Parasites R Us
We knew that Paul Ryan believed this country was made up of "the takers vs the makers" but we hadn't heard Mitt Romney explicitly make that case until now. David Corn has obtained the full video (pieces have been floating around on Youtube for a while) of Romney talking to a bunch of his fellow one percenters. This pretty much lays it all out:
Fielding a question from a donor about how he could triumph in November, Romney replied:
There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax.
Romney went on: "[M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."
You realize that he's talking about around a hundred and fifty million people, don't you? He's literally saying that nearly half the country is a bunch of parasites.
This is not a slip of the tongue. As Greg Sargent explains, it's just another iteration of his dogwhistling welfare queen campaign:
[H]is explanation veers into a truly extreme version of a theory that’s widespread on the right: Democrats are trying to encourage dependency on government for the explicit purpose of enlarging the pool of voters who can be relied upon to vote Democratic for the rest of their lives, in order to preserve the government handouts they enjoy.
In Romney’s telling, all of these 47 percent of voters are complicit in this arrangement. As a result, there is no hope of ever persuading them to take personal responsibility for their lives. He seems to be conflating the government-dependency conspiracy theory with another right wing meme — the complaint that only 47 percent of Americans pay no income taxes. Put those together and you arrive at Romney’s formulation.
In a sense, this is an extreme version of a narrative Romney has adopted on multiple fronts. He has charged that Obama is taking away hard won Medicare benefits from seniors to redistribute them to other people; he claims Obama is gutting welfare reform to send welfare checks to those who don’t work; and has even suggested Obama is doing the latter to appeal to his “base.” The attacks on Obama’s “you didn’t build that” speech are of a piece with this, pushing the notion that Obama demeans your hard work and individual initiative because he thinks only government-sponsored success constitues real achievement and wants to expand government over every part of our lives, forever increasing government dependency and perpetually eroding good old fashioned self reliance.
I don't know that I've ever seen a presidential candidate with more contempt for the American people than Mitt Romney. It's one thing for a candidate to attack his opponent, but to attack half the country as a bunch of losers you don't have to care about is just unprecedented. He's obviously as much a believer in twisted Randroid tropes as his chosen VP.
And as I'm listening to Chris Matthews and his panel go on about how Romney is a captive of his base and doesn't really believe what he's saying (not regarding this video specifically) I can't help but wonder why he'd say the following in private amongst a bunch of rich donors like himself if he didn't believe it:
Describing his family background, he quipped about his father, "Had he been born of Mexican parents, I'd have a better shot of winning this."Because the minorities get all the breaks in this damned country, dontcha know?
There has been a tendency to believe that Romney might really be a moderate underneath it all and that he's just playing to the wingnuts. It sounds to me like he's very fluent in wingnut ideology in private. So much so, that I would have to say that it's far more likely he conned the people of Massachusetts all those years ago that that he's conning all the wingnuts now.
And so do his rich Republican donors. Anyone who's still waiting for the Big Money Boyz to pull the plug on these wacky weirdos on the right is going to be waiting a long time. They are the wacky weirdos on the right. And Mitt's certainly King of the Weirdos.
Here's one of the videos, more at the link: