wpostServer: http://css.washingtonpost.com/wpost

The Post Most: Opinions

direct signup

Today’s Opinions poll

Should the United States fund the service program AmeriCorps? President Obama would increase its budget. Rep. Paul Ryan would eliminate federal funding for the program.

Submit
Next
Review your answers and share

Join a Discussion

Weekly schedule, past shows

Post Partisan
Posted at 04:24 PM ET, 09/18/2012

PostScript: Sargent, Romney and the 47 percent

It’s a fabulous day for wonks and pundits, politicos and opinion-keteers, thanks to yesterday’s release of a secretly recorded video of Mitt Romney saying shocking things. Released/promoted by Mother Jones, the video captures a bit of a speech that Romney intended for donors rather than for the general public. He declared at least two things hopeless: peace between Israel and Palestinians, and getting the 47 percent of Americans who don’t pay federal income tax to take responsibility for themselves and vote for Romney.

It’s a potential blockbusting event, says Greg Sargent in his Plum Line post on the subject, which is getting a durned-amazing-for-a-blog-post number of comments — more than 2,700. David Brooks in the New York Times says this explosion “suggests Romney knows nothing about ambition or motivation”; Joe Barro at Bloomberg declares the race over; Jonathan Chait at New York Magazine says it has convinced him Romney really IS a “sneering plutocrat;” it’s the game-changerest event ever.

PostScript was underwhelmed when she read about the leaked video, possibly because she reads more comments on the Washington Post Opinions page than David Brooks does. It’s not a new argument, nor is it particularly shocking that a candidate would say it. Indeed, the true-red Romney-arguers in the comments are adamant that this is not a gaffe or, for that matter, a real issue:

JoeDBrown

Sad isn’t it that a whole political party, Democrats, deny reality and are offended by the truth. Sane Americans agree with Mitt. Your name calling, Media Matters spin and hysteria will not change that.

Nor does PostScript take it personally, like many in the comments do:

roblimo

I served in the army while Romney rode his bicycle around Paris. Now I’m a freeloader because I feel “entitled” to medical care from the V.A.? I also worked for more than 40 years before collecting Social Security. Whoa! Entitled again! Apparently I’m scum in Romneyland. Wow.

PostScript is not entirely sure what her federal income tax situation is, since she has withholding and Quicken. There are, according to her demographic information, about nine reasons the Romney campaign can/will/has already decided to/should write her off.

PostScript also has trouble imagining any amount of money she will ever earn in her life that's worth the fact that the government pays people to come to her house when she calls scared at 3 a.m. and, if it comes to that, take a bullet for her. Everything she can do and will do with her life is dependent on the security and freedom that police and firefighters and the military and public education and Medicaid provide.  Yep, that word: Dependent. 

So PostScript, while she's pretty sure Romney was talking about her, doesn’t feel game-changed. After observing a portion of the Internet’s views about it, she realizes she’s wrong.  Let's look at some other things pundits haven't been saying:

 hysteria_625 think the big game change is yet to come:

Willing to take bets now that Paul Ryan or Jeb Bush is elevated to the nominee within the next 10 days.

 hackattack22 says Romney meant he doesn’t care electorally about the takers, not that he doesn’t care about them:

Well, considering it was about political process, it was pretty accurate. You don't fish where there aren’t fish. Obama has tied up a big chunk of these people along with a big chunk of wealthy people. The place to fish is with independents/undecideds/dissatisfied. You make ads to appeal to those people. You reason with those people. You point out the impact to those people.

lwhackney says Romney doesn’t always scorn non-federal-income-taxpayers:

Question for Mitt: Why is it OK for him to pay only the taxes legally required and not one penny more and at the same time deride people as lazy and moochers who legally pay no federal income tax. It seems to me that he might have some sort of entitlement mentality

 And orange_2012a gives PostScript EXACTLY what she wants: a vague suggestion this hoopla is actually having an effect on who will be president next March:

Romney is exactly right. I have been waiting for him to speak like this. I am going to vote for him now. 

Oh, commenters. PostScript is so dependent on you.

By Rachel Manteuffel  |  04:24 PM ET, 09/18/2012

 
Read what others are saying
     

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company