Eugene Robinson contends today that Mitt Romney’s tax return and Bain matters are essentially Romney’s own petards, upon which the candidate has hoist himself. (A “petard” being a little grenade; “hoisted” being a genteel medieval term for what happens to one’s person when one accidentally explodes a grenade beneath one’s own caboose. PostScript is delighted to have cleared this up.)

As election-season pitfalls go, Robinson says, these were predictable and avoidable, and Romney can hardly have been as surprised/shocked/caught flatfoot as it seems.

And, Robinson posits, the refusal to release tax returns just looks worse than whatever’s on them.


But the fact is that the people who actually know what’s on Romney’s tax returns — people presumably who want Romney to be president — have not been opining about them, or leaking them, and have said they will not. Which suggests that whatever is on the tax returns is actually worse than what people have heretofore assumed.

So, from the POV of someone who wants Romney to be president AND knows what’s on the tax returns, the truth is worse than wild media overreaction AND wild media speculation.

As a wild media speculatist, PostScript is indignant. Her wild speculation is the best.

Even so, she has perfect confidence that commenters can help try and nail down what exactly is so bad that PostScript can’t even imagine it.

bls2011 tries an unconventional tack. Romney’s taxes are all legal and above board, but his very success undermines his rhetoric:

One big reason Gov. Romney doesn’t want to release more tax returns is that it will clearly show that he lost money under the Bush 2008 meltdown and recovered nicely under President Obama. It’s not something he wants to talk about because it doesn’t fit into his narrative about how the wealthy job creators are suffering under the President.

independent64 has a similar idea. Right legally, wrong optically:

Pure speculation, but my guess is that he invested money in some way that was a clear bet against the US economy, probably back in the 2007/2008 time frame. Betting against the country you wish to be the leader of, that is something worth hiding, no matter how much pressure he gets.

loulor is incredibly good at wild speculation:

It’s not about how much Mitt paid in taxes, as much as it is about where he made his money.

That would include the money his handlers invested in Iran’s oil and gas industries, whose profits, in turn, went to bankroll Iran’s dreaded nuclear program.

Okay, PostScript must admit, she was not going to think of that. Nor would she have thought of etronsen’s idea, that Romney is punking the media with his very economic purity:

Romney has to keep this on the front pages until he decides it is the best time to pull the curtain.

independentcandor thinks Romney’s tax returns will only make him look better:

Releasing more of Romney’s tax returns will just embarrass Obama even more than he is already embarrassing himself.

It will remind Americans that Romney is a highly successful businessman who creates jobs, shares his wealth and gives more money away in one year than Obama and Biden combined over their lifetimes.

It’s exactly the kind if inside-out 12-dimensional chess political reasoning that could explain a LOT of things about this and every election, yet wouldn’t occur to anyone in the media: Romney just doesn’t want to be mean. To Obama.

PostScript likes this idea. Moreover, Romney is also being nice to the media, giving us something to talk about in July without actually having to look at any documents or figure out what they mean. PostScript has never felt this feeling before. It’s LIKE a hug, but different somehow. Like it’s a corporation that’s hugging her.