Skip to main content

Joe McCarthy
Speculating on what's in Romney's tax returns
is exactly like doing what this bully did. Riiiiiiight.
Mitt Romney's campaign staff wants desperately to make their candidate's failure to release his tax returns about something—anything—other than his failure to release his tax returns.

So in the never-ending quest to change the subject, senior adviser and chief bully Eric Fehrnstrom has now turned to linking Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid with noted Republican bully and witch-hunter Sen. Joe McCarthy. Reid attracted Fehrnstorm's ire for saying that a Bain investor (who he would not name) has told him that Romney didn't pay taxes for 10 years.

Outrageous, Fehrnstrom told Fox News.

“This reminds me of the McCarthy hearings back in the 1950s,” Eric Fehrnstrom said on Fox News. “And it was another son from Massachusetts, Joseph Welch, who finally asked the question that should be asked of Harry Reid, which is, ‘Have you no sense of decency, sir?’ Is there nothing that you won’t do in the name of dirty politics? I think it’s just shameful.” [...]

“I’m telling you, authoritatively, speaking on behalf of the governor, that those charges are untrue,” said Fehrnstrom, a longtime Romney aide. “They’re baseless.”

Fehrnstrom hasn't yet appended the McCarthyism label to the growing list of Republicans calling upon Romney to release his tax returns, a list that includes the editors of the right-wing National Review Online. Maybe that's because the latter would not be upset to be called McCarthyists since the publication's founding editor, the late William F. Buckley Jr., staunchly defended the senator for his destructive attacks on political dissidents.

The bullying has not sent Sen. Reid into retreat. Again Thursday, without naming names, he told reporters in a phone call:

I am not basing this on some figment of my imagination. I have had a number of people tell me that. [...]

I don't think the burden should be on me. The burden should be on him. He's the one I've alleged has not paid any taxes. Why didn't he release his tax returns?


Team Romney should stop treating these requests as persecution. Next thing you know, Fehrnstrom will be invoking Torquemada. Abu Ghraib. Gitmo.

Romney has presented a lot of simple answers to complex questions. Fix the economy by cutting taxes. Maintain national security by adding a couple of trillion dollars to military spending. Deal with the federal budget by axing social programs. In the case of defusing all the talk about what is in his tax returns, however, there really is a simple answer: Let us all see them. Why should John McCain be the only one who gets that privilege?

The campaign should view the matter positively. Make a big splash. Releasing the returns now could actually help Romney. After all, what's in them surely couldn't contain anything worse than the possibility Reid has already injected into the public's mind.

Or could they?

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 11:38 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site