Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Did Someone Say "Entitled"?

Just curious, folks.  Have any of you seen the latest national campaign poll numbers?  Perhaps you've seen all of the swing-state numbers, or the demographic polling numbers.  I'm sure you have.  I'm sure that everyone has.  In fact, the only person whom it seems hasn't seen these polls is Mitt Romney.  Otherwise, he wouldn't have spent the past two days doubling down on what he said at a fundraiser earlier this year...

"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 that 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 that government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. I mean, the president starts off with 48, 49—he starts off with a huge number. These are people who pay no income tax. Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes doesn’t connect.

"So he’ll be out there talking about tax cuts for the rich. I mean, that’s what they sell every four years. And so my job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives. What I have to do is convince the 5 to 10 percent in the center that are independents, that are thoughtful, that look at voting one way or the other depending upon in some cases emotion, whether they like the guy or not …"

Um, did I mention that Mitt was behind in all those polls.  Mitt is trailing President Obama in national polling by anywhere from 5 to 7 points.  In swing states he's doing just as badly.  Among women, gays, blacks, hispanics, immigrants, seniors, the middle class, and unions he's doing much worse.  In fact, the only group he hasn't managed to piss off and send running from him in droves is wealthy, hetrosexual, White males.  So of course it was a genius idea indeed to just totally blow off 47% of potential voters.  Mr. Romney, the Obama campaign THANKS YOU for your generous contribution.

Since this latest example of how NOT to run a campaign came to light, conservatives desparately clinging to the fantasy that their guy actually still has a shot were quick to point out then candidate Obama's famous "gaffe" about rual voters "clinging to their guns and bibles" during his primary campaign against Hillary Clinton.
"But the truth is that our challenge is to get people persuaded that we can make progress when there's no evidence of that in their daily lives. You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, Ohio—like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years, and nothing's replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration and the Bush administration. And each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are going to regenerate. And they have not. So it's not surprising then that they get bitter, and they cling to guns or religion, or antipathy toward people who aren't like them, or anti-immigrant sentiment, or, you know, anti-trade sentiment [as] a way to explain their frustrations.

"Now, these are in some communities. You know, I think what you'll find is that people of every background—there are going to be a mix of people. You can go in the toughest neighborhood, you know, working-class lunch-pail folks, and you'll find Obama enthusiasts. And you can go into places where you’d think that I'd be very strong, and people will just be skeptical. The important thing is that you show up and you're doing what you're doing."
What is lost among the orgasmic glee coming from the left and the desparate scrambling on the right is that both of these men are essentially correct.  For each of them there is a group of people who will never, ever, as long as there is a sun in the sky, vote for them.  However, there are two points to be made here.  The minor point is that even though you may believe in your heart of hearts that you'll never get their votes, you don't say it out loud.  The major and more important point is this.  Just because you don't think someone will vote for you, doesn't mean you give up on their vote.  Therein lies the difference between the above two statements.  Obama's statement is essentially saying that for those people who cling to their guns and religion, his workers will simply have to work harder to get them in his corner, even though he may never get them.  You don't just write them off because you don't feel your message applies to them, especially if you're running for President of the United States.  Mainly because on the extremely slim chance that you're elected, you still have to govern them, and it certainly doesn't help if you send the message right off the bat that they can go screw themselves.

Running for president requires considerable effort on the part of candidates, and this is the main problem Mitt Romney has.  Romney simply doesn't feel that he should have to make the effort.  He doesn't feel he should have to campaign for the job.  Not only that, he openly resents the fact that people aren't just handing him their votes on the basis of him being a rich White guy.  You can hear it in all of the other "misstatements" he's made throughout the campaign.  "Corporations are people",  "I like to fire people", "If you want free stuff, vote for the other guy".  Ann Romney referring to the press as "you people" and telling them "it's his turn" to be president.  Both he and his wife carry an open disdain for people they feel are beneath their stature.  They both feel that their wealth, more than any other qualification, should be the basis on which they are judged.  This is why we haven't seen anything remeotely resembling a plan for the future from Romney.  It's why he expects us to "wait until he's elected" to tell us what we can expect from a (God forbid) Romney Presidency.  This is why he refuses to make public his tax returns (beyond the 1.5 years he's already given).  He expects us to simply "trust" him because of his business experience, and the fact that he's a rich White guy.  Omitting the fact, of course, that it wasn't his business experience that made him a rich White guy, but his daddy's money.

In essence, Mitt Romney doesn't feel he should be elected President, but appointed, or perhaps even annointed.  I suppose one could say, he feels entitled.