82
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    Sorry Sportello; no edit on my 11:58

    ” Romney paid about $42,000 in FICA taxes over 2010 and 2011 (when he received a total of $42 million income).”

  83. 83

    @Quarks:
    No. McCain’s vetting team took a look at Mitt Romney and McCain said ‘I don’t need no new fangled Experts. I’m gonna stand beside a chick half my age the rest of this election. Also, CLOUDS!!!’

    @WaterGirl:
    The ‘visceral’ is important. Really important. Low information voters choose by their gut. Hate freaks’ guts like Newt. NO ONE’s gut likes Romney.

  84. 84

    @chopper: I agree that you’ve nailed it precisely. But how can we really drive that narrative?

  85. 85
    chopper says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q):

    honestly, mitt’s going to do it for us. the guy hasn’t got the chops to come off as anything other than richie rich the wall street plutocrat. he doesn’t know how to be anything else. i mean, look at how he’s let himself get defined and disliked by everyone so far, and this is before obama’s reelection campaign really revs into gear.

    honestly if the GOP runs romney in this environment it’s going to go down as the dumbest political move of the decade. no wonder obama was licking his chops at the prospect of a romney candidacy.

  86. 86
    Rafer Janders says:

    Romney advisers stressed that the holdings in the Caymans—along with those in a Swiss bank account that was closed in 2010 after an investment adviser decided it could be politically embarrassing to Romney—were reported on tax returns and were not vehicles to avoid taxes.

    What’s amazing to me is that Romney has been running for the Republican nomination since, oh, about 2006. And in all that time, he kept up a Swiss bank account that he should have known would look bad to have and that he didn’t really even need anyway. It’s another example of his breath-taking arrogance combined with a certain cluelesness about how carbon-based life forms operate: didn’t he think years ago that he should have shut that down? Why did it take at least five years for an advisor to make his do it?

  87. 87
    chopper says:

    @Benjamin Franklin:

    what’s really a bone-stupid move is releasing tax records showing you pay less than 14% on a huge income and have all sorts of money stashed overseas instead of invested in america the day the president gives a huge speech, covered on every TV network, concentrating on economic inequality and making the rich pay their fair share.

    this guy is such an amateur.

  88. 88

    […] 1 Thoughts provided by chopper at Balloon Juice – here […]

  89. 89

    @chopper: I’m going to blog whore a bit here. I quoted chopper, with attribution and a link, of course. Thanks chopper.

  90. 90
    Waynski says:

    @Rafer Janders: This. And also too, I don’t think he reported the offshore accounts until 2009. We’ll see. And also, also too, he’s letting this thing blow up at the precise time when working people are doing their taxes (because most working people get a refund they do their taxes in January). People like Mitt always wait until midnight on April 15th to pay their taxes, and often get an extension to file, so I guess it doesn’t occur to him that for most Americans, THIS IS TAX SEASON. Numbnuts.

  91. 91
    Anne Laurie says:

    I realize that the job of Romney’s advisors is to put lipstick on many pigs, but the apparent seriousness and earnestness that accompanies communication from Romney’s world makes me think they believe their bullshit will fly. I have to believe that’s because “enhanced messaging” works in business settings, where employees just have to nod and grit their teeth when corporate comes up with some new, stupid euphemism.

    Maybe the DNC can get Dilbert to “endorse” Willard, the Pointy-Haired Boss…

    Mostly wanted to say, MM, that I always enjoy/appreciate your posts, but this is definitely one of your best!

  92. 92
    jpe says:

    we didn’t avoid taxes with our Cayman and Swiss bank accounts” just don’t cut it in the real world.

    If you don’t know anything about tax and are too dumb to even know you don’t know anything about tax, I can see why you’d say something like that.

  93. 93
    jpe says:

    People like Mitt always wait until midnight on April 15th to pay their taxes, and often get an extension to file

    People like Mitt pay taxes quarterly. 25% in April (for the following year), 25% in June, 25% in September, and 25% in December.

  94. 94
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Oh yeah, that’s the Republicans, all about funding e-government programs, they just love helping people access government services easily and quickly

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