Point of View Columns

Romney’s Demolition Derby

One year ago the Teapublican Klown Car was full to capacity with the likes of Rick Perry and Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann and Saint Santorum. In Tampa the G.O.Tea Party turned the keys of the Klown Car over to Mitt Romney and he seems to be on a mission to conduct a one man demolition derby between now and November 6th. Every candidate makes a few gaffes. But to call Romney’s miscues gaffes is like calling the Grand Canyon a dip in the road.

Where does one begin? During the Teapublican snorefest in Tampa, the Romney campaign somehow permitted Clint Eastwood to engage in a part-demented, part-funny and part-sad performance art project just before Mr. Romney was supposed to give his long-awaited acceptance speech. The Romney campaign terms anything negative about its candidate a “distraction”. The Eastwoodpalooza certainly qualified as a distraction.

Last week the release of a video containing an intentionally obscene attack on Islam had tragic consequences. The ensuing rioting in the Middle East and Europe resulted in deaths and destruction including the death of the American ambassador to Libya. As the facts of multiple tragedies were being sorted out, Team Romney thought that this would be as good a time as any to attack President Obama.

The body of Ambassador Chris Stevens was (literally) not cold when Mitt Romney stood at the podium to term a statement from the U.S. Embassy in Egypt, intended to calm a riotous situation, as “an apology for American values” as well as a defense of the attackers of U.S. Embassy.

Of course, in typical Team Romney fashion they got it wrong. The statement was issues SIX HOURS BEFORE attacks anywhere. And it is not clear what “American values” Mitt Romney was defending. While free speech in this country does include the right to publish vile and offensive material, there is also a right to call that material vile and offensive.

It was pretty easy for Mitt Romney to play armchair quarterback in a campaign office thousands of miles away from the fray. By playing politics among the corpses of dead Americans and the wreckage of American facilities Mitt Romney managed to make himself even smaller in the eyes of many people who are watching him.

It is said that crises reveal people for who they are. If that is the case, Mr. Romney revealed himself as a calculating and appallingly opportunistic little man who is willing to exploit national crisis and tragedy for his own political gain.

But the Klown car careens on, with Mitt Romney wedged behind the wheel, unable to escape the collision with his own self. Because, this week Mother Jones released a video of Mitt Romney speaking at a private fundraiser in Florida, taped earlier this year.

Lulled into his comfort zone by the absence of the press and the presence of his fellow millionaires Mitt Romney stated the 47% of the American electorate who support President Obama lack personal responsibility, are dependent upon government and believe that they are entitled to things like healthcare, housing and food. Mr. Romney stated that his job was “not to worry about them” and to focus on Americans who support his small government, low tax agenda.

The gaping holes in his facts and his logic are large enough to drive his Klown car through over and over. The reality is that this country has evolved to a point where most people believe that Americans are indeed entitled to health care, housing…………..and food. This is a reality that the Romney-Ryan tag team plan to change.

It is so very clear that Mitt Romney has never personally known anyone who has lost their job and has had to rely on government assistance as a last resort. Mr. Romney has not seen the seemingly endless lines of job applicants when any company, factory or store announces that it is hiring. And Mr. Romney does not realize that the millions of elderly men and women who receive Social Security and Medicare benefits do not see themselves as dependent because they worked their entire lives and paid for the benefits for which they are now entitled.

We keep hearing that Mitt Romney is a “decent man” who has trouble connecting. The only problem – the Mitt Romney who tries to score political points during a national tragedy doesn’t seem very decent. And the Mitt Romney who writes off 47% of the electorate as being dependent and ill-suited for his Brave New World doesn’t seem very decent either.

And he isn’t even very nice to his dog.